We’re always making an impression with our hands, whether it’s with a handshake or the gestures we use while speaking. For this reason a lot of people, including celebrities, opt for hand tattoos that everyone will be able to see.
Below you’ll find 85 inspirational examples of hand tattoos from across the net. But before you check them out, read through our quick list of things you should know before committing to a hand tattoo. They’ll help you decide if a hand tattoo is really right for you— and if it is, how to make sure you end up satisfied.
Not Everyone Can Do Hand Tattoos
There’s a reason why many tattoo artists have no problem with the back, forearm, or almost any part of the body. But when you request a hand tattoo, they’ll politely refuse to do it. This is because hands (and feet) are some of the most challenging areas to work with and not every artist has the skill required.
Tattooing a hand means dealing with a lot of uneven surfaces simply due to the natural structure of skin and bone. Hands also tend to come in all shapes and skin conditions, which means the tattoo artist must be highly skilled and experienced.
Hand Tattoos are Very Visible & More Painful
With any tattoo you should always put thought into what you’ll be asking for since it will be on your body probably forever. But when it comes to hand tattoos, you’re talking about a highly visible area that everyone will see. Whether you like it or not, a hand tattoo will immediately make an impression on those you meet. And since they’re difficult to cover up, you may run into problems in certain workplaces or military branches.
You should also consider that getting a tattoo on your hand is usually more painful than other areas. The obvious reason is that hands have more nerve fibers and thus are extra sensitive to pain. There’s also not much fat or muscle there to cushion the impact of the needle. You can expect hand tattoos to swell and remain uncomfortable for a good while after the process, so plan accordingly.
Hand Tattoos Are High Maintenance & Blur Faster
There are few places on your body that experience more physical contact than your hands. You wash them, use them to drive, etc. The constant stretching of the skin and wear from contact means hand tattoos are more prone to the inevitable fading and blurring over time. Also consider that the more detailed and intricate your hand tattoo design is, the more obvious this effect will be.
Hand tattoos require more trips to the shop to get retouched, which means more time and money to keep them looking good. Since hand tattoos are higher maintenance, a lot of artists won’t offer the same free or discounted retouch sessions like they do with other locations. If you have your heart set on a hand tattoo, remember that it’ll require more care and cash to maintain.