The Legal Lowdown on Microblading

Here's what you need to know to perform safe microblading on clients. // Photography: Getty Images

According to the American Medical Spa Association (AmSpa) 2017 State of the Medical Spa Industry Study, microblading is the fastest-growing new treatment in non-invasive aesthetics, with revenue increasing approximately 40 percent from year-to-year. However, the study also found that only around 25 percent of medical spas offer microblading services. That number seems to be rising, but the growing success of this treatment suggests that the market has yet to reach saturation, so enterprising practices stand to make a great deal of money with this technique. But, like many services in the medical spa space, it is an offering that needs to be introduced carefully and with consideration of the legal implications of performing a service that uses a blade. 

Microblading is almost comically inexpensive—all it requires is a disposable device that costs about $5. What’s more, it is a practice that typically does not need a doctor or a healthcare provider to perform these treatments, thus keeping practical costs low. However, medical spas typically charge upwards of $500 for microblading services, so the practices administering this treatment are realizing very high-profit margins when it is offered.

Patients like microblading because it is semi-permanent, making it a much more palatable solution than tattooing, which has been used in the past for the same purpose. In addition, microblading tends to look a bit more natural than tattooing. However, since the microblading process is so similar to that of tattooing, most states that have issued rulings on the matter of who can legally perform these treatments have stated that a tattooing or body-art license is required. If your practice is located in one of these states, your estheticians or practitioners would need to get these licenses (if they don’t already have them) in order to perform microblading treatments. And while this might sound like a bit of a hassle, obtaining a tattooing license is usually simpler than you might imagine. Consult a local healthcare attorney to learn what is required to get a tattooing license where you live.

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