6 Outdated Tattoo Trends To Stay Away From In 2024

Just like with fashion and makeup, tattoo trends come and go, and if you're looking to get some new ink in 2024, you'll want to stay away from outdated designs. Remember the resurgence of the lower back "tail tattoo" trend from the '90s and Y2K era? We're sure there are many millennials regretting that decision. Some tats never go out of style, such as an important date or your kids' names etched onto your skin. However, certain trends eventually fade and you're left with a tattoo that's (quite literally) stuck in the past.


These days, fine-line tattoos are all the rage. Stars like Hailey Bieber and Zoë Kravitz have delicate letters and words inked onto their bodies. While fine-line tattoos are more discreet and can therefore stand the test of time, tattoo artist Stu Hepcat warned Business Insider, "Something that's supposed to be individual and special can quickly become mass-produced." He added, "If you see a celebrity that has a tattoo, those are the ones that will date." So, before you get new body art that's been making rounds on TikTok, keep in mind that the following trends won't remain all that timeless.

Mustache on your finger tattoo

Somewhere around 2010 when hipsters wore fake glasses and colorful jeans were trending, many decided that a fingerstache was a cool idea. While it probably invoked a lot of laughs and opportunities for selfies, the craze has come and gone. If you're still amused by the thought of tattooing facial hair onto your pointer finger, know that it'll fade pretty quickly and you'll be left with a blurry stache. "You can't see it anymore, but [the tattoo artist] freehanded the mustache with individual lines, like hairs. It looked good as hell for like six months," editor-in-chief of Vice, Derek Mead, told the outlet.


It turns out that many who have gotten fingerstaches regret it. According to The Hard Times, it's one of the top removed tattoos in America. "I'm not one to judge since I'm in the business of erasing mistakes, but I've no idea what would possess a person to get one of those dumba** things in the first place," laser tattoo removal tech Jen Shillington said.

Tribal tattoos (unless it has meaning to you)

Getting a tribal tattoo around your arm was big in the '90s and you couldn't walk around without seeing a big geometric stamp on someone's bicep or forearm. Even 98 Degrees boy band member Nick Lachey proudly displayed his. It made a comeback in 2023, with tattoo artist Mikhail Anderson telling Hello Giggles, "Tribal tattoos also appear to be growing in popularity, albeit this time the younger generation is using this style of tattoo to reclaim and highlight their own cultural identity, rather than appropriating others."


Because tribal tattoos are rooted in Polynesian culture, tattoo artist Sini Ariell thinks those who get one should do so only if it is meaningful to them, per Business Insider. "In my experience, most people get these tattoos because the designs are solid and have intricate geometric patterns, which look attractive. But they don't understand the symbolism and meaning behind them," she shared. And with the trend moving towards smaller, more subtle tattoos, we predict we won't see a lot of bold lines in 2024.

Red ink tattoos are not as timeless as black ones

Red tattoos have been trending for a few years and they've gained traction, especially with Kylie Jenner sporting several on her skin. While they're aesthetically pleasing and can stand out more than the typical black ink, tattoo artist Olivia Blue thinks the trend will fade due to the lack of longevity of red ink. "Red tattoos can be striking at first, but, in my experience, they tend to age less gracefully than black ink," she shared with Business Insider. Blue added that red ink has a thicker texture than black, which makes placement more difficult during the tattooing process. "Even simple red tattoos can spread and fade over time. Instead, people may lean into black and gray ink options, which are more timeless," she wrote.


Tattoo artist Lucie echoed Blue's prediction. "I've also seen a trend for red ink tattoos. I definitely think red ink tattoos will go out of style eventually. I feel like this became popular as it had a bit of an edgy, unique look to it — and although I do think these look nice, black ink looks much cleaner and sharp[er] to me. I think people may start thinking the same soon," she told Vice.

Portrait tattoos are being replaced by pet body art

Many ink lovers want to memorialize a loved one with a portrait tattoo, which can be a beautiful piece of art when done correctly. Some even go so far as to have a famous celebrity etched onto their body. Actor Megan Fox was known for her Marilyn Monroe tattoo on her forearm, which she later regretted and removed. While we don't see portrait tattoos ever fading into obscurity, 2024 is going to see more pet and animal body art.


Unlike portrait tattoos, which can get lost in translation when they become too abstract, pets can be immortalized as a cartoon or line art. "More and more animal tattoos that represent either a pet, a loved one, or a concept of self [are trending]. These are found in [many] styles from realism to modernism to fine line," tattoo parlor owner Koral Ladna revealed to Byrdie. Don't have a pet? Animal tattoos are trendy this year as well. Choose one that has a special meaning to you, like a dolphin or butterfly, which is a Y2K trend coming back full force, Mariah Carey-style.

Mandalas are making their way out

Mandala tattoos were all the rage in the mid-2000s and we saw them on backs, legs, arms — you name it. They rose in popularity due to their large, intricate designs that were symmetrically pleasing to the eye. Mandalas have a deeply spiritual meaning behind them and span across Buddhist and Hindu beliefs, so they are symbolic to those who choose to get one. However, just like tribal and barbed wire tattoos, the trend has overtaken society so much that almost everyone has some form of a mandala etched on their body.


With the trend growing toward micro tattoos, larger body art is taking a back seat for now. Tattoo enthusiasts are also going for a more personalized approach, with quotes and words in penmanship from a loved one that are meaningful to them. If you're yearning for a mandala tattoo or in the midst of getting one, don't worry — if the butterfly trend has come back, mandalas may soon circle back as well.

Blackout tattoos pose health risks

Blackout tattoos are exactly what the name implies — an area of your body is blocked out completely in black ink. This style has been trending for a few years, with Kat Von D tattooing a large portion of her body in the inky shade. Before you hop on the blackout trend, you should be aware of the downsides to covering your body in black. Assistant professor of dermatology, Dr. Marie Leger revealed to Self that black ink is believed to have carcinogens. "The more carcinogens circulating in the body, seeping into the lymph system ... it would be realistic to assume, the more risk of cancer," women's health expert Dr. Jennifer Wider added. Dr. Leger also pointed out that covering large areas of your body makes detecting problematic skin issues, such as melanoma, harder.


If you're dead set on getting a blackout tattoo, don't expect your artist to jump for joy. "It's ... a very monotonous boring thing to tattoo for me. I've almost dozed off with that same repetitive motion and color and just solid black space," tattooist Elisheba Mrozik told Byrdie. And if these reasons aren't enough to deter you, if you ever want your tattoo removed, think of the cost and time it would take, not to mention the pain, of lasering it all off.