29 February 2024

Hair Tattoos: An interview with Whitney Fisher

We all admire hair tattoos – but few of us would dare to flaunt one! We went directly to Whitney Fisher to find out more about this hair art trend.

Hair tattoos are everywhere in Instagram and it takes an expert to really get that WOW! factor. Whitney Fisher is just such an artist. So we asked her to reveal her working process and a few tips & tricks to get the look you and your client want!

What kind of clients opt for boldly colored hair tattoos?

Clients who request hair tattoos are typically alternative individuals who value personal style, self-expression, and art. They are willing to invest in their appearance. Even though hair tattoos can be expensive, they trust me to create something beautiful and unique for them.

Do more men or women as for hair tattoos and clipped designs?

I’ve noticed that people who request hair tattoos tend to be comfortable expressing both their masculine and feminine sides. Some don’t feel the need to identify as either male or female, but are happy to simply exist as themselves.

Who prefers tattoos with more natural colors?

Actually, I’ve never had a client request natural colors for their hair tattoos. They typically tell me “I want something cool,” and I choose the colors and design. 

What specific skills and tools are necessary to guarantee the best results?

To create hair tattoos, I need a variety of tools. These include clippers, trimmers, painters brushes in various sizes and tips, semi-permanent colors, permanent black color, and a dry erase marker. I sometimes also use objects to trace circles or draw out my own paper stencils. Skill goes a long way when creating hair tattoos, but patience and practice are what really makes the difference.

How can hair tattoos be maintained or grown out?

This is a question I get asked quite often. When a client is ready to buzz their hair off again, typically after 4 to 8 weeks, the color and design will still be apparent. At this point, the client is usually ready for a new design or color. I’ve never been asked to replicate the same design, but I probably wouldn’t be interested in doing it anyway. The best part is that you’ll have a new hairstyle in a few weeks, like a Chia Pet!”

Do you have any go-to products or tools that make life easier for you?

I don’t use any specific brand of color and styling products for hair tattoos. Instead, I choose products based on their specific qualities and the desired effect. For example, if I’m creating a detailed design, I might use a thicker, more pigmented color that will hold its shape better. If I’m creating a watercolor effect, I might use a thinner, more transparent color that will blend more easily.

I highly recommend using MalibuC Deox after bleaching to deoxidize any lightener from the hair that could interfere with the semi colors. This will help to ensure that the colors are vibrant and long-lasting, and prevent blotchiness and inconsistencies caused by active bleach on the scalp and hair.

My go-to trimmer for hair tattoos is the BabylissPro GoldFX outlining trimmer. It’s incredibly precise and allows me to create sharp, clean lines. I also like that it’s lightweight and easy to maneuver.

Walking through the creative process

  1. I start by bleaching the client’s hair with ammonia-free lightener. This helps to reduce irritation and create a canvas for the design.
  2. Once the hair is bleached, I buzz it to a short length, typically a #2 or #3, depending on the client’s hair density.
  3. At this point, I mark out the design with a dry erase marker. This allows me to easily wipe away any mistakes and avoid staining the hair.
  4. Next, I shave the design into the client’s hair using trimmers. It is especially important to do this after the lightening process to avoid irritating the scalp.
  5. Once the design is shaved, I begin applying the color. I use semi-permanent colors for all colors except black, I use a permanent black color for black designs to avoid color bleeding. I apply the color using painters brushes in various sizes and tips, depending on the desired effect.

Other Tips & Tricks

  • Predraw your design with a dry erase marker.
  • Use ammonia-free lightener to minimize irritation.
  • Deoxidize the lightener before painting.
  • Use a permanent 2N for black designs.
  • Use painters brushes in various sizes and tips to apply the color.
  • Use objects or paper stencils to help you create precise shapes


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