Whether you’re getting a tattoo to symbolise the day you and your best friend realised your mutual hatred of pineapples on pizza, or to artistically express your personality on your body, permanent ink can mean a whole variety of things to different people. With the developments in the types of equipment, it's now possible to get a tattoo without going through the pain that is mostly in your head.
Getting a tattoo should be a well thought-out decision. Aside from the image or text that you want inked, there are several other factors to consider. Over the years, tattoo artists have developed a host of techniques and styles that will help you select one that suits your particular aesthetic. To help with this, we asked Vikas Malani (of BodyCanvas Tattoos) to decode 2017’s hottest tattoo trends.
Tattoo trends 2017
After the surge in popularity of adult colouring books, Mandala drawings have become one of the most popular tattoo trends recently. Aside from these intricate designs, India-inspired motifs, like paisleys, are catching up in 2017. “Their simplistic design ensures their longevity and it’s aesthetically more appealing too,” says Malani.
Stress is increasing every day; people have started adopting lifestyle options like Yoga to combat that and apparently they look to their tattoos as a way to destress too. According to Malani, people ask for ‘positive’ tattoos that exude a calming vibe. So expect to see a lot of motifs like the lotus, chakras, energy source (earth, water and fire), upside or downwards triangle this year.
Abstract and surrealistic art forms have always found a place in tattoo art, but now hyper-realistic tattoos that look three-dimensional are catching on. The ‘geometric tattoo’ trend that took over the world in 2016 will carry on this year too.
This trend is slowly becoming a favourite with people who like their tattoos to be subtle yet highly artistic. It involves rendering the tattoo with a watercolour-like translucency.
Tattoo aftercare 101
It goes without saying how important aftercare is for a tattoo. Not following the recommended steps for the prescribed amount of time can completely wreck your tattoo. “You have to live with the tattoo for the rest of your life, so the importance of taking care of it while it’s healing cannot be stressed enough,” implores Malani.
Here’s what you need to do right after you’ve been tattooed:
Keep it covered in cling wrap for as long as you can (two hours minimum). To remove excess blood, ointment and ink, wash it with your hands using a mild soap. Pat with a gentle tissue to dry. Do not rub, or bring the tattoo in contact with a towel or loofah. Wash it 3 times a day.
After this, apply a lightweight, unscented, alcohol free moisturizer. It should just be enough to make your tattoo shine. This reduces any itching you might experience during the healing process. Cover the tattoo with cling wrap again.
Keep the tattoo covered while taking a bath, to avoid direct contact with water.
Avoid wearing fitted clothes and taking part in any strenuous exercise that might cause you to sweat for 2 weeks (depending upon the healing of the tattoo). Don’t expose your tattoo to direct sunlight. After the healing process is over you can wear a sunblock.
We’ve talked about the virtues of ghee in terms of skincare before and it turns out that it works to expedite the tattoo healing process too. In a somewhat unexpected discovery, Malani discovered this hack, and recommends using this if you want to stick to natural products. Heat some ghee till it’s lukewarm (take care not to heat it too much otherwise it may cause burns) and apply it on the tattoo.