What Happens If You Tattoo Over Hair

What Happens If You Tattoo Over Hair?

The process of getting a tattoo involves shaving the area that will be tattooed. This is done because the hair on your body can interfere with the needle and cause blank spots in the tattooed area. It can also prevent the stencil from properly applying. When you go to get your tattoo, your tattoo artist will shave the area before starting. If the area you’re getting tattooed is particularly hairy, it is courteous to shave the area before going in.

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The Process

After choosing a design, if you’re unsure of what to expect when getting a tattoo, here’s a quick run-down.

Your typical tattoo artist uses something called a tattoo machine. While the make-up of the machine can vary, all machines contain a needle that moves rapidly in an up and down motion. This creates the buzzing sound that tattoo machines are typically associated with.

Artists make use of different types of needles, depending on the design. The needles are dipped in ink, and your artist uses the machine to make careful penetrations into the skin. The ink sits in the dermis layer of your skin, just below the epidermis (top layer).

Some pain is to be expected, though the pain level will vary depending on your pain tolerance. But just think to yourself; if everyone else can do it, so can you.

What To Expect

What happens if you tattoo over hair

When you’ve arrived at your booking, your tattoo artist will either have you sit or lay down, depending on the area you’re getting tattooed. After confirming the placement and size of the tattoo, your tattoo artist will use a razor to give the area a quick shave. This will leave the area smooth and ready to be tattooed.

After your tattoo is done, the hair will start to grow back as normal over the coming weeks.

Will The Hair Grow Back Thicker?

Getting a tattoo over hair

No — the area in which the hair was shaved will not grow back thicker. A common misconception is that if you shave an area, this will encourage more hair growth. The truth is, this has no effect on the volume or thickness of your hair.

If you’re concerned about your hair growing back thicker and making the tattooed area look funny, you don’t need to worry, it won’t.

Why Shaving Is Encouraged

Do you shave before getting tattooed

While technically you can get a tattoo over hair, it’s recommended not to. This is because the hair can interfere with the needle and prevent some areas from getting ink deep enough into the skin.

Shaving the area also allows better application of stencils, as the area is smoother. If the hair was present, the stencil may not stick to the skin, or could only partially apply.

Lastly, it allows your artist to wipe away any extra ink or blood that may appear during the process of getting tattooed. This keeps the area clean and ensures your artist has full visibility of where the tattoo is being applied.

Will Hair Growth Hide My Tattoo?

Girl showing her arm tattoos

Your hair will grow back in the tattooed area. If that area is particularly hairy, the visibility of your tattoo may be reduced, but it’s doubtful that it would be invisible. As you can expect, everyone will have a different experience based on how much hair is in the area.

However, hair growth over the tattoo cannot be avoided. While you can remedy this by shaving the tattooed area actively, there is no natural way of preventing hair growth in the tattooed area.




The area you want to be tattooed will be shaved by your artist before the tattoo process begins. This helps ensure the stencil applies correctly and ink is properly (and evenly) applied to the skin. Having the area shaved also helps keep the area clean during the tattoo process, and allows you to apply aftercare creams more easily.

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