Shaving Over a New Tattoo

When is it Safe to Shave Again?

Woman with Tattoo
Tim Robberts/The Image Bank/Getty Images

If you've got a new tattoo, especially if you are a woman, the question is going to come up as to when it's safe to shave again. Of course, some of you guys out there might need to know about this too, depending on where the artist put your tattoo and where you usually shave.

The Delicate Area After Tattooing

When you get a tattoo, the area will be completely shaved before it's applied, so at least you're starting off with smooth skin.

However, after a couple of days stubble and bristly skin will begin to annoy you and the urge to shave can be overwhelming. Unfortunately, at this point, shaving will be about as rough on your tattoo as a weedwhacker. The wound is still fresh, and especially if you have any scabbing or raised areas, you run the risk of damaging your artwork by running a razor across it. Chemical hair removers are just as bad (if not worse) and besides, you never want to put any kind of a chemical solution on a fresh tattoo.

Of course, you can shave the area around the tattoo. Just be sure any and all creams, gels, and/or hair follicles are cleaned away from the tattoo immediately afterward. Once that is done, you can safely apply the ointment or lotion you were told to purchase by your artist.

The Healing Process

So, exactly when will it be safe to shave again? Your tattoo will go through several different stages of healing.

One of the last stages is the peeling stage. Once you've gotten past the peeling stage, your skin will start to regenerate and produce a new protective layer over your tattoo. Once this new layer has appeared, it is usually safe to shave again. I say "usually" because there is always that one in a million chance that your skin is so super sensitive it will become irritated.

Depending on your tattoo, and your own body's ability to heal, the healing process can take anywhere from five to ten days, in most cases.

How to Test Your Skin's Health at Home

To find out if you're 100 percent  healed, perform this simple skin test to see if it's safe to shave again:

Close your eyes and run the tips of your fingers across and around your tattoo. Are there any bumps, raised areas, or hard scabs? These are tell-tale signs that your skin is not back to normal. Your tattooed area should feel exactly the same as the skin around it. If you can tell (by touch) where your tattoo begins and ends, or feel any skin irregularities, you need to wait a little longer.

A Caveat

Sometimes a tattoo can remain slightly raised for as long as a few months. This can be very frustrating and physically uncomfortable to the wearer because it's taking so long to heal and it will feel itchy. In this case, if the tattoo is completely healed otherwise, with no open sores or scabs, an electric razor is your best option. You can even use a chemical hair remover at this point, but be sure to leave it on for only the minimum time required to remove the unwanted hair. Also, if you choose to use a blade razor, exercise extreme caution.

Your tattoo is so close to being successfully healed at this point, the last thing you want to do now is open it up.