November 04, 2021 3 min read

Stick and poke tattoos, which are also sometimes called hand-poked or machine-free tattoos, have a very DIY, punk feel associated with them. This is mainly down to the fact that their modern origins are within the underground punk culture scene. A stick and poke tattoo can range from minimalistic to highly intricate and complex.  Many people in the artsy scene like these tattoos as they have a distinct ‘street’ feel to them.

So, how long do stick and poke tattoos last? You can expect an amateur stick and poke tattoo to last around 5 years, whereas a professionally crafted tattoo will last around 10 years. 


What is a hand poked tattoo? 

Hand poked tattoos are usually done by people who want to ‘DIY’. You can buy kits on the internet at a low cost, which is what makes this type of tattoo popular, with millions around the globe using stick and poke kits. Before I go any further, It’s important to note that you need to be careful with stick and poke tattoos. This is because, as with all cosmetic procedures, you can easily get infected, which can lead to multiple problems.


How long do stick and poke tattoos last? Years, months?

Stick and poke tattoos generally are permanent if the tattoo is done by a professional. You should never go to get a stick and poke tattoo with the intention of being semi-permanent because it will last. 

Stick and poke needles use the exact same method as a tattoo gun or machine, the process is just slower. Both stick and poke and gun tattoos work by stabbing a needle with ink into the skin. The only difference is that a tattoo gun uses electricity to consistently push the needle up and down quickly. In essence, both processes require the needle to be pushed into the dermis layer of the skin, where the ink will remain and stay. 

Stick and poke tattoos definitely don’t last forever, they tend to fade quicker, but they also will not last just two weeks. 

If the stick and poke tattoo needle isn’t inserted into the right part of the skin, it can last for a shorter period of time- in comparison to a tattoo gun machine. This is why they generally have a shorter lifespan. Stick and poke tattoos generally last for 5-15 years depending on their quality. 

 

How long do stick and poke tattoos last? Do they fade?  

This is one of the most common concerns about stick and poke tattoos. Essentially, if an amateur uses a stick and poke needle, they won’t know how deep to go to reach the dermis layer of the skin. Not only this, but proper aftercare needs to be given to all tattoos, no matter how small. If proper aftercare isn’t given, swelling, inflammation and infection can affect the appearance of the tattoo too. 

 

How long do stick and poke tattoos last when I take care of them? 

Making sure that your tattoos heal in the right way plays a role in how long your tattoo will last. For example, if you keep scratching the ink on your skin, you may damage your tattoo. Tattoos fade in sunlight too, so always make sure that you have your suncream with you. If you don’t care for your tattoo properly, you may fade or even distort the tattoo without even realising. This can knock months or even years off your tattoo’s lifespan. 

Get a professional tattoo artist to do your tattoo- A professional tattoo artist will give you aftercare instructions and have experience in how deep the skin should be pierced to get the best results. 

Choose a location that you don’t wash as often- Choose a location on your body that you don’t wash or scrub often. For example, your armpit and your face wouldn’t be a great place for stick and poke tattoos as you wash them often, meaning that the tattoo would fade more quickly. 

Follow a tattoo aftercare routine- An aftercare routine is essential if you want your tattoo to heal and last longer. You can read our blog on how to take proper aftercare steps for your tattoo. 

Thank you for reading our blog ‘how long do stick and poke tattoos last?’. If you’re thinking about getting a stick and poke tattoo and are worried about the pain, why not trytattoo numbing cream?