The full color of a tattoo does not come out until it is fully healed, which normally takes around seven to 14 days. Several factors affect this process, including the tattoo's size, the amount of color, shading, adherence to after-care tips and how fast it heals.
During the first couple of weeks, the skin locks in the pigments. Avoiding sun, steam, hot water, tight clothing and scab picking helps fully seal the color of the tattoo. Likewise, proper bandaging and moisturizing helps to keep the pigments in and accelerates the healing process. A good tattooist always gives advice on how to care for a tattoo.