As microblading grows in Columbus, health official explains rules for tattoos, body piercing, and permanent cosmetics


COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Microblading, a cosmetic procedure that’s exploding in popularity, has little room for error. So Columbus public health officials cracked down on unlicensed providers of the procedure, which is a form of tattooing for filling and shaping the eyebrows.

Columbus tattoo artists have been regulated for years to ensure their facilities are clean and safe. But when the microblading trend took hold about five years ago, CPH made changes to ensure that microbladers also keep customers safe.

Kathy Keeney is one of dozens of licensed permanent makeup providers in Columbus. In addition to her hand and her eyes closed for symmetry, Keeney needed special training and inspections, and she had to provide certain documents to health officials in order to perform microblading procedures in her business, Boss Gal Beauty Bar.

“You must have an infection control plan, you must have your Red Cross Bloodborne Pathogen Certificate, and you must have good quality supplies with lot numbers and expiration dates. “said Keeney.

A registered nurse who worked in the emergency room, Keeney said she had never seen an infection in her five years of microblading.

During this time, health officials say microblading has grown in Columbus. There were only six approved providers in the city in 2015, but there are now 64. In total, the capital has 122 active companies offering tattoos, piercings or permanent cosmetics.

“At the start of the permanent cosmetics trend, there was some confusion over whether or not microblading should be allowed,” said Sarah Badenhop, coordinator of the CPH program that allows body artists.

“It’s sometimes called semi-permanent… but it’s always a tattooing procedure where you insert pigment under the skin,” she continued. right in that.

Licensed permanent makeup artists undergo two inspections each year. In addition to the Infection Control Plan and Bloodborne Pathogen Certificate, licensed permanent makeup artists in Columbus are required to complete first aid training. They also need in-person microblading training, which includes performing the procedure on live models.

This graph shows the color coded results of commercial inspections conducted by Columbus Public Health. (Screen capture /

Online-only training courses are available, which Badenhop says is insufficient for a license anywhere in Ohio. She pointed out that some states do not have licensing requirements for body artists.

Badenhop also said it rejects a “handful” of applicants each year for insufficient training.

Every now and then, Bandenhop said, she’ll learn via social media or word of mouth on an unlicensed microblader. When this occurs, CPH will issue a cease and desist order to that provider. The agency placed seven orders with permanent unlicensed makeup artists in 2018, two in 2019, four in 2020 and two so far in 2021.

Among approved providers, “We have very good compliance rates with all of our body art facilities. We don’t have any body art facilities in place at this time, ”Badenhop said.

If you know of a permanent makeup artist in Columbus who is not licensed, call 311 to report it. Look for Columbus Commercial Inspections here.

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