Re-Think Your Ink - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Re-Think Your Ink

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The tattoo business is booming in Reno. And so is the other side of it; tattoo removal.

After 25 years as an R-N Joyce Furlong is focusing her talents on laser tattoo removal.

"People come in because they want to get away from their past, or they have botched tattoo art and just want to have it taken off," Furlong says. "And it's happening more and more that they realize the Hello Kitty just isn't cool at 35. Or they come in with wedding bands tattooed on or names from their past they want removed."

But she says she works hard to really change people's lives. And that comes with working with those with prison tattoos or gang tattoos.

"People do what they have to do to survive prison and then they come here and want to change their lives by leaving that life behind. Or those who were in gangs see that they can't get work with their tattoos and want them taken off. I do at least one client for those reasons for free...every month," Furlong says.

"I was in a gang and I got these tattoos because I earned them," one former gang member tells me. "I don't want people to know who I am but I work at a restaurant now and I have three young kids and I just want something better for them. I don't want people judging them because of what I've done."

He's on his second of what will likely be 15 or 20 treatments to fade his past.

And local tattoo artist Melissa Varney, regrets letting someone experiment with a tattoo on her foot.

"I'm embarrassed, I guess, because none of us can even figure out what it was supposed to be," she says. "Then I saw this shop and decided to get it faded down and I'll have another tattoo put over it."

"It hurts," Furlong says. "Not as much as it hurts to have a tattoo put on, but I don't lie to people, it's hurts. But for those who come here it's well worth it, to move on with life."

Plan B Laser Tattoo Removal is located on Vassar Street in Reno and you can reach them at  (775) 322-0232

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Written by Erin Breen

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