75 Behind the Ear Tattoo Ideas for Subtle Expression

When it comes to choosing a site for a tattoo that is both subtly charming and intriguingly hidden, behind the ear tattoos emerge as a standout choice. These tattoos are not just mere body art; they are a bold statement of individuality and personal style. Whether you’re a seasoned tattoo enthusiast or considering your first ink, understanding the allure, implications, and creativity behind behind-the-ear tattoos can guide you in making an informed decision.

Why Choose tattoos Behind the Ear?

There’s something undeniably mysterious about a tattoo that plays peek-a-boo from behind your ear. It’s visible enough to catch the eye when your hair is up or when you tuck your hair behind your ear, yet discreet enough to conceal when you prefer subtlety. This duality makes behind-the-ear tattoos a popular choice among those who operate in professional environments or who enjoy having a ‘secret’ component to their tattoos.

Due to the limited space available behind the ear, these tattoos tend to be small and delicate. This constraint has turned the area into a canvas for minimalist designs that make a significant impact with very little. It’s perfect for first-timers or those who prefer a touch of elegance over more extensive body art.

Diverse Designs of Behind the Ear Tattoos

The design you choose for a behind-the-ear tattoo should hold personal significance. Because of the intimate placement, it often represents something deeply personal or something you wish to keep close to you. For some, behind-the-ear tattoos are a way to pay homage to their cultural heritage. Small symbols that represent one’s cultural background can be a powerful way to connect with one’s roots in a discreet yet meaningful manner.

Ace of Spades: The Gambler’s Whisper

The ace of spades tattoo is more than just a card symbol; it’s steeped in rich history and ambiguity. Often seen as a symbol of luck and good fortune, it also carries darker undertones of risk and mortality. For those who live life on the edge, this tattoo serves as a subtle nod to their daring nature. Positioned behind the ear, it speaks to the wearer’s secretive side, revealing their intricate layers to those close enough to see.

Ace of spade with crown tattoo behind ear

Tiny Ace of spade tattoo behind ear

Ace of spade tattoo behind the ear

Ankh: The Breath of Life

Originating from ancient Egypt, the ankh symbolizes life and immortality, and also the balance between opposing forces. It’s a reminder of the complexity of existence and the unity of masculine and feminine. Placing this powerful symbol behind the ear serves as a personal talisman, a constant whisper of life’s continuity and the timeless nature of the soul, giving the wearer a sense of grounding and eternal connection.

Ankh cross tattoo behind the ear

Ankh with spider web and a spider tattoo behind ear

Aries Constellation: A Cosmic Flame

For those born under the fiery sign of Aries, a constellation tattoo behind the ear not only honors their astrological sign but also their bold and pioneering characteristics. The stars mapped out subtly behind the ear reflect an Aries’ dynamic and leadership qualities, always present, guiding like the stars in the sky, yet only visible to those who take the time to look closely.

aries constellation behind ear tattoo

Small Aries tattoo behind the ear

Aries and constellation with crescent moon tattoo behind the ear

Broken Heart: A Silent Ode to Resilience

A broken heart tattoo hidden behind the ear is a poignant expression of personal sorrow and healing. It’s a private memorial of past pains and a badge of surviving through emotional turmoil. This design speaks to the journey of healing, where the location behind the ear suggests a story not openly displayed but acknowledged and carried forward.

Black and red broken heart tattoo behind the ear

Broken heart outline tattoo behind the ear

Dolphin tattoo behind ear

Dolphin outline tattoo behind ear

An outline of a dolphin doesn’t just look sleek and charming but also carries deep meanings of harmony and playfulness. Dolphins are known for their intelligence and friendly nature, making this design perfect for someone who values connection and a joyful approach to life. It’s a small reminder to jump through the waves of life with a smile.

God is greater than the highs and lows tattoo behind the ear

god is greater than the highs and lows tattoo behind the ear

For those who hold their faith close, the phrase “God is greater than the highs and lows” can be a powerful affirmation. This tattoo often uses a simple symbolic design incorporating a ‘G’ and a greater-than symbol ‘>’, along with high and low waves. It’s a discreet yet potent reminder of spiritual resilience and hope, tucked right behind the ear.

Hydrangea tattoo behind ear

Hydrangea tattoo behind ear

Hydrangeas, with their full, lush blooms, represent understanding, heartfelt emotions, and sometimes, gratitude. A hydrangea tattoo could symbolize your own vibrant range of feelings or a thank you to someone special who has made a significant impact on your life. This tattoo gives your personal art a touch of nature’s beauty and emotional depth with its many flowers and colors.

Capricorn: The Mountain Climber

Capricorns are known for their tenacity, ambition, and practical approach to life. A tattoo of the Capricorn symbol or constellation behind the ear symbolizes the wearer’s dedication to their goals and their quiet, steady climb towards achievement. It’s a nod to their earth-bound stability and a constant reminder of their personal mountains yet to be conquered.

Capricorn constellation and glyph with flower tattoo behind the ear

Small Capricorn sign tattoo behind the ear

Clover: The Lucky Charm

A clover tattoo, especially a four-leaf one, tucked behind the ear acts as a hidden amulet of good luck and fortune. This tiny emblem of hope and faith serves as a personal reminder that luck will always be on the wearer’s side, subtly placed so it might whisper luck into every conversation they hear.

Four leaf clover tattoo behind ear

Dandelion: Whispers of Dreams

The dandelion tattoo is synonymous with wishes, dreams, and aspirations. When placed behind the ear, it symbolizes desires whispered into the wind, a breath away from the mind that dreams them. It’s a beautiful metaphor for the transient nature of life and the beauty of fleeting moments, captured in the seeds that fly away to take root elsewhere.

Cute dandelion behind ear

Dandelion and music note heart tattoo behind ear

Diamond: A Gem of Resilience

Diamonds, known for their unmatched strength and breathtaking beauty, make for a powerful tattoo symbol. A diamond tattoo behind the ear could symbolize unbreakable strength and the idea of enduring beauty and value within oneself. It reminds the person who wears it of their inner strength and ability to handle stress and come out better and more beautiful.

blood diamond tattoo behind ear

Diamond behind ear tattoo

Gemini: Dual Narratives

For the Geminis, the twins symbolize duality and the complexity of their personalities. There are two sides to every story: what you show the world and what you keep close to your heart. That’s what a Gemini tattoo behind the ear means. It shows how flexible and adaptable Geminis are, always ready to help but also keeping some of themselves hidden.

Gemini tattoo behind ear

Small Gemini glyph tattoo behind ear

Gemini face tattoo behind ear

Gladiolus: The Flower of Strength

The gladiolus, with its striking, tall flowers, is more than just eye-catching. It represents strength of character, integrity, and, often, remembrance. A gladiolus tattoo behind the ear could be chosen by someone who values strength or to honor the memory of a loved one. It would be a personal reminder of their inner strength and the struggles they have faced or are experiencing.

Gladiolus Behind the Ear Tattoo

Red gladiolus tattoo behind the ear

Dainty gladiolus tattoo behind ear

Laugh Now, Cry Later: Embrace the Duality

The “Laugh Now, Cry Later” tattoos, often depicted through dramatic masks of comedy and tragedy, delve into the essence of human emotions and the complexity of life’s experiences. People who know that life has both highs and lows will relate to this design. It serves as a lesson to enjoy the present moment and accept the happiness and sadness that come with it.

laugh now cry later masks tattoo behind ear

Laugh now cry later tattoo behind ear

Minimalist Magic: Less Is More

Minimalist tattoos are all about simplicity and elegance. Behind the ear, a minimalist design could be a subtle line, a tiny geometric pattern, or a single word that packs a punch. This style appeals to those who lean towards a sleek, clean aesthetic but still want a tattoo that holds significant meaning in its understated form.

Minimalist fish tattoo behind ear

Minimalist thistle tattoo behind ear

Om: A Spiritual Echo

The Om symbol is deeply rooted in Hindu and Buddhist practices, representing the universe and the ultimate reality. As a tattoo, Om is not just a design; it’s an emblem of peace, tranquility, and spiritual awakening. Positioned behind the ear, it acts as a constant whisper of mindfulness and a connection to the broader universe, aligning one’s thoughts and spirit.

om tattoo behind ear

om tattoo behind the ear

Red OM tattoo behind the ear

Small Capricorn sign tattoo behind the ear 1

Broken heart outline tattoo behind the ear 1

Rose: Timeless Beauty

A rose tattoo is classic and versatile, symbolizing everything from love and beauty to pain and renewal. The rose’s different colors and forms can further tailor its meaning — a red rose for love, a black rose for mourning, or a white rose for purity. Behind the ear, a rose tattoo serves as a personal reminder of the wearer’s passions, losses, or new beginnings.

fine line rose tattoo behind ear

Light purple rose tattoo behind ear

Red rose tattoo behind year

Black and grey rose tattoo behind ear

Blue rose tattoo behind ear

Sagittarius: The Archer’s Aim

For those born under the Sagittarius sign, the archer or the arrow is a powerful representation of their adventurous, freedom-loving nature. A Sagittarius tattoo might include the symbol of the arrow, pointing forward, symbolizing the wearer’s focus on future goals and their inherent desire to explore and discover.

Sagittarius constellation tattoo behind ear 1

Sagittarius glyph tattoo behind ear

Sagittarius bow and arrow tattoo behind ear

Snowflake: Unique in Every Way

Snowflakes are celebrated for their exquisite and unique patterns; no two are alike. A snowflake tattoo behind the ear can symbolize individuality and the beauty of being unique. It might appeal to someone who prides themselves on their originality and wants to celebrate their one-of-a-kind personality.

Snowflake white ink tattoo behind ear

Snowflakes tattoo behind ear

Virgo: The Meticulous Maiden

Virgos are often known for their meticulous, detail-oriented natures. The symbol of the maiden, representing purity and modesty, or even the Virgo constellation, is a popular choice for those who identify with these traits. This tattoo could be a nod to the wearer’s personal identity as a Virgo. It reflects their analytical and methodical approach to life.

Virgo and cancer tattoo behind ear

Virgo constellation tattoo behind the ear

Virgo glyph and semicolon tattoo behind ear

Cute Virgo glyph tattoo behind ear

Virgo and blue butterfly tattoo behind ear

Watercolor Wonders: A Splash of Color

Watercolor tattoos stand out with their vibrant colors and fluid, blending strokes that mimic the characteristics of a watercolor painting. Behind the ear, a watercolor tattoo might feature a burst of color or a dreamy, abstract form. These tattoos are perfect for those who wish to express creativity, emotion, and freedom without the need for defined lines or symbols.

Watercolor floral tattoo behind ear

Watercolor puzzle tattoo behind ear

Shooting Star tattoo behind the ear

Shooting Star tattoo behind the ear

Imagine a tiny trail of stardust tucked neatly behind your ear. A shooting star tattoo is not just a bearer of aesthetic charm but also a symbol of luck and the pursuit of one’s dreams. This design often represents a fleeting moment that leaves a lasting impact, much like a whispered secret against the backdrop of the universe.

Small ladybug tattoo behind ear

Small ladybug tattoo behind ear

A small ladybug might just be the perfect pick for someone looking to add a pop of color and a dash of good luck behind their ear. In many cultures, ladybugs are seen as harbingers of good fortune and prosperity. This tattoo could be your little lucky charm, hidden just out of sight but always with you, bringing a smile every time you tuck your hair back.

small lighthouse tattoo behind the ear

small lighthouse tattoo behind the ear

A lighthouse does more than just guide ships; it symbolizes safety, hope, and guidance. A small lighthouse tattoo behind the ear can serve as a personal symbol of finding your way through the ‘fog’ of life. It’s a reminder that no matter the storms, there is always a light guiding you home.

Small protea tattoo behind ear

Small protea tattoo behind ear

The protea flower is not only stunning but also rich with meaning. It represents change and transformation, and it is a symbol of strength and diversity. Having this South African beauty inked behind your ear can signify your resilience and ability to thrive in adversity, all while maintaining a delicate and captivating appearance.

Small sunflowers tattoo behind the ear

Small sunflowers tattoo behind the ear

Who doesn’t feel a bit brighter at the sight of a sunflower? A small sunflower tattoo behind the ear can symbolize adoration, loyalty, and longevity. It’s like carrying a little sunbeam with you wherever you go, a hidden source of light and positivity that’s always right behind you.

Spider web tattoo behind ear

Spider web tattoo behind ear

A spider web tattoo behind the ear might not be for everyone, but it’s undeniably striking. A spider web is more than just a Halloween decoration. It can also stand for fate, destiny, and the complicated webs we make in our relationships and life choices. This design can be a nod to the complex, beautiful patterns of your own life’s journey.

Three Stars ink design behind the ear

Three Stars ink design behind the ear

Why settle for one star when you can have three? A trio of stars of different sizes is common in this design. The stars can represent different parts of a person’s life, like the past, present, and future, or three important people or ideas. It’s a simple yet profound way to represent personal milestones or loved ones.

Tiny Jolly roger behind ear

Tiny Jolly roger behind ear

A tiny Jolly Roger tattoo might be small, but it’s loaded with adventurous spirits and a hint of rebellion. This sign often links to pirates. But it can be a fun way to show that you like to explore and maybe break the rules sometimes.

Tiny libra sign tattoo behind ear

Tiny libra sign tattoo behind ear

For those who fall under the Libra zodiac sign, a tiny Libra tattoo behind the ear can be a subtle nod to your astrological identity. Libras are known for their sense of balance and justice. And this tattoo can serve as a personal reminder to strive for harmony in all aspects of life.

Tiny violet flowers behind ears

Tiny violet flowers behind ears

Imagine a cluster of tiny violet flowers delicately inked behind your ear. Violets symbolize modesty, spiritual wisdom, and humility. This design is perfect for those who carry a quiet confidence and a deep sense of self. The soft purple hues can also add a subtle splash of color that peeks out charmingly when you tuck your hair back.

Two small blue jay tattoo behind ear

Two small blue jay tattoo behind ear

Choosing these brightly colored birds for your tattoo means you carry a symbol of your vibrant personality with you. It also shows off your flair for communication wherever you go.

Violet Tattoo Behind the Ear

Violet Tattoo Behind the Ear

A single violet tattoo behind the ear can be just as impactful. This design focuses on the beauty and depth of simplicity. Violets are not only beautiful but are also rich in symbolism, associated with love and faithfulness. A single bloom is a perfect choice for someone who values deep, meaningful connections in a minimalist style.

Willow tattoo behind ear

Willow tattoo behind ear

A willow tree tattoo represents grace, flexibility, and resilience. Willows are known for their ability to bend without breaking and to adapt to even the most challenging conditions. A willow design speaks to a strength that is grounded yet flexible, capable of thriving through life’s changes.

Black and white horseshoe tattoo behind ear

Black and white horseshoe tattoo behind ear

The horseshoe is a classic symbol of luck and protection. A black and white horseshoe tattoo behind the ear might be just what you need if you’re someone who appreciates a bit of old-fashioned good fortune mixed with a modern minimalist flair. This design can serve as a personal good luck charm that is both stylish and symbolic.

Carnation tattoo behind ear

Carnation tattoo behind ear

A carnation tattoo is not just a display of love but also of fascination and distinction. Each color of carnation has a different meaning, with pink representing affection and white symbolizing pure love. This flower behind your ear can be a personal reminder of love’s nuanced expressions.

Cherry blossom tattoo behind ear

Cherry blossom tattoo behind ear

Cherry blossoms, with their delicate and fleeting beauty, are perfect for expressing the transient nature of life. This tattoo serves as a reminder to cherish every moment. The soft pink petals of a cherry blossom tattoo can symbolize the beauty of the swift passage of time.

Cornflower tattoo behind ear

Cornflower tattoo behind ear

Cornflowers are not just beautiful; they also carry deep symbolism.They represent elegance, wealth, and royal beauty, and their bright blue color makes them stand out. A cornflower tattoo could be a nod to your personal growth and a celebration of your achievements.

Cute dice tattoo behind the ear

Cute dice tattoo behind the ear

For those who live life embracing the winds of chance, a cute dice tattoo can symbolize the playful spirit of gambling on life’s many possibilities. Whether it’s a pair showing lucky sevens or just a random roll, dice are a fun, quirky choice that suggests you’re someone who takes the chances life throws your way.

Daisy tattoo behind ear

Daisy tattoo behind ear

The daisy is more than just a pretty flower; it’s a symbol of purity, innocence, and new beginnings. A daisy tattoo behind the ear could be your way of carrying a fresh outlook and positive vibes everywhere you go. It’s like having a little whisper of spring right behind your ear, reminding you of the beauty and simplicity of life.

Leo tattoo behind the ear

Leo tattoo behind the ear

Leos are known for their bold, regal nature. And a Leo tattoo behind the ear is a great way to showcase your leadership qualities and pride in your astrological sign. The lion symbol or the simple glyph of Leo can express your strong, authoritative traits and your warm, generous heart.

Pisces glyph tattoo behind the ear

Pisces glyph tattoo behind the ear

For those born under the Pisces sign, the Pisces glyph behind the ear can be a subtle nod to your intuitive and artistic nature. This design is perfect for someone who embraces their emotional depth and empathetic approach to life. It’s a small token of your creative and compassionate spirit.

Puzzle tattoo behind ear

Puzzle line work tattoo behind ear

A puzzle line work tattoo is not just unique in its look but also meaningful. It can represent the intricate and sometimes mysterious pieces of your life or personality that fit together to create who you are. The puzzle piece is a common symbol used to represent the spectrum. For those who feel connected to the autism awareness movement, it can also be a subtle show of support.

Others Factors that Complement Your Behind the Ear Tattoo


One of the joys of having a behind-the-ear tattoo is revealing it stylishly through your hairstyle. Updos, side braids, and hair tucked behind the ear are excellent ways to showcase your ink. On days you choose to conceal it, simply let your hair down.


Pairing earrings with your behind-the-ear tattoo can create a stunning effect. Choose earrings that complement the style and theme of your tattoo. For instance, a delicate stud can enhance a minimalist tattoo design, or a dangling earring can make a bold statement alongside a more abstract piece.

When Fashion Meets Ink

The visibility of your tattoo can also be influenced by your choice of clothing. Collared shirts or turtlenecks can cover it, while off-shoulder tops or dresses with low collars can highlight it. The way you choose to dress can either conceal or reveal your tattoo, depending on your mood or the occasion.

In Conclusion

Behind-the-ear tattoos are more than just a trend; they are a personal canvas that offers both visibility and discretion. Whether you choose a design that is deeply meaningful or purely aesthetic, this placement can add an element of surprise and personal expression to your tattoo repertoire. Remember, the key to a successful behind-the-ear tattoo lies in the significance of the design, the skill of the artist, and the courage to express your unique self. So why not whisper your story right behind your ear, where it can be a subtle yet powerful testament to who you are?

Related posts:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *