Are Neck Tattoos A Bad Idea?

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Choosing to get a neck tattoo is a pretty big deal. Neck tattoos are generally very visible. The only place where tattoos are more visible than the neck is the face. So, we understand when a lot of people tend to question their decision about getting a tattoo right on their neck. And, if you’re reading this, you’re probably one of those people.

Well, we’ll be completely honest right from the start. In the following paragraphs, you will read all about why neck tattoos are not just a bad idea, but rather a terrible idea for a tattoo. So, if you’re interested in some truth and discouragement, then let’s get started!

Neck Tattoos – Everything You Need to Know?

Red tattoo on the neck of women
Instagram: @ink_pool 

1. The Issue of Neck Placement and Skin

Now, one of the main reasons why neck tattoos are a bad idea lies in the very neck skin. The skin on the neck is extremely thin and very delicate to handle and expose to damage. Because the neck is an area filled with nerves and nerve endings, the thinness of the skin makes it easier to reach the nerves and cause incredible pain and skin irritation.

The sides of the neck might be the least sensitive when it comes to tattooing, but even then you can expect some serious irritation and pain. The front of the neck is one of the most painful areas to get a tattoo, especially for men. The skin in the front of the neck is extremely thin, ad there is no muscle mass. If you decide to get a front neck tattoo, you can expect to have some breathing difficulties and probably intolerable pain.

big tattoo on the neck of women
Instagram:@artesobscurae 

2. Neck Tattoos and Fading

Now, imagine going through all the pain and suffering of getting a neck tattoo just to watch it fade away faster than your other inks.

Well, it all boils down to the skin, again. The neck skin is incredibly stretchy, and as one gets older, the skin becomes loose, without elasticity and the ability to bounce back to its original shape. Because of this, the neck on the tattoo will also stretch, the ink will spread and lose its original vibrance and shape. So, tattoo fading in this case is bound to happen, more sooner than later.

Moreover, there is also the issue of tattooing itself. Because the skin on the neck is so thin, there is a risk the tattoo artist will mess it up. If the needle goes too deep into the skin, there’s a risk of a blowout. And, if the artist is too careful and doesn’t apply enough pressure, the tattoo will fade away in an instant.

Neck tattoos are also almost always exposed. This means the tattoo on the neck will experience the highest levels of sun exposure, which further affects the quality of the tattoo and speeds up the fading process. The movement of the head and the neck can also contribute to the fading issues, and sometimes make the tattoo more blurry and indistinct.

Also Read: Do Tattoos Fade Over Time (And How Can You Fight Tattoo Fading?)

3. Neck Tattoos and Pain

Neck Tattoos and Pain
Saved Tattoo

As we mentioned earlier, the neck area is filled with nerves and nerve endings. So, the pain levels usually vary between extremely high and intolerable for the majority of people. Here’s a quick look at how painful neck tattoos are in regards to placement on the neck;

  • Front of the neck – this is, as we mentioned, one of the most painful places to get a tattoo. Because the skin is extremely thin, there is no muscle mass, fat, and the trachea and thyroid cartilage are right under the skin, the pain can be almost intolerable.

During the tattooing of the neck front, one can experience breathing discomfort and issues. If the front tattoo goes down to the clavicle, the pain can continue being high since the clavicle area is boney and the skin is also extremely thin.

  • Back of the neck – the most popular neck tattoo area is the back of the neck. Now, depending on the precise location of the tattoo in the back, the pain can vary between high to extreme. The skin there is also incredibly thin, plus there are the cranial nerves to consider. These nerves transfer signals (like pain) from the organs to the brain.

The least painful part of the back of the neck is the lowest parts of the neck; at the side of the spine or more towards to shoulder area. Here, the skin is a bit thicker and there’s more fat to absorb some of the pain.

  • Side of the neck – this is considered to be the least painful area to get a neck tattoo. The side of the neck does have a lot of nerve endings, but not as much as the front of the neck. Even so, you can expect high pain levels even in this area, because the skin is still thin and there are a lot of nerve endings that can cause pain, irritation, and high skin damage.

4. Neck Tattoos and Healing Issues

Because the neck skin is thin, and the neck movement is frequent and necessary, neck tattoos can have a hard time healing properly.

Because of constant movement, the healing can prolong from several weeks to several months. The skin will have a hard time drying completely and healing without interruptions.

You may also be more prone to touching and stretching a neck tattoo, since it’s, well, right there under your face. Many people touch and scratch tattoos in sleep, which increases the risk of bacteria transfer from the finger to the tattoo. As a result, you can experience some serious inflammation and infection issues.

Not to mention that a tattoo needs to be covered during the aftercare and healing process. And, neck tattoos are almost impossible to cover, since not many clothing items reach the neck area. Also, you will always have to wear sunscreen, even after the tattoo has fully healed. This will protect it somewhat from sun exposure and might mitigate the fading issues.

5. Neck Tattoos Cost

Neck tattoo cost, just like any other tattoo, depends on numerous factors. For example, the size of the tattoo, the complexity of the design, the placement of the tattoo, the coloring and detailing, and of course, the tattoo artist; all of this can affect the final cost.

So, in regards to the size, a 2×2 simple neck tattoo can cost up to $200. But, when you start sizing up, adding details, and including an original design, the maximum price for a neck tattoo can go as high as $4000. So, not only will the tattoo hurt like hell, but it will also take your last penny out of the pocket.

For this amount of money, you can get a masterpiece tattoo in basically any other area of the body, and sometimes even pay less. Not to mention that you can always go for body areas that hurt less; for example, consider getting a tattoo on the upper thigh, abdomen, upper arm, calf, or anywhere else with thicker skin and fewer nerve endings.

butterfly tattoo on the neck of women
Instagram: @michaelnsarahbowe

6. Neck Tattoos and Professional Issues

As we mentioned, neck tattoos, alongside facial tattoos, are probably the most visible ones. So, as you can imagine, the visibility of the tattoo can create some professional issues, regarding your workplace and client relationship. Unfortunately, our society isn’t used to tattoos being a completely normal occurrence, and everyone feels entitled to comment on someone else’s decision and choices for their own body.

But, until we wake up in a more tolerable society, neck tattoos will continue to pose a possible problem for those looking for jobs or working with clients. Tattoos, especially the visible ones, are often associated with crime, bad behavior, gangs, and similar misconceptions.

So, depending on your gender and type of work, your neck tattoo will affect the way people, clients, colleagues, and your employers see you.

7. Reconsidering the Idea

Before you get a neck tattoo, make sure to think hard about the reason why you want a tattoo placed right on your neck. If you want to get a neck tattoo to feel ‘cool’ and ‘bad-ass’, then you’re doing it for the wrong reasons.

Just because some famous rappers or artists are getting neck tattoos, doesn’t mean you should too. Their careers won’t be affected by getting such inks, since the tattoos are part of the image they’re portraying.

Many professional tattoo artists strongly advise against neck tattoos, for the aforementioned reasons. Neck tattoos hurt, cost a lot, and fade quickly, which makes them not worthy of your money, nor the pain you’ll have to go through. Not to mention the possible issues at work; neck tattoos can lower your chance of getting proper employment, unfortunately.

But, if you still want to get a tattoo, consider some other areas on the body. If it’s your first tattoo, go for areas that have thicker skin, more fat, and fewer nerve endings. Also, for the first time, try getting a smaller, less exposed tattoo just to see whether you’ll have any allergic reactions to the ink or infection issues.

Final Thoughts

Getting a tattoo is a big deal, but getting one on the face or the neck is an even bigger deal. We truly recommend you think about the placement of your tattoo and the type of tattoo you’re getting. Try consulting with some serious, professional tattoo artists; they will give you some good advice on your tattoo and where would the best placement be.

Remember; tattoos are a life-long commitment. Sure, you can get rid of a tattoo with laser treatment, for example. But, laser treatments hurt more than tattoos themselves. So, ask yourself; is that really something you want to go through?

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