Tattoo shops permitted to reopen

As personal services like salons and outdoor dining through Ohio reopened on Friday, Ohio tattoo artists were also able to reopen for business.

On Tuesday, Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted announced that tattoo parlors would be permitted to reopen with other personal services.

This came after the Highland County Health Department’s May 8 post that addressed questions regarding whether or not tattoo parlors were included. The post read, “We have had several questions about tattoo parlors and body piercing businesses, and if they are included in the May 15 opening date for other personal appearance businesses. We checked in this morning with the Ohio Department of Health, and body art, tattoos, and piercing businesses have been separated into their own group for reopening. There are statewide work groups currently working on rules for how these businesses will reopen, and we do not have a time frame yet.”

Last week, local tattoo parlor owners Krista Kerr of Black Cat Tattoo in Greenfield, Heidi Lail of Bilancia Tattooing and Permanent Makeup in Hillsboro, and Brian Lansing of Olde Town Ink in Hillsboro, spoke to The Times-Gazette about their concerns that tattoo artists weren’t represented in DeWine’s advisory groups, which consisted of several representatives from salons, barbershops and similar industries, but no tattoo artists or parlor owners.

On Friday, Kerr told The Times-Gazette that she’s excited to get back in the studio.

“I am very happy about the decision, but I decided to take a few extra days to get everything in order so I will be opening on Tuesday (May 19),” Kerr said. “I would be open today but it’s my boyfriend’s birthday, and I’m celebrating with him!”

Kerr said she received an email from the Highland County Health Department on Thursday, which detailed the requirements her shop must meet when she reopens.

Kerr told The Times-Gazette during an interview last week that she’ll begin taking new appointments after she catches up on appointments that had to be rescheduled due to the closure.

Lail also expressed relief.

“I’m just happy to be back to work finally,” Lail said.

Lail was able to reopen her Hillsboro shop, Bilancia, on Friday, and she’s being cautious.

“I had an eyeliner appointment today,” Lail said. “I saw that oral piercings are still prohibited, so I declined to do her lips as I assumed this would fall in the same category of restrictions.”

In posts on Olde Town Ink’s Facebook page, Lansing stated that he reopened on Friday and is glad to be back in the shop. As there are restrictions, Lansing recommended calling the shop for information.

In a previous interview, Lansing said, ““We’ve got training on blood-borne pathogens, CPR, first aid, cross-contamination; we wear gloves, have sinks in our rooms, use hand sanitizer constantly. We only have one client in a chair at a time. We’re appointment-based, so it’s not like we have a big group of people sitting in there.”

Kerr, Lail and Lansing told The Times-Gazette in past interviews that they’ll be taking precautions, like providing masks for clients and taking clients’ temperatures, to ensure they and their clients remain safe.

Bilancia Tattooing and Permanent Makeup, located in Hillsboro, can be found on Facebook. Once she finishes rescheduled appointments, Lail will begin taking new appointments. The best way to reach her is through Facebook or at

Black Cat Tattoo, located in Greenfield, can be found on Facebook. Kerr is also selling what she referred to as creepy doll head art on her personal Facebook. She’s also selling tattoo gift certificates. She’ll begin taking new appointments after she completes rescheduled appointments.

Olde Town Ink, located in Hillsboro, can also be found on Facebook. Lansing can be reached at 937-402-4020 for more information.

Reach McKenzie Caldwell at 937-402-2570.
Lail: ‘I’m just happy to be back to work finally’

By McKenzie Caldwell