Tattoo parlors and barbershops are in Adam Dorsett's blood. After inheriting his great uncle and aunt's 1930s tattoo equipment and barber tools, he entered a tattooing apprenticeship. With 3.5 years of instruction and experience, Dorsett opened Electric Haven Tattoo & Barber Shop and invented High Life Pomade—a classic workingman's hair grease that keeps strands in place by never saying “I love you.”
All of Dorsett's tattoo artists completed apprenticeships up to four years long and draw on that experience as they craft masterpieces such as portraits and old-school tats. His barbers trim dos and facial hair the old-fashioned way—with straight razors and hot towels. While they wait, barber customers of age may sip on complimentary tap beer. To ensure safety, Dorsett makes sure his staff is certified in CPR, first aid, and blood-borne pathogens. They also participate in monthly sterilizer spore testing and proper biowaste removal.
Diamond Body Art’s tattoo artists adorn bodies with tattoos done in a variety of styles. Alfonso specializes in realistic portraits done in black and gray. He can make anything look real, including a horror tattoo of Frankenstein’s monster or of a demon leaving the bathroom without washing his hands. Whether he’s creating a realistic bird or a cartoon character such as Mini Mouse, Dominic infuses the skin with bold colors. And Michael focuses on drawing clean lines when crafting Polynesian or Japanese-style tattoos.
Having dissolved thousands of doses of tattoo ink, Dr. Phil Knall has worked his way up to educating fellow clinicians on the technique. He's presented at more than 800 industry seminars in six countries.
Dr. Knall employs the Zimmer Cyro 6 laser, which vanishes tattoos over the course of a few treatments. Comfort is key; unlike many traditional cooling methods, such as ice-cream wrestling, the Zimmer's cooling system continuously chills the skin before, during, and after the procedure. See the clinic's gallery for evidence of the doctor's disappearing acts.
The telltale buzzing of tattoo guns pervades the air at Alley Kat Tattoo’s studio, where skilled artists have emblazoned skin with Celtic symbols, graffiti, military insignias, and mythological art for nearly two decades. The artists eschew pretension in favor of a casual, hygienic environment that makes even first-timers feel like habitual inkers as they excitedly convey their ideas during consultations. When they aren’t putting their spin on classic designs such as dragons and portraits of Grover Cleveland, the artists accent eye areas and lips with subtle cosmetic tattoos that act as permanent makeup.
In the United States, the most eye-catching part of a bride's hands is typically her wedding ring, but in India, it's her mehendi—also known as henna body art. Once reserved for special occasions, the intricate swirl and flower designs of henna can now grace the hands and feet of anyone who stops in at The Henna Shoppe. There, a talented staff embellishes limbs with traditional henna designs using a temporary ink, which dyes skin a dark, reddish-brown color that fully develops over 24 hours. The artists can also draw simple designs, such as calculus test answers, or test out permanent tattoo ideas with the same ink.
The team also uses its steady, dexterous hands to oust unwanted facial hairs with thin cotton threads. Performing a twisting motion, the aestheticians lasso and remove fuzz on the upper lip, eyebrows, chin, and other areas of the face. To complement its beauty treatments, The Henna Shoppe also sells handmade skirts, scarves, and accessories made by local craftsmen from throughout the world.