If there has been one tattoo style to dominate 2023, it has been (and continues to be) fine line work. For the uninitiated, fine line tattoo work is thin and the designs are often delicate and intricate in nature. They are typically black and grey, although color can also be used. Some of the most common designs that we see requested of our Vancouver fine line tattooists include landscapes and mountains in addition to exceedingly popular fine line portrait tattoos and more.

The distinguishing aesthetic of this style is accomplished both through talent and the application of less ink than would be used for traditional tattoos. The ink is still embedded in the second layer of skin, but the needle does not penetrate as deeply or deposit as much ink into this layer. Consequently, fine-line tattoos do tend to fade somewhat earlier in life than traditional tattoos. However, do not let this dissuade you from getting a fine line tattoo. You can most certainly enjoy a lifetime of one (or more) as long as you follow the directions we’ve laid out below.

3 Ways to Make Your Next Fine Line Tattoo Age Well from the Get-Go

I. Choose a Specialist in Fine Line Tattoo

There’s a major misconception that because fine line tattoos are typically small and don’t employ as much depth of tone and shading that they are less complicated to apply. It’s the opposite, in fact. Fine line tattoos should only be applied under the hands of expert fine line tattooists. This is not a method that can crossover from one tattooist chair to another. A specialist knows exactly how much ink to use and how much pressure to employ to ensure that the aesthetic is achieved without compromising quality and longevity. SOH Tattoo in downtown Vancouver understands this better than any other BC Lower Mainland studio and as a result we have handpicked artists that specialize in the discipline.

II. The Sun is No Fun for Fine Line Tattoos

It goes without saying that following your tattooist’s aftercare regime is more important for a fine line tattoo than it is for pretty much all other styles. That being said, we want to draw your attention to one rule in particular – keep the tattoo out of the sun. Whether six-weeks or 6-years from receiving your fine line tattoo, you must always protect it from the sun’s harmful UV rays. This type of tattoo is very vulnerable to high UV indexes. When full clothing coverage isn’t possible, apply SPF 60 to the tattoo even if the rest of your body is oiled up in SPF 30 or lesser.

III. Stay in Touch for Touch-ups

If you really want your fine line tattoo to maintain that clean, crisp, and fresh aesthetic through life then keep in touch with your tattooist and come in for a touch up every 3-5 years. The good news, is that touch-ups on fine line tattoos are easy, assuming that you’re returning to the fine line expert who tattooed you in the first place. The cost will be a fraction of the original cost (which are already quite affordable). This can actually become an enjoyable process as you form a bond with your tattooist who you will begin to know as family, especially if you get your work done at Sleight of Hand in Vancouver BC. Our clients are familia!


Do fine line tattoos age well? They do for clients who follow what we’ve laid out above. If located in or plan to visit the Greater Vancouver area, schedule a consultation at SOH Tattoo today.

Written By:

Sleight of Hand

More By This Author