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Studio updates.

Palm and Fingers Tattoos: Why you shouldn't get them.

Finger tattoos have grown in popularity in the last few years; especially with the “Shhh…” that Rhianna got on her index finger. I’m going to explain to you why this is a bad tattoo for several reasons. With all my education blogs I will not only explain the technical aspects of the bad reasons, but also my personal reasons as much as I can without being repetitive, because there are some things that apply to every tattoo idea. In this chapter we’re going to discuss “rings” and the side of the fingers.

Reason 1: Fading
Rings cannot go all the way around the finger because about half way around the fingers, thumb, and balls of the hand that creates the palm, the skin regenerates almost 10X faster than the rest of the body. The skin that is on the palm and the bottom of the fingers is very temporary, so if the artist pushes the design in to light, it will fade quickly, and almost be gone in only a couple months. Because of the fading, the tattoo will require regular touch ups. This can be a very expensive process to the client and can possibly reflect poorly on the artist. Many tattooers in the industry will not do fingers and palms because of these reasons.

The top tattoo shows the tattoos fresh, the bottom shows healed after some time, and how they've faded.

The top tattoo shows the tattoos fresh, the bottom shows healed after some time, and how they've faded.

Reason 2: Blowouts
The artist will push the design in too hard in order to get the design to have a longer life, it can cause what’s called a “blowout”. A blowout is when the ink disperses and spreads outside of the wanted areas and can cause what a lot of people refer to as, “foggy”, “blurry”, “smokey”, or other descriptions. The artist must hit that “sweet spot” within the palms and fingers or the tattoo will either be faded or blown out, and seeing as how every person is different, it’s difficult to find the sweet spot.  This is also something that can reflect poorly on the artist and another reason artists refuse to do the hands.

This isn't a hand, obviously, but is a good example of what could happen when it comes to blowouts. See the seepage of the ink around the letters. Spreading can happen even if the tattoo is done properly but is rare, but can happen if the tattoo is applied too hard.

This isn't a hand, obviously, but is a good example of what could happen when it comes to blowouts. See the seepage of the ink around the letters. Spreading can happen even if the tattoo is done properly but is rare, but can happen if the tattoo is applied too hard.

Reason 3: Half Tattoos
Applying tattoos the tops of the fingers or the tops of the hands aren’t so bad. The problem here is the sides. The same reason as above except the only problem is that instead of being left with an almost completely faded tattoo, or even a well done tattoo, you’re left with a little of both columns. The tattoo can stay done well above the “fade line” and everything below will disappear in what can be a few weeks. At that point the client is left with half of a tattoo. Again, if the client isn’t one to admit their bad decision, this can reflect poorly on the artist.

This tattoo from BME.com shows the tattoo fresh, then 8 weeks later, and then having to be redone.

This tattoo from BME.com shows the tattoo fresh, then 8 weeks later, and then having to be redone.

This tattoo is wrong for many reasons, but we'll focus on the placement aspect. As you can see in the first pic the tattoo is dark and black, and 6 weeks later the tattoo is highly faded, and gets even more faded the farther down the finger it goes.

This tattoo is wrong for many reasons, but we'll focus on the placement aspect. As you can see in the first pic the tattoo is dark and black, and 6 weeks later the tattoo is highly faded, and gets even more faded the farther down the finger it goes.

Reason 4: Popularity
Many tattoos are acquired because of the what is seen to a lot of people as “cool”, “cute”, or “admirable”. A lot of the bad tattoo ideas out there are because of celebrities. Unlike the rest of “normal” folk, they have the ability to blow way more money on tattoos. A sixty dollar tattoo to them is not the same sixty dollar tattoo to us. They have money and time to get it touched up every 3-6 months without a problem. If an artist does do finger tattoos, they generally don’t do free touch ups for fingers and palms; which means the client will have to pay to have the tattoo redone as many times as needed until that sweet spot is found, or blow out occurs. If a celebrity has a tattoo, there’s a good chance their tattoo isn’t good; Rhianna, Chris Brown, and Scarlett Johansson are great examples.

In the first pic of Rhianna you can see her tattoo is clean and dark, and in the second photo the letters are much thicker, and darker; this is because she's had to have it touched up at least twice, maybe more times. Maybe not a bad tattoo, but definitely a bad placement.

In the first pic of Rhianna you can see her tattoo is clean and dark, and in the second photo the letters are much thicker, and darker; this is because she's had to have it touched up at least twice, maybe more times. Maybe not a bad tattoo, but definitely a bad placement.

Adam Godwin