Loathe or Love: Hair Tattoos


Ever want to do something completely daring and unique to your mane? Hair tattoos are the next best thing to having artwork printed on your head. Created with a hair trimmer, these tattoos are simply designs etched into your buzzed-down hair with a hair clipper. If you have longer hair, you can always get an undercut at the base of your head to draw the design into, so you can hide it during work hours. Or if you love to make a statement, try color stamping to draw extra attention to your sculpted shape! "Anyone can create a hair tattoo," says Michigan-based BaByliss Pro and hairstylist Dennis Joseph. "It takes a lot of practice to get it right and achieve the perfect result, but most of it relies on your own artistic technique."

Getting creative with your hair is becoming a lot more popular—and acceptable—these days. Undercuts (which were big in the ’90s) are now quite common, which leads to the next step—cutting a design into that short patch of hair—just like MC Hammer’s iconic hair tattoos. "It’s a lot like getting a regular tattoo," says Dennis. "There’s an initial consultation, and you can either decide which design you want, or leave it to your hairdresser to decide. Either way, it's a very organic process that depends on the artist's skills and vision. I wouldn’t recommend doing it yourself, but if you trust your friend’s skill with a hair clipper and artistic talent, then they could certainly do it for you!" And can any hair type or hair texture get a hair tattoo? "It doesn't matter what your hair type or texture is," says Dennis, "but it does affect the design you can create. Thinner hair tends to suit wider, more organic shapes rather than sharp, abstract ones." Women also request flowing, whimsical designs and shapes such as waves, whereas men prefer more abstract, angular designs like the name of their favorite sports team or graphic lines. "I've had women with an undercut get a star or heart cut into their hair, and also ladies with longer hair have designs cut into the hair near their ear as a statement look. You can have anything cut, because in the end, it's only hair!" His only no-no? “Never cross lines in your design. It makes it much easier to mess up.”

As for taking care of your new ’do? "If you want to keep the design in great shape you'll need to get it re-cut every two weeks," says Dennis. "You can use a gel or pomade to give it extra shine, but other than that, no extra care is necessary! The important thing is to use the right tools, as different blade lengths will create different dimensions. This also allows you to add a shadowing effect.”

It’s certainly a trend that’s growing in popularity—especially on the streets and among sports stars—but, Beauties, would you ever consider rocking a hair tattoo? Vote in the poll below and tell us if you loathe or love this look.

Beautylish recommends: BaByliss Volare X1 and BaByliss J1 Professional Clipper to create dimension, and BaByliss FX780 Ultra-Thin Trimmer for small lines and detailing.