Given their DIY-like nature, the thought of getting a stick-and-poke tattoo might sound a little off-putting for some, but there are actually plenty of pros out there who specialize in providing this style of ink in the most hygienic and sterile ways.
What is a stick-and-poke tattoo? In case you're unfamiliar, stick and pokes (also known as hand-poked tattoos) are an ancient form of body art that are done exactly how you'd guess: they're drawn without the use of an electric tattoo machine but instead by dipping a small needle into ink and poking the skin with it, dot by dot. The results often tend to look more minimal than regular tattoos, but how simple or complex they are can definitely vary.
"Hand-poked tattoos have a different aesthetic from machine tattoos," tattoo artist Rosa Bluestone Perr (aka @bluestonebabe) told POPSUGAR. "I personally prefer them because they look more hand made and organic on skin." Additionally, if you're ever to get a hand-poked tattoo, you should expect for it to heal faster than a machine tattoo since they're less invasive, and in many cases, less painful.
"Many people find hand-poked tattoos less painful than machine tattoos," Perr said. "Hand-poked tattoos are less abrasive on the skin than machine tattoos, but ultimately everyone experiences pain in different ways."
If you're thinking about getting a hand-poked tattoo at any point in the future and looking for inspiration, a good place to start is Instagram, where you'll find thousands of photos of gorgeous (and professionally done) tattoos. Keep reading to check out some of our favorites.