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White Tattoos Ideas, Considerations, and Photos

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As a very fair-skinned person, I was advised against having a white tattoo.

A white tattoo is a unique way to get art inked on your body.

A white tattoo is a unique way to get art inked on your body.

All-White Ink Tattoos

You know that you definitely want to get a tattoo—that's half the battle over with. Now which type do you get? There are so many different types of tattoo ink, let alone designs, to choose from.

How about choosing a white tattoo?

Lindsay Lohan has a white tattoo of the word Breathe on the inside of her wrist, and stars like Rihanna, Sophie Turner, and Kendall Jenner all reportedly sport white ink. You may already have regular tattoos and fancy something a bit different, or maybe it's your first time and you want something discreet and/or personal. I think there's something quite mysterious about them.

Can Anyone Get a White Tattoo?

If you are very fair-skinned like me, then some words of warning: I was advised against having a white tattoo, as the finished result can end up looking like scar tissue. I didn't feel like taking that risk, but of course, it's up to the individual.

White tattoo by javafixbarista @ flickr

White tattoo by javafixbarista @ flickr

White Tattoo Considerations

If you've decided on getting a white tattoo here are some things to consider:

  • Has your tattoo artist done them before? Talk with them and ask to see examples. A really high-quality, thick white ink must be used, so make sure that your artist knows what they are talking about and using. Regular white ink that is used to mix with other colours is not suitable.
  • The white ink will fade even more. Some say that white ink makes for the perfect "starter tattoo" since it's hard to regret anything that ends up so delicate and pale.
  • Because there is no outline to hold the colour in, white tattoos can be prone to blurring. It's best to keep to a small, simple design somewhere that won't be exposed to the sun.
  • When it fades and blurs, it will no longer look like it did fresh out of the tattoo shop. In fact, it may end up looking more like a decorative scar than a tattoo.
  • Remember that a white tattoo is subtle. Wait until it's fully healed before you decide if it isn't visible enough or doesn't look right.

White snake: Check out this beautiful, delicate white snake tattoo by @bedtattoos.

Black and white: A beautiful black-and-white combo by @notcody or this charming one by @whiteinktattoo.

White flowers: Freehand foliage all-white tattoo by @k_inx.

White mandala: Sacred white geometry by @mamzitattoo.

White wings: Delicate invisible wings by @heomoi.inkstudio.

What to Know About White Ink Tattoos

Is white tattoo ink safe?

There are no reports of white ink being any more (or less) dangerous than other tattoo colors. White tattoo ink is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). . . but they have not approved any ink for subdermal use.

What kind of skin looks best with white tattoos?

White tattoos can look great on any type of skin. As mentioned earlier, white ink can look like scar tissue on very fair skin.

Will my skin hold or reject the white ink?

From what I understand, it varies from person to person as to who can hold white ink on their body. I've heard reports of it working well on both fair-skinned and olive-skinned people, but both types can reject it too. Unfortunately, it seems to be trial and error. If the body does reject the ink, the tattoo will become invisible during the healing process.

Why did the white ink disappear?

White tattoos aren't recommended for sun worshippers, as the sun makes the white ink fade rapidly.

Will I need a touch-up?

It's possible that over time the tattoo will need to be re-done due to natural fading.

Ideas for and Examples of All-White Text Tattoos

Thick white lines: You don't have to use a delicate line: for example, this bold text example by @juhikaran.

A loved one's handwriting: You can have the artist copy a beloved person's handwriting like this white ink example by @chitwoodink93.

A friendship tattoo: Check out this "matching" friendship tattoo idea by @whiteinktattoo.

© 2009 Luna Fae


Julie Grimes from Columbia, MO USA on January 16, 2012:

Way cool. I don't like tattoos nut for some reason I like these white ones. They create an entirely different look.

whitetattoo on September 07, 2011:

I have a white tattoo and I love it. I am thinking about getting another one. If you are going to get one, be prepared for people to not notice it unless you point it out.

Katie on July 22, 2011:

I've been wanting one for ages, but I'm scared it's going to be a waste of money if it doesn't take in my skin

Connie Ho from Quebec, Canada on June 07, 2011:

Hi 1 st time I heard of white tattoo-new tattoo trend, in fact it does not look like ink at all. Nice article, cheers.

Luna Fae (author) from UK on September 13, 2010:

Thanks for the comment :)

tattoodesigns69 from Illinois on August 31, 2010:

Superb Hub on "Tat's"! I sure enjoyed the advise. Continue to keep these coming!

Luna Fae (author) from UK on June 04, 2009:

Lots of people don't seem to be aware of white tattoos, I think they look really different.

Thanks for commenting.

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on June 01, 2009:

I think tattoo just a black tattoo or color tattoo . But this is a new experience with a white tattoo. thanks for share

Luna Fae (author) from UK on May 06, 2009:

Hi Whitney, if you click on the flickr link above there's quite a few to look through.

Thanks for commenting :)

Whitney from Georgia on May 06, 2009:

I'd love to see more pictures of white tattoo designs.

Luna Fae (author) from UK on May 05, 2009:

Lifebydesign, I think you have a point there. I've heard a lot about white tattoos being the next celebrity must have, but I couldn't actually find much information on who has them. Maybe they're just too discrete as you say. There's probably a ton of celebs walking around with them, we just can't see them in photos.

Thanks for the comment :)

Lifebydesign from Australia on May 05, 2009:

I've honestly never heard of them! They're quite striking on the photos, but I wonder if the fact they're so much more discrete is why they're not more obvious and 'seen'. Interesting hub!

Luna Fae (author) from UK on May 05, 2009:

There are some beautiful white designs out there, I think they're really unusual. Much softer than a regular tattoo.

Thanks for stopping by :)

Laughing Mom on May 02, 2009:

i've never heard of a white tattoo, although I'm not real current on very much of anything tattoo, so I'm not the least bit surprised at my naitivity.

It's interesting. I'll have to start looking for them.