How Long Do Stick and Poke Tattoos Last?

Stick & poke (also known as hand-poked) tattooing is becoming increasingly popular among urban tattoo fans. You may get one professionally tattooed or do it yourself at home.

Keep in mind that while these tattoos heal faster and cause less pain than machine tattooing, they don’t last as long as their machine counterparts. Although acquiring one is fashionable, the subject of how long stick and poke tattoos last arises.

Well, not indefinitely. On the other hand, stick and poke tattoos tend to remain visible for 5 to 10 years on average.

The longevity of your stick and poke tattoo is determined by its location (i.e., the body area it is on), the artist’s degree of experience, the stick and poke equipment used, and, finally, how well the tattoo is cared for.

Do you have a hand-poked tattoo on a visible part of your body? If you answered yes, it is more vulnerable to direct sunshine and regular cleaning.

Hands, fingers, and soles are examples of body areas where a hand-poked tattoo can endure anywhere from 5 to 6 years. However, if it’s tattooed in a more hidden location with less exposure to sunlight, such as your upper arms, chest, or back, the tattoo may survive 7 to 10 years on average.

Their longevity is far from as long as that of machine tattoos. Stick and poke tattoos, on the other hand, last significantly longer than henna or transfer choices. When the life of your cherished hand-poked tattoo expires, you’re left with a faded and washed-out tattoo.

This post covered all there is to know about the endurance of stick and poke tattoos. You’ll discover how long your stick and poke tattoo will endure and what factors might influence or increase its longevity. But first, let’s scrape the surface, starting with the fundamentals of this popular and time-consuming tattooing technique.

What Are Stick And Poke Tattoos and What Do They Mean?

You’ve probably come to our website because you already have a good understanding of what stick and poke tattoos are all about. However, if you don’t, this part will be useful as a recap.

Stick-and-poke tattooing, also known as hand-poked tattooing, is an age-old, manual way of engraving a tattoo with a needle. This method may be traced back to ancient Egypt. It’s incredible how the art has endured and evolved through time, even after the advent of the first tattoo machine in the late 1800s.

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This machine-free approach allows you to create hand-drawn tattoos with a tattoo needle or other sharp item that helps deposit ink into the skin. Professionals also strive to preserve their proficiency in this style, which is unlikely to go out of style very soon, despite its popularity in jails and among amateurs.

There will never be a shortage of tattoo fans who prefer this method’s rustic, unpolished aesthetic.

It’s impossible to overestimate the significance of obtaining a stick-and-poke tattoo from a competent tattoo artist.

A specialist in stick-and-poke engraving knows how to make the client’s experience one-of-a-kind, memorable, and long-lasting. For thousands of years, tattoo specialists have been expressing their alternative, creative, underground, and eccentric sides through their hand-poked body art.

Stick and Poke Tattoos Are Less Permanent Than Machine Tattoos for What Reason?

To begin with, both methods are considered permanent. A stick-and-poke tattoo, as previously stated, ultimately washes away and fades after 5 to 10 years of use.

Compared to the conventional stick and poke approach, a tattoo machine transfers ink into the skin faster.

To put things in perspective, a normal tattoo machine creates hundreds of pricks each minute, but the stick-and-poke approach only produces 10 to 20 pricks per minute, depending on the design.

However, the pace at which the ink is injected has no bearing on the tattoo’s permanence. The difference is instead due to the machine method’s better precision.

As a result, the tattoo artist’s professionalism offers a more accurate estimate of how long a hand-poked tattoo will stay. A skilled artist will ensure that the ink is correctly placed into the dermis (i.e., the right skin layer). To put it another way, a skilled artist would know which ink to use and at what depth it should be injected.

A needle that only penetrates the epidermis (topmost skin layer) will result in a tattoo that will shed with the dead skin cells, resulting in a tattoo with a short lifespan.

On the other hand, if a needle penetrates too deep, such as into the hypodermis, you’ll get a tattoo blowout, which results in a hazy tattoo. The goal is to entrust the work to a professional who possesses the best stick and poke equipment and the necessary skills to safely and precisely target the dermis layer.

The tattooist must push the punctures about 1/16th of an inch deep into your skin, which is where the dermis is, for a more lasting, appealing-looking tattoo. However, that isn’t the only consideration.

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For the stick and poke tattoo to last as long as possible, the tattooist must also consider the following factors.

How Can You Extend The Life Of Your Stick and Poke Tattoos?

We’ve previously discussed two elements that influence the answers to the questions: ‘how long do stick and poke tattoos last?’ and ‘how long do stick and poke tattoos last?’

One was the tattooist’s experience, and the other was the body part where the tattoo was inscribed. Furthermore, to guarantee that your hand-poked tattoo remains colorful for as long as possible, ensure that suitable equipment is utilized and that great aftercare is provided. Let’s take a closer look at each of these vital elements that might help you live longer.

Proper Aftercare of Your Stick and Poke Tattoo

Aftercare for your new tattoo is critical to the general health of your skin, the longevity of your tattoo, and the longevity of your freshly acquired body art.

Small but important aftercare actions, like using the finest tattoo moisturizer or lotion regularly, go a long way toward ensuring appropriate healing and hydration of your inked region, as well as preventing infections.

Washing the tattoo as soon as it’s finished being inked, cleaning it, and covering it in saran wrap are the measures for appropriate aftercare of a fresh new hand-poked tattoo or any new tattoo for that matter.

After those measures, the tattoo should be re-washed with a good grade antibacterial soap and pat-dried for a couple of hours. Applying a small coating of a suggested, all-natural, vegan healing ointment as the last step is critical.

It’s vital to keep the tattoo area moisturized even after it’s healed completely if you want to keep it looking good for a long time.

You won’t have to deal with the irritation of itching and scabby skin if you keep the region clean and nourished.

Furthermore, when the sun is bright and hot, it is critical to wear a suggested sunscreen. UV rays can cause the skin to degrade and peel, thereby shortening the tattoo’s lifespan.

Even if your tattoos start to fade, you may take care of them by having the fading portions re-inked. The spirit of the stick and poke tattoo you’re so enthusiastic about may be refreshed regularly in this way.

Stick & Poke Equipment that Works

Another crucial component in extending the life of your hand-poked tattoos is to use a professional stick and poke tattoo equipment.

This implies that utilizing any old sharp household things, such as sewing needles, is the most hazardous and ineffective way.

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Always use professional, sterilized needles for the finest, longest-lasting results. It’s also crucial to use the right kind of ink.

Only use professional tattoo ink. Remember that utilizing the right equipment produces the best outcomes and is also safe and healthy to use.


Q1. When should you get a stick and poke tattoo?

While the overall appearance and permanence of stick and poke tattoos are debatable compared to their machine equivalents, there are several scenarios in which they are preferable.

One of these is when you’re getting your first tattoo and in the experimenting stage. It’s important, though, to use sterilized needles and high-quality, safe-to-use tattoo ink.

Another advantage of obtaining a stick and poke tattoo over a machine-engraved tattoo is the faster healing time and lesser cost.

Furthermore, many fans like trying their hand at tattooing with a small tattoo done at home using a stick and poke kit. However, for greater precision and reduced danger, it is suggested that you have the tattoo done by a professional.

Q2. Is it possible to get a stick and poke tattoo removed?

A stick and poke tattoo can be uncomfortable, especially when contrasted to a rotary tattoo pen machine tattoo. When you regret your decision and wish to successfully erase the tattoo, one viable alternative is laser tattoo removal treatment.

Although that choice comes with discomfort, a significant time commitment, a large price tag, and post-treatment scars to deal with.

An excellent quality tattoo removal lotion, such as the Wrecking Balm Tattoo Fade System, is a considerably cheaper and less intrusive alternative. Although such creams may help, one disadvantage is that they take a long time to show results.


Getting a stick and poke tattoo is a fantastic idea. The most important thing to remember is that a thorough professional has the appropriate equipment. When done by someone else, it can lead to serious health problems. If properly applied, such tattoos can endure up to ten years.

Whether or if you should obtain one is entirely a question of personal preference. A stick-and-poke tattoo may look great, distinctive, and incredibly creative when done by the right person and with the appropriate design. Those are the reasons their popularity keeps growing.