Can You Wax Over A Tattoo? Here’s What You Need To Know

Wax off those tiny, pesky hairs for a vibrant tattoo!

Written by , BA (English Hons) Pahul Nanra BA (English Hons) linkedin_icon Experience: 2 years
Edited by , MA (English Literature) Madhumati Chowdhury MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 7 years
Fact-checked by , MSc Manjari Uppal MSc linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
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While getting a tattoo is always exciting, it also follows that careful aftercare must be observed. Can you wax over a tattoo is among the countless questions that may arise post-inking. This inquiry is crucial as it requires maintaining the delicate balance between preserving the vibrancy of the tattoo while following proper skincare to remove unwanted hair. In this article, we will explore all the possible perspectives of waxing over a tattoo, and weigh the pros and cons. We shall navigate different topics, from understanding the compatibility of waxing with new tattoos to addressing concerns and providing insights for prepping your skin for the process and providing proper care. The article aims at simplifying the decision-making for individuals, whether you are an experienced tattoo lover or a first-timer. And, while the advantages of waxing over a tattoo are undoubtedly more, it is better to always get thoroughly familiar with the disadvantages as well. So, without further ado, scroll down to dispel any doubts about waxing over your body art.

Can You Wax Over A Tattoo?

Yes, waxing over a tattoo is completely fine but only when the tattoo is fully healed. Whether it is waxing, shaving, or even the use of hair removal creams, the tattoo ink beneath the skin epidermis will not be affected. However, refrain from waxing or performing any other similar procedures on a fresh tattoo, as it is still an open wound healing, and hence is at risk of infections.

protip_icon Quick Tip
If you have sensitive and/or dry skin, opt for hypoallergenic and aloe vera-enriched good quality wax.

But why is waxing considered safe for tattooed skin? Let us figure out the mechanics behind this verdict in the section below.

Why Is Waxing Safe For Tattooed Skin?

Woman with clean and waxed tattooed skin
Image: Shutterstock

During the tattoo session, the needle with tattoo ink penetrates deep into the skin, going past the epidermis and into the dermis layer. Thus, the science behind tattoos makes waxing over it or performing any type of skincare on the topmost layer of skin (epidermis) naturally safe. Anything applied or action performed on the skin will not affect the longevity or appearance of the tattoo, unless it is directed at removing or fading the tattoo. Therefore, waxing over a tattoo is regarded as a safe move; in fact, there are also some advantages linked to it that make it a suitable option. Read about them below.

Benefits Of Waxing Over A Tattoo

Smooth tattooed skin on the thigh
Image: Shutterstock

Smooth Skin Texture: Waxing removes unwanted hair and dead skin cell build-up that helps unclog your sweat glands, leaving the tattooed skin feeling softer.

Enhanced Visibility: Clearing the body hair around the tattoo can help showcase its intricate design and vibrant colors.

Long-Lasting Results: Waxing offers longer intervals between hair growth, maintaining the tattoo’s visibility for extended periods.

Reduced Ingrown Hairs: Regular waxing can help prevent ingrown hairs, thereby promoting healthier skin around the tattoo.

Light Exfoliation: Waxing acts as a natural exfoliant, which can contribute to clearer, brighter skin tone and a beautiful tattoo appearance.

Now, you might be wondering, if shaving might be as good an idea as waxing, or which is the better option. To understand which one you should opt for, read the section below.

Should You Wax Or Shave Over A Tattoo?

Waxing over a tattoo is advisable instead of relying on shaving, due to numerous reasons. While shaving is safe, it has the potential risk of causing nicks, razor bumps, ingrown hairs, and a rough and hard hair regrowth. On the other hand, waxing, as discussed, has many benefits like long-lasting results, soft skin, reduced ingrown hairs, and a clearer appearance of the skin for a brighter tattoo.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Avoid direct sun exposure and wear loose clothing post-waxing to allow the delicate skin to breathe comfortably and return to its calm and normal state.

Continue scrolling as we read about waxing or shaving before a tattoo, and which option is ideal for you.

Should You Wax Or Shave Before A Tattoo?

While both the options are ideal for before the actual tattoo session, waxing is generally considered better as it helps remove deep-rooted hair from the hair follicles and offers a smooth base for an easy tattooing process and intricate tattoo designs. It is also a usual practice for smaller tattoos, where your professional tattoo artist shaves the concerned areas themselves before starting on their work.

Now that you are aware of the most suitable hair removal method, read below about how you can prep your skin for waxing prior to getting inked.

Prepping Your Skin For Waxing Before A Tattoo

Before waxing for a tattoo, ensure your skin is clean and dry. Exfoliate gently to remove any dead skin cells for an effortless waxing experience. Refrain from using any lotions or hydrating serums; instead, apply a thin layer of talcum powder to absorb any sweat and oil on the skin that may hinder proper waxing.

As we have covered what preparations you can do before getting inked, let us also understand how long you should wait after waxing to get your desired beautiful body art.

How Long Should You Wait After Waxing To Get A Tattoo?

After waxing, you may want to wait at least two weeks before getting inked. This allows your skin to heal properly, thereby minimizing skin irritation and risks of tattoo infections and potential complications. Additionally, always consult your tattoo artist and dermatologist for some personalized advice catered to your skin type.

Waxing over a tattoo demands a thoughtful approach. While it is generally not considered a bad idea, it is recommended not to attempt it on a fresh tattoo and wait before it is completely healed. Prematurely waxing after getting inked can lead to excess irritation and tattoo damage, thereby affecting the design and its overall appearance. Always prioritize optimal tattoo recovery, then indulge in any form of skincare treatment or the use of different skincare products. Waxing after a tattoo is healed can bring numerous benefits with it, such as enhancing tattoo visibility, combating ingrown hairs, offering buttery-smooth skin texture, and promoting the vibrant colors and linework of the tattoo. So, we hope this article will help you strike a balance between effective grooming and maintaining the overall appearance of your inked design, post your tattoo appointment. Lastly, always follow a daily tattoo aftercare routine, protect the freshly-inked tattoo from UV exposure, use only mild soaps for cleansing, avoid tight clothing, and apply a moisturizing cream regularly to keep the skin hydrated and bright.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I wax over a tattoo with colored ink?

Yes, waxing over a tattoo with colored ink is completely fine. Just ensure that the procedure is done once the tattoo is completely healed, that is after 5-6 weeks.

Can I wax over a tattoo if I have sensitive skin?

Yes, it is possible to wax sensitive skin once the tattoo has properly healed. However, waxing should be done with extra caution if you have sensitive skin, hence perform a patch test with the wax to assess the skin and prevent any allergic reactions

Can I wax over a temporary tattoo?

Waxing over a temporary tattoo is not recommended as it adheres to the epidermis or surface layer of skin and is not inked deeply, hence waxing can remove or damage the design.

Can waxing over a tattoo cause ingrown hairs?

Waxing can contribute to ingrown hairs if done incorrectly, or before the tattoo is fully healed. However, it does not lead to any ingrown hairs if performed after the tattoo has completely recovered and is followed by ideal aftercare tips

Can I wax over a tattoo on any part of my body?

While it is fine to wax over a healed tattoo on any part of the body, some areas can be more sensitive than others, and hence may require precautions and a patch test before waxing.

Key Takeaways

  • Waxing over a tattoo is considered normal but should only be performed on a healed tattoo.
  • You should wait 3 to 7 weeks before performing this grooming technique, as it is the minimum time required to heal the tattooed skin.
  • Waxing over tattoos carries numerous skin benefits such as, achieving smooth skin texture, better visibility of the tattoo, and less chances of ingrown hairs.
  • Waxing is recommended over shaving when removing hair before getting a tattoo, as shaving can lead to nicks and razor burns.

You are supposed to wait a couple of weeks before waxing over your tattoo, but following the right technique while doing this beauty procedure is also important. Watch the video below for the right way to wax for optimal results!

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Pahul Nanra

Pahul NanraBeauty & Lifestyle Writer

Pahul Nanra is a content writer with a penchant for all things fashion and beauty. She has two years of experience in writing across beauty and lifestyle genres. She is an English Honors graduate from Delhi University with a diploma in Fashion Designing from YMCA. This beauty and couture enthusiast also has a varied interest in Korean culture and cinematography...read full bio

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