Getting Tattooed On Hairy Arms & Legs

  • Written By Dan Hunter on August 17, 2019
    Last Updated: November 27, 2020

Hairy legs and arms may distort the appearance of a tattoo. This is especially so if you have very dark and thick hair. However, does this mean that tattoos don’t look good on hairy body parts such as arms and legs? Not necessarily, which is what we’re going to investigate.

The upper arms and legs are usually hairier than the lower parts, and so this can greatly affect your tattoo placement. But if you’re dead-set on getting a tattoo and are concerned about arm or leg hair getting in the way, consider shaving that area.

To Shave or Not to Shave

Whether you shave the hair off will be governed by two main factors:

  • Tattoo design
  • Ink color
  • Hair density

Note that your tattoo artist will always shave the area before you get tattooed, no matter your hair color or density. This is to avoid ingrown hairs, and so they have better visibility. And so, keep in mind that your tattoo will look differently as the shaved area grows hair again. How your tattoo first looks post-healing might not be how it looks forever.

The Design of Your Tattoo

Although you should be entirely put off from getting a tattoo due to body hair, think clearly about the style you want and how it’ll look through hair. For example, getting someone’s face inked on your thigh may end with them looking like they have a beard, thanks to your hair.

Ink Color

Matching the ink color to your body-hair color is a logical thing to do, and can alleviate your tattoo from looking distorted through arm and leg hair.

For example, if you have dark hair, consider going for a black-ink tattoo, or even a negative tattoo. If you’re fairer, lighter colors could work better — blond hair will show up more over a dark-inked background.

Hair Density

If the hair on your arms and legs is pretty thick and dark, then it will definitely obscure your hard-earned body art. Consider making your tattoo work with the hair, especially if you intend to keep your limbs hairy.

Hairy Arms and Legs, and Tattoos

If you hate shaving your arms and legs, like most people, then you may wonder if you have to keep shaving for the sake of your tattoo. This should be a personal decision based on what you really want.

Some would argue that leaving your legs or arms hairy while tattooed is a waste of art, while for others, it really doesn’t matter. For the sake of artistic expression, certain people have even taken to using body hair to accentuate their tattoos.

If you think your tattoo doesn’t look nice on hairy arms and legs, there are ways to deal with this:

Regular Hair Removal

Regular hair removal could be achieved by shaving or waxing, both of which take care of the area temporarily. A disadvantage here is that you must wait for your body hair to grow to a certain length before the next removal. Also, for some, it’s a pain and is viewed as time-consuming.

Laser Hair Removal

If you opt for a more permanent hair removal solution, laser treatment is an expensive yet highly successful way. How many sittings you need for this will vary between individuals, which would be confirmed at your consultation.

In Conclusion

Sure, your tattoo may look distorted through arm and leg hair. But, how your tattoo looks on your hairy arms and legs should be based on your personal perspective. If you don’t mind the hair, then keep it! However, if you prefer to get the hair out of the way, look to employ proper shaving techniques for removal.

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