How to Ensure That Your Stick and Poke Tattoo Is Vegan

Every vegan tattoo enthusiast knows that not all tattoos are cruelty-free. To find out more about how to get a vegan stick and poke tattoo, read this article!

Every hardcore vegan tattoo enthusiast knows that not all tattoos are cruelty-free. The truth is, many of our tattoo materials are made with animal byproducts or have been tested on our furry friends - and stick and poke materials are no exception. Luckily, there are ways you can make sure that your new ink doesn’t affect the animal kingdom.

In this article, we’re going to explain what vegan stick and poke tattooing is as well as highlight some of the ingredients to look out for when choosing stick and poke materials. Last but not least, we’ll share a couple of tips on how to make sure that your next stick and poke tattoo is vegan. Let’s get started:

What Is Vegan Stick and Poke Tattooing?

Vegan stick and poke tattooing is when you give or receive a hand poked tattoo without using any products made from animals. It also encompasses a philosophy whereby you reject the testing of products on animals. If you fit the criteria, you are what we call a vegan ink lover.

Why Not All Stick and Pokes Are Vegan

While many only think of the ink when they associate animal-cruelty with tattooing, other products also affect our four-legged friends. If you’re thinking of getting a new stick and poke tattoo or better yet, are looking to buy a DIY stick and poke tattoo kit to create designs from home, do some research as to how the following products are made:

Stencil Paper Made of Sheep’s Wool

Stencil paper is one of the first steps to creating a stick and poke tattoo. Unfortunately, this initial step often includes the use of animal byproducts. Tattoo stencil paper is often made of lanolin, which comes from sheep’s wool. Don’t worry though, there are vegan alternatives available!

Razor Strips Coated in Glycerin

How could a razor not be vegan, right? Well, many razor strips are coated with animal-derived glycerin. Made from fat, glycerin protects the razor and softens the skin and hair. Luckily, some razors come without these strips. Alternatively, you can also use almond or coconut oil, two safe, vegan options.

Inks Created With Hoofs, Bones, & Beetles

While you should check the ingredients used to make the above materials, inks are by far the biggest cause for concern. A lot of stick and poke tattoo ink is made using ingredients like gelatin, bone char, or even shellac (which is made from crushing beetles for their color!). Tattoo ink also often includes glycerin because this acts as a stabilizer, making it easier to work with.

Black ink, the most common color used today, is the one you should keep your eyes peeled for. This particular color is often made using bone char. The ink is formulated by burning animal bones and taking the pigment from the leftover soot. It is said that it provides the darkest and most crispy shade of black, however, there are various vegan alternatives now available that provide the same results.

Soaps and Balms Made of Beeswax & Petroleum Jelly

There are thousands of aftercare solutions used in the tattoo industry that either contain animal byproducts or have been tested on animals. Beeswax is among the most commonly found ingredient that you should avoid if you’re looking for a vegan stick and poke tattoo experience. That said, cod liver oil can also be found in lotions and salves so make sure to read the ingredients list.

Last but not least, the oh so popular petroleum jelly is often made through bone char. If it’s not, you may be in luck but, make sure to check that the company doesn’t test its products on animals either.

Tips for Making Sure Your Stick and Poke Tattoo Is Vegan

Avoiding the above ingredients is a sure-fire way to make sure that your stick and poke tattoo is vegan. To check, you can:

Ask Your Chosen Studio Ahead of Time

That’s right, you should never be afraid to ask! There is absolutely nothing wrong with phoning your chosen stick and poke tattoo studio ahead of time to check if they use vegan ingredients. Some studios today actually advertise the fact that none of their equipment contains animal byproducts and that their materials are not tested on animals.

Buy Cruelty-Free, Vegan Products

If you’re ready to take your stick and poke tattoo experience to the next level, you can also buy a professional stick and poke tattoo kit with only vegan equipment. These cruelty-free, vegan kits come with all of the materials you need to create professional stick and poke designs from the comforts of your home.

Ready to start tattooing yourself and your friends? If so, check out our professional stick and poke tattoo kits today! All of our kits come with sterilized needles, inks, ink cups, and all of the materials you need to tattoo safely.