Top Tips for Photo-Worthy Hair Tattoos

Barbershop Photo
Photo by g-stockstudio/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Designs, geometric shapes, logos and portraits—today’s top barbers are continually getting hair art requests, and they’re proudly showing off their masterpieces on social media. “In a world where most of us are trying to stand out, hair tattoos are a way to express yourself and your creativity,” says Carlos Estrella, (@los_cut_it) BaBylissPRO Global Educator. We talked with some of the hottest hair art masters, and found out what it takes to create a photo-worthy hair tattoo.

The Artist 
Carlos Estrella, 
BaBylissPRO Global Educator

Carlos Estrella

The Work To create this abstract pattern, it’s important to free your mind. Whenever I feel stuck, I always go back to my fundamentals—letters and numbers. It’s similar to graffiti on walls. Use letters and numbers to create designs by tilting them in different angles and connecting them. 

His Advice If you get inspired by a talented hair artist, don’t recreate their design in hopes of getting discovered. It’s always better to create than to replicate. 

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The Artist 
Corey Bakon, (@thecutcoach
John Paul Mitchell Systems Educator, Master Barber/Stylist

The Work For this look, I began according to the client’s head shape and hair texture, determining what length his hair needed to be for the design. This helps when shading, blending and adding other fine details to your work. 

His Advice If you’re a beginner, start with lines no longer than four inches. Then move on to curves. Also, practice at the nape of the neck, where it can be faded down afterwards. 


The Artist
Ruben Javier, (@ruben_dabarber
BaBylissPRO Platform Artist and Educator

The Work To create this portrait, I started with the middle of the image, the nose, and worked my way out, making sure the proportions were right. I used trimmers as a writing utensil, creating more detailed carvings. And I used a razor blade to make the lighter areas, like the eyes, stand out. 

His Advice Look at historic works of art from artists such as Salvador Dalí and Vincent van Gogh. These pieces inspire artists whether it is on paper, skin or hair. 


The Artist
MK, (@mkhsabarber
Andis International Educator

The Work To make these sharp, clean lines and strong, 3-D shapes, I molded the desired design with a holding spray, keeping the hair firm. 

His Advice The key to getting started is mastering beard shapes. The handling techniques for creating beard outlines and tapering facial hair are often the same when creating designs. Keep practicing, and remember, some of the worst mistakes make the most innovative designs.


The Artist 
Kenny Duncan, (@clipperedu
Andis Lead Educator

The Work Before I started this portrait, I drew the design on the client’s head with a white eyeliner pencil. This helps define the shape and any intricate details. 

His Advice Skin tattoos and hair tattoos have multiple dimensions: highlights, mid-tones and shadows. Traditionally, most barbers only create two-dimensional designs with highlights and shadows. Up-and-coming barbers should perfect all three design dimensions. 

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