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Perfecting The Art Of Spray Tanning

Many of us have ran into new issues while we are spray tanning a client, we ask ourselves "Why did this happen" or "How did that happen?" Well here are the answers you all have asked.

First things first.

* Let's Educate!

Clients who have never had a spray tan are going to ask "How does the spray tanning work?"

When you get a client needing a spray tan, you should always educate them on how the process works and how the tan develops. The next thing to do is educate them on is Pre-Tan Prep, exfoliating, when to shave, and what not to wear before their tanning session. and ofcourse educate them on the Post-tan care.

* Equipment Settings on Your Machine & Gun

Your setting on your spray tan gun determine on how light or dark or how much solution you are spraying on your client. For instance, if you have your setting on your gun down, the spray on your client is going to be like a micro fine mist giving your client a light tan regardless of the dha. If you turn up the setting on your gun, then the spray is going to be heavier giving your client a darker tan. Many spray tan technicians have tried solutions that are suppose to deliver a dark spray tan but the tans end up being on the light side. When this happens, it's usually the the setting on the gun that is turned down.

* DHA & Skin Tones (Very Important to Know)

There are different levels of dha in the sunless industry, it starts with a 5% dha and goes up to a 16% dha. The 5% is the lightest and is for clients who have very light/pale skin tones (Think Anne Hathaway). It can also be for those who have very dark skin but just want a glow or bronze look. (Think Serena Williams) The higher dha percentage you use, the darker the tan will be on a client, an 8% dha is a medium and can be used on fair to medium skin tone clients (Think Heidi Klum) A 10% and 11% dha is for those with a medium to darker skin tone clients. (Think Chrissy Teigen and Beyonce) Choosing the right dha percentage for your client is just like choosing a makeup foundation, you want to match the skin tone because if you have a client with very fair/pale skin and you use an 10% dha on them, the color will look okay but the fading of the tan will not.

* Finger & Toe Nails & Cuticles, Protect Em!

When prepping your client before you tan them, always apply barrier cream on their finger & toe nails and on their cuticles. This prevents those areas from staining. Also apply on top of their hands, on top of their feet, the sides of their feet, and on the back of their heel. Many technicians do not apply barrier cream and their answer for this is: "I never apply barrier cream on my clients and their tans always turn out great." Well guess what? There is going to be that time where those areas are not going to turn out right. Remember, everybody's skin is different.

* Age Spots & Dry Patches (Barrier Cream Time)

Age Spots are due from sun damage. Some clients have a few (like 6) on their arms and some clients have many on their arms or legs. When spray tanning them, it makes them appear darker. So what does a spray tan tech do in this case? They apply a minimal amount of barrier cream on those areas. Apply the barrier cream on each individual age spot if there are a few (like 6-10), if there are many age spots close together and on the arms or legs (for example) then apply all over the whole area. Let's talk dry patches. As mentioned, everyone's skin is different and some have dry patches here and there. A lot of times, clients have very dry and perhaps a little flaky skin on their legs. This can happen even if they exfoliate properly. It is okay to put a minimal amount of barrier cream on those areas but only if their skin is very dry and somewhat still flaky.

* Arms Positions

We often get clients who inform us that the last company they tanned with left them with streaks on top of their shoulders. There is a clear explanation for this. The only time you tan clients with their arms in the air is when they are in the first posing position which is facing you. After you are done tanning your clients front side, you then inform them to turn to their side. Their arm should be extended in front of them, not straight up in the air. Many spray tan techs make this mistake causing streaks on top of the shoulder area.

* Spraying Hands, Feet, Face

Many spray tan techs tend to spray directly on the feet and hands. We don't because when you are spraying the arms, the over spray if any will fall on top of the hands giving them the right amount of color. Same thing with feet, we don't spray feet directly because when spraying legs, the over spray if any will fall giving them the right amount of color. As mentioned above, we apply barrier cream on top of clients hands, on top of their feet, the sides of their feet, and on the back of their heel to prevent those areas from absorbing a lot of solution and becoming dark. Spraying your clients face. That's the first area we spray, ofcourse asking the client if they want their face tanned. If they say yes, then we politely ask them to close their eyes and take a deep breath and start spraying. We spray once going vertical on the right side, the center, and the left side of their face. At the very end when we are done tanning our client, we ask them if they'd like their face sprayed one more time. The reason why we ask at the end is so they can look in the mirror and see the current color on their face. If they say yes, then we spray them one more time and if they say no, then we don't spray their


* Spraying Under Breast & Underarms

When tanning your client with the first pose (facing you with arms in the air) determine if your client needs to lift up their breast in order for you to spray underneath them. When spraying underneath the breast, spray lighting then dry thoroughly. After you spray under the breast area, it is best to apply powder (Tan in the Raw or Corn Starch) to prevent the tan from rubbing off. Also the powder works great for the areas that tend to perspire such as underarms, back of knees, inner thighs.

* Wrinkles, Creases (Bend & Stretch)

Spraying a client who has wrinkles or creases is easy, it's all about stretching and bending. If your client has wrinkles on the elbow, then you ask them to slightly bend them. This will stretch the skin giving the area an even coverage. The same thing with knees, if your client has creases on their knees, have them bend a little.

* Stretch Marks

There are different types of stretch marks, you have light ones and you have dark ones. With the light ones, you can spray the area like normal. With dark ones, apply a minimal amount of barrier cream on them and then spray the area. The barrier cream will prevent the dark stretch marks from getting darker.

* Larger Body Types (Lean & Bend)

When spraying larger body types, it's all about working with the body. Stretching to the side to get certain creases, bending to get other creases. If your client has creases on the their side, have them lean to their side with arm down, this will stretch the skin allowing the area to have an even spray coverage. If your client has creases on their back, have them lean over a bit to stretch the skin.

Blending Mistakes (Tools to Use & How)

Sometimes mistakes are made and we need to fix them quickly. Never use the grey sponge on the stick. This will leave streaks on your client. Instead, use the woven mini paint roller (can buy at Home Depot). This is great for blending

any mistakes that may happen.

* Drying Your Client (Make Sure They Are Dry Completely)

Your client never wants to feel wet or tacky after a spray tan so it is best to dry them thoroughly. We dry our clients while we are spraying them. We will spray one area of their body then dry it some, then work on to the next area and do the same thing. When we are all done spraying the client, we dry the entire body then ask our client how does their body feel? Wet or sticky? If they say they feel wet on certain areas, then we will dry that area some more, if they say their body feels dry, then the spraying process is done. It is very important to dry your client completely so that way, when they leave your salon, marks can be avoided such as getting a seat belt mark.

* After Tanning Your Client (Clean Up Areas)

After tanning the client, we use a piece of damp sponge to clean up any areas that may seem to have a little more solution on the area when it shouldn't. This is usually the inside of the wrists and below the ankle and back of heel. If there is an area like those that have a little more solution than it should, gently pat that area to blend it in. If your client by any change had the inside of their arms touching their side (skin on skin contact) and you notice a brown blotch, get your sponge and gently buff that area to blend it in. It will look like the brown blotch never happened.

* Go The Extra Mile & Make Your Client Feel Like VIP.

We like to go the extra mile on every client to show them that we care and appreciate them so we'll do a free mini contour on our clients and they absolutely love it. We also love giving out free gifts that clients can use. In the winter time we give them a gift bag filled with a mini chap stick, a small tan extender lotion bottle, and our business card. In the summer time, the gift bag is filled with a mini chap stick, an SPF lotion packet, and our business card. So when you get clients, go that extra mile and show them you care, they will keep coming back.

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