Tattoo Mysteries: Why Do Highlights Hurt?

Tattoo Mysteries: Why Do Highlights Hurt?

Highlights are wonderful additions to tattoos because they make the art pop. However, many people avoid getting tattoos with highlights because they’ve heard that they are painful. Read on to unravel this tattoo mystery and learn why highlights hurt.

What Are Tattoo Highlights?

Highlights in a tattoo refer to the light hues that create contrast and a three-dimensional appearance. Typically, tattoo artists achieve this by using white or light shades of ink. These colors draw the eye and make tattoos more interesting.

The Pain Behind Highlights

The process of highlighting in tattooing is painful for many people. Tattoo highlights hurt because artists usually add them at the end of a tattoo session when the skin is most sensitive. Additionally, white ink—common for highlights—has a thicker consistency than other inks and requires more force to embed into the skin. However, the elevated pain level is generally short-lived, and the beauty is worth the pain!

How Tattoo Artists Add Highlights

Tattoo artists add highlights after linework, shading, and other colors because white ink dries quickly. They may go over the same area with light ink several times to ensure the highlight effect is prominent.

The movement of the needle over the same spot makes the skin more sensitive, and the process becomes more painful, especially with large pieces. The process requires a steady hand for great results; errors may result in more pain for the client.

What To Consider Before Adding Highlights to a Tattoo

Before adding highlights to your work, you should consider a few things. First, your clients may experience pain or discomfort. Second, highlighting takes time, so your sessions might be longer than what you’re used to. Finally, have additional tattoo ink caps nearby so you don’t need to take a break to grab more. Luckily, your experience can reduce your client’s discomfort, and you’ll finish the session with a tattoo you’re proud of!

Adding highlights to a tattoo may be uncomfortable for your clients, but the result is a beautiful work of art with great detail! Highlights transform flat images into lifelike, three-dimensional works of art. Understanding why tattooing highlights hurts can dissolve the mystery behind the pain.

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