The latest tattoo craze is blowing up on Instagram. Taking their cue from helix piercings, these tattoos decorate the outer edge of the ear. Simple and elegant, it’s no surprise the helix tattoo has become such a massive success.
Helix tattoos are decorative and aesthetic, so most of us are eager to show them off. But, when necessary, they’re also easy to disguise. Helix tattoos, like helix piercings, are easy to hide at work. Simply cover the ear with a hat or your hair. When you’re ready to show it off, brush the hair out of the way.
There isn’t a lot of space along the helix, but there are a lot of different tattoo styles you can use there.
Helix Tattoo Styles
The technology and skill available at Toronto & Vancouver’s best tattoo shops make this city a great place to get a helix tattoo. Tattoo artists are able to work in a number of styles, even in as small a space as the outer curve of your ear. Some of the most popular helix tattoo styles include:
- Tiny Tattoos
- Minimalist tattoos
- Fine Line
- Stick & Poke Tattoos
- Floral Tattoos
Because of the limited space available for helix tattoos, they are almost always tiny tattoos. The exception is if this ear tattoo is a continuation of a tattoo along the neck or behind the ear. Even then, the artist works on the area as they would a tiny tattoo.
Small tattoos have grown in popularity as technology improved. More precise inking has become more possible, and top artists have become adept at working in smaller spaces. As a result, they can offer more complex and detailed tattoos in smaller areas than ever before.
Although complex mini tattoos are possible, most helix tattoos are simple or minimalistic.
Minimalism is a big trend in Toronto & Vancouver. Whether it’s a need to fit everything into an overpriced 1-bedroom apartment or just an attempt to simplify your life, minimalism is as much necessity as a movement. In the art world, minimalist tattoos are reflecting this movement.
Minimalist tattoos break an image down to the base components required to communicate the design. While the artwork appears simple, the design is anything but
Often a small minimalist tattoo takes longer than a larger, more intricate design. The tattoo artist needs a clear understanding of the image, to strip it down to a minimalist design. They also need to make it into an aesthetically pleasing piece that retains meaning to the bearer.
Fine Line Tattoos
Whether working on minimalist or complex tattoos, fine line tattooing is likely to be applied. Fine lines offer detailed and/or crisp lines. The result is clean lines that can allow for great detail in a small area.
A good fine line tattoo requires an artist with a steady hand. There is little room for error, especially with the smaller needle this style uses. For a helix tattoo, the artist’s technique needs to be as fine as their lines.
Stick & Poke Tattoos
Many helix tattoos use a style inspired by stick and poke technique. Stick and poke tattooing has fallen out of favour as machine coil tattooing is safer and more consistent. But the design style remains popular for small tattoos.
These designs use simple lines and dots and often have a bit of a DIY or sketchpad look. Artists may use a dotwork tattoo technique to create the desired look.
One of the most popular themes for helix tattoos is floral. These can create beautiful and elegant tattoos whether presented as daisy chains, a single flower, or a bouquet. Musical themes and notes are also popular, but floral tattoos are the most common for this area. The long stems of flowers compliment the curve of the ear and can compliment jewellery well.
Decorative & Jewellery Tattoos
For many, helix tattoos are becoming a suitable replacement or compliment to jewellery. They’re harder to switch up than helix piercing jewellery, but you’ll never have to worry about losing them.
Helix tattoos aren’t the only jewellery tattoos coming into fashion. During this year’s Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week, Dior models wore necklace tattoos. Although those displayed in the fashion show were temporary, it is a style that is catching on for some.
Jewellery tattoos aren’t that much of a stretch. Cosmetic tattoos are already fairly common. These offer permanent makeup like microblading, eyelining, or enhancing lips with tattoos.
Do Helix Tattoos Hurt?
Although we have previously listed back-of-the-ear as one of the least painful tattoo locations, a tattoo on the ear itself can hurt a little more. This is because the tattooing is happening on the cartilage itself, instead of the fleshy area behind the ear.
Still, the pain of a helix tattoo is only moderate. Helix tattoos don’t hurt nearly as much as the forehead, fingers, or inside of the elbows.
Get a Helix Tattoo in Downtown Toronto
If you’re looking for a helix tattoo visit one of our Downtown Toronto tattoo shops. We have locations at Eglinton & Mt. Pleasant, as well as at Yonge & Gerrard. Contact us today to book a consultation.