Top 50 Behind the Ear Tattoo Ideas

Once considered a stylistic and societal no-no, behind the ear tattoo ideas have become a fast growing and popular design choice for modern collectors.

Visible yet easily concealable tattoo art has developed exponentially over the past two decades, with designs encompassing the most in demand applications.

Behind the ear ink concepts can range from simple small tattoos or solid black ink through to complex pieces utilizing bright color and detailed linework. From your Zodiac sign to butterfly tattoos and cute little animals, there are almost endless possibilities to consider!

The following gallery collection and FAQs exploring the 50 best behind the ear tattoo ideas features the best examples in this style of tattooing, combining favored imagery with quality technical art.

Take this tattoo inspiration to your artist to help create an awesome piece of your own.

1. Flower Tattoo Ideas

@oasisink_hsinchu via Instagram
@tattooist_mi.ran via Instagram
alice_b_jb via Instagram
@dark_ink_wizard via Instagram
@spazwithapentattoo via Instagram
@enigmcd via Instagram

2. Behind the Ear Heart Tattoos

@darkelltattoos via Instagram
@meganevansartist via Instagram
tinta_creation_tattoo via Instagram
@crtvclasstattoo via Instagram
@taylor_dewar95 via Instagram

3. Cross Tattoos

@moderninktattoos via Instagram
@cloudserpentstudios via Instagram
@ranchos_ink via Instagram
@randy.ink via Instagram
@tatsbyblack via Instagram

4. Innovative Behind Ear Tattoos

@newtattoo_sarah via Instagram
@loko_will via Instagram
@jay_davies_tattoos via Instagram
@odb_blackwork via Instagram
@jonesing.ink via Instagram

5. Butterfly Behind Ear Tattoos

@chilltattoostudio via Instagram
@melbootstattoo via Instagram
@kenlyziin via Instagram
@sincyrtattoo via Instagram
@dunn_tattoos via Instagram

6. Behind Ear Tattoo Ideas

@choneswear via Instagram
@bento.tattoo via Instagram
@elaine.tattoo via Instagram
@ana.tattooart via Instagram

7. Behind the Ear Rose Tattoo Designs

@skincitybolton via Instagram
@narniatattoos via Instagram
@rehtser via Instagram
@endlesscreationstattoo via Instagram
@vitor.sx7 via Instagram

8. Linework Behind Ear Tattoos

@missofit via Instagram
@mr.jones.tattoo via Instagram
@neyditattoos via Instagram
@tattoosbyjon2018 via Instagram
@mini_moondal_tt via Instagram
@lindsey_strickland96 via Instagram

9. Black Ink Behind Ear Tattoos

@aless.tattoos via Instagram
@courting_chaos via Instagram
@gaiboibob.b via Instagram
@fulvio.™ via Instagram
@neghyarttattoo via Instagram
@jackieannen via Instagram
@nathanieltattoos via Instagram

Behind the Ear Tattoo FAQs

What are the most popular behind ear designs?

Tattoos behind the ear are intensely personal, and design choices can mirror those made by others seeking small tattoo art to display (or keep to yourself). The most inked styles include:

  • Flower and rose ear tattoo
  • Simple versions of the Christian cross, and other faith based body art
  • Butterfly tattoo
  • Symbolic tattoos, such as memorial and pet paw print ink
  • Ironic, humorous and abstract aesthetic artwork
  • Heart tattoos and cute symbols of love or friendship

What flower ear tattoo should I get?

Flower ear tattoo designs are the most dominant inspiration for this placement, especially for those seeking a visible tattoo idea that can be covered up simply and easily.

The symbolic meaning of flower ear designs range from remembrance and awareness, through to sexy tattoos – for man, woman, or transgender tattoo lovers – designed to accentuate the neck area and hairline as well as behind the ear.

Rose ear body art in simple, small tattoos is by far the most popular floral choice, however other blooms such as lavender, cherry blossom, and poppies make for great traditional black and gray, color, or watercolor tattoos.

What application styles are the most popular for behind the ear?

Behind ear tattoo design is limited only by size because of the small area between the hairline and ear running down the neck. Tattoo lovers can choose from many different application styles when creating small tattoos in this area.

Solid black ink tattoo design, like that found in simple tribal geometric patterns, a paw print, or traditional anchor tattoos, is extremely popular because they look solid when etched on skin.

Other collectors like their artist to implement black and gray shading, or simple linework the juxtaposes black ink with negative space to make simple pieces that are both technical and cost effective.

For others, who love a degree of delicacy in their tattoo idea, you’ll find a lot of watercolor tattoos, colorful neo traditional pieces, and simple but bright single color work that shows off tattoo artist skills when creating complex body art in a limited space.

What are common behind ear tattoos not found in this gallery?

As one of the quickest growing placement options in tattooing, behind the ear designs are providing a fertile ground for delicate, small tattoo choices. The only real constraint you have is the size of the body art, which leaves plenty of killer ink possibilities.

Tattoo inspiration for women not found here include sexy tattoos, zodiac sign designs, and even cute little animals, they can look awesome on the skin of your neck near the hairline.

If you’re a guy looking for a behind ear tattoo, then the elements (everyone likes a lightning bolt) and tribal geometric patterns are widespread, as are tiny tattoos of pets, names, and dates.

Unisex options tend to be more ordinary, and include musical note, feather tattoo, or moon tattoo interpretations, or humorous/ ironic tattoos such as lightning bolt, globe, cat ear tattoo pieces, or even strange bird ink.

How much does it cost to get a behind the ear tattoo design?

Behind the ear tattoo ideas are some of the most inexpensive pieces. Due to their small size and the speed of execution, even highly detailed single needle or watercolor tattoos remain at the cheaper end of the spectrum.

The cost for an experienced professional tattoo artist starts at around $150-$200 per hour, and they can draw up a simple black ink design – say a music note or delicate line butterfly tattoo – for the shop minimum.

More specialist artists can charge upward of $300 per hour to bring ear tattoo designs to life.