For many years, visible tattoos have been referred to as "job stoppers" for their negative influence on people's careers, particularly in the white-collar setting. Despite rapidly pushing the boundaries of inclusivity – think same-sex marriage, non-binary recognition, heck, men in heels – our society still hasn't completely lost its preconceptions against inked skin. But that's bound to happen sooner or later, and these individuals prove it.
One noticeable trend budding inside the tattoo community and boldly breaking taboos is head tattoos. With one side of their hair shaved, people are using their bare scalps as canvases for permanent art.
Head tattoos are not considered trashy anymore, with many public personalities proudly showing them off and using them for artistic purposes. It is the case with Kelly Osbourne and her tribute to the Orlando victims, as well as model Stephen James, among others.
For tattooists, heads are quite easy to work on and a quick look at Instagram will show you how much they love unleashing creativity on this part of the body. Brazilian contemporary tattoo artist Katharine Alden (@katalden) has recently shared her very first experience of head tattooing [below], which was an instant hit on the internet. She tells Konbini:
"It is positive to see that tattoos are overcoming a history of prejudice and people can feel more and more comfortable marking their skins and move on with their normal life without being necessarily judged for that.
Here in Brazil, people are still drastically repressed when it comes to tattoos and other forms of body modifications. Not getting jobs because of tattoos is unfortunately a reality depending on your profession.
I personally try to break with any kind of prejudice and this is a daily life choice : empathy is necessary for everyone to live freely."
The abstract side head tattoo was created on her client Rafaela. The piece has a botanical vibe to it because Rafaela is studying plants as a scientific subject. She was reading about Dr. Bach's flowers and fell in love with the Clematis. As for shaving the head, the customer says: "It's just something I do, I shave my head, change styles; it feels good in summer!"
The experience was tough for Rafaela, but she's got no regrets and is not afraid of what people would think about her new style. She says:
"Of course, the process was just awful. I felt nauseous at times, it hurt like a bitch. Was it fun? No. Would I do it again? Probably. My head does look gorgeous and it makes me feel strong AF! It might have made some conservative folk think bad things, but who cares!"
For many tattoo collectors, head tattoos are indeed a way to empower themselves, especially in communities with social and sexual issues. It is also a creative process for workers in the art industry. Individuals with such body art are more often working in the tattoo or entertainment industry, amidst other heavily tattooed peers.
Even with the changes in contemporary society, you have to remember that it is still a very daring choice. Think twice, and if you wish to donate your side head to art, you might want to follow the advice of Kat Alden:
"Be physically and mentally prepared for the tattoo. Tattooing is already an important process and to compromise the head gives it even more significance, so choose your artist carefully."
See more examples of awesome head tattoos below: