NEW BEDFORD — A regulation change that would allow “microblading” at city beauty salons whether or not they’re near a body art establishment is under City Council consideration.
Currently, microblading or micropigmentation – which is a cosmetic enhancement of the eyebrow – is considered body art by city regulations.
As such it’s subject to rules that prohibit body art establishments being located within certain distances of each other. City regulations also prevent body art establishments from locating within certain distances of other designated establishments, including churches and schools.
Regulations were formulated years ago
David Gerwatowski, the city council’s legal counsel, said these “separation distances” were established before the city had any body art establishments.
Councilor Derek Baptiste brought the issue to the council, saying a downtown beauty salon that wants to offer microblading was not able to at present because of the regulation.
Microblading is more cosmetic than body art, he said.
It’s not permanent. Pigment is implanted under the skin, though not as deep as a tattoo. It will fade over time while tattoos are permanent.
It’s a realistic, hair-like stroke to the skin that can enhance the eyebrows.
Current regulation is a hindrance to business
The current regulation is a hindrance to the business, Baptiste said, and should be addressed.
Gerwatowski said microblading could be defined in the regulations, and an exemption made on the separation distances to allow it in beauty salons despite their proximity to locations listed in the regulation.
Body art would not be allowed at a beauty salon through this change, and all necessary permitting and Health Dept. regulations would still have to be observed.
The council Ordinance Committee voted unanimously to refer the proposed ordinance change to the full council and the Planning Board for public hearings and possible adoption.