There’s a new tattoo trend taking over Instagram and it’s perfect for those of you who love ear piercings but are sick of misplacing your earrings (or having to take them out). Presenting the helix tattoo, that is, a tiny tat placed on the ear’s upper-outer curve.
The trend is a cool alternative to regular behind-the-ear ink, a style worn by Hailey Baldwin or even the lobe tat a la Cara Delevingne.
Photos of helix tats (a.k.a. cartilage tattoos) posted on Instagram see everything from intricate floral designs to minimalist lines that resemble piercings.
However, according to Joel Tron, Australian-based piercer and owner of Stone Heart Body Art in Sydney, designs should be kept fairly simple, as they are prone to leaking and bleeding after a few months.
“Specifically, in regards to ear tattooing, when you inject the ink using a needle into tissue that’s so thin, with very little dermis for the ink to reside in, what can often happen is the ink will just blow out,” Tron told Elle Australia. “So you’ll see a lot of ear cartilage tattoos that look good for the first three-to-six months, but just like wet paper with ink they slowly leak and bleed at the seams, and at the edges, and then the design quite often looks more like a blur than it does a picture.”
Luckily, you can easily try the trend (in a non-permanent way) by simply drawing your own designs (or lines) with a liquid liner (we’re particularly fond of Kat Von D Beauty’s Tattoo Liner for its long-lasting abilities and its fluid, precise application).
Check out more helix tattoos below: