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How Long Do Stick and Poke Tattoos Last?

The stick and poke tattoos will last for quite some time, a long time even if you care for them as you would a regular tattoo. All there is to know about this unique method is explained concisely below.

Every fan of tattoos has wondered how it would be like to do tattoos the old-fashioned way? No machines, no modern conditions per se, just you, the needle, some pigment/ink, and a lot of patience and resilience!

If it sounds interesting so far, keep on reading because stick and poke get everyone’s attention, because it is unique, significant, and not so common as modern tattooing methods (even though it can be, and it is done with modern health precautions).

Try to switch up your tattoo routines, and find out more about stick and poke, why not even try it? And, the other important thing is the longevity of these tattoos as well!

How Long Do Stick and Poke Tattoos Last?

The stick and poke tattoos will last around a decade maximum, with a timespan ranging from 5 to 10 years, respectively.

These tattoos are not lifelong permanent as the regularly done tattoos, and in the best-case scenario, they will fade visibly over time before they completely erase from the skin within roughly a decade.

What exactly is the stick and poke technique?

stick and poke tattoo technique

The stick and poke tattooing technique is the “old-fashioned” or “tribal” technique that you have surely seen in movies, or tattoo documentaries, and similar.

The stick and poke tattoos are made without electricity and gadgets of that kind, and this is called the ‘non-electric’ making of tattoos. It means you will get a tattoo made, but without the tattoo machine/gun that you usually see in tattoo salons.

Think of this process as regular tattooing, except a bit slower, you see all the movements and dots in the making, there is no buzzing sound, and the needle is attached to something resembling a rod or ‘holder’ of some kind. The needle is dipped in ink, and then literally poked into your skin (following a pattern or design), and this means dot-by-dot, or ‘poke by poke’.

How to make stick and poke tattoos last longer

The aftercare for stick and poke tattoos is the same as for regular tattoos – treat the traumatized skin the same way. Antibacterial soap or skin cleanser (that is recommended to you), no plastic wraps or bandages at home, no workouts or tanning and swimming for a few weeks, and loose light fabrics and materials while it heals.

Apply healing creams as recommended by the artist, and if you expose to the sun, at least apply the highest SPF sunscreen.

Can my tattoo artist make a stick and poke tattoo?

It depends on what the artist is skilled at, and you should always ask beforehand. You would be surprised about the services offered in a tattoo salon; from specific and rarely pierced body parts to other things all within the tattoo and body art niche.

However, ensure the artist has a rich and reputable portfolio of work history – don’t just blindly believe the ‘yes, I do make stick and poke’.

Can I try the stick and poke tattoo method at home as DIY?

No, never! Unless you are skilled in this, and you are a tattoo artist mastering the stick and poke in some way, do not attempt this ever!

You are probably not a professional, and you don’t know how deep you will ‘hit’ or ‘poke’ with the needle on your tissue. Are there dangerous spots where you poke? Will there be a lot of blood? How much pressure do you need to apply? Will, you risk injuries, bleeding, and skin scars, or worse just to try this out at home?

Does stick and poke hurt?

Does stick and poke hurt

Yes, stick and poke hurts, maybe a bit more than regular tattoos. With this method, you will feel every poke as a precise, whole movement, in comparison to the regular tattooing that feels like ‘scratching along a contour line that is bearable’. The stick and poke are also bearable, but the surprise factor of immediate pain in a second is more prominent.

Will stick and poke tattoos cost less than regular tattoos?

No! These tattoos are a much harder technique, and honestly, it might take a bit longer to do them, so they will cost more or less the same (but if you go to a very reputable artist, they could be slightly pricier, but overall within the known price range).


You need to keep in mind that the stick and poke tattoos are to some extent permanent, but not fully for life permanent! They will last you around a decade more or less, and with proper care for them (as with regular tattoos), you will postpone the speedy fading after that timeframe has passed.

It could hurt a bit more than regular tattoos, but at least you can brag that you and the artist made them in a unique, vintage way!

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