Hand Tattoos For Women - Get Your Cool Ideas, Designs & Tips

 
PHOTO: COURTESY Inez van Lamsweerde/H&M

PHOTO: COURTESY Inez van Lamsweerde/H&M

 

Hand tattoos came into style in the last few years and we are here for it. The dainty hand art is modeled by various celebrities and people around the world, but what exactly makes them so attractive? Why do people get them, and why did the trend pick up so suddenly in the last few years?

I’ve dreamt of getting a wrist tattoo since my early teens. I used to sit and draw whatever designs I could think of; words were my favorite, surrounded by tiny hearts and stars. It was adorable. Tattoo have remained a relevant form of body art for ages have been around, so let’s get our hands dirty and look a little further.

Quick History Of Hand Tattoos

Hand tattoos aren’t a fad, they’re beautifully intricate and painful forms of art that have been a part of human culture for centuries. Some of the first instances of hand tattoos that archaeologists uncovered hand tattoos were on mummies found in the Chiribaya desert who lived about 800 to 900 years ago.

 
Photo: Courtesy Smithsonian Magazine

Photo: Courtesy Smithsonian Magazine

 

Other early hand tattoos were found on the Ice Man Otzi, who was discovered in 1991. Otzi is 5300 years old and still has this ink; talk about tattoos lasting forever! It is thought that all of Otzi’s tattoos were there for the purpose of pain relief, as they were on pressure points all over his body and not just on his hands.

If you ask me, hand tattoos are going to be seen even more in today’s age, and their popularity will continue to increase over time.  

Cultural Significance Of Hand Tattoos

Culturally, there are significant reasons behind hand tattoos.

In New Zealand, for the Maori culture, hand tattoos signify class or societal standings. The tattoos are typically something of historical significance in the culture, taking the shape of the silver fern or tribal print in general. They are generally styled for the hands, but sometimes also on the face.

 
Photo: Courtesy Pinterest

Photo: Courtesy Pinterest

 

Japanese people may have intricate and colorful tattoo designs on the tops of their hands. The tattoos are reminiscent of Yakuza culture- which relates to Japanese gangsters. Not every Yakuza has one, but many people outside of the culture do. The designs are so beautifully detailed, it is understandable why others may use the style for their own work.

 
Photo: Courtesy Pinterest

Photo: Courtesy Pinterest

 

In America, people may get hand tattoos just because they find it visually appealing, and they have a design that means enough to them to suffer through the pain. Some couples will get hand tattoos together if they dislike wearing rings, and some people see celebrities with the ink and get the same out of respect for them. Other reasons Americans may get tattoos on their hands is overcoming struggles of disease. For example, cancer survivors will often get the symbol tattooed there.

 
Photo: Courtesy Pinterest

Photo: Courtesy Pinterest

 

Whether it’s love or cultural significance, most have concrete and specific reasons for going through the pain of getting tattooed on their hands.

Celebrity Hand Tattoos

Lots of celebrities have hand tattoos and the designs range from understated to intricate. Which celebrities sport hand tattoos??

Rihanna has a tattoo on her hand which mimics the appearance of henna designs, a common tribute to Indian culture. Mandalas are gorgeous designs usually made of henna which only last a few weeks. Rih got her henna design permanent though, and it adds to a piece she originally got on her hand to represent tribal New Zealand-er culture. The hand tattoo is a gorgeous mash-up of two cultures, and we love it.

Ariana Grande also has a tattoo on the top of her left hand, which take the form of a sun, moon and stars. She got the hand tattoo last December, and it was in honor of her Woman of the Year nomination.

Demi Lovato has a large cross on the end of her hand, in addition to a large lion face on the top. It represents her zodiac sign, which as she was born in August is Leo the lion. Her artist Bang Bang posted about the ink back in 2017, and we have to say it represents Demi to a tee.

Another celebrity with ink on their hands is ScarJo. Scarlett Johannson has a tattooed chain on her wrist with a sweet “I heart NY” charm on it. It is darling tribute to the city she loves, although it is frequently covered in photos.

Lana Del Ray is another celebrity who has been looked to for inspiration of hand tattoos. She has two adorable hand pieces, which are some of my favorites that I have seen. Her ink says “trust no one” and “paradise.” Placement is important when it comes to tattooing one’s hands and hers is definitely attention-grabbing.

 
Photo: Courtesy Pinterest

Photo: Courtesy Pinterest

 

These aren’t the only celebrities with hand tattoos, but they are a few!

Hand Tattoo Ideas

There are countless designs for hand tattoos. Some of the most popular ones are stars, religious designs and words. You can have pretty much any design on your hand if you can scale it down small enough.

Word designs are fairly common choices for hand tattoos since many people have favorites words or sayings.

 
Photo: Courtesy Pinterest

Photo: Courtesy Pinterest

 

Mandalas are common also, and are reminiscent of Muslim culture. Usually mandalas are stained on the hands with henna, but some people like them enough to get them tattooed forever.

 
Photo: Courtesy Pinterest

Photo: Courtesy Pinterest

 

Flowers are common hand tattoos also. Flowers are common tattoos in general actually, due to their beauty.

 
Photo: Courtesy Pinterest

Photo: Courtesy Pinterest

 

Astrology and stars are common tattoos for the hands. Whether it’s your actual sign or star formations, they are gorgeous and dainty on the hands.

 
Photo: Courtesy PINTEREST

Photo: Courtesy PINTEREST

 

More unique designs include eyes, leaves, mythological creatures, snakes and more. The list is endless for what designs of hand tattoos are possible.

Do Hand Tattoos Hurt?

The short answer? Yes, a lot. Hands have much thinner skin and more nerves than most of the body. This makes it much more painful to get the ink applied. And, it also means it closer proximity to veins which can prompt excessive bleeding post-ink. You can get hand tattoos on the wrists, fingers, palms, or the tops of the hands. There are differences in the pain one may experience while getting inked on the varied parts of the hand, but it will still hurt.

How Long Do Hand Tattoos Last?

One thing to keep in mind is that hand tattoos may not last as long as ink embedded elsewhere on your body. Since hands are washed constantly and exposed to sunlight, the ink will more than likely need to be re-done sooner.

Do All Tattoo Artists Do Hand Tattoos?

Tattoo artists may decline to do hand tattoos if the person requesting it does not have many or any tattoos. Placement of hand tattoos is difficult to do properly. The artist must make certain they insert the ink deep enough under the skin so it does not pool. It is easy to make mistakes when completing these inking requests. If you choose to get ink on your hands, be careful!

Hand Tattoos and the Workplace

Being tattooed in general can limit one in their choice of career. Many employers look for candidates who can fulfill the image of their company, instead of the candidate’s image as an individual. While tattoos in the workplace are much less of a stigma today, they are still relevant and can be worrisome.

Don’t worry though, you don’t have to limit your self-expression to obtain employment in fields where tattoos are frowned upon. The beauty industry has our backs with new technology and full coverage makeup that allows people to cover their tattoos, so we get the best of both worlds. Here are some options:


Dermablend is advertised to be able to cover up any tattoos. You can get it at Ulta Beauty for $29.

 
Photo: Courtesy Ulta Beauty

Photo: Courtesy Ulta Beauty

Photo: Courtesy Ulta Beauty

Photo: Courtesy Ulta Beauty

 

Kat Von D’s Lock It foundation is a four-star rated product, carried by Sephora, which allows full coverage for tattoos also. It can be acquired for a mere $35.

 
Photo: Courtesy Sephora

Photo: Courtesy Sephora

Photo: Courtesy Pinterest

Photo: Courtesy Pinterest

 

Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation can be picked up at Ulta Beauty for a slightly pricier tag of $39. It can cover tattoos as well. With 4.3 star reviews, you can’t go wrong.

 
Photo: Courtesy Ulta Beauty

Photo: Courtesy Ulta Beauty

 

So What Do We Think About Hand Tattoos?

We think hand tattoos are amazing and definitely here to stay. They can be difficult to manage, but if you succeed in getting one and healing it, they are beautiful designs. Do your research before getting the ink, but go for it if you are ready.

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