There is a whole plethora of ways to celebrate long-lasting friendship. For example, friendship bracelets and necklaces are pretty much a thing a couple of decades ago. Now, with the more modern times, best friend tattoos are all the rage. It is one of the best way to symbolize a friendship and why not? A tattoo lasts a lifetime just like a good best friend.
While matching BFF tattoos are more common, coinciding designs like spelling out the words “friends” or “love” – with one letter for each of your bestie. Whether it’s a match or a two sides of a bigger picture, knowing your best friend has the same ink as yours will definitely connect the two of you.
The Best BFF ink designs
- Initials – Anyone can get a tattoo of their initials, but best friends or soul sisters/brothers, getting inked with your initial plus your friends’ initials is a lot more meaningful. It could only mean that they are eternally a part of your being. You would not be who you are now without them. Of course, this is one of the ultimate tat designs for BFFs since once you’ve committed to the design, there’s no erasing it.
- Heart designs – Big, small, simple or a matching heart broken in two (with the other half for your best friend and the other half is yours), hearts are popular imagery for friendship symbols. It is a popular design for friendship bracelets and necklaces and now, it is also a common friendship tat design. It can be accompanied by words or designed with a thumbprint. The best spot for this design is on the wrist or the ankles.
- Worded designs – Worded tattoo designs are often more unique and there are many different styles and fonts to choose from. However, for a friendship ink, it could be your favorite movie quotes, song lyrics from your favorite songs, book lines from your favorite books or probably an inside joke only you and your bestie could get. The more personal it is for the both of you, the more special and unique it is.
- Celtic Knot – If there’s any symbol that best fits friendships and long lasting relationships, it would be the celtic knot. It represents unwavering loyalty and eternity. It also symbolizes love and friendship. So, it does make the best imagery to represent your long-lasting relationship with your closest friends.
- Yin and Yang – Although the yin and yang means two different things, it is a part of a bigger picture that symbolizes balance. A lot of best friends often have different traits than the other and their differences is what makes them closer. Their harmonious relationship is related with how they look at things with a different point of view and respects and learns from the other. If it’s the kind of relationship you have with your soul sister or brother, the yin and yang symbols are the best choices.
- Flowers – You can choose whichever floral design you want but the best option is the one that best signifies your friendship. For example, a rose means more of passion and love and it’s perfect for the group of friends who are passionate about their goals and love life. Or perhaps, you can go for a sunflower which denotes warmth and happiness if you and your friends are more carefree and bubbly.
Other designs and their meanings
Listed above are the more common tat design ideas for best friends but you and your besties could make a more personal design. It could be a sentimental design or something that you and your friends are fond of. Anything that will help you remember there is someone out there who always got your back and loves you is a great choice. Of course, since it’s a matching design, you’d want to talk about it more with your friends and maybe even design the images yourselves based on your stories.
However, here are more popular designs for best friends and their meanings:
- Peanut butter and Jelly – Peanut butter and jelly are the perfect combo. Although one goes well even without the other, the best comes out when they are together. It’s also like how best friends are – one without the other is incomplete.
- Birds – Getting a simple bird design, especially one that is flying, means freedom. Getting one with your closest friend could signify how you can be free with them.
- Infinity sign – Just like the celtic knot, the infinity sign has no beginning and no end. What other symbol to best denote your never-ending friendship with your BFF than this sign? The design could be simple, but you can also choose to decorate it with words or other images like feathers.
Where to place your best friend tattoos
The placement of your ink should be thought of well. No matter if it is the first or the tenth tattoo you have, it is always important to think of where you should have it.
There are certain factors you have to think about such as your employment. While the modern world is more open to tattoos and piercings nowadays, some places of work still prefer hidden tattoos. If you are in this kind of environment, you would want it in a part where your uniform can hide it such as your back or your upper arm.
Aside from that, the design is also a major factor. The placement can decide how your tattoo is going to look like. For example, a tat design with curvature and movement would look great on prominent areas like your back, legs or arms. Large designs are also more suitable on these areas as artists could definitely play around the design; creating more hues and shadows and adding more details. On the other hand, small and simple tattoos could get lost on large spaces.
The writs, ankles, inner or outer forearm, back and the collar bones are perfect areas for women. Delicate and feminine designs would work well on these parts. These are also perfect for friendship and couple designs if you want to show off your matching inks.
Lastly, a more important factor anyone would want to think about is the pain. Any part of our body can be a blank canvas for inked designs. However, each part has a corresponding level of pain.
Levels of Pain and Where it Hurts More
If it is your first time getting inked, it would definitely be a good idea to get it with your best friends since you could use some moral support, especially if you are not good with pain. Unfortunately, pain is a part of the process. Anywhere you decide to have the tattoo, it would have a certain level of pain. To guide you, here are the common parts of the body and how painful they can get:
- Chest area, upper back – These areas have taut skin, less fat and muscles and have more bone so these getting inked in these areas are really painful. It could be described as a stinging pain when the tattoo gun works on the skinny parts. There is also the vibrating pain when it hits the places close to the bone. However, if you have extra weight, the fat could cushion most of the pain making it more tolerable.
- Rib cage – This certain area is also susceptible to stinging and vibrating pain as it is closer to the ribs, which tend to move as you breathe. It makes the process more painful.
- Knees, elbows and hands – These places don’t have many nerve endings so it would seem like a good spot to get inked. However, their closeness to the bones make a bone-rattling pain you might find extremely uncomfortable.
- Face – The face has a lot of nerve endings and tend to get sensitive that pain could reach high levels. This is another reason why not many people get face tattoos often.
- Inner biceps, inner elbows, inner thighs and groins – These are the most painful areas anyone could get a tattoo. These are highly sensitive areas, with major nerves running through the inner elbows. There is also the rubbing the body or the other thigh.
- Wrist and ankles – These are the more common places where best friends and women would get their tattoos.Suffice to say, it is also painful, especially when the gun hits the tendons and the bone. However, these are more tolerable.
- Arms and forearm – Getting a half sleeve or full sleeve tattoo is tolerable. The arm and the forearm areas have lots of muscle and less bones so it isn’t as painful as the inner parts. Still, it can get irritating when the needle goes over a certain place over and over.
- Legs and thighs – So long as it’s on the outer part and away from sensitive inner areas, these places are also more on the irritating side than on the painful one. Of course, there is still pain. However, it is more associated with the needle going back and forth on certain areas.
When the pain is extreme, you can always communicate with your artist for a break. Do not be ashamed and talk to them. Most artists would be happy to give you a break.
Finding the Perfect Tattoo Artist
Getting a tattoo is no easy feat. Since it would be a permanent one, you have to choose the right design that best represent you and your best friend. You would be wearing them from this day forward so you have to be proud of them. Also, we want a satisfying result; one that actually looks like how we envisioned it. Unfortunately, not everyone can provide that.
That is why as much as possible, you have to find the perfect tattoo artist. Suffice to say, every professional artist is artistic. However, every one has their own signature style. If you think an artist could not convey the design you want pretty well, you can definitely choose another. You can always try to look at the artist’s portfolio if you want. This will give you a glimpse of their art style and whether they are the best fit for you.
Apart from that, you should find a trustworthy and reliable pro. It would be good if you personally know them or a client of theirs. Say, if a family or friend has visited this certain tattoo parlor, they are likely a reliable pro. Your safety is a priority. Try to know if they are using disinfected needles. Otherwise, you are risking yourself. You can get infected with various health disorders. They should open new and unused needles in front of you and should be throwing them out after using.
If you have found the right place and person, communication is the key. Talk to them so they would know what you and your buddy need. This way, you are getting satisfactory results.
Preparation for getting your Best Friend Tattoos
If it is you and your friend’s first time, it is always good to talk to someone with experience. If you have friends with tattoos, you can ask them to go with you. They can guide you on what to expect and the process better.
You also have to be prepared mentally and physically. You should be well rested and well hydrated. Prepare yourself since there will be pain and needles involved. You also might want to fully charge your phones since more complicated designs can last hours to finish. That being said, you should eat before getting inked.
Wearing your best clothes are not necessary. In fact, you have to be more comfortable than fashionable. Also put in mind where you’re getting the tattoo. If it is on your wrist, wear a short-sleeved top. If it’s on your back, you might need a top with a loose back. If it’s in your arm, a sleeveless top would be good; so on and so forth. This is to allow the artist to have necessary access to where you want it placed.
Lastly, take a shower. Tattooing requires the needle to pierce through the skin. If your skin is dirty, chances are it would seep through the needle wounds and infect you. You CAN take a shower after getting the tattoo but it is better to wait for 2 to 4 hours or overnight. This is to help the ink settle well. When showering, use a mild and fragrance-free soap that is free from alcohol.
When should I NOT Get a Tattoo?
Here are when you should NOT get a tattoo:
- You are high.
- You are drunk.
- You are pregnant.
- Pre and post surgery
- When you have sunburn
- When you haven’t showered
- No ID
If you are sick, don’t get a tattoo. If you already have an appointment, call your artist and ask to be rescheduled. You would need your body to be on its best shape. White blood cells are needed to heal the tattoo and it won’t help if you’ve got some bacteria or virus spreading chaos in your system.
Also, you should not get a tattoo, even a best friend ink by that, if you are unsure. Once you commit to having one, there is no turning back. Otherwise, you can only get a tattoo removal which will cause unwanted scars or top it with another tattoo. So, if you are not sure if you want a tattoo or the design, don’t dive into it.
Money is also important. As every great art, tattoos are not cheap. The more complicated the design, the more expensive it would be. Be ready to spend a $50 to a hundred bucks just for a small and simple design. If you are going for half or full sleeves, large images and custom designs, you’d better save up to a thousand dollars just to be sure. That being said, you should NOT get a tattoo when you don’t have the money.
Most importantly: DO NOT get a tattoo if the one doing it isn’t a professional. Say, your friend got a tattoo kit and want to practice it on you. DO NOT say yes until they have had an apprenticeship with a pro and unless the pro says they can do it. Chances are, both of you would be risking yourselves.
Taking care of your best friend tattoos are as important as the initial phases. The outcome of your ink could depend on how you took care of it for the first couple of hours to days. If you want it to look as good as how you envisioned it, here are some tips for aftercare:
- Do not, under any circumstances, pick on the scabs. As the pierced skin is healing up, it tends to have scabs just like any wound. It will also be itchy as it heals. However, no matter how good it might feel, never scratch nor pick on a scab.
- Do not go bathing on lakes, pools, tubs or ocean for at least three weeks after getting your tattoo.
- Avoid sunbathing and tanning after getting it.
- After the process, a bandage would be placed to cover the design. Do not take it out and wait 3 to 5 hours before you take it off. Don’t leave it for more than five hours.
- Use fragrance-free lotion to soothe dry skin and help avoid flaking.