Color Tattoo vs. Black and Gray – Which Hurts More


Do color tattoos hurt more than black and gray? It’s a common question, and there isn’t a simple answer. It depends on a few factors, including your pain tolerance, the size and location of the tattoo, and the artist’s technique.

Generally speaking, color tattoos do tend to be more painful than black and gray tattoos. This is because the skin needs to be penetrated more deeply to hold the pigment, and injecting the ink into the skin can be more uncomfortable.

However, pain is subjective, so some people may not notice a difference between color and black and gray tattoos. Ultimately, it comes down to your own pain tolerance.

So, Why Do Tattoos Hurt?

The needles used for tattooing are much thinner than those used for injections or blood tests. However, they can still penetrate the skin and deposit ink into the dermis, the second layer of skin.

The dermis is much thicker than the epidermis, or the outer layer of skin, and contains blood vessels, nerves, and sweat glands. This is why the needles used for tattooing have to be able to penetrate this layer of skin.

Tattoo Placement

Many factors contribute to how much a tattoo will hurt, and where you place the tattoo on your body is definitely one of them. Some areas tend to be more painful than others, and if you want to minimize the pain you’ll feel, it’s something to keep in mind.

One of the most painful areas to get a tattoo is anywhere with many bones close to the surface. This includes places like the ribs, spine, ankles, and knees. The closer the bone is to the surface, the more it will hurt. This is because the needle will hit the bone directly, which can be painful.

Another area that tends to be quite painful is anywhere there is a lot of muscle. This includes the thighs, biceps, and triceps.

The least painful areas to get a tattoo are typically the fleshier areas with less muscle and bone. This includes the chest, stomach, and back. These areas tend to be less painful because more flesh cushions the needle.

Of course, everyone experiences pain differently, so there’s no way to know how much a tattoo will hurt until you get one. However, if you want to minimize the amount of pain you’ll feel, it’s worth considering where you place your tattoo.

Do Color Tattoos Hurt More than Black and Gray

While there’s no scientific evidence to support either claim, there are a few things to consider that may make color tattoos more painful.

First, adding color to a tattoo requires more time and effort than a black and gray tattoo. The artist has to be more precise; layering the colors can be lengthy. The tattoo will take longer to complete, which can lead to more discomfort.

Second, color tattoos generally require more touch-ups than black and gray tattoos. This is because the ink can fade over time, and the colors can bleed, making the tattoo look less sharp and defined. As a result, you may need to get your tattoo touched up more often, which can add to the pain.


There is no clear consensus on whether color tattoos hurt more than black and gray tattoos. The main thing to remember is that everyone’s pain tolerance is different, so what might be a breeze for one person could be agony for another. If you are considering a tattoo, you must talk to your tattoo artist about your pain tolerance and expectations.

Whether you want a color tattoo or just a black and gray one, we got you covered here at Lucky Deville Tattoo Co. We are home to the finest artists in Buffalo, NY. We specialize in state-of-the-art tattooing, so if you want quality and creative skin art, call us today!