175 Awesome Neck Tattoos This Year (with Meanings)

Neck Tattoo History

The concept of tattooing has been around for so long that it has had a very storied history. One of the first examples of tattoos came from a tribal marking got from preserved prehistoric mummies from different parts of the globe. Like today, people during the prehistoric era acquired tattoos for so many reasons. Plenty of those reasons were purely ceremonial or can signify an event that happened in the wearer’s own life.

The first evidence of tattoos as an art form originated from little clay figurines with painted faces or had engravings on them. These were primarily to be a representation of tattoo markings. Perhaps the oldest figures that had these engravings or marks emancipated from mummified tombs in Japan, which dates back 5000 BC or even from much earlier than that.

And when it comes to real tattoos, the oldest known individual to sport tattoos on their body was a preserved Bronze Age mummy discovered in a glacier in the Otztal Alps, right beside the borders of Italy and Austria. The mummy, known as Otzi the Iceman, came from 3300 BC and wore over 57 tattoos.

And because of the spread of Catholicism in the US, tattooing was eventually banned for a very long period. Still, there were a few rebellious individuals who disobeyed tradition and got tattoos anyway, with most of them being seafarers and soldiers. The tattoos that they wore served as a personal reminder of the people that they left back home, along with their own experiences in serving the armed forces. But what’s interesting about this whole thing is that plenty of tattoo designs that emerged during that period came in the form of religious imagery and symbols.

In the 1890s, the tattoo machine was later invented and transformed into a much more accessible way of getting tattoos done. Suddenly it was now twice as easy to get a tattoo, making people want to get them more. However, tattooing still had to go through a very long journey until people started accepting it into mainstream culture, and for the longest period, it was still seen as something done and enjoyed by the lower classes, especially those with links to gangs and criminals.

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Types Of Neck Tattoos

  • Dragonfly neck tattoos – This giant tattoo is often worn by the back of the wearer’s neck. It obviously comes in the form of a dragonfly, with its slim and lengthy body, and large wings. The dragonfly really does have a unique shape, and this is the reason why it works so well as a neck tattoo design. Plenty of ladies enjoy wearing dragonfly tattoos. In popular myths and legends, the dragonfly is often considered to be a symbol of change, transforming one’s self, similar to a moth and a butterfly tattoo. So if you end up getting a dragonfly tattoo on the back of your neck, this means that you have gone through some sort of transformation yourself, no matter if it’s physical, emotional, spiritual, etc. to change into a better version of yourself.
  • Skull neck tattoo – Even though this design might end up scaring certain people, it’s still a pretty awesome neck tattoo design. Apart from looking aesthetically pleasing to the eyes, this tattoo still includes plenty of symbolic meanings. If you want to get this tattoo, then you need to know about the meanings of the symbols first before getting it done on you. In regards to the design, the skull also creates a small part of a second neck tattoo.
  • Peter Pan neck tattoo – Everybody loves the story of Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up. And for those who have seen the live adaptations on stage, it was a well-known fact that the role of Peter was always played by a young woman. But no matter whether you enjoyed the plays, the live-action films, or the animated movie, picking a favorite character from a book, a cartoon, a play, or a movie is one of the best ways to pay tribute to a thing you’re passionate about, or love.
  • Tribal neck tattoo – Tribal designs created solely for neck tattoos, and many clients and tattoo artists use them. These neck tattoos have garnered the attention of nearly everyone who sees it, because they look amazing on the wearer’s neck. This is the reason why they’re a popular neck tattoo design. But aside from that, a tribal tattoo can mean so many different things all over various cultures. For instance, a tribal tattoo design belonging to New Zealand’s Maori culture means you have a higher rank in your tribe. And in Celtic culture, the same tribal tattoos can symbolize things such as faith, culture, and strength. Tribal tattoos were first seen as a type of ranking for both military and religious purposes.
  • All-seeing eye neck tattoo design – A couple of other tattoos, if any, will draw in plenty of attention when placed at the back of the neck, but the best one out of all of these has got to be the all-seeing eye tattoo. The image of an all-seeing eye has a pretty good way of making its own presence known, especially when drawn on any part of the body. Those who end up staring at this stunning tattoo design might want to take a second glance at it. In popular culture, the all-seeing eye can represent so many things, like the ability to see the future. When you place this tattoo design on the back of your neck, it’s like you’re telling people that you can see things very clearly, even the ones that aren’t visible like the ones behind you.
  • Spider’s neck tattoo – A spider tattoo is just downright creepy and will surely fit a guy’s neck more than a woman’s. But if spiders are your thing, then just go right ahead and choose a creepy design for your tattoo. People have often acquired tattoos of wolf spiders, tarantulas, black widow spiders, and so many others. This is your chance to choose a creepy design.

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Meaning of Neck Tattoo Designs

Placing a tattoo on your neck will mean that you are a daring or risky individual and like to make bold choices in life. It is often said that the neck is one of the parts of your body which will be continuously exposed to the public no matter what you wear. Plus, necks are also particularly sensitive, especially for tattoos. The designs that you may use for a neck tattoo will all depend on what you really prefer, and can contain emblems such as flowers, hearts, Chinese or Japanese characters, or even the name of someone dear to you.

Even though you can pretty much get a tattoo done on any portion of the body, there are still certain areas that may work a bit better in comparison to the rest. And this is the reason why they’re popular – Neck tattoos seem to be one of those aforementioned areas, particularly the back of the neck.

The back of the wearer’s neck is one of the best places to get a tattoo done, since you can easily cover it up – While at the same time, it’s always exposed to the viewer. And what’s even better is that this part of the body isn’t as painful as the rest when getting a tattoo. But even though it’s a good place for you to put a tattoo on, you still need to pick a good design if you want it to look just as great.

The neck is probably one of the most visible places of the human body. Covered up in layers of clothes, the neck, is still exposed to so many people. Ladies and gents both like to decorate their necks with jewelry, like necklaces.

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Best Placement For Neck Tattoos

Even though you can get a tattoo done on any part of the body, there are still some areas that work better in comparison to the rest. This is why they are the most popular places to get a tattoo on. The neck is one of those spots. But even though the neck is definitely one of the best spots to get a tattoo on, you still need to pick the appropriate design in order to make it look fabulous.

Choosing to get a tattoo done on the neck, or even on the face, has to be a careful undertaking. The artist must pay particular attention to skin care, because the skin surrounding your neck and face can be prone to sun damage, and will age quickly. The correct placement is very important in regards to tattooing, especially on the neck – So when you want a neck tattoo, have it done by an experienced or professional artist. Getting rid of a neck tattoo could take multiple sessions at a lower level, so it has to be procedural.

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Neck Tattoo Preparation Tips

It definitely helps to take a nice shower or bath before you head off to the session. This is also a polite gesture for your artist as well, since the last thing they want to sit close to is a body emanating nasty odors – Especially if they’re about to do a bicep tattoo. Make sure you scrub your body well and smells naturally clean and good. Your artist will definitely thank you for it. And at the same time, don’t wear perfume or aftershave that’s too overpowering and can probably overwhelm your artist’s sense of smell.

Put on some clothes that you wouldn’t mind if they get the tattoo ink. During a tattooing session, it’s highly possible that your shirt could get ink or blood splatters on it. Do not put on a favorite shirt, or something that’s very difficult to wash.

Never shave away the area of skin that you’re planning to put a tattoo on. If the said area has body hair and will require shaving, allow the artist to do it for you instead. They’ll probably do a much better job of shaving it all off than you will. You wouldn’t want to risk getting a cut on your skin or acquiring a razor burn just before you can attend the session.

Talk to your artist about pain relief, if possible. If you have plans of applying a pain-numbing cream or anesthetic before you head on over to the shop, be sure to discuss it with your artist first. Several of these pain-numbing creams or products can give off temporary changes towards the skin, especially with the outer layers. This can potentially affect how well your artist manages to do their job, so it’s always a good idea to check up on them first.

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Are Neck Tattoos Painful?

The human skin is the biggest, not to mention one of the most complex organs found on the body. The skin acts as the soft layer found in the external bodies of vertebrates. The skin is there to remove and protect the fragile interiors of our bodies, from the harsh elements.

For tattoos, the layer of skin which ink must deposit on, is the dermis.It contains most sensory feeling  cells and tells us when our body is hurt.  Technically it’s not that bad when you stub your toe against a rock, but when a needle is stabbing a part of your skin at up to 150 times per second, these receptors will send out plenty of signals to the brain, making the whole experience particularly unpleasant.

Frequently Asked Questions About Neck Tattoos

  • What happens during a consultation with your artist?
  • After the two of you are over with the initial conversation, the next step would be to book an appointment in the shop. By this time, your artist should already know how long the tattoo will take to complete and can probably give you some advice about the cost. Booking your upcoming session will often require a placement from you. Its purpose is to discourage potential time-wasters and to create an offset against the design your artist makes for you, in case something happens and you don’t show up to the session. But if you do come on time to the appointment, the design is free and the placement could be as an offset against the final price of the tattoo. In some shops, a couple of days before the appointment happens, the artist will send you an email or photo containing the final design of your upcoming tattoo. This allows you to make an approval of the design or make any final changes or adjustments.
  • What should I look for when searching for a good tattoo shop?
  • Is the shop of your choice clean and sanitized? Does the atmosphere make you comfortable?An unclean tattoo shop can place your health at risk. Ask yourself this question: If this was a dental clinic instead of a tattoo shop, would you allow a dentist who works here to touch your teeth? There’s actually a huge amount of similarities in regards to the possibility of cross-contamination of the equipment and instruments used, as well as the transmission of blood-borne pathogens inside your body. Not a lot of rules are put into action within the tattoo industry so it really depends on the shop’s staff and owners to implement basic rules about hygiene and safety. Thanks to this, the shop’s cleanliness will surely reflect on the workers’ attitude towards their clients and their own health and well-being.
  • Should I drink something to calm my nerves down before the session?
  • Absolutely not. This is far from advisable because of several reasons: First, there’s the difficulty of having to deal with a drunk individual, as well as the fact that pretty much every good artist will refuse to give a tattoo to someone inebriated. Another good reason is that alcohol is a known blood thinner, causing excessive bleeding from your tattoo wound. Not only will the task prove difficult for the artist themselves, but it also gives the effect of having a washed-out tattoo ink, even while drawing it on your skin. This results in a lengthy process, and can create poor results for your tattoo.

Average Service Cost For Getting Neck Tattoos

One of the most common concerns in regards to acquiring a neck tattoo is the final price. The location of the shop you choose is a major factor which can actually affect your tattoo’s price. Several famous artists have built tattoo shops in faraway locations, with most of them only taking in customers by reference. Meanwhile, others are willing to work in urbanized areas like Los Angeles, Miami, Las Vegas, and are only popular because they have drawn tattoos on so many people. If you do pay a visit to the tattoo shop nearest your home, then you may end up paying only a smaller amount for the final cost regardless of the place you want the tattoo on.

Oftentimes, size of a tattoo will determine the price you will pay. The larger the tattoo, the more expensive the final price will be. And this is actually true because the larger the size of the tattoo, the more working hours, and billed sessions for you. You will pretty much get a good idea of how much an average tattoo costs by taking a closer look at the size of the design. But the price of a tattoo according to size isn’t the only determining factor of the real cost of your tattoo, because there’s still a whole heap of factors which can greatly affect the price of the design. An artist could end up charging you by the hour, or they can assign a price for each tattoo piece.

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Neck Tattoos Maintenance Tips

It is only safe to sink your tattoo in a body of water after it has been fully healed. And as it’s still recovering, you should avoid swimming in oceans or pools. If you must clean yourself, do so using a shower or by running your tattoo under the faucet.

Put on some loose-fitting clothes so your new tattoo won’t get irritated by the fabric. As much as possible, try not to wear any tight clothes while your tattoo heals up, since it’ll continue to seep out excess ink and plasma from the wound. This could also cause the clothes you wear to stick closer to the tattoo. And when it dries up, it’s going to be tough – Not to mention painful to remove and can prematurely rip off scabs, damaging the tattoo’s look.

But if your clothes do end up sticking to the tattoo, never pull it away. Instead, wet the entire area using lukewarm water. This can loosen the clothes to the point where you can now safely remove it without prematurely ruining the tattoo. Wearing tight fitting clothes can also prevent oxygen from reaching your tattoo, which isn’t a good thing since oxygen is an important part of the healing process.

Make sure that the tattoo is completely heals up before you can start exercising in the gym again. This is especially important to remember if you get a tattoo on one of your joints or occupies a huge surface area (such as the back or chest). It’ll take twice as long to heal up if you force your skin to move around a lot, which happens in most physical activities. Too much movement will irritate your skin and even crack, hastening the speed of the healing procedure.

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