Over the last 5 years or so, micro tattoos have become very popular, probably thanks to many celebrities like Chrissy Teagan showing off their newly inked skin on social media. Thanks to their small size, micro tattoos can be put almost anywhere on the body and be concealed easily.
Micro tattoos specifically have become more sought after by tattoo newbies. Instead of going full out with a sleeve or back tattoo, the micro tattoos give customers the ability to try out the inking process with a small design that can still have a big meaning.
There are a lot of facets to micro tattoos that are important to know if you are considering getting one. Read on for a complete guide to micro tattoos!
What Are Micro Tattoos?
While micro tattoos may seem self-explanatory, there are a few defining features that may not be so obvious. Based on the name it’s clear that micro tattoos are small pieces of art. They are great beginner tattoos because of their small size and potential to have lots of meaning packed into it.
The tattoo market doesn’t have a size limit on micro tattoos, but they are meant to be small and concealable so usually come in under 4cm squared. This size also allows the tattoos to be put just about anywhere on the body without difficulty.
Micro tattoos are also known as “fine line” tattoos because of their contrast against normal tattoos that have bold lines and colours. That’s not to say micro tattoos can’t be bold. Their design can be as simply minimalistic or intricately detailed as you want.
The other big defining feature of micro tattoos besides their size is the technique used to ink them. Artists usually use a super fine single-needle technique to be able to obtain the intricate details and fine lines within the size confines of a micro tattoo.
What Is Single Needle Tattooing?
Micro tattoos are usually done through single needle tattooing. It’s the best technique to be able to create the most detail in the smallest space. As the name suggests the technique uses a single needle to tattoo.
For normal tattoos, the machine is loaded with a few different types of needles for different purposes. But for single needle tattooing, the machine is loaded with only one tattoo, commonly the one round-light needle (1RL).
Traditionally 1RLs are put into tattoo machines to help with shading. They get the finer lines necessary for achieving the details of micro tattoos.
Single needle tattooing is similar to the stick and poke method because of the single needle. It doesn’t penetrate the skin as much as a normal tattoo. This, unfortunately, can lead to more change and distortion of the tattoo over time.
Why Are Micro Tattoos So Popular?
There are a few reasons micro tattoos are so popular these days. Their size has a lot of upsides for people who may not be into the showy, bold, sleeves of tattoos on their bodies.
Micro tattoos can be placed in almost any discreet part of the body. It’s great for first-time tattoo getters who may not want to commit right away. It’s a great test tattoo that can be covered if they don’t like it.
Social media has also helped to increase micro tattoo popularity. Influencers, actors, and celebrities have been posting their new ink online. The exquisite detail can help people pack a lot of meaning into a small and discrete package.
How Long Do Micro Tattoos Take?
The length of the tattoo session varies depending on the size and detail of your micro tattoo design. Typically smaller tattoos take under an hour, including micro tattoos. But, the more detail in the design the longer the tattoo will take.
Do Micro Tattoos Cost The Same As Regular Tattoos?
Just like regular tattoos, the cost of a micro tattoo depends on the artist you go to and the intricacy of the design. In reality, you will pay more for the more skilled and experienced artists than the actual tattoo.
On average you can expect somewhere between $50-100 or up to $200 for super intricate designs. The cost of a micro tattoo also depends on the placement. If it is in a hard-to-reach area the cost may be a bit more expensive.
Most people would recommend you go see a micro tattoo specialist. These will cost a bit more than one might expect for a small tattoo because of their special skill and experience. They are the best in the industry for micro tattoos and charge as such.
Benefits Of A Micro Tattoo
Most of the benefits of a micro tattoo relate to its small size. The small size means it is easy to conceal for formal events. Micro tattoos are also considered more classy than normal sleeves or huge designs, one of the reasons actors and celebrities lean towards these types of tattoos.
Micro tattoos have minimal pain because of their small size and single-needle technique. This is another reason they are great for first-time tattoo seekers. They are relatively cheaper than normal tattoos, so you can get multiple if you like them without breaking the bank.
Small tattoos are easy to change and can be done so quickly. The immune system is always trying to fight the ink and so the fine lines of a micro tattoo fade faster and can be redone. They are also easy to cover up or alter with new ink rather than a huge tattoo that might require more skill or finessing to change.
The reason most people like micro tattoos over regular tattoos is their size can still be meaningful. In collaboration with your micro tattoo artists you can pack as much meaning as you want into the design and not need so much skin to do so.
Downsides of a Micro Tattoo
However, the small size of micro tattoos and the single-needle technique have a few downsides to be aware of as well. A smaller tattoo is more prone to fading or misconfiguration in the early years. They do not age well.
Because the single needle technique doesn’t puncture the skin as deep as normal tattoos, the tattoo will begin to fade faster. Your immune system is trying to get rid of the ink the minute it hits your skin and less ink is easier to get rid of.
It can be hard to find an artist who is willing to do micro tattoos. Really only specialists are willing to do the tattoos simply because they are cheaper and don’t last as long. Tattoo artists pride themselves on their work, so only artists who know they are great at smaller details will give that option.
And finally, because micro tattoos are so small, imperfections or mistakes will be more obvious. Especially for the minimalistic designs that have less detail to hide things, it can be hard to hide a wrong line or a bad shade job.
Should You Get A Micro Tattoo?
Honestly, the decision is up to you. It’s your body and what you decide to do with it, get a micro tattoo, a regular tattoo, or no tattoo is completely up to you.
For those who are wanting to get a tattoo but don’t necessarily want to start with the flashy and bold lines, a micro tattoo might be a great place to start. Or if you have a simple small design that means a lot to you, micro tattoos are great for that too.
If you are simply wanting to get a micro tattoo because of the hype on social media, that might not be a great reason to go for it. Social media can be very misleading with photoshop and influencers doing ads and partnerships for income. Do your research before deciding to permanently mark your skin.
If you still aren’t sure whether or not you should get a micro tattoo or a different tattoo, consult with your tattoo artist. They are the experts in the field for a reason and can help you decide if this is the right step to take.
Micro tattoos are a great first tattoo for beginners. They are generally less painful than normal tattoos, and can easily be covered up when necessary. They may not be as cheap as you might expect, but they can pack a meaningful punch into a very small package.