Stick and Poke Tattoos That Look Better As You Age

Some hand poke tattoos that look great in the short-term may end up changing drastically over time, yielding all sorts of different results as the years go by

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When it comes to tattoos, there are usually two ways to go: machine tattoos or stick and poke tattoos by hand. Taking the plunge into the world of sticking and poking can be exciting, but of course, there is a considerable measure of risk involved.

Before getting a stick and poke, it's important to do plenty of research about the safest ways to go about it. DIY doesn't have to mean sketchy. When taking the proper measures necessary to ensure safety and cleanliness, and also taking care to use the right tools, stick and poke tattoos are a walk in the park.

Related: Are stick and poke tattoos safe?

Getting a tattoo is a complicated enough decision without thinking about what will happen to the design 10, 20, or 40 years from now. As with all tattoos, aftercare and possibility of infection are important points to keep in mind, but you're getting a piece of artwork on your living and changing body, so thinking about how aging might affect your tattoo is actually really important too.

Here are six key points to make your stick and poke tattoo actually look better as you age, according to experienced pokers:

1. Precision

The appearance of your stick'n'poke aging depends on your skill. Your ink lays in the dermis of the skin, which is only one millimeter thick. Ensuring the needle hits this one-millimeter layer requires precision. If you go too deep, then the ink will blowout, and what originally looks like a clean line, over not a very long time will look sloppier.

2. Take care for your S&P at the beginning

Aftercare plays a crucial part in a tattoo aging well. You have to allow your hand poked tattoo to heal properly. If you do so there’s no need for a touch up.

3. Placement

High friction placements tend to fade fast. Hands, fingers, feet, elbows and other areas that come into a lot of contact with friction. The longest-lasting tattoos are on flatter, less abused areas of the body like the flat of the forearm, upper arms, shoulders, back and thighs. These areas can usually withstand the test of time.

4. Black Ink

You can never go wrong with solid black stick and poke tattoos. Black tattoo ink lasts better than any color ever will. Bright and vibrant colors look great at first, but tend to fade the quickest. They tend to not always last the test of time.

5. Bold designs

Minimalist tattoos are gorgeous. But the tattoos that tend to look the best as time goes by are ones with bolder designs. American Traditional style tattoos still look great as time goes by, hence the bold lines. This may seem excessive for most people, but planning how a tattoo will look as it ages will be a fist bump to yourself in the future.

6. Stay out of the sun

Beyond the initial couple weeks, the sun can still dramatically fade tattoos over time, but it doesn't mean you have to avoid the sun altogether. It does, however, mean you should protect the tattoo itself from sun exposure in order to ensure it looking best as the years go by. The sun definitely takes some years off your hand made tattoo, and if you cannot commit to putting sunscreen on your tattoos that are exposed to the sun or you just love sunbathing, you should probably stick to areas of your body that don't typically see the sun, such as the inner arm or forearm.

Almost all stick and poke tattoos can be touched-up, or even removed, so getting a hand made tattoo that will look equally amazing through the years is not necessarily a requirement of choosing a design. Still, if you're considering how aging will affect things, it's important to understand that certain factors like color, lines, and location do matter in the long-run.