How Long Until I Can Shave Over a New Tattoo

by Jay Kang | Updated on May 5th, 2023
Shaving brutal tattooed male over dark forest and cloudy sky.

Embarking on the journey of getting a new tattoo is an exhilarating experience that comes with a unique set of responsibilities concerning aftercare. One of the most frequently asked questions that arise in this context is, “When can I safely shave over my new tattoo?”

As a seasoned grooming aficionado and a veteran of tattoo aftercare, I am here to provide you with an in-depth understanding and practical advice to help you navigate through the healing process seamlessly.

The Tattoo Healing Process – A Comprehensive Insight

To know when it’s safe to shave over your new tattoo, it’s crucial to comprehend the tattoo healing process first. It is generally recommended to wait for at least two weeks before shaving over the tattooed area. However, a more cautious approach would be to wait for four weeks. This time frame allows the skin ample time to recover, and any interruption during this phase might result in tattoo damage. The healing phase ideally should not have scabbing, peeling, or shininess in or around the tattoo.

Once these indicators have subsided, you can confidently shave over your tattoo. It’s advisable to use a razor that’s specifically crafted for tattoos to prevent irritation or damage to your fresh ink.

Tattoo Maintenance: Washing and Protection

Post-tattoo hygiene and protection are vital. It’s important to clean the tattoo with mild soap and warm water to clear any residual ink or ointment. After cleaning, applying a gentle moisturizer will keep your skin hydrated. To shield your tattoo from bacteria and friction, applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly around the edges is beneficial.

One key point to remember is to avoid fragranced lotions or creams on a fresh tattoo as they can cause irritation. Always keep in mind that waiting for at least two weeks, preferably four, before shaving over the tattoo is a necessary step to avoid infection or damage to the artwork.

Selecting the Right Products for Your Tattoo

When it comes to choosing products for tattoo care, it’s essential to opt for those specifically designed for fresh tattoos. Your skin needs time to heal and the scabs require time to shed naturally, so it’s recommended to wait at least two weeks before you start shaving over your new tattoo.

Shaving over a new tattoo prematurely can cause the ink to smudge, potentially ruining your design. Exercising caution when shaving over a tattoo is crucial, so ensure you use a high-quality razor and shave in the direction of hair growth.

Your Diet Plays a Role Too

Your diet plays a significant role in tattoo healing. A balanced diet ensures your body gets the necessary vitamins and minerals to heal. Consuming foods rich in Vitamin C, like citrus fruits and leafy greens, promotes healing. Avoid processed foods and alcohol to expedite the healing process. Stay hydrated to ensure that your skin heals properly. These measures can help your tattoo heal quickly, allowing you to start shaving over it sooner.

Avoid Sun Exposure

Protecting your tattoo from the sun is a critical aspect of the healing process. Sun exposure can lead to fading, discoloration, and other problems with your tattoo. It’s recommended to avoid sun exposure for at least two weeks post-tattoo to ensure proper healing.

If you plan on spending prolonged periods outdoors, remember to apply sunscreen and wear protective clothing if you’ll be in direct sunlight. Also, wait at least two weeks before shaving over your new tattoo to prevent further skin damage.

Be Careful While Exercising

While exercise is essential for maintaining good health, it can be detrimental to a new tattoo if resumed too soon. It’s recommended to wait for at least two weeks post-tattoo before restarting any strenuous activities like running or weightlifting. Exercise can cause sweat and friction in the tattooed area, leading to inflammation and irritation.

Avoid submerging your new tattoo in water, such as pools, hot tubs, or bathtubs. This can lead to infections or adverse reactions to the ink. Patience is key when it comes to exercising with a new tattoo. Wait until your tattoo is completely healed before engaging in any vigorous activity.

Don’t Pick at the Scabs

Avoid picking at the scabs when caring for a new tattoo. Picking can damage the ink, cause infection, and delay the healing process. Instead, keep the area clean and moisturized to ensure it heals properly. Once the tattoo has healed and the scabbing has disappeared, you can start thinking about shaving over your tattoo.

Patience is Key

Patience is the cornerstone when it comes to caring for a new tattoo. Waiting at least two weeks before shaving over the area is crucial to proper healing and prevention of irritation or damage. Experts agree that waiting at least two weeks, if not four, is the safest way to prevent potential damage or irritation.

When shaving over your new tattoo, be gentle and use the right products. Opt for a razor designed for sensitive skin and use shaving cream, gel, or soap to protect your skin and your tattoo.

Seek Professional Assistance for Touch-Ups

After diligently following these steps and allowing your tattoo to heal fully, it might be worthwhile to visit a professional to ascertain if a touch-up is needed. Remember that once you start shaving over your tattoo, the ink may fade faster. To prevent this, it’s best to maintain a diligent aftercare routine and only shave over the tattoo once it has healed completely. This means waiting a minimum of two weeks, and up to a month, depending on your healing process. Always use the right razor and products to avoid any additional damage.

Choosing the Right Razor for Your Tattoo

Choosing the right razor to shave over your tattoo is of paramount importance. It’s strongly advised to wait at least two weeks, and ideally up to four weeks, before shaving over the tattoo. This duration ensures that the outer layer of your tattoo has had ample time to heal and guards against potential damage from a razor’s sharpness.

Take note that shaving with cream, gel, or soap on a healing tattoo is a strict no-no. If shaving is unavoidable during this healing period, resort to using an electric razor as it will be gentler on the area. Once your tattoo is completely healed, you can use a traditional razor, but do so with care.


In conclusion, the proper care of your new tattoo is essential for a safe and smooth healing process. By adhering to the guidelines provided in this article, you can ensure that your tattoo heals correctly, and you can confidently shave over it without risking any damage. Remember, patience and diligence are key. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to consult a tattoo professional for advice. Your tattoo is not just a piece of art; it’s a part of you, and taking care of it properly will ensure its longevity and vibrancy.

Last update on 2024-07-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using these links.

Jay Kang

Just because i'm asian does not mean I don't need shaving. I always wanted to grow a beard when I was young, now I need to shave because hair growth for me is a problem. I'm going through what every man will and has gone through before.