15 fine line tattoos that are definitely worth capturing

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First came watercolor tattoos, then small tattoos, and now the latest tattoo trend is taking over? Fine line tattoos. So if you’ve seen them all over your friends’ hips, wrists, shoulders and Instas, no, you’re not imagining it. These super soft minimalist tattoos are made up of, you guessed it, very fine lines, and are created using just one tattoo needle (compared to three or more needles needed to create the bold lines and vivid colors of traditional tattoos). And it’s no surprise that they’ve been around for so long: they make great hidden tattoos, they allow for much finer detail, and they’re really, really cute.

But if you’re not yet convinced that this has to be your next (or first) tattoo, I’ve provided even more proof in the form of 15 very pretty thin line tattoo ideas and inspirations (including a cute elephant and a minimalist heart tattoo). But before I got to that, I chatted with two tattoo artists to understand what makes a fine line tattoo, as well as some very important details like how to take care of it and how much bucks you’ll have to put down to get one.

Meet the Experts

What is the thin line tattoo style?

Unlike traditional tattoos, which are created by a group of three or more needles for a thicker design, fine line tattoos are created by a single tattoo needle to leave you with super fine lines and minimalist designs. You’ll recognize them for their delicate nature, says tattoo artist Rosa Perr Bluestone. You won’t see a lot of shading or bright colors, but rather a lot of simple, linear designs and intricate details. “Fine line tattoos are more delicate and less bold than a regular tattoo,” says tattoo consultant Tann Parker. “There’s a feeling of, ‘oh, this is actually for me, this and not necessarily for it to be shown.'” (Or, you know, take a billion selfies and show yours to the world like I will do it.)

Do thin line tattoos disappear?

Jthere is no reason for a thin line tattoo to fade faster than a thicker line tattoo,says Bluestone. Fading of a tattoo is inevitable over time, thanks to our skin’s natural instinct to slowly remove foreign substances (helpful but not helpful, you know?). According to Bluestone, the rate of fading depends of where it is, your body, the experience of the tattoo artist, and the sun exposure of your tattoo.

You can prep and protect your tattoo by diving deep into tattoo artists’ Instagram, asking to see photos of their healed tattoo work, and pre-ordering tattoo-friendly sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. . And for even more precaution, Parker says to ask your tattoo artist about their touch-up policyand whether you can come back to them in two to three years if you need to.

Are thin tattoos more expensive?

The factors that play into the cost are the same for fine line tattoos as for other tattoos: the size, color and time it takes to complete them. But if you have a thin line tattoo of a single heart outline with no shading, it will likely cost less than a larger, more intricate tattoo. (And that’s exactly why consultations with your tattoo artist are so important, so you can work out those details and make sure you’re comfortable with the cost).

Ready for your new ink? Cool, let’s get to the inspo. Ahead, 15 of the most beautiful thin line tattoos on Instagram.

(Instagram: @joannamroman | @mayoanj)

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