When Can You Shave Over a New Tattoo?

  • Written By Dan Hunter on October 1, 2021
    Last Updated: February 18, 2022

Getting a tattoo is an exciting time and you should be prepared for your tattoo appointment. When you’re going for your tattoo it’s advised that you shave the area. This applies to areas that are known to be hairy, such as your legs or chest, if you’re a man. If you don’t shave, the tattoo artist will do this for you if it’s needed.

After the tattoo is completed it needs time to heal. This can take between two to four weeks and can sometimes take up to six weeks. During this period your tattoo artist will tell you that you shouldn’t shave the area. This is good advice and will help the tattooed skin to heal.

It’s important that you give your tattoo the best aftercare possible, this will make sure that your tattoo looks just as imagined. You don’t want to go through the pain and the cost of a tattoo for it to be ruined by poor aftercare.

Tattoo Healing Time

The healing process for a new tattoo can take up to six weeks before it’s fully healed. However, some tattoos will heal in as little as two weeks, each person is different and should be treated as such. The healing time will also depend on the size and location of the tattoo. 

As your tattoo heals you will see that it starts to scab over. This skin will then peel off and be replaced by a shiny new skin that will help to preserve your tattoo and help it to heal fully. 

When Can I Shave Over My Tattoo?

You should leave shaving until your tattoo is completely healed as you don’t want to damage it. The tattoo should have no scabbing as this should have dried and all peeled off revealing new skin. It should also be flat on your skin, you shouldn’t have any raised skin or bumps. 

The new skin will start off being shiny, this will fade as your tattoo heals and it will look like the rest of your skin once it’s healed properly. 

You are then able to shave as normal. However, we would recommend taking care the first few times as the skin will be tender and the tattoo is still relatively new.

What Happens if I Shave Too Early?

There may be an occasion where you are rushing or you forget about the tattoo and start to shave the area before remembering. Just as you may scratch your tattoo by accident as it starts to heal and becomes itchy.

As long as you stop what you’re doing as soon as you realize, this shouldn’t be a major issue. Just remember that your tattoo is an open wound that needs to heal the same way as any other cut or wound on your body. 

You should then clean your tattoo with warm water and antibacterial soap to stop any infection from the razor. Your tattoo should then be patted dry with a clean towel and ointment or lotion applied as per your daily aftercare routine.

Once it heals there may be no visible damage. In the worst case, it could be that there is some scarring or discoloration of the tattoo.

Other Hair Removal Methods

You should leave your hair to grow normally while the tattoo heals and shouldn’t use any other methods of hair removal. Once this is healed fully you are able to shave as normal and can also use other methods to remove the hair.

Depilatory Creams can be used on a healed tattoo as they only take the hair from the epidermis layer of skin. The ink is lower than this in the dermis. Waxing is a good option for removing hair on tattooed skin as this also only takes the hair from the epidermis. You should not wax before the tattoo is fully healed as this will damage the tattoo.

You shouldn’t have any kind of laser hair removal on tattooed skin, even if the tattoo is years old. This could cause your tattooed skin to burn or blister, which will distort even an old tattoo.  


It may be a pain to hold off shaving the tattooed skin for a few weeks but your tattoo will definitely benefit from this. Shaving before the tattoo is fully healed may cause damage to the tattoo and may even scar your skin.

With this in mind, you should make sure that the aftercare routine that you have is meticulous.  The tattoo area must be kept clean at all times, which can be difficult if your hair is growing back.

We hope that we answered your question and you manage to restrain yourself from shaving until the tattoo is healed. Your tattoo will look all the better for it.

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