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Tattoos And Chest Hair: Everything You Need To Know

The chest often seems like the perfect canvas for a display of body art. It’s broad, relatively flat, and central. But also, often hairy. So, can you get a tattoo under chest hair?

Yes. Many men get tattoos under their chest hair with no trouble whatsoever. The chest is usually shaved prior to the inking itself, and the hair grows back just as it did before. Although the growth of chest hair may obscure some of the finer details and linework, overall it shouldn’t make much difference to the appearance. Particularly hairy men may choose to trim or even shave over their tattoos, and this is fine. It would certainly make the intricacies of the tattoo stand out more. 

That’s the answer in a nutshell. But I did want to dive deeper into the topic to make you as well-informed as possible before you gallantly march into that tattoo parlor. 

So, let’s dive deep

Why You Can Get A Tattoo Under Your Chest Hair 

It’s simple. You’ve got some ink, and you’ve got some skin to deposit that ink in. Chest skin is no different. The fact that it happens to be a particularly hairy part of the body (although not always) won’t be an issue. Here’s why.

When you go for your tattoo and point out whatever form of art you want ingrained into your chest, one of the next steps will be shaving

Those needle pricks will feel all the more uncomfortable on a hairy chest, so it’s in your best interests for that reason. It’s also a lot easier for the artist to produce an excellent result on a shaved chest. 

It’ll allow them to visualize the finer details much easier, and their needle won’t be obstructed by tufts of fur. 

So, the procedure itself won’t be an issue. 

Can Chest Hair Grow Over Tattoos?

Yes. Just like it did before. It’s important to understand that tattoo ink in your skin doesn’t form an indestructible barrier through which nothing can escape from underneath. 

The ink is injected into the same layer of the skin that the hair follicles sit. But it’s deposited in the tissue around the hair follicle and doesn’t damage the hair follicle itself. 

Chest hair is still able to sprout from the follicle and out of the skin, just as it did before the skin was tattooed. 

Tattoos don’t make the chest hair thinner, or thicker. It doesn’t make any impact on the thickness of the hair whatsoever. 

To summarize, some men are anxious that they won’t be able to don their mane of chest hair anymore, and some hope that a tattoo is a solution to an unwanted hairy chest. 

They’re both wrong. To drill in the point one more time, chest hair grows over tattoos with no trouble at all. 

Can You See The Tattoo Under Chest Hair?

There is some debate around this question. In short, yes, you can almost always see a tattoo under chest hair. The only situation in which this would be a real issue would be if you had a very hairy chest. 

Just as a tattoo on a full head of hair wouldn’t be visible, neither would one under a very hairy chest. 

But in the vast majority of men, this isn’t a problem. Once their chest hair grows back over their freshly tattooed chest, most men don’t notice a significant impact on the appearance of their tattoo. 

They do usually notice blurring of the finer details and linework once the hair gets to a certain length. But the overall image or writing remains as it was. 

So, most men don’t bother taking things further. However, it needs to be understood that tattoos do look sharper on hairless chests or chests with very short hair. 

The finer details of a tattoo are clearer on a hairless chest

If you’re aiming for perfection, you may well need to shave or at the very least trim down. 

Once this is done, those fine details that might really make the tattoo pop become more visible. It will most likely look more impressive to the keen eye. 

Men often choose to do this soon after they get their new tattoos. The enthusiasm is sky-high at the beginning, and everything is novel.

They want everything to look perfect, and so are willing to go the extra mile to maintain it. 

But as time goes on, the act of regularly trimming chest hair may become tedious. It becomes a chore, and ultimately it may not seem worth it. Seeing as the tattoo most likely looks perfectly fine under a hairy chest to most people, you may start to accept it yourself. 

What Chest Hair Length Should You Trim Down To?

But if you did want to trim down that chest hair for those flawless results, you’ll most likely need to find your number

Every man is different. The length you’ll need to trim down to in order to maintain flawless tattoo appearances depends on a couple of things. 

It depends on the thickness of your chest hair. If your hair is particularly thick, you’ll need to trim down to a shorter length to compensate for this. 

It also depends on the color of your hair. Tattoos are obscured by darker hairs more than they are by lighter hairs. Again, you’ll need to trim down shorter in order to compensate for this.

This is something you’ll need to experiment with yourself. Find a length that feels comfortable and also allows for maximal appreciation of the tattoo itself. 

Chest stubble can feel particularly uncomfortable, especially against the skin of your loved one. It can also feel pretty itchy under a shirt. So, you may need to keep the hair just a little bit longer if you want to avoid this. 

As you can see, it’s a balancing act and you can’t have it both ways. 

If you wanted some other tips on trimming your chest hair without causing itching, check this article out as well.

Can You Shave Over A Tattoo?

You can shave over a tattoo with no problems at all. But there’s a caveat to this. Freshly tattooed skin is irritated and feels sore until it is at least partially healed. 

If you try to shave over freshly tattooed skin, that irritation and soreness will become worse.

The skin will take longer to heal and you’ll be in a worse position than you otherwise would have been. 

So, it’s best practice to wait at least 2 weeks after getting your tattoo before shaving your chest hair. This should be enough time for the skin to heal before going at it with a razor. 

Shaving will not remove any of the ink on your chest. The ink is deposited within the skin and not on top of the skin. 

Shaving simply cuts the hair strands at the level of the outer surface of the skin. It doesn’t disrupt anything within the skin itself. 

So, don’t worry about losing it. That ink is there to stay. If you wanted to get it removed it’ll be more of an ordeal. You’ll need a professional to get it done. Simply running a razor over it definitely won’t do the trick. 

Shaving your chest would also make moisturizing easier. Applying moisturizing cream on a hairy chest tends to mattify the hair and flatten them out.

This makes them appear more obvious and obscure the tattoo more than before. 

A general skin care tip for men looking to shave their tattooed chest would be to exfoliate once or twice a week. It’s important for clearing out dirt and dead skin cells, as well as preventing ingrown hairs. 

Why You Should Choose Your Chest Tattoo Carefully

This is just a quirky little tip to finish off with. Say you got a tattoo of a woman’s face on your chest. On a freshly shaved chest, it’ll probably look pretty impressive. 

The lines will be intricate and the image will look sharp. But, especially on fairer skin, trouble lies just around the corner. 

As chest hair starts to sprout, the woman’s face will start to get filled in with hair. Unfortunately, it’ll start to look less and less human and more like Teen Wolf as time goes on. 

This doesn’t just apply to women’s faces – any face would. 

So, the moral of this unusual story is this. Think about what the tattoo will look like once your chest hair starts to grow back. Is it something you could live with, or something that would just look too strange?

Your options would be to pick a different tattoo consisting of images filled in with darker colors. Or, just regularly trim down and shave your chest. 

Either way, you’ve got options. 


Hopefully, you’ll now head into that tattoo parlor with more knowledge on chest hair than you’ve ever had before. 

It’s understandable to feel nervous, but at least you’re well-informed. 

Getting a tattoo under chest hair shouldn’t ever be a real problem. It often looks great and is barely affected by its presence. If you did want to aim for perfection, trimming and shaving are always at your disposal. 

If you were wondering how tattoos relate to other forms of body hair, the same principles apply. It’s possible, and it will grow back once it’s shaved for the tattoo. 

I hope that clears it all up for you.