As a paramedical tattoo specialist, John Herron has learned that every scar tells a story.
There are the breast cancer warriors who underwent mastectomies in a bid to survive. There are men and women alike who want to conceal the appearance of certain conditions or erase permanent reminders of medical procedures.
In these cases and many others, Herron helps restore the confidence his clients thought they’d lost for good.
“I have a passion for people, and making people happy brings me great joy,” he says. “I was happy to find a way to mix my love for art and helping others.”
While working with Dr. Anna Pavlov, a local plastic surgeon, Herron realized there was a need on the Coast that was not being met. His extraordinary attention to detail and artistic talent made Herron the right person to fill that void.
“Patients are often left with scars to remind them of the trauma they have experienced,” Herron says. “Even a perfect incision and suturing can still leave a scar. I began to research and study what could be done for these patients, and I discovered the art of paramedical tattooing.”
When Herron started his business last year, he and his clients squeezed into a tiny room, where he had to stow his table against the wall when it wasn’t in use. He has since moved into a larger space that affords him more room to provide services such as microblading, microshading, lip blushing, and camouflage for a variety of scars — including acne, surgical and self-harm.
For breast cancer patients, Herron can use a custom mix of pigments, based on the client’s skin tone, to create a tattoo that gives the appearance of an areola and nipple. Men and women with thinning hair often request scalp micropigmentation, a procedure that uses a specially shaped needle to deliver a precise grouping of hair follicle-shaped marks, thus creating the illusion of fuller hair. He likewise serves clients with stretch marks, vitiligo and other conditions who can benefit from his creativity and skill with a tattoo needle.
“My mission is to help people feel comfortable in their own bodies,” Herron says. “I want people to know that there is an option out there, and there is help.”
Not everyone is a candidate for Herron’s services, but he makes a point of being honest with prospective clients about whether he can make a difference for them. His consultations are free, and he offers a payment plan for those who would have trouble affording his assistance.
“My hope for this business is to be able to offer these services to a wide variety of people on the Gulf Coast ….,” he says. “The biggest reward I have gotten has to be the smile on someone’s face when they look in the mirror and I can see the joy and happiness they are experiencing.”
IF YOU GO
12180 U.S. 49, Gulfport
Hours of operation: By appointment only. (please call ahead)