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Variations of Stick and Poke Tattoo Ink

Choosing the correct stick and poke tattoo ink is a fundamental part of creating a good tattoo. Appropriate ink is one of the key ingredients that will improve your stick and poke tattoo’s quality, hygiene and life length. Although it has been unfortunately fairly common practice for people to tattoo themselves using regular pen ink or India ink, we very strongly recommend that you go against cheap tattoo ink. Professional quality and sterile stick and poke ink will certainly improve your DIY tattoo results. Professional ink is efficient and very affordable, offering almost guaranteed peace of mind with regards to the hygiene of your tattoo. Check out our range of fantastic Stick & Poke tattoo inks here. 

All tattoo ink can be split into two main categories;

  • Stable pigment-based inks
    It is fairly unlikely that you will not use stable pigment-based inks for any stick and poke tattoos, as they are required to be mixed. This variety of ink is often described as more ‘old school’ than others.
  • Pre-dispersed inks
    Pre-dispersed inks can also be called pre-made inks. They are much more readily available and commonly used. These particular tattoo inks are ready to use when purchased and do not require any mixing at all. However, regardless of if these inks are pre-dispersed, it is important that you shake the bottle well before using the ink. We recommend using this type of ink for stick and poke tattoos as it is far simpler than using stable pigment-based ink and it also translates excellent results.

  • Components of tattoo ink

    Tattoo ink possess two key elements: pigments and carrier (solvent). These inks can also contain a few different pigments and products with specific roles such as astringents.


    Pigments can be made either metal, vegetable or plastic based. Substances like these will appear as powder particles - pigments -  with various sizes, depending on the ink types. Within pre-dispersed tattoo inks, the pigment’s particles are finely disconnected.


    Carriers are often composed of water, witch hazel extract and either alcohol or surfactants (glycerine, propylene glycol). This solution ensures that the pigments are evenly mixed and they disinfect the solution, ensuring that the ink is pathogen free.

    Witch Hazel

    With hazel is made of hamamelis water, a plant-based solution and is an astringent that is used to tighten up and firm the skin, reducing any bleeding or ink rejection. Witch hazel can also have the effect of attenuating the skin redness and soothing it.

    Stick and Poke Ink correct storage

    It is crucial that stick and poke tattoo ink is kept in the correct environment in order to keep it in the best condition possible. Here are some basic guidelines and advice:

    • Ensure stick and poke tattoo ink is kept completely out of sunlight of high heat areas, as this has the potential to alter the pigments or dry up the solvent.
    • Never allow the ink to be kept in any freezing condition. If freezing occurs, there will be a separation of the chemicals and will therefore negatively alter the tattoo ink and its quality.
    • Ensure that the ink is used before the expiration date, it is on there for a reason. Sadly, not ever manufacturer includes the expiration date on the packaging. It is generally accepted that you should keep your ink for up to 3 years. Regardless, you should never keep a bottle that could have been contaminated or biologically altered. Furthermore, temperature alteration should also be considered.

    If you want to try and extend your stick and poke tattoo ink’s life and maintain its quality to the highest standard you should also do the following:

    • Sake the bottle well before every use
    • Once used, ensure the cap is closed tightly and wipe away any ink with a sterile cloth
    • Never, ever dip your needle directly into the ink bottle. You should instead fill a small container or cap with the amount of ink required to perform the tattoo. It is fundamental that you avoid handling the ink bottle with unwashed hands or equipment in order to avoid cross contamination.

    Check out our range of fantastic Stick & Poke tattoo inks here. 


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