Will My Stick and Poke Tattoo Fade? Tips to Avoid It Here!

It is extremely common for people to think that stick and poke tattoos fade quicker than machine ones. But, we’re going to let you into a little secret: All tattoos fade! That’s right, over time, your tattoos, whether stick and poke or machine will fade and change. How your tattoo ages depends entirely on you, your skin, the location of the tattoo, and more.

Read on to find out more about what affects the longevity of your tattoos and how to reduce fading.

All Tattoos Fade!

Now that you know all tattoos fade, let’s debunk why this happens. Without even knowing it, you lose 30,000 to 40,000 skin cells every single day. While the ink of a tattoo is punctured one-sixteenth of an inch under the skin, over time, this skin will shed. With this in mind, you can expect to need a touch-up on finer lines and details every five to ten years.

Fading finger stick and poke tattoo source

Factors That Can Affect the Longevity of Your Stick and Poke Tattoo

While you will inevitably need a touch-up on your tattoos, some factors will affect the longevity of your designs more than others. These include:

The Depth at Which Ink Is Deposited in the Skin

When creating a stick and poke tattoo, precision is key. If you go too deep, you can experience a tattoo blowout. If you don’t go deep enough, you’ll end up with faded lines that don’t look crisp. So, if you’re creating DIY designs from the comforts of home, make sure that you practice and, if you see that a line looks light, go over it again to ensure that it does not fade prematurely.


Making sure that you care for your tattoo for at least a couple of weeks after getting it is extremely important if you want it to last. Too often, we see people that don’t look after their tattoos, leading them to get infected or peel too early.


Some parts of the body experience constant friction against clothes, shoes, gloves, and even against other limbs. The more friction your skin experiences, the more cells it sheds. And, the quicker cells shed, the quicker your tattoo is exposed to this friction.

Tips to Reduce Fading

Now that you know what can affect the longevity of your stick and poke tattoo, here are some tips that will help you minimize fading:

Perform the Correct Aftercare

As mentioned above, aftercare is key to making sure that your stick and poke tattoo lasts as long as possible. Here are some aftercare tips you should follow for a minimum of two weeks after getting your tattoo:

  • Cover your tattoo with a thin layer of protective film – Keep this on for at least a couple of hours after getting your tattoo.
  • Clean your tattoo but don’t rub it – Pat your tattoo dry with a towel that will not leave lint or other fabric on the skin. This will help prevent infection.
  • Stop the skin from drying out – Apply a thin layer of chemical and perfume-free moisturizer such as Hustle Butter to your tattoo.
  • Don’t scratch or remove skin from your tattoo – If you start scratching or removing layers of skin, you’re speeding up the fading process. Let your body do the work naturally!

Aftercare is the most important factor when it comes to ensuring that your tattoo doesn’t fade too early. Without it, you could need a touch-up within just months of getting your new ink.

Don’t Expose Your Tattoo to Direct Sunlight

Whatever you do, always keep your tattoos out of the sun. Direct sun exposure will make the tattoo fade more quickly. This is especially true with new tattoos as you won’t be able to put sunscreen on it until it is completely healed. If you do want to go out in the sun once your two week aftercare period is up, make sure to put a layer of high SPF sunblock on to protect it.

Consider Potential Physiological Changes

Typically, the size of a stick and poke tattoo is small, however, you still need to consider placement. Changes in weight will have an impact on your tattoo, regardless of whether it’s big or small. If you’re planning on getting pregnant, for example, you may want to avoid getting a tattoo on the front ribs or stomach until after your pregnancy.

Put Thought Into Placement

Putting thought into placement isn’t just about physiological changes, it’s also about friction. With this in mind, be prepared to need more frequent touch-ups if you get a tattoo on the following areas:

  • Fingers
  • Toes
  • Ankles
  • Feet
  • Hands
  • Inner and outer elbows
  • Hips

All of these body parts are either used frequently or are exposed to jeans, gloves, and shoes, thus causing excess friction.

Do you want to try your hand at creating stick and poke tattoos at home? If so, check out our online store today! We offer a selection of stick and poke tattoo kits, all of which come with the materials you need to create high-quality and safe professional designs.