Daring hair tattoos back in style

Hair tattooing has been around for a while, but the trend is rising in popularity again as people look to ways of expressing themselves without the pain and the permanent marks.

Tribal swirls, zig-zags, lines and stars are the popular patterns men and women, young and old, are asking hairdressers to shave onto their heads.

Hair tattoos are based upon tattoo designs, but are created by using an assortment of clippers to shape and cut the hair into designs, sometimes followed by using paint brushes to apply colours to the design.

Hair tattoos: express yourself without the commitment

Although they aren't technically tattoos - they don't involve ink - they are grabbing as much attention.

As 12-year-old Josh Short explains with a smile, "Hair tattoos are awesome."

Josh's mum Debbie admits she was creative with her hair in younger days and considers hair tattooing a good way to allow kids to express themselves without the long-wearing horrors of skin tattoos or facial piercings.

"One of my daughter's friends wants piercings on her face, and I'm not too sure about that, but I'd let my daughter have a hair tattoo."

Debbie says her son has always liked being able to try something different, whether it be clothing or hairstyles, to stand out from the group.

Caitlyn Page has just had her second hair tattoo done and says "it's very addictive".

The diminutive 19-year-old has a stunning look of hot pink hair with a tribal pattern on one side.

"There's a lot of girls who want it but aren't game enough," Page says.

The design she chose came from surfing the internet for inspiration.

"I'd like to get stars done next," she says.

Kevin Crane, of Broken Glass By Kevin Crane at Port Kembla, agrees that the internet and music video clips are great sources for hair design inspiration, particularly tattoos.

"It's like a painting, really, it's like an art form," Crane says.

"It's a good way to express yourself because this is painless.

"It was popular in the '80s as well - you'd see it in the music videos.

"It's the music videos that give me the inspiration - when you think about it, we've got music videos playing all day in the salon so we see different ideas all the time."

Crane estimates he does two new hair tattoos a month, with regular clients getting their tattoos repeated all the time.

Sometimes people come in with a pattern they've found while others will get Crane to etch out a suitable design.

Patterns need to be redone about every three weeks.

Crane says people from all ages have asked for hair tattoos and he has used "every colour in the rainbow".

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