How Long Do Stick and Pokes Last – All You Need to Know

Many people believe that stick-and-poke tattoos are mostly done at home. As a result, it’s only legitimate to be concerned about the longevity of a homemade tattoo. However, the same question always arises with hand-poked tattoos or normal tattoos done by a competent tattooist. So how long do stick and pokes last? A year? Several months? Are they even long-term?

If you’re considering having a stick-and-poke tattoo, you’ll want to know how long the ink will last to decide if it’s worth your time and money.

As a result, in the following paragraphs, we’ll look at the longevity of hand-poked tattoos and what you can do to help them last even longer.

In this article,

What are Stick and Poke Tattoos?

Let’s have a quick overview of stick and poke tattoos.

Stick-and-poke tattoos are done by hand, without using a machine, with a unique apparatus that uses a tattoo needle or another sharp instrument. Hand-poked tattoos are notorious for being done in prison and by amateurs because they don’t always need a needle and can be done using sharp, pointy tools.

Hand-poked tattoos eventually seem homemade due to the poking, even when made by professionals. As a result, they lack the elegance and finesse of a traditional tattoo.

On the other hand, stick-and-poke tattoos can be genuinely distinctive and special when done by a skilled tattooist. Hand-poked tattoos are increasingly widely recognised as a unique expression, particularly those associated with the underground, alternative, and artsy communities. However, anyone can obtain a stick-and-poke tattoo, as done by hand for centuries.

Also Read: Best Stick and Poke Tattoo Kits

How Long do Stick and Pokes Last?

When people think about stick-and-poke tattoos, the first thing that comes to mind is temporary. But it’s not true.

Stick-and-poke tattoos are created using the same methods as any other machine-made tattoo. Therefore, the absence of a tattoo machine does not rule out the possibility of a long-lasting tattoo.

The ink is transferred into the dermis layer of the skin with a needle, exactly like a traditional tattoo. The ink will stay in the dermis once it is applied. Unfortunately, hand-poked tattoos aren’t as advanced as that tattoo equipment, and the ink’s durability can be significantly reduced.

However, assuming that hand-poked tattoos are just transitory is incorrect and misleading to many unfamiliar individuals with this technique. They won’t endure forever, but they won’t fade away in a few weeks as stickers do.

So how long do stick and pokes last exactly?

It’s correct to conclude that a stick-and-poke tattoo isn’t going to last you a lifetime. As previously stated, the hand-poking technique is less complicated than traditional tattooing. Therefore, hand-poking can cause the ink to become displaced on the skin, causing it to fade faster than a normal tattoo.

A hand-poked tattoo can endure somewhere between 5 to 10 years if you’re fortunate. A tattoo can endure up to ten years if it is done by an experienced tattooist and treated afterwards. A tattoo done by an untrained or unprofessional, on the other hand, will last no more than five years.

How to Make Your Stick and Poke Tattoos Last Longer?

After knowing how long stick and pokes last, we think you may also take an interest in making a stick and poke tattoo last longer. Overall, having your tattoo done by a qualified tattooist is one of the best options to ensure that it will survive more than five years. But it isn’t the sole option to make your fresh ink last longer. Here are some tips.

Decide Your Tattoo Position Wisely

If you want your tattoo to last longer, avoid getting it anywhere that is often scrubbed, washed, exposed to sunlight, or rubbed. Tattoos on the feet, fingers and hands, for example, are known to diminish quickly due to the abovementioned circumstances. Instead, choose a firm and fragile place where the skin is firm, such as the biceps, thighs, or even the tummy.

Pick a Skilled Tattooist

Getting tattooed on the spur of the moment by some amateur tattoo want-to-be may appear exciting, impulsive, and creative at first, but it is frequently the opposite afterwards. When you get a tattoo made by a specialist, you can rest assured that your tattoo will endure longer, but you will also avoid adverse side effects from infected instruments and the surroundings.

Skilled and professional tattooists understand what they’re doing, particularly how to puncture the skin to ensure the ink reaches the dermis layer. However, remember that tattooing requires understanding, practice, and experience.

Take Good Care of Your Tattoo 

Once you’ve gotten a tattoo, it’s essential to care for it until it recovers properly. Because a new tattoo is similar to a fresh wound, it must be safeguarded first. Allow the tattoo to dry so that a new skin layer can grow. Itching, scabs, and pain will occur till the tattoo heals. Therefore, you must avoid touching, peeling, or exposing the tattoo to the sun.

Also Read: Is it Normal for a New Tattoo to Bruise?

Do Not Use Products that Contain Petroleum Jelly 

You will apply lotion to the tattoo twice a day throughout the healing phase. In addition, baseline and petroleum-based products must be avoided as they clog pores, restrict the skin from breathing, and cause the healing process to take longer. In the end, using petroleum-based products can result in a tattoo infection.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are Stick and Poke Tattoos Painful?

The amount of pain experienced depends on the person’s location and the intensity of the tattoo. Whereas if a tattoo is placed on a fragile part of the skin or in a sensitive area like the lower back, the pain will be increased. Also, in contrast to machine tattoos, the long time between pokes can create the appearance of more discomfort.

2. Is it Possible that I’m Allergic to Tattoo Ink?

Allergic responses to ink might develop based on the ink chemicals, which vary by colour and type. For example, red might include cadmium or mercury, which trigger increased allergic reactions. Black ink is the safest because it is usually formed of carbon or iron oxide.

3. What are the Finest Tattoo Inks for Stick and Pokes?

As long as you utilise tattoo ink, there is no such thing as “the best” ink. In general, each tattooist will use inks with unique properties (such as thickness) appropriate for their work.

4. How Can I Tell if the Ink I’m Using is Vegan?

Vegan brands include Intense, Eternal, and Kuro Sumi. They are free of glycerine and colours derived from bi-product or animal products, and they have not been tested on animals.


Stick-and-poke tattoos are fascinating and spectacular with the right design and execution. Each stick-and-poke tattoo is different and has a distinct artistic vibe, so it’s no surprise that many individuals are becoming interested in this tattoo design.

Interested fellows should learn everything about these tattoos and how they’re created. Then, constantly consult a professional for additional information and a tattoo session.

When done correctly, getting a tattoo may be enjoyable and thrilling. However, when a novice or untrained individual does a hand-poked tattoo, you risk developing various health problems. There is no reason to put yourself in such a vulnerable position.

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