Thursday, July 14, 2022
No menu items!
Home Beauty & Style How Long Do Stick and Poke Tattoos Last?

How Long Do Stick and Poke Tattoos Last?

How long do stick and pole tattoos last? Well, stick and poke tattoos can last for a very long time provided you play your cards right.

The level and degree to which the artwork from a hand-poked fades depend on several things. These include the location of the tattoo, the experience of the artist, and the type of ink used.

You must also know that the depth at which the ink gets injected plays an important role. If placed too deep in the skin, then the lines might look blurry. If placed nearer the surface, then the final piece will fade faster because of constant friction.

So, what must you consider before getting this tattoo? How long do they take to heal? And how can you make stick and poke tattoos last longer?

Read on and find out…

What are stick and poke tattoos?

‘Stick and poke’ is a technique of tattooing that has been with us for millennia on end. This form of tattooing has played an important role in many cultures since time immemorial. It has been always used to mark important rites and celebrations such as births, deaths, and oaths.

The stick and poke technique involves using mild force and a needle to puncture tiny markings onto the skin. This gets done by dipping a needle in ink then poking the skin repeatedly. The tiny dots created eventually form a larger, completed image of your tattoo.

Although the method was later usurped by the electric needle in 1891, it is still used by some communities up to date.

Their final result may not appear as clear as the machined ones but remain as attractive. For that reason, it is always advisable that you get an experienced hand for the best results.

You can also do it yourself if you think yourself quirky enough or if this is a hobby you have. All that’s required is some ink and a needle.

How long does a stick and poke tattoo method take?

You must have a great amount of patience if you decide to get a stick and poke tattoo. This is because they mainly take longer to lay down and highlight to your satisfaction.

Needle guns, on the other end, are way faster than the stick and poke style. An artist using an electric method will get his/her lines laid down faster and bolder.

In the case of stick and poke, your artist has to poke in tiny ink dots along your skin to create a line. Nevertheless, the process does not always give the best result in one single go. So, when this happens, the artist normally has to repeat the process over and over. This will happen until the line develops consistency and the right amount of boldness.

From this information, you will have to agree that you’ll spend long hours to finish with this method. This may prove more tedious for you and your artist if the design is a complex one.

What factors determine how long the tattoo will last?

Before I spill any more beans, there are numerous factors you need to know that determine how long these tattoos will last. Having this knowledge will help you on your next visit to the tattoo shop.

They include:

a. Location of the tattoo on your body

The location of the body on which you want to place your tattoos matters a lot!

Some of us look at the all-tattooed-up rock stars and dream of having the same work done on them. What you might not know is that maintaining all that ink requires more care in some parts of their body than others.

Tattoos inked on the feet, toes, hands, and fingers tend to fade off much faster. This is because these parts of the body get exposed to a lot of activities inducing friction. Moreover, the skin found in these areas is not easy again to work on.

In the long run, tattoos in such places start disappearing as they get regular exposure to water. The ink may also come off due to physical injuries or from a toll of numerous microscopic abrasions.

On the other hand…

Tattoos inked on the chest, inner arms, and back will likely stay on for longer periods. This is because they’re well-hidden and they receive little to no physical activity.

b. Level of experience of your artist

Every work of art is only as good as the artist who creates it. This also falls with tattoo professionals.

An experienced artist will know what exactly to do to give you the best depth and color. They will also give you the best advice on how to make your tattoos last longer.

They know the right kind of ink to use and the right depth of skin to inject it in. They’ll prescribe the best ointments for aftercare to ensure you only get the best results.

Never compromise on this if you don’t plan on featuring in Tattoo Nightmares.

c. Type of ink used

Lastly, as you would expect, there are different types of ink used in the art of tattooing. More so, in the stick and poke technique.

The stick and poke procedure has a wide set of dynamics and is more open regarding the elements used. This is majorly attributed to the fact that you can DIY the steps with what’s readily at your disposal. Do the schoolyard tattoo sessions ring a bell? : )

In such amateur settings, people tend to use ink from their pens to draw themselves up. The truth of the matter is that although the tattoo may stick for a while, the color will blow out sooner.

Using approved inks will give you a longer-lasting tattoo compared to the rest.

What designs can I get with the stick and poke tattoos?

When going for stick and poke tattoos, some people get worried over the limit of designs. This is mostly because they have doubts about the method’s capability in delivering diversity.

Well, to make things clear, there are a ton of different aesthetic designs you can get with the stick and poke tattoos.

Traditionally, this method has a reputation for creating badass shapes and patterns.

Creating perfect straight lines may put up a challenge compared to when using a machine. But with an experienced artist though, you can get whichever art you desire without much hassle.

You can choose the cool rugged look or have a sleek effervescence art.

If your artist is a kickass professional, you’d probably not be able to tell the difference!

Factors to consider before getting stick and poke tattoos

Getting a tattoo is a significant step for many of us. We become very sensitive during this period because we’re going to add a milestone in our journeys. The works of art are not merely inked marks, but they tell a story that we partly, or entirely feel attached to.

Having said that, you must always ensure that you have taken the right precautions before getting tattooed. This is especially if you are a first-timer.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re using a needle gun or settling with the stick and poke technique.

These are:

a. Underlying skin conditions

One important thing that you must consider beforehand is confirming whether the process will affect you. I am talking medical here. You’d be very shocked at the number of people who get tattoos only for it to blow back on their faces.

This mostly happens when a person has an underlying health condition that won’t react to inking very well. [1]

The main instances occur when you have an untreated pre-existing skin condition. Some of these include photoallergic dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis.

Ensure that you’re cleared by your dermatologist before heading in.

b. Blood-thinning medication

You also need to be very cautious if you’re on medication that is a known blood thinner. Blood-thinning medicines prevent blood from clotting and are mainly used in treating heart diseases. [2]

Why should this worry you?

Well, to begin with, taking blood thinners while going to get tattooed could result in bleeding. Too much bleeding will distort the ink-work and will most likely cause a lot of scarring. Because of this, you will end up having botched tattoos by the time you heal up.

Another thing is that you must remember fresh tattoo sites are somewhat like wounds. This means that if the bleeding is not controlled then there are chances of infection rising.

Blood-thinning medications to watch out for include aspirin, ticlopidine, heparin, among others.

How long will a stick and poke tattoo last?

Without laying anything else out first, the average duration of a stick and poke tattoo is about 5 to 7 years.

If your tattoo is in a more concealed part of your body (say inner arms, back, or chest) then it’s 6 to 10 years.

Having put that out, stick and poke tattoos generally fade faster than machined ink. Also, these kinds of tattoos are not meant to last forever.

You’d enjoy longer times if you put your new tattoos in the more covered parts of your body. The more exposed areas are susceptible to disturbances like washing that reduces their lifespan.

Also, to enjoy better quality, ensure that you don’t have any underlying skin/health conditions.

The life of your tattoo also depends on the skill of your artist.

How long do they take to fully heal?

Considering that most people become skeptical during the healing process, I figured I have to shed light on that.

Now, stick and poke tattoos will generally heal way faster than the machine-cut inks.

Contrary to popular opinion, they do not peel as badly as people usually fear. Provided you give them the same level of attention during the aftercare, you should have smooth sailing.

Note: An effective aftercare will keep you from feeling itchy, dry, irritated, or overly inflamed.

How do you make them last longer?

We have already seen that stick and poke tatts are not permanent. So, what can you do should you want to make them last longer?

1. Give proper aftercare after getting inked

Oftentimes, a tattoo’s final look and longevity rely on the quality of aftercare it receives. Aftercare refers to the treatment you give the tattoo during the healing process.

Your tattoo artist will likely recommend special tattoo lotions for this purpose. Tattoo lotions are a great resource that helps to moisturize fresh ink. In turn, it prevents your skin from becoming too dry and later starts scabbing.

You can also buy antiseptic creams and soaps that help to sterilize the wound and fasten the healing process.

Worth noting too is that other ointments help prevent itching and irritation.

Sometimes, as you heal, you might feel the urge to scratch. If you give in to the temptation, you may end up peeling large parts of the skin along with the ink. This results in a big, bland, tasteless plate of eww..!

2. Get your fading lines re-inked

The other way through which you can make your poked tattoos last longer is by re-inking them.

As time goes by, the ink in stick and poke tattoos will chip off slowly. After a while, you’ll notice the eventual fade and might want to do something about it.

Re-inking helps to reinstate color and depth back into your punctured tattoo lines. Doing this will extend the duration of the tattoo and allow you to flaunt for a while longer.

How much do they cost?

Stick and poke tattoos are way cheaper than electronic ones. Many people practicing it currently do it as a hobby or because it’s taught in their culture.

All that’s needed is a needle and some ink and you’re all set!

What’s more, the tools are readily available and sell cheap. For example, a pack of 50 sterile needles costs around $11.

Better for you if you know someone who’s mastered the subtle art of ‘Stick N’ Poke’. Alternatively, you can also visit a dedicated stick and poke tattoo parlor.


To know how long do stick and poke tattoos last, you must first understand how they work.

Most artists recommend that you keep your ink work as fresh as possible by moisturizing it daily. You must also keep it away from direct sun exposure as this can catalyze excess scabbing.

In a real sense, if your stick and poke tattoo get done right, it may last just as long as some electric inks.

I hope this was helpful : )


Having any thoughts or questions? Let’s chat in the Comments Section below!




Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments