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When it comes the most uncomfortable stages of a tattoo, white highlights are one of the most painful parts of the process without fail. But what is it about white highlights that make them so unbearable? Is it the color itself? Are some colors more painful than others? Well, its time we answered this question and put the white highlights debate to bed. 

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In tattooing, white highlights are used to add contrast to a tattoo. They're generally added at the very end of the process and most artists would advise using white ink sparingly throughout the tattoo.

This is because white ink doesn't show up on the skin very easily and white ink is prone to fading yellow or can be corrupted by neighboring ink colors.  


Despite the risks surrounding white ink, most artists enjoy using them to make the tattoo "pop." However, the physical process of getting them put in can be down right unbearable for the client to endure.


White highlights are more painful than other parts of the tattoo process because white ink requires several passes to be saturated. Unlike black, white has a difficult time showing up and an artist may need to be more heavy handed when applying the highlights.

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Additionally, when an artist is putting in the highlights, this area of skin has already endured however many hours of lining, shading and color saturation. Therefore, passing the needle over a fresh tattoo is exponentially more painful than over non-tattooed skin. 

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And yet, while white highlights can be excruciating, everyone will agree that if done correctly, they can take a tattoo from good to great. What do you think about this information on tattooing white highlights? Do you believe that the highlights are the worst part of the tattoo? Or is there another part of the process that supersedes adding the whites? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section on Facebook.