I’m sure you’ve seen those adorable little stick and poke tattoos all over Instagram, but did you know that they often fade away pretty quickly?
Here’s why that happens — and how to make your tattoo last longer.
What Are Stick & Poke Tattoos?
Stick and poke tattoos are a type of body art that is created by hand, without the use of a machine.
The term “stick and poke” comes from the fact that the tattoo artist uses a sharp object (usually a needle) to puncture or “poke” the skin and inject the ink.
This method of tattooing is much older than machine-based tattooing, and it was traditionally used by cultures all over the world.
For example, traditional Sak Yant tattoos have been done by hand for many years.
In recent years, stick and poke tattoos have experienced a resurgence in popularity, due in part to their DIY aesthetic.
With a little training, anyone can start giving stick and poke tattoos.
Because they are relatively easy to create, stick and poke tattoos are often seen as a more personal form of body art.
However, the stick and poke tattoos often take longer than machine-done tattoos. They also tend to hurt more.
This process makes them particularly popular among people who want a tattoo that is meaningful or significant to them as the experience of getting a stick and poke will certainly be memorable.
How Long Do Stick & Poke Tattoos Last?
The length of time that a stick and poke tattoo lasts can depend on multiple factors, including the type of ink used, the depth of the puncture wounds, and the location of the tattoo on the body.
However, if a stick and poke tattoo is done properly, it should last just as long as a tattoo done with a machine.
That said, the majority of stick and poke tattoos are not done by professionals.
Many amateur stick and poke artists do not have the professional training needed to create a truly permanent tattoo.
This has given stick and pokes a reputation for fading after only a few months.
Why Do Stick & Poke Tattoos Fade?
As we mentioned, stick and poke tattoos do not have to fade. If done correctly, they can last just as long as a tattoo done with a machine.
But many amateur stick and poke artists struggle to achieve permanent results.
So, why is this?
The answer has to do with the way that the ink is applied to the skin.
When a machine is used, the ink is easily injected deep into the dermis, where it is held in place by collagen fibres.
However, when a sharp object is manually used to apply ink to the skin, it is harder to reach the dermis.
Instead, the ink is often placed in the epidermis, which is constantly shedding dead cells.
As a result, stick and poke tattoos are more susceptible to fading and will often only last for a few weeks.
If you’re looking for a more permanent solution, it’s best to find a professional stick and poke artist, or to just choose traditional tattooing methods.
Stick & Poke Safety
If you’re considering getting a stick and poke tattoo, it’s important to do your research.
Make sure you find a reputable artist who uses sterile needles and fresh ink.
If you have a friend who has started giving stick and poke tattoos, make sure they are following proper sterilization protocol.
How To Stop Your Stick & Poke Tattoos from Fading
If your stick and poke tattoo was done by an amateur, then it may fade no matter what you do.
That said, any tattoo can be at risk of fading if not taken care of properly.
Here are some tips to ensure your stick and poke tattoo stays fresh and crisp.
Avoid The Sun
First, avoid exposing your tattoo to the sun for the first week or so after it is done. Sun exposure can cause sun damage.
Exposing your tattoo to the sun while it is still healing can interrupt the tattoo healing process.
After the tattoo is healed, you can expose your tattoo to the sun in small amounts.
Try applying good quality sunscreen to your tattoo before spending any time in the sun.
Just remember to avoid prolonged sun exposure and ensure your tattoo does not burn.
Apply a light layer of petroleum jelly or tattoo Aftercare Balm several times a day to keep the tattoo moisturized while healing.
This added moisture can help stop the tattoo from flaking and scabbing in a way that could impact the final tattoo.
Once the tattoo is healed, make sure regularly apply a moisturizing lotion to your tattoo.
This will help to keep your tattoo healthy and vibrant.
This tip only really applies to the tattoo healing process.
Avoid picking or scratching at the tattoo, as this can damage the ink and cause it to fade.
Some choose to “slap” their tattoos when they itch. However, some tattoo artists advise against this as well.
If your tattoo really itches, you can try lightly applying an ice pack to the itchy area.
Final Thoughts On Stick & Poke Tattoos
So, if you’re thinking of getting a stick and poke tattoo, just be aware that they can fade if done by an amateur — but that doesn’t you can’t avoid fading.
Just make sure to get a stick and poke tattoo from a professional.
And, once you have your tattoo, make sure to take care of it by avoiding the sun, moisturizing it, and not scratching.
Thanks for reading!