Ear Adornments: Creative Behind The Ear Tattoo Ideas

Key Takeaways:

  • Behind the ear, tattoos are often chosen for their subtlety and discretion.
  • Opting for a tattoo behind the ear can be a symbol of individuality and uniqueness.
  • Behind the ear, tattoos are also chosen for their stylish appeal.
  • Some people choose behind-the-ear tattoos as a celebration of self-love and self-care.
  • Some individuals choose this placement purely for its aesthetic appeal, allowing for creative and visually captivating tattoo choices.

If you have been thinking about getting a new tattoo. Or maybe even your very first tattoo, then you will need to think about both the design and the placement of the tattoo.

One of the places to get a tattoo that is becoming more and more popular is behind the ear. Especially for smaller tattoos. 

What You Need To Know About Behind The Ear Tattoos
Image: @seventattoolv

Deciding to get a tattoo is one thing. But deciding where on your body you want to put it can be quite difficult. For example, a small tattoo might not look the best in one place. But the perfect place for this could be behind your ear.

We are going to tell you everything you need to know about getting a tattoo behind your ear.

This will help to prepare you for not only the process of getting the tattoo itself. But also what you might need to think about during the planning stages.

What You Need To Know About Behind The Ear Tattoos


Behind-the-ear tattoos hold a unique significance, often chosen for their discreet and intimate nature. This miniature canvas serves as a personal statement, allowing individuals to express themselves subtly. A desire for privacy and individuality often drives the choice of this location. It can be a symbol of self-love, a celebration of uniqueness, or a quiet rebellion against societal norms. The area behind the ear is also famous for memorial tattoos, serving as a heartfelt tribute to loved ones or commemorating meaningful dates. Its aesthetic appeal, combined with the ability to showcase intricate designs, adds to the allure of this placement.

Placement Options:

Behind-the-ear tattoos offer a subtle and stylish placement that allows for creative expression in a discreet manner. One option is to create a vertical design along the hairline, following the natural curve for an elongated and elegant look. Alternatively, a curved design that gracefully traces the contour of the ear emphasizes the ear’s shape while providing a subtle and sophisticated tattoo.

How Do You Find The Perfect Tattoo Artist?

Finding the perfect tattoo artist for a tattoo involves a thorough process. Start by researching reputable tattoo studios in your area, focusing on those with positive reviews and a professional environment. Once you’ve identified potential studios, delve into the portfolios of individual artists, paying attention to styles that align with your vision.

What Is The Best Aftercare For Flower Tattoos On Hand?

Gentle Cleaning : Clean the tattoo gently with mild, fragrance-free soap and lukewarm water. Use your clean hands or a soft, non-abrasive cloth.

Pat Dry: After cleaning, pat the tattoo dry with a clean, lint-free towel. Avoid rubbing, as this can also irritate.

Moisturize Regularly: Apply a thin layer of recommended tattoo ointment or fragrance-free moisturizer to keep the tattoo hydrated.

Avoid Sun Exposure: Shield your tattoo from direct sunlight, as UV rays can fade the ink. Apply a high-SPF sunscreen to the tattooed area when exposed to the sun.

What You Need To Know About Behind The Ear Tattoos

When it comes to tattoos behind the ear. It is usually a good idea to go for a smaller and simpler tattoo. We are going to leave a list of things that you should know about getting a tattoo behind your ear below. 

It Is Likely To Hurt

Due to the fact that this tattoo is basically going to be on your skull. It is highly likely that it is going to hurt. Getting a tattoo finish so close to the bone is more painful. Than getting a tattoo on an area of your body where there is fat and muscle between the bone and the needle. This means that you can expect it to hurt quite a bit.

Usually, the muscle and fat would absorb some of the shock. But this isn’t the case for a behind the ear tattoo.

Getting a tattoo behind your ear is not only uncomfortable because of the pain. But also because of the loud noise being so close to your ear. So this is something  else that you should bear in mind.

As well as this, the vibrations from the tattoo gun can be quite unnerving for most people. The vibrating pain comes from the tattoo needles going over the mastoid bone that sits behind the ear.

This area is not fleshy, which makes the sensation very noticeable. The loud sound of the tattoo gun buzzing away next to your ear. As well as the various sensory nerves in and around your ears can add to the unpleasant experience.

What You Need To Know About Behind The Ear Tattoos
Image: @artbyhaydenlewis

Be Prepared

When you are getting any tattoo, it is really helpful to be as prepared as possible. Going straight into the tattoo studio without preparing yourself for the experience can make the appointment go not quite as you expected it to.

Interestingly, research actually suggests that negative emotions. It includes anger, anxiety, and depression, can lead to you feeling more pain during the process. On the other hand, positive emotions can work to decrease the level of perceived pain.

Thankfully, there are lots of ways in which you can prepare yourself for your tattoo appointment. And one of the best ways to do this is through getting a good night’s sleep the day before.

Getting a good night of sleep will not only ensure that you are well rests before your appointment. But also that you reduce any feelings of anxiety. The Sleep Foundation says that when you are deprives of sleep, you can experience worsened anxiety. 

Your sleeping habits and environment are both key parts of sleep hygiene. Some things that you can do to help improve your sleep include making your bed more comfortable, getting rid of anything that could disrupt your sleep like noise or lights, and avoiding consuming any caffeine or alcohol in the late afternoon or evening.

Another reason why you might want to avoid consuming alcohol before your appointment is that it can thin your blood. Too much blood can lead to obscuring the vision of your tattoo artist. It can also have a negative impact on the ink.

Something that you don’t want when you are getting a tattoo, especially with smaller, complex tattoos is anything that is going to distract your tattoo artist. 

What You Need To Know About Behind The Ear Tattoos

Image: @sabrinastabs

Before You Get Started:

Size and Complexity: Given the limited space behind the ear, think about the size and complexity of the design.

Placement Suitability: Evaluate the suitability of the behind-the-ear placement based on your lifestyle and profession.

Exploring Unique Designs: Consider creative and abstract designs that make the most of the available canvas.

Fine Line Tattoos

Fine Line Tattoos

Interestingly, mistakes are much more likely to happen with fine line tattoos. And this is due to the fact that when a thinner need is use with a smaller amount of ink. This can be less forgiving than a larger tattoo with thicker lines.

A small bump is going to be more noticeable with thinner lines. As well as this, delicate tattoos are more likely to fade over time, and they can become blurry quicker than a traditional tattoo.

Small tattoos are likely to bleed or spread over time, just like any other tattoo, and they can fade out in places, meaning that they are not as legible as they were when they were first done.

This is why it is really important to do your research and choose a tattooer that is very familiar with fine line tattoos. It can also be helpful to look at the artist’s portfolio for work that is similar to what you want.

Shaving Hair

Something else that you should know about getting a tattoo behind your ear is that you may need to shave part of your head. This is something that will depend on the exact size, design, and location of your tattoo behind the ear.

Although, you will be able to talk to your tattoo artist about this. And they will be able to explain to you what will work best for your tattoo, and whether or not this will be the case.

Personal Opinion:

Behind-the-ear tattoos appeal to those who prefer a more private and personal touch to their body art. Some see them as a charming and understated way to showcase creativity, while others may choose more visible or more prominent tattoos for a bolder statement.

Behind The Ear Tattoos Are Discreet

What You Need To Know About Behind The Ear Tattoos
Image: @dontsleepvincci

There are so many things to think about when you are getting a new tattoo. And one of these things might be how easy it is to hide your tattoo.

Not everyone wants to have all of their tattoos on display all the time. But, if you have a job that doesn’t allow you to have visible tattoos, or you want to be able to cover them up at times. Then a behind the ear tattoo is a great one to get as you can easily hide them.

Behind the ear tattoos are typically discreet and really easy to hide if you have long hair. All you have to do is wear your hair down to cover up the tattoo. Another way that you could hide your tattoos would be by using makeup.

There are various different types of concealers of foundations that can make your skin appear as though there is no tattoo there at all. 

You can use makeup to cover up any tattoo, no matter the size or placement. But smaller tattoos are much easier to cover up.

So, if you might need to cover up your tattoo or a regular basis. A small tattoo may be a good idea. You will be able to cover it up quickly and easily when you need to.

Quick Guide to Different Designs of Behind-the-ear Tattoos Design:

  • Minimalistic Symbols: Opt for small, minimalistic symbols such as hearts, stars, or initials for a classic look behind the ear.
  • Floral Patterns: Choose delicate floral designs like tiny blossoms, vines, or a single flower. These designs add a touch of elegance and femininity.
  • Words or Quotes: Select a meaningful word or a short quote that holds personal significance.
  • Geometric Shapes: Embrace geometric shapes or patterns for a modern and contemporary behind-the-ear tattoo.
  • Nature Elements: Incorporate natural elements such as leaves, feathers, or raindrops.

It Doesn’t Get In The Way Of Future Tattoos

Another great thing about behind the ear tattoos is that there is probably not going to be room to add to the design later on. So, you won’t need to worry about the tattoo being in the way if you even want to get tattoos in other places.

If you were to get the same small tattoo on your arm, and later decide that you want to get a sleeve, this could be an issue.

What You Need To Know About Behind The Ear Tattoos
Image: @dinotattooofficial

Out Of Sight Out Of Mind

Something that you should remember is that because your tattoo is hidden away behind your ear. It can be easy to forget that it is even there because you never see it. Although, this can be problematic when it comes to looking after and cleaning your tattoo.

If you want your tattoo to remain in good condition for longer, then you will need to remember to protect it from the sun. UV rays from the sun can work to fade your tattoos if they are exposed to a lot of direct sunlight.

So, if your tattoo gets a lot of sun, it will absorb these UV rays and eventually start to break up the pigment within the design.

Fine line tattoos are much more likely to fade, even without the rays of the sun being an issue. So it is really important to try to remember to put sunscreen on your behind the ear tattoo if you want it to last for as long as possible. 

However, with that being said, it is not only fine line tattoos that are more likely to fade faster than traditional tattoos. As well as this, color tattoos will also find it difficult to stay vibrant over time.

Lighter colored inks will look nice and vibrant. And when they are paired with darker color ink, it can add a nice accent or highlight to the overall design.

More often than not, white ink will fade the fastest, and after this, yellow, light green, pink, and other light colors will begin to fade. This is something to keep in mind when you are choosing the colors in your tattoo.

What You Need To Know About Behind The Ear Tattoos
Image: @ees_tattooing

However, one of the good things about getting a tattoo behind your ear is that there isn’t really anything that interferes with this part of the body.

It won’t really rub against anything, which makes it a great area to get a tattoo.Other parts of the body that are exposed to lots of friction or sweat will usually lead to faster fading tattoos.

Keep in Mind:

Size and Detail Constraints: Opt for designs that are appropriately scaled to fit the small canvas while retaining clarity.

Design Symmetry: If getting tattoos behind both ears, aim for symmetry in design to create a cohesive and balanced look.

Color Palette Consideration: Consider whether a vibrant, subdued, or monochromatic color scheme suits your preferences.

How To Care For Your Behind The Ear Tattoo

As you now know, it is really important to prepare yourself for getting a behind the ear tattoo, but it is also just as important to prepare yourself for the healing and aftercare process.

The exact length of time that it will take for your tattoo to heal completely will be different for each person. But it will usually take between 2 and 4 weeks before you will be able to stop paying so much attention to aftercare.

There are 3 main stages of the healing process after getting a tattoo. These are oozing, swelling, and redness stage, the itching and flaking stage, and the final stage, which is when the tattoo may appear to be fully healed, but the deeper layers of the skin are still repairing themselves.

Stage one will begin almost immediately when you leave the tattoo studio. And it essentially refers to having an open wound that is now susceptible to infections. It is essential to keep your new tattoo clean and moisturized to offer it the best chances of healing nicely.

Your tattoo artist will be able to advise you on the best methods of cleaning your tattoo, and they may even provide you with aftercare cream or balm. 

The first two stages will be when your tattoo is starting to scab over and flake off, and you will need to be really careful with a behind the ear tattoo when you are washing your hair, your will need to try to avoid getting shampoo into the open wound or accidentally scraping against the tattoo. 

It is also usually a good idea to avoid using a curling iron or straighteners when your tattoo is still healing, just in case an accident occurs. The last thing that you want to do is accidentally burn yourself over your new tattoo. Not only is this going to hurt, but it can also cause damage to the tattoo.

What You Need To Know About Behind The Ear Tattoos
Image: @achukel_ink_tattoo


The limited space in this area calls for a minimalist approach, focusing on clean lines and well-defined shapes. Choose a design that carries personal significance with concise symbolism.

How To Tell When Your Tattoo Is Completely Healed

Something that you might be wondering is how you can tell when your tattoo is completely healed. The first sign to look out for is when your tattoo stops peeling. If you have gotten to the stage when your tattoo is no longer peeling, then it is likely that your tattoo is fully healed.

The shedding process is when the last of the damaged skin is being removed, and the ink will become sealed under the new epidermis, making your tattoo permanent.

This will also apply to any scabbing. If you can see any scabs on top of your skin where you have had your tattoo, then your tattoo is not yet completely healed.

Inspiration for Behind the Ear Tattoos

When you are trying to think about the best designs that will place well behind your ear. Most of the tattoos that you can think of will be small. This could be a symbol that defines you as a person, which is what many people go for.

Some of the most common symbols for behind the ear tattoos include sun or moon symbols. But this might not be for everyone. Other people like to have flowers behind their ear. As they can be small and simple, yet still have meaning behind them.

Something that you might not have known is that each zodiac sign has its own specific flower associates with it. 

There are also certain animals or insects that could be tattooed small and behind the ear, like a butterfly or something similar. One reason why so many people have butterflies tattooed is that they are associated with transformation and growth.

The same thing can be said about dragonflies, as they are known to go through different stages of life before transforming into the stunning insect that they become.

What You Need To Know About Behind The Ear Tattoos
Image: @vibetattoo.ut

Simple designs and images work really well as behind the ear tattoos, and they can still be impactful. Some ideas could be a crescent moon, an anchor, a sun, or even a star.

The most important thing to keep in mind when you are choosing the tattoo design that you want to get is that you choose a design that you love. And that you think you will still love in the years to come.

Try not to get too caught up in the latest tattoo trends. And do lots of research to find something that you really like or that means something to you.

If you want to get a small tattoo, or you are thinking about how you will be able to hide it. Then a behind the ear tattoo could be the perfect placement for you.

Fun Fact:

Did you know that getting a behind-the-ear tattoo is like having a secret agent mission for your body? It’s the sneaky rebel of the tattoo world, hiding in plain sight just behind your ear, ready to surprise and delight when discovered.

Celebrities That Have Behind The Ear Tattoos

There are lots of celebrities that have tattoos behind their ears. And we will mention a few here for you to read about. Ariana Grande has a few designs behind her ears. It includes a lightning bolt behind her right ear, and a bumblebee behind her left.

Another singer that has tattoos behind her ears is Kelly Clarkson. Who has both a snowflake tattoo and a crescent moon tattoo.

Ireland Baldwin has also paid a tribute to her own star sign. Which is Scorpio, with a small tattoo of a scorpion behind her left ear. Small and simple tattoos can work really well behind the ear. Adele even has a cursive uppercase A behind one of hers.

More Behind The Ear Tattoos Ideas

Image: @jinks.tattoos

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Image: @siarnthecatwitch

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Image: @voodoogosford

Image: @triplesixtattooer

Image: @zentattoo

Image: @royaltattooyyc

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Image: @kal.hashart

Image: @kolbytattooz

Image: @vegas.ink

Image: @kingdom_ink_vermont

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Image: @tattoosbymarkymark

Image: @fun.tattooing

This is thought to be in honor of her son, who is called Angelo.

Megan Ivy