Stick and poke tattoos are unique and different from machine-done tattoos in a lot of ways, but one way that they’re quite similar to other styles of tattoos is that they’re definitely permanent…although they may fade.

Tattoos do change over time. Tattoos are a part of our bodies, and our bodies are constantly changing, shedding skin, expanding and contracting, and healing. Luckily, there are a ton of factors that determine the ways tattoos change and how much they change, so it’s a process we have some degree of control over.

With all tattoos, how well you take care of them, both right after getting the art on your body, and continually over time, will affect how much your tattoos fade.

Some common tips and tricks for a long-lasting tattoo include:

  1. Be careful of sunlight! Limit how much direct sunlight your tattoos get, and/or slap on that sunscreen.
  2.  Keep your skin moisturized. Letting your tattoo dry out will increase the likelihood that it’ll fade.
  3. Think about placement. Tattoos on your hands, fingers, feet, toes, and elbows are more likely to fade more quickly. There’s not a lot of fatty tissue on these parts of our bodies!

With stick and poke tattoos in particular, there are a couple of unique things to pay attention to: the quality of the ink you use, and the precision of the tattooing process. Using professional-grade ink – like the kind that comes in our kits! – is going to offer better results than india ink. With stick and poking, one of the most important aspects of the process to get right, is the depth to which you’re poking. If you poke too shallow, the ink won’t hold as well and your tattoo is more likely to fade. If you poke too deep, you’ll get “blow out” – the ink will spread beneath the skin and your lines will start to blend together.

The bottom line here is that tattoos are permanent. Only laser removal will remove both machine-done and stick and poke tattoos.

I’m e., writing on behalf of the original stick  & poke tattoo kit here at, and I have sizable stick and poke tattoos that are several years old, and I haven’t noticed any fading or much change in them since I got them. I’ve taken deliberate care of my tattoos, mostly following the tips outlined above, and I’ve been selective about who I ask to tattoo me.

I’m excited to see how my tattoos change, and potentially fade (I love getting sun!), over time. I think of my tattoos as art that’s sort of alive on my body, and I’m ready to see my tattoos fade, appreciate them at different stages, and perhaps get them touched up, making them into new and modified pieces of art.