Home » Can I Wax Over A Tattoo: All You Need To Know

Can I Wax Over A Tattoo: All You Need To Know

You cannot wax over a fresh tattoo. However, you can wax it after the tattoo has completely healed.

Many people, especially women, wonder if they can wax over a tattoo. Even men, who wax their bodies, have the same question. Waxing is one of the safest forms of hair removal, but only if the skin is in good shape. Even if some cut or nick is in the skin, waxing over it is unsafe.

Since waxing involves a great deal of pulling, some often wonder whether it affects the colors of the tattoo ink. For those who have tattoos recently, it may seem like the ink will come right off when they pull away the wax strip. However, that is not the case.

You should only be concerned that there shouldn’t be any open wounds when waxing a region. A fresh tattoo counts as an open wound. It is advisable to wait till your skin is strong because you will need a certain degree of pain threshold when you go for waxing.

Why Should You Not Wax Over a Fresh Tattoo?

Why Should You Not Wax Over a Fresh Tattoo

Before going into the technicalities, it is important to understand why it is inadvisable to wax over a fresh tattoo. The simple answer is that it will pull your skin.

Anyone who has gone for professional waxing sessions, or has tried waxing at home, will know that waxing is painful. The hot or cold wax is applied on the skin, and it is applied to cover a patch of skin that has hair.

Next, a cloth is pressed to the wax and pulled off the skin in the opposite direction of hair growth. The strip comes off with the hair, which is entirely uprooted, leaving you with soft and smooth skin.

While the aftermath of waxing is always welcome, many cannot get used to the pain when the strip is pulled off. Now, imagine if there is a wound or a cut on the skin. When the strip is pulled off, it will open the wound again and might even start bleeding.

Not only will you experience excruciating pain, but your wounded skin will also remain raw and sensitive for weeks after that level of pulling and stretching. It will take you far longer to get waxed the second time.

Can Waxing Affect The Tattoo Design?

Can Waxing Affect The Tattoo Design
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No, waxing cannot affect the tattoo design if your skin is allowed to heal properly. The tattoo ink does not come into contact with the wax. Although it may seem like your tattoo will come off when the wax strip is pulled, that will never happen.

During waxing, the wax pulls the hair from the epidermis layer of the skin, which is the topmost layer. Waxing is the best process to avoid any in-grown hair. It neatly pulls away even the minutest hair follicles that can be impossible to remove with shaving.

The tattoo ink, on the other hand, is deposited in the dermis layer of the skin, which is the second layer. The epidermis is very thin, yet it forms a strong enough barrier that the ink deposited in the dermis does not just ooze out or start blotching.

Hence, once the tattoo area has completely healed, the wax does not reach the tattoo ink in any way. Waxing also has exfoliating properties, pulling off the dead skin layers.

Waxing your tattoo sometimes is a good idea since it will pull off the hair and dead skin cells, making the colors of your tattoo pop and making the design visible.

How Long Should You Wait For Waxing Before And After Getting Inked?

Be mindful of the time you let pass between waxing sessions, before and after getting a tattoo.

1. Before Getting a Tattoo

Before Getting a Tattoo

It is important to wax your skin before getting a tattoo. Your tattoo artist won’t be able to design properly if their vision is obstructed because of the presence of body hair.

The skin will also be uneven from the hair follicles, making it difficult to run the tattoo gun smoothly. They will not be able to see where they deposit the ink, and you may end up with a distorted tattoo.

However, once you have waxed your skin, your skin will likely be a little sensitive from the pulling. Those will sensitive skin might also develop mild rashes, or there could be redness or inflammation. Hence, it is important to clean the area.

Allow the skin to rest and for the redness and irritation to disappear. You can apply an ice pack on the skin to help it heal. But be mindful that it could take three to four days but will vary from person to person.

2. After Getting a Tattoo

You will have to wait long after you have been etched with your tattoo before you can go back to waxing. It could take eight to twelve weeks for your tattoo to heal completely.

At first, your skin will be raw and red, and there might also be a significant amount of swelling, with the needle piercing through your skin rapidly. The larger the tattoo is, the larger the area that will be affected.

Only when you see the skin drying and the scabs falling off can you understand that your skin has started to seal itself and the wounds are closing. You should note that even after all the scabs have disappeared, your tattooed skin will still be sensitive because the tissues underneath may take longer to heal.

Ideally, it is safe to return to waxing when you notice no difference in how your tattooed skin feels from your un-tattooed skin.

Are Hair Removal Methods Bad For Tattoos?

Are Hair Removal Methods Bad For Tattoos

Not all hair removal methods are bad for your tattoo. However, while waxing is safe, hair removal methods like laser treatment can affect your tattoo. The laser heats the body part from which you are trying to remove your hair.

If there is a tattoo, the pigments can dissolve from the heat and could lead to a blurred tattoo. Hence, telling your aesthetician about your tattoo is important since they will know what to do.

Using hair removal creams containing chemicals is not a good idea, especially if your tattoo is less than three months old. They contain chemicals that might seep into the next layer of the skin and distort the tattoo. Hence, ask your tattoo artist for recommendations, and they can guide you.

Even when you first go for waxing after getting a tattoo, try to get it professionally done rather than doing it at home yourself. They will make sure to use methods that will cause less sensitivity to your skin.

How to Take Care of Tattoos Before Getting Waxed?

While getting a tattoo, the needle from a tattoo gun pierces your skin quickly at high velocity. As mentioned earlier, although the ink is deposited in the second layer of the skin, it cannot reach that layer without puncturing the top skin layer.

Hence, taking excellent care of your skin would be best to promote healing before you can wax it. Here is what you can do.

1. Apply Healing Ointments

Apply Healing Ointments

Once you have got your tattoo, your tattoo artist may recommend some healing ointments to help the skin heal faster.

Only use the recommended ointments, and avoid over-the-counter balms that may be sensitive to the tattoo pigments. Use the ointment as instructed to soothe and heal your skin faster.

2. Avoid Tight Fitted Clothing

Avoid Tight Fitted Clothing

While it is important not to expose the tattoo to sunlight and pollution, you must not wear very tight-fitting clothes either. That will chaff the skin and make it more irritable.

Wear loose-fitting garments that allow your skin to breathe. It will also cause less sweating, which is important because sweat can lead to discomfort and infections.

3. Apply Moisturizer

Apply Moisturizer

Use natural moisture from chemical-free products to keep your tattooed area hydrated. Your skin will be very sensitive after getting the tattoo, especially when the scabs appear.

You will be prone to itching until they dry and disappear. Applying a moisturizer will keep away the irritable sensation, and it will be easier when you go for your waxing sessions.

4. Protect From Sunlight

It is important to keep your new tattoo away from sunlight. The UV rays in the sun can turn your tattoo pale. Once the skin has started closing and healing, you can apply a light layer of sunscreen to prevent sun rays from getting into the skin.

You should also avoid swimming in a pool, or the ocean as the chlorine and salts can also pale the tattoo.

5. Apply Ice Packs

Apply Ice Packs

Ice packs are an excellent way to soothe your skin. Whenever you feel that your skin is feeling raw or you notice swelling, apply an ice pack to soothe the skin.

It may happen when you have been outdoors, or your skin may sometimes just become aggravated without any reason. Keeping the area cool will help a lot and will keep away undue irritation.


Taking care of your skin is a must when you get a tattoo. Waxing helps keep your skin smooth but avoid doing so over a fresh tattoo. Waxing is one of the safest ways to remove unwanted body hair. It does not threaten your tattoo if you let your skin heal properly.

Depending on how large and intricate your tattoo is, it may take some time for your body to heal, but it is important not to be impatient. When done correctly, you will be able to go back to your regular waxing routine in a couple of months.

About Author

Jonathan Corby "Jonny" is a guy who is passionate about Tattooing and successfully running a Tattoo Studio in NY. Through my journey as a Tattoo Artist I have made unforgettable memories. This irrational poetry and sense of freedom of art on skin has given a blissfull experience to my life. Each Tattoo has a story behind it; Lets share one!