Lastly, if you want to keep a fine line tattoo in tip-top shape, you may want to avoid high-motion areas such as the fingers or feet. Those finger tats a la Hailey Bieber can be chic, but are more likely to fade due to friction.
So, should I get a fine-line tattoo?
If you are interested in getting a fine line tattoo, there are some things to keep in mind before diving in, but the biggest overarching objective is to manage expectations. For instance, not all tattoos will work as fine line tattoos. “Just because it looks like it’s possible to do something minute on paper doesn’t mean it’ll work on skin,” Kim says. “Trust your artist to tell you what’s doable.”
Which brings us to our next point: When it comes to any type of tattoo, but perhaps especially fine-line tattoos, the key to success is to find the right artist.
“I think clients sometimes assume that because fine line tattoos can be really small and simple, that they’re super easy to tattoo, and that’s not the case,” Pignanelli stresses. “The smaller the needle, the more careful and precise you have to be. There’s little to no room for error because you’ll see it immediately. “Someone who is trained in single-needle tattoos can reduce the risk of scratchy lines, blowouts, or lines that completely disappear.
When it comes to finding these artists, social media is a good place to start. You can see the type of work they do and possible comments or tags from clients. Then once you nail down a few candidates, all the pros recommend asking to see photos of their work after they’ve healed. “Ask to see healed photos of tattoos, not just the fresh Instagram shots with nine different filters of contrast and sharpening,” Schroeder emphasizes.
Just because fine-line tattoos — and, well, all tattoos in general — change and age over time, don’t let it discourage you from getting the design you really want. “I have seen gorgeous fine line work that is over 30 years old,” Schroeder says. “It is soft and gray but still has great definition and readability.”
Those gorgeous, sharp designs you see on Pinterest, Instagram, and TikTok are fresh fine line designs that will look different one day — but different doesn’t always mean bad. “Your tattoo will get a bit lighter or slightly thicker depending on how your body heals it,” Kim says. “Go with your artist’s suggestion regarding placement, size, and detail. They’re the expert and are there to make your tattoo experience as fun, informative, and seamless as possible.