Home Tattoos 12+ Behind Ear Tattoo Ideas You’ll Have To See To Believe!

12+ Behind Ear Tattoo Ideas You’ll Have To See To Believe!

by Jamie Wilson
Back Ear Tattoo

Well, hello there, folks! It’s your ink-weaving maestro Jamie coming at you with another hot take on a trend that’s subtly been gaining traction – the art of tattooing behind the ear. If you’ve been toying with the idea, you’re in for a treat, because we’re about to dive head-first into this ink-tastic journey.

Ear Tattoo

@anchored.arts via Instagram – Love this design? Try a Temporary Tattoo

So here’s the scoop: behind-the-ear tattoos have been edging their way into the spotlight, butterfly tattoos are stealthily becoming a cult favorite in the last few years. This area might seem a little unassuming, but trust me, it packs a punch.

Now, I won’t sugarcoat it. Inking this spot can be a bit like stepping on a Lego – a surprise you weren’t quite prepared for. But let’s face it, what’s life without a little thrill, eh? Plus, most folks prefer their behind-the-ear tattoo designs a bit on the petite side, and these tend to hurt less, thanks to their smaller size and reduced ink usage.

When it comes to designs, the sky’s the limit. You can pretty much pack any story into that little nook, from birds taking flight, blooming flowers, enigmatic skulls, to playful musical notes. Ever wanted a galaxy of stars tucked behind your ear? Or a small butterfly tattoo peeking out from behind your locks? We can make that happen. These tattoos can be fresh works of art or they could even give an old tattoo a new lease of life.

Let’s address the elephant in the room: the professionalism of tattoos. Some might argue that larger, conspicuous tattoos on body part could come across as unprofessional in certain workplaces. That’s where behind-the-ear tattoos score high. Their small size and easy concealment allow for a delicate balance between personal expression and professional decorum. It’s like having your cake and eating it too!

Behind-the-ear tattoos are often viewed as more feminine, but let me tell you, girls, that’s a stereotype that’s ready to be smashed. I’ve inked as many men as women in this spot. Remember, folks, tattoos are about expressing who you are, not fitting into boxes.

What’s truly heartwarming is how these tattoos often become deeply personal markers. From commemorating a lost loved one to etching a significant memory, they carry a unique emotional weight.

So here’s the deal: if you’re looking for a way to express yourself in a subtle, yet impactful manner, a behind-the-ear tattoo might just be your ticket. And hey, if you ever change your mind, they’re relatively easy to cover up too.

Bird Tattoo Behind Ear Tattoo

Bird Tattoo Behind Ear

@dlouisetattoo via Instagram – Love this design? Try a Temporary Tattoo

So, picture this: A swift swallow takes flight, right from butterfly tattoo behind your ear. Charming, ain’t it? These bird tattoos, with their symbolism of freedom and foresight, make a stunning choice for both men and women. Yes, they might require some deft covering for more conservative work environments, especially for our bearded fellows. But with a smaller design, and perhaps a strategic hairstyle, you’re good to go. Now, remember, the skin behind the ear is delicate, so brace yourself for some discomfort. But as they say, no pain, no gain. The trend these days? Doves. They’re symbols of love and peace, an ideal sentiment to carry behind your ear.

Stars Tattoo Behind Ear

Stars Tattoo Behind Ear

@tattoo_skin via Instagram – Love this design? Try a Temporary Tattoo

Or how about a cute little sprinkle of stardust with a star tattoo? These celestial wonders have been a hit among the younger crowd, and their simple design makes aftercare a breeze. Stars stand for guidance and protection, pretty cool, right? From the popular trio of stars to grand constellations of five or seven, you have a galaxy of choices. Heck, you can even opt for a solo star, larger and bolder. So, if you’re looking to add some sparkle to your life, or perhaps someone else’s, star tattoos might be your ticket to the cosmos.

Butterfly Tattoo Behind Ear

Butterfly Tattoo Behind Ear

@inkflower._tattoo via Instagram

For those who appreciate the beauty of transformation, a simple butterfly tattoo, could be a fascinating choice. Much like us humans, the journey from a caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly is all about growth and self-discovery. You could opt for a duo of tiny butterflies, a line of them or even a solitary, slightly larger one. And let’s not forget about the color – vibrant or minimalist, you’re in the driver’s seat here. With a dash of ink and minimal shading, you have a vibrant piece of art right behind your ear!

Zodiac Tattoo Behind Ear

Zodiac Tattoo Behind Ear

@neoroyal via Instagram – Love this design? Try a Temporary Tattoo

Astrology enthusiasts, here’s something for you: Zodiac tattoos. Whether you’re a fiery Aries, a balanced Libra, or a dreamy Pisces, your Zodiac sign or symbol can make a striking statement behind your ear. With an astrological tattoo, you’re investing in a timeless design, a part of you that is as unchanging as your birth date.

Roman Numeral Tattoo Behind Ear

Roman Numeral Tattoo Behind Ear

@tommyguntattoo via Instagram – Love this design? Try a Temporary Tattoo

If numbers and dates hold a special place in your heart, why not etch them in Roman numerals? These small tattoos serve as a constant reminder of a significant moment in your life. While the usual suspects for numeral tattoos are wrists and ankles, positioning them behind the ear adds an element of surprise. And guess what, you don’t need to hunt down a Michelangelo for this job. Most tattoo artists can whip up a neat Roman numeral design. Just remember to treat your new ink with care: clean gently, pat dry, and keep it moisturized.

Flower Tattoo Behind Ear

Flower Tattoo Behind Ear

@clarelizabeth_tattoo via Instagram – Love this design? Try a Temporary Tattoo

You can’t go wrong with a classic flower tattoo, now can you? A kaleidoscope of choices awaits you – peonies, lilies, sunflowers, roses, or even daisies, each bearing its unique significance. Picture a tiny rose in full bloom behind your ear, with the petals and leaves shaded to perfection, adding depth and bringing your tattoo to life. If you have sensitive skin or a low pain threshold, a minimalist version would be your best bet. You can also play with colors, mirroring the hues of your chosen flower, making your tattoo all the more enticing. But why stop at flowers? If you’re a melody-lover, why not pair your flower with a music note? Trust me, flower tattoos, they’re a hit among both men and women.

Moon Phases Tattoo Behind Ear

Moon Phases Tattoo Behind Ear

@ebonytyack via Instagram – Love this design? Try a Temporary Tattoo

Fancy a celestial masterpiece behind your ear? How about a moon phases tattoo? The waxing and waning cycles mirror the natural ebb and flow of life, and they make for some seriously trendy tattoos. Look up various designs on social media platforms, you’ll be spoilt for choice. This tiny moon phases tattoo is a minimalist’s dream come true, and a godsend for those with sensitive skin, given it uses less ink. There’s a universe of options for moon tattoos, ranging from filled-in designs to crescents and full moons, even intriguing versions like the blood moon and blue moon.

Snake Tattoo Behind Ear

Snake Tattoo Behind Ear

@aceofwandstattooboutique via Instagram – Love this design? Try a Temporary Tattoo

Now, if you’re looking for a design that screams hip and holds meaning, snake tattoos might be your call. A small snake tattoo can strike the perfect balance between style and symbolism, without causing as much pain as their larger counterparts. Remember, the skin behind your neck and ear is an erogenous zone, so smaller, subtler tattoos might be a wise choice.

Warrior Tattoo Behind Ear

Warrior Tattoo Behind Ear

@lulachina.art.tattoo via Instagram – Love this design? Try a Temporary Tattoo

For those seeking a symbol of valor and courage, how about a warrior tattoo? With their rising popularity, especially among men, these tattoos bear the strength of a warrior’s helmet, making a simple yet bold statement. Despite its minimalistic design, the intricate detailing adds a unique charm, enhancing your persona. The beauty of this design is that it’s not gender-exclusive, and ladies, your long hair could easily veil this secret piece of body art. But be aware, the size and placement of your tattoo will determine the level of care required and the pain involved.

Skull Tattoo Behind Ear

Skull Tattoo Behind Ear

@skinfuelempirekvadrat via Instagram – Love this design? Try a Temporary Tattoo

Now, you might think of skull tattoos as grim and brooding, but they can be as intricate or simple, as glam or plain as you like. It’s all in your hands, or rather, in your design. Picture a tiny skull etched behind your ear, perfectly hidden yet subtly striking. It can also serve as a clever disguise for an old, unwanted tattoo if you’ve outgrown it. Here’s a tip, a slightly larger skull tattoo design can seamlessly cover a small existing tattoo.

One of the perks of choosing a skull design is their ubiquity in the tattoo world, meaning it’s usually a breeze to find a skilled artist who can breathe life into your vision with minimal discomfort. But, where’s the fun in sticking to the common black? Jazz it up with colors, make it your own!

And if you’re someone who likes to merge aesthetics with beliefs, consider pairing your skull tattoo with a religious symbol like a cross. The skull-cross combo is a common motif in tattoo art, giving your tattoo a deeper, spiritual dimension.

More on Behind Ear Tattoo

Behind the ear tattoos are a unique form of self-expression, often carrying a wealth of symbolic meaning. For example, choosing a design of a monarch butterfly tattoo represents transformation and change, a testament to personal growth. A blue butterfly tattoo, on the other hand, can symbolize joy and a sense of freedom. The semicolon butterfly tattoo carries a particularly poignant message; much like the semicolon tattoo on its own, it signifies mental health awareness, the importance of continuing life’s narrative, even when it feels tough. A red butterfly tattoo can serve as a vibrant reminder of love and passion. But don’t just stop at one; why not a flutter of many butterflies for a more striking visual impact? It’s believed to bring good fortune, too. Ear designs provide a subtly intriguing canvas for these symbols, allowing the wearer to share their story in a delicate, yet visually appealing way. So, consider the messages you want to convey, choose the appropriate symbol, and let your behind the ear tattoo speak volumes about your journey.


Well, my fellow ink enthusiasts, we’ve traversed quite a journey today, haven’t we? From the two butterflies to birds to butterflies, stars to symbols, there’s no shortage of inspiration for that behind-the-ear tattoo you’ve been contemplating. Now, let’s get real here for a second. Yes, that delicate patch of skin behind your ear is going to throw a bit of a tantrum when the needle hits. After all, it’s a sensitive area and won’t hold back in letting you know. However, let’s not let a little sting cloud the fact that it’s a pain that paints a story, a symbol, a sentiment that’s yours to wear with pride.

In terms of cost, the canvas may be small, but remember, ‘good work ain’t cheap, and cheap work ain’t good’. For a quality tattoo, you’re likely looking at anywhere from $50 to $100, depending on the complexity of butterfly tattoo and your design. However, I assure you, it’s an investment that pays dividends in terms of personal satisfaction and self-expression.

Why do I adore this tattoo idea, you ask? Well, behind-the-ear tattoos have an irresistible charm. They’re like secret whispers, visible to the world, yet intimate in their positioning. They’re like the beautiful prose in a book’s marginalia, only to be discovered by those who truly seek. In short, they’re an excellent mix of subtlety and expressiveness. So, if you’re in the mood for an inking adventure that’s as unique as you, go on, and give that behind-the-ear tattoo a shot. It’s more than a fashion statement; it’s a testament to your individuality. After all, in the world of tattoos, it’s all about making your mark, isn’t it?

Feature Image from Pinterest – Love this design? Try a Temporary Tattoo

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