Tattoo on the neck, what it says about you, and is it a good idea?


Tattoos on the back of the neck are risky, yet popular. Usually, my clients do not decide to get their first tattoo on the back of the neck, but for people that already have some tattoos, it’s a frequent choice. What downsides such design can have? 

on the neck for women tattoo
Women tattoo on the neck made by me

What answers you will find in this article about a neck tattoo?

  • Tattoo on the neck meaning. What is the symbolism of neck tattoos?
  • What does a neck tattoo say about you?
  • Is a neck tattoo a good idea?
  • Is it dangerous to get a tattoo on your neck?
  • Are neck tattoos painful?
  • Are neck tattoos bad for jobs?
  • How long do neck tattoos last?
  • Do neck tattoos fade?
  • Can you remove a tattoo from the neck?
  • How long do neck tattoos heal?
  • How much does a neck tattoo cost?
  • Are neck tattoos more expensive?
  • How do you shower with a new neck tattoo?
  • Tattoo on neck aftercare

If you are looking for inspiration before your breast tattoo, check out my portfolio – you can find my works and projects here – on Instagram.

Tattoo on the neck meaning. What is the symbolism of neck tattoos?

The most common interpretation for a tattoo on the neck is that the person wearing it is risky or daring and tends to make bold choices. The reasoning behind that is that the neck is an area that will in most cases be exposed, so such a tattoo is hard or impossible to hide. 

women cross tattoo on the neck
Tattoo on the neck with religious meaning from inkme.tattoo

Another reason for such opinion is pain which you would have to endure during a neck tattoo – because of a number of nerve endings and proximity of bones this area is particularly painful for tattoo placement.

What does a neck tattoo say about you?

A lot will depend on the design which you will use for your neck tattoo, in most cases that’s what carries deeper meaning, not the location itself. If you believe in bravery behind a decision to make a tattoo on the front or side of the neck, for you personally it could be also a sign of being bold and strong, but it’s only one of the interpretations. 

 for women snake tattoo on the neck
Snake tattoo on the neck for women from demilked.com

Is a neck tattoo a good idea?

A lot will depend on if you have short or long hair, which would affect the possibility of hiding the tattoo in the future, but your neck is generally not covered by clothes and is rarely hidden. 

Some tattooers refuse to make a neck tattoo for a person that does not have more tattoos, they would not want to put the future person’s job at risk by doing something like a neck tattoo for example as the first one to have. 

Is it dangerous to get a tattoo on your neck?

It is not dangerous to get a tattoo on the neck, artists are working with the top layer of your skin and will never reach bones or spine, so do not worry about that. The only problem is that it’s really painful as bones are close and needles are working close to them, which causes more pain. So if you would ask if it is dangerous – for sure no. Painful – of course 😉

Are neck tattoos painful?

Neck tattoos and tattoos around the spine area are known to be among the most painful tattoos. The reason is that those areas are very sensitive, bones are close to the skin, and needle work causes more pain than for example on the calf or thigh where you have more fat and muscles to ease the pain. 

Check the tattoo pain chart below to see which body areas are less painful before you will decide on the neck tattoo. 

pain chart for women tattoo on the neck
Tattoo pain chart for women from healthline.com
pain chart for men tattoo on the neck
Tattoo pain chart for men from healthline.com

Are neck tattoos bad for jobs?

In theory, from a legal point of view having a tattoo on the neck should not prevent you from getting a job. The only problem is that on the other side of the table we will have people with all of their personal views and prejudices, sometimes with subconscious biases against visible tattoos. 

I would advise that if you are not 200% sure that a tattoo on the neck will not negatively affect the future career you should consider is it worth having it and take the risk. 

for women bird tattoo on the neck
Beautiful but hard to hide tattoo on the neck from lifehacksforu.com

How long do neck tattoos last?

With time all tattoos will fade, on the neck and for example fingers, this process may happen a bit faster, as the skin on the neck is constantly moving and has contact with clothes. 

Most neck tattoos keep the original ink intensity for the first 6-8 months and after that time they will slowly begin to change, losing some deepness. 

tattoo on the neck fade how do
Changes in tattoo on the neck, inspiration from boredpanda.com

Do neck tattoos fade?

As mentioned all tattoos will fade with time, a neck tattoo may only fade a bit faster than tattoos made on body parts that are not so delicate and which are not moving so intensely as the neck is. 

You can slow down fading process a bit, there are a couple of things you can do to help your neck tattoo to keep its intensity longer. 

  1. Keep your neck tattoo moisturized, aftercare is crucial for the longevity of your tattoo. If you take proper care of the tattoo while it heals it will last longer. For a neck tattoo aftercare use only a non-scented, water-based, anti-bacterial ointment.
  2. Keep your neck tattoo out of the sun, at all cost while it is healing, and even later, when it would be healed make sure that you will apply the strongest SPF sunblock that you can find.
  3. Avoid tight-fitting clothes that would have contact with your neck tattoo, as the material may rub against the tattoo and cause it to fade quicker. 

Can you remove a tattoo from the neck?

Having a tattoo today is a bit easier choice than it’s been before, main reason for that are different options of removing tattoos, including laser removal for example. It is possible to remove a tattoo from your neck, the only limitation would be that such delicate skin of the neck may take more removal sessions at lower levels and must be done carefully. 

 after 1 year neck tattoo removal
Neck tattoo removal, example from clderm.com

How long do neck tattoos heal?

Your neck skin is constantly moving, and this creates friction, which makes it harder for the newly inked skin to heal. Tattoos in the neck area can take up to three weeks to heal properly.

How much does a neck tattoo cost?

Each tattoo artist will answer this question – it depends. Most often on the size, and thus the time needed to complete it. You can assume that the typical neck tattoo cost falls in the range of $150 to $450. 

When calculating the price of making a tattoo, I have to take into account that even with a small design, certain activities while preparing the body and the design itself are independent of its size.

Are neck tattoos more expensive?

Neck tattoos are more expensive because of the delicacy of this area, which makes tattooing sessions longer and increases costs. Because of that, it is not uncommon to hear that price for a small tattoo on the neck can be almost double the price of a larger tattoo on the arm or calf. 

How do you shower with a new neck tattoo?

It is possible to take a shower with a new neck tattoo as long as you will not completely soak it. Avoid swimming and submerging your tattoo in a bath or hot tub for 2-3 weeks, as it might cause serious damage to your healing tattoo. 

If while showering you would get soap or shampoo on your tattoo make sure to remove it as quickly as possible with water and dry the tattoo, preferably with a fresh paper towel. 

Tattoo on neck aftercare

Here are some ideas I have tested for the aftercare of your first neck tattoo:

  • Fresh neck tattoos are covered with a thin foil for the first 3-4 days, then it is good for them to have air access to speed up healing.
  • A new neck tattoo should be washed every day – but gently, do not scrub, just spray lightly with water, preferably dry with a cotton pad.
  • During healing, which usually takes 3 to 4 weeks, you should avoid swimming, visiting a sauna, or bathing where the neck tattoo is completely submerged in water.
  • Choose your clothes so that they rub and irritate your fresh neck tattoo as little as possible, be careful not to scratch it as scraping off the scabs may accidentally remove some ink.
  • The skin at the neck tattoo site often dries out more, so ointments such as Bepanthen or Alantan can be used on it.
  • A new neck tattoo should not be exposed to the sun. Even after it has healed, make sure you protect it with adequate sunscreen at all times.

Some of my favourite designs, tattoo books and aftercare products, selected for you

working on tattoo at my studio
Working at the studio on one of my projects

Thank you for reading my article, I hope that you have found it helpful. If you would have trouble finding ideas for your tattoo, wonder what is meaning of design that you have found or what to buy for aftercare, to make sure that your tattoo will be healing quickly and easily, here are some of my favorite products in one place, hope that this will also help.

Deasign and tattoo ideas

For some ideas you can have a look at those 3 books with hundreds of designs that I use with my Clients, they are available on Amazon for Kindle or in classic, paper version (links below):

Tattoo meaning

If you would like to read more about the meaning of different tattoo styles and designs before you will decide what you would like to have, I can recommend a book that was really useful for me when I was starting my tattoo adventure – it’s “Conscious Ink: The Hidden Meaning of Tattoos” by Lisa Barretta (through the link you can find it on Amazon for around $10).

Tattoo aftercare

The skin at the tattoo site often dries out. To prevent it and speed up healing for my Clients, I usually recommend one of those tattoo aftercare balms (you can find them on Amazon):

Looking for more info about tattoos? I might have them covered!

I have written almost 100 articles about tattooing – with details about each body part, problems that you might have with your tattoo, designs, styles, aftercare, and much more.

Have a look at the search option and see if you can find what you need here.

other posts from  InkArtByKate
Some of my other articles, check them and see if you could find what you are looking for!

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