Vertex Lasers Blog

How Does Laser Hair Removal Work

Laser hair removal is a growing trend in the aesthetic industry. Indeed, women and men are both turning to permanent hair removal as opposed to other hair removal options such as waxing and shaving. Both are indeed short-term options as they do not destroy the hair. Both also tend to become costly with time.

Cost is one of many misconceptions about laser hair removal. It is the first deterrent to more patients giving it a go, even though they are struggling with their body hair. Thus, laser treatment tends to scare more than one individuals, that is true.

Why though? Because even though laser hair removal is growing in popularity, people still do not know exactly what the procedure entails. There is hair and there is a laser. The laser destroys the hair.

As this is partly true, undergoing laser as a way to remove unwanted hair goes way beyond that. Indeed, laser is a safe and effective way to remove body hair on the selected area and will help reduce hair growth, reaching a quasi-permanent hair-free skin.

However, how does laser hair removal actually work? What principles and technology goes behind the laser procedure? How does the laser machine actually help with removing unwanted hair? Answering all your questions now.
What you need to know about laser hair removal
1. What happens during laser hair removal

Laser hair removal is a cosmetic procedure that uses a concentrated beam of light, also called laser, to remove unwanted body hair. To be more precise, the laser treatment uses selective photothermolysis. A specific wavelength of light and pulse duration will match to obtain the desired effect on a specific target without damaging the surrounding skin tissues. During a laser hair removal appointment, the laser will target pigments in the hair to travel through to the hair follicle where it will turn into thermal energy.

The goal of the laser procedure is to damage the hair follicle beyond repair so that it cannot regenerate nor create any new hair. When the hair follicle stops regenerating, hair growth stops. Furthermore, the combined effects of all the hair follicles going through the same process will help achieve long-term hair growth reduction. The beam of light will target pigments present in the hair but may detect melanin elsewhere, like on the skin for example. Thus, laser hair removal works better on dark hair and light skin.

Indeed, only a sharp contract between skin and hair will allow the laser to capture the hair and ignore the skin. However, that does not mean that laser hair removal does not work on darker skin or lighter hair. Consequently, different skin tones will require different laser intensity to ensure that the skin is not harmed during the procedure.

Technicians will also use different types of laser depending on the skin color. For example, ND: YAG lasers are used on dark skins as they do not rely as much on melanin to be absorbed and to get to the hair follicle.
2. Why do you need to wait between sessions

There are several reasons why laser hair removal sessions are weeks apart. Usually, technicians recommend waiting six to eight weeks before coming back. This is mostly because one must contend with the hair growth cycle.

The hair growth cycle has three phases: anagen, catagen and telogen. Laser hair removal is effective when the hair is in the anagen phase. Indeed, that is the only time the hair connects to the hair follicle. Without the connexion, the energy cannot to reach the hair follicle and damage it to stop hair growth. Unfortunately, it is difficult to know one’s hair growth cycle and schedule sessions accordingly.

However, at least 20% of all body hairs will be in the anagen phase at any point in time. Thus, the laser will only be able to target 18 to 20% of a patient’s body hair. Each hair will also go through their own unique cycle. One hair may stay longer in one stage than another hair. Spacing sessions out allows time for the hair to switch growth phase and hopefully be at the anagen phase.

Furthermore, as patients wait between sessions, they will see their first results. Indeed, it will take a few weeks before the first hairs shed. The damaged hair follicle still needs time to expel the dead hair. Some follicles may also need several sessions to be damaged enough and ensure there is no more hair growth.
3. Why is shaving before a session important?

It is important that patients shave before they come to their laser hair removal session. Doing this will ensure that the hair is cut flat straight at the surface of the skin. Then, it is the only pigmented object the laser will target. When the hair is not clean-shaven, the pulse of light will heat up the whole hair. This will increase the risks of scarring and burning.

Furthermore, a long hair will absorb too much light energy. Consequently, less thermal energy would get to the hair follicles to damage it. Unshaven hair will hinder the efficiency of the procedure. It may also increase the risks of negative side effects. Patients need to put extra care in their skincare routine a few days before their laser hair removal session.

Exfoliating the skin twice a week a couple of weeks before the appointment will help remove dead skin cells as well as pop ingrown hairs out. Patients must use a clean disinfected razor to ensure no bacteria get their way in.

Patients will need to shave at least 24 hours prior to their session so that the skin has time to regenerate. Indeed, shaving removes the top layer of skin, leaving the dermis more sensitive and vulnerable to the lasers. Patients must give shaving enough time, as not to rush and produce cuts and wounds.
4. Is laser hair removal for everybody?

We briefly touched on who is the ideal candidate for laser hair removal: dark hair and light skin. Indeed, only this combination produces a pigment contrast sharp enough for the laser to send energy to the hair only. However, the latest technology improvements brought lasers that can work on all skin types and complexions, as well as all hair colors.

Only one type of laser can be used on dark skin and people of color, which is Nd: YAG laser. Indeed, it is the only laser with proven safety and efficiency on dark skins. Indeed, Nd: YAG can safely treat all skin types as it deposits its energy deep into the dermis without relying on melanin to do so. Our V-Frost laser is a Nd: YAG laser.

Dark skin must stay away from home lasers as the intensity cannot change and may be unsafe.

On the other hand, the absence of melanin in blonde and fair hair may make it difficult for the laser to detect the hair. However, once again, Nd: YAG is the laser to use. The laser treatment may not be as fast as with the “ideal candidate”. However, it is still possible.

Nd: YAG laser removes hair whether blonde, ginger or grey as it is very sensitive to all pigments and melanin concentrations.

Furthermore, not every hair on a blonde person is blonde. There are different shades of blonde. Plus, hair on areas such as the upper lip may be blonde but they may well be darker around the bikini area. Thus, blonde people can still undergo laser hair removal.
5. Does laser hair removal have side effects?

When laser hair removal is done well, in good conditions with a trained technician, there should not be any side effects around the treated area or anywhere else. Each laser spa or clinic will have clear guidelines and recommendations on what to do before and after a session. Then, it is up to the patients to comply in order to ensure the safety of the treatment.

The laser technician will need to know whether a patient was on any medication prior to the session. One must not undergo laser hair removal at least ten days after being on antibiotics as they increase photosensitivity. If a patient takes Roaccutane, they must wait at least six months before they can start their treatment. Hormone-based medications such as birth control may also impact the results of the session.

It is also very important that patients stay away from direct sun before and after their session. Tanning before will add melanin to the skin and may interfere with the treatment. Furthermore, exposure to direct sunlight may cause irreversible damage to the skin such as hyper or hypo-pigmentation, scarring, etc.

The skin is more sensitive and vulnerable to UV rays after a session. Thus, it is crucial that patients apply a strong SPF on the treat area even if there is no sun.

Other more common yet still rare side effects of laser hair removal include mild swelling, small pigment changes, skin redness, mild irritation, etc. However, those are all temporary and should gowithin hours.

To sum up, laser hair removal is a cosmetic treatment that uses a laser to target pigments in the hair. The energy will get to the hair follicle and damage it beyond repair so that it cannot produce any more hair, thus reducing hair growth. It is a long-term hair removal solution that is very safe, efficient and will get you rid of your hair for a very long time!

Vertex Lasers Blog

3 Reasons Why You Should Open Your Own Laser Spa

The beauty industry is ever growing. As it does so, sub-industries develop as well and thrive. Such is the case of the aesthetic industry which grew exponentially in the past years. Although people tend to associate aesthetic with surgery, this niche entails much more than that. As a matter of fact, laser hair removal amongst others, does categorize as an aesthetic procedure. As demand increases, the number of laser spas does too. That is one reason why you should open your own laser spa

Laser spas are slowly but surely becoming strong competitors of waxing or threading places and other hair removal method. They are strong contenders and growing to be the hair removal option of choice for the good results the procedure offers. After all, shaving is a close-to daily task and waxing a monthly on. On the other hand, laser hair removal is done a few times over one year. After the laser treatment, expect long-term hair growth reduction or even permanent hair-free skin.
3 reasons why you should open your own laser spa

More and more people are ditching waxing and shaving for laser hair removal.Thus, it is time to look at the business opportunities there. A laser spa can also diversify in other laser treatments such as laser tattoo removal and fractional CO2 laser. They too are laser procedures gaining in popularity. Thus, opening your own laser spa seems to be a promising business venture. Now, we are giving three reasons why you should really give it a thought!
1. The laser hair removal market is growing

In 2018, the global laser hair removal market size was valued at USD 587.56 million. It is expected to expand at a CAGR of 15.9% from 2019 to 2026. Increasing demand for non-invasive hair removal procedures is indeed driving the market. In addition, improvements in laser technology as well as their reduced price will also help boost the demand for laser hair removal treatments. As a matter of fact, new technology is more efficient, more secure, safer and also cheaper.

Improvement in laser hair removal technology as well as the increasing number of laser machine providers has evened the playing field. There is more competition for laser machine manufacturers and thus they had to drive prices down. Laser spas were thus able to purchase machines that are cheaper, . Then, they are themselves able to decrease prices of laser hair removal treatments. As a result, more patients can afford the procedure and more are considering it, thus driving demand up.

Another reason behind the growth in demand for laser hair removal and other laser treatments is that technology improvements led to treating demographics that were otherwise excluded from getting laser treatments done. For example, for long we believed that people of colors as well as people with fair hair would not undergo laser hair removal. While this was true for safety and efficiency reasons in the past, it is not longer the case.

Technologies such as Nd:YAG lasers reach the hair follicle no matter the amount of pigments in the hair. Indeed, they do not rely too much on melanin to penetrate the skin layer. This laser makes laser hair removal safe and possible for dark skins. It also allows to target blonde, ginger and red hair. Making laser hair removal possible for a wider pool of customers will also drive the demand significantly, bringing new demographics to laser spas.
2. Laser treatment supply isn’t that high

The growing demand in laser hair removal services, including the expending customer pool, is one big reason to open your own laser spa. When launching a product or a service, it is important to assess the number of potential customers. Considering laser hair removal is something that both men and women do, that also increases your chances to reach out to a big market.

Although it is a market that is growing rapidly, the supply doesn’t increase as fast. This is mostly because opening your own laser spa seems like a very expensive and risky venture. It is true that the investment is significant and that is something we will touch on later. Back to our main point here is that even though the number of laser spas is increasing, the market is not saturated.

The Hair Loss Treatment and Removal Industry is currently in the growth stage of its life cycle. In the United States of America, it generates over $2 billion annually, with an estimated growth rate of 13.7 percent. There are about 18,657 registered and licensed hair loss treatment and removal salons in the United States and they are responsible for employing about 46,098 people.

Despite the rapid industry growth, there is still room big enough to accommodate aspiring entrepreneurs who want to open their own laser hair removal salons in the US. You will compete with a broad spectrum of hair removal providers including waxing, threading, sugaring, etc. However, if you do your due diligence, pick a good location and get on pretty quick with marketing, you will always make headway in the industry.

Thus, you will need to ensure a few things: laser spa reputation, performance, quality of laser services, marketing strategy efficiency, etc. At Vertex Lasers, we partner up with for our marketing strategy. They specialize in small businesses and count amongst clients Infinity Laser Spa and .
3. A laser spa has a high return on investment

Opening a laser spa does not come at no cost. Although it is not administratively heavy, opening your own laser spa will require a significant investment to begin with. You will need to register for a licence, sale tax ID, with the IRS, etc. Furthermore, you will need to pay the rent for a location, buy laser machines and take on a few other expenses.

The biggest expenses will be rent, laser machines and staff. You will want a good location with high footfall to ensure street visibility. Prime locations usually are more expensive. The second biggest expense when opening your own laser spa is laser machines. For example, a laser hair removal machine like our V-Frost can go from $39,000 up to $150,000, depending on the supplier.

As Vertex Lasers, we pride ourselves with America-designed, affordable and high quality laser machines. That is how we ensure small businesses and entrepreneurs can open their own laser spa. We also offer financing with leasing options so that you may lease a machine and pay the price back for a few years. You can find more information on our financing page here.

While the upfront cost of opening your own laser spa will be high, you must remember that return on investment will be high too. Competition will be tough but a good marketing and a good quality service will lift you up above the masses. The average price of a laser hair removal package ranges from $800 to $1,500. Once you start getting clients, the money will also come in. To ensure you get your first clients fast, pick a good location for your laser spa and hire a marketing executive who will know how to promote your business.
In Conclusion

If you are looking to opening a business, you should look at opening your own laser spa. Indeed, the market is ever growing. However, the competition although tough is still manageable with enough space for anyone to get in. Finally, the return on investment is very high once you get things up and running. Should you be looking for marketing advice to promote your laser spa, check out Happy Shark Media.

Vertex Lasers Blog

How To Ensure You Spa Gives The Best First Impression

Whomever said that the first impression does not count is very wrong. Of course it does. People form judgments in a few seconds after seeing something. That is a natural reflex against which no one can go. Sure, it is better to not judge a book by its cover but it is unavoidable. So instead of ignoring that fact or fight it, better go along with it and ensure your spa gives the first best impression possible.

While a shiny elaborate book cover will attract your eye and increase your likeliness of buying said book, a clean nicely decorated spa will have just the same effect. Would you step into a dark poorly lit spa? No you would not. A lot of people will decide whether to go somewhere depending on its good looks. It is thus crucial to give the best first impression. That’s how you make sure to attract clients.
Top tips to give the best first impression
1. Have an amazing website

A lot of things happen online these days. Even spas of all kinds will try to grow their presence online so that they get more people to find out about them. People spend a lot of their time on the internet, either browsing or scrolling social media. Using that behavior to your advantage can really help get your spa under more people’s radar. Some spas rely solely on internet advertising to attract more clients.

Having an amazing website that is beautifully designed, responsive, bright, quick to load and easy to navigate is one easy way to make a great first impression on your customers. People are attracted to pretty things and tend to close a website that takes more than three seconds to load. Your website will act as your first front window.

Furthermore, not only will a good performing website give a platform to potential customers to find out more about the services you offer. It will also increase your online visibility for free. A website will require some copywriting and SEO work, imaging and social media management. All of those are free marketing tools that can greatly help your business.
2. Set up a welcoming atmosphere

Let’s get back to what we talked about above: a well-lit welcoming spa. The first thing your clients will see upon entering your salon is the reception as well as the waiting area. More often than not, they are one same space. It is key that this space is warm, welcoming and relaxing.

One important thing is of course lighting. The room needs to be bright, well-lit and offer a sitting area as well. Should your client arrive earlier, they will want to sit down a bit. Having the opportunity to do so will improve their experience at your spa and associate it with positive feelings. As opposed to frustration should they had to stay up as they wait.

Lighting is important because a bright space contributes to making people feel at ease and happy. That is why walls should be white too. They can be decorated with some other colors sporadically but a bright wall will always work. As opposed to dark walls which will make the room look darker. Finally, a great smile on the receptionist’s face will also contribute to make your customer happy and feel welcome.
3. Have a great customer service

Customer service is the hardest job of all. Indeed, more often than not, customer service is what makes the different between a good and a bad experience. Sometimes, a client may have a negative experience but good customer service, attention provided to their case, a smile here and there, concerns for said client can go a long way.

It is important that as a spa owner, you train your front desk and receptionists to amazing customer service. There is an etiquette to follow when answering the phone, when picking a client call, when answering an email. Receptionists should always make eye contact with the client, small, speak in a comforting and attentive voice.

A great customer service will help improve the reputation of your spa and make the experience more memorable. It is indeed great customer service that will increase trust in your business and will contribute to making a great first impression. Indeed, your clients will know that they matter, they are being listen too and they can trust you to solve any issue that may arise.
4. Emphasize on hygiene standards

The type of spa you own does not matter. Laser, waxing, hair, etc. Something you should always emphasize on as a spa owner is hygiene and cleanliness. Laser spa provides procedures and treatments that are almost assimilated with medical treatments. It is thus essential that your place is pristine.

Seeing dirt or trash on the floor will not help your spa make a good impression at all. Ideally, your staff should wipe the floor twice a day to ensure everything is on point. Clients seeing dirt and garbage will question your hygiene standards and might be reluctant to carry on with your services. They might think that the dirt in the waiting area reflects the state of the treatment rooms.

Nothing must be on the floor. The counter must be cleaned and disinfected regularly. There should not be any food allowed at the front desk and in the waiting area. The toilet and bathroom should also be pristine. Even windows should be as clear as day. You do not want your customer’s first impression to associate your spa with a dirty place. That sort of bad news travels fast and may damage your spa’s reputation.
5. Listen to your customers’ needs

The best way to give an amazing first impression of your spa is to ensure your customers’ needs are met. Going above and beyond will help improve your reputation as well as make sure your customers are satisfied. Your staff must be trained on how to answer the most common questions that may arise about the services you offer.

Your clients need to trust that your staff knows what they are talking about and can provide answers when need be. It can be frustrating and even scary to be missing information on a procedure like laser hair removal, that remains for many quite mysterious. Your staff must also be trained to address the most common worries customers may have.

It is important that customers feel good and relaxed when they are at your spa. Being listened to by receptionists and laser technicians will contribute to making their experience amazing at your spa. It will also help make a very good first impression. When the customer leaves after their treatment, they must be happy and satisfied. It is important that everything they experience is associated with something positive.
In conclusion

Ensuring that your spa gives the best first impression possible relies on five main elements. It is crucial that your online platforms and assets are performing well and attractive. If your website looks dodgy, why should people go there? It is also important that your spa is welcoming and clean. Your receptionists must be polite, trained to answer any questions and deal with any situations, always make eye contact and be attentive to your clients’ needs.

The looks of a place will play a big role on making a good first impression. However, once this step is over, the next thing to ensure is beyond reproach is customer service. Always focus on having the best customer service you can.

Vertex Lasers Blog

COVID-19 Safety Tips For Salons & Spas

As the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations seem to decrease, states are planning their reopening. The economy is about to start again. However, business will never be the same. Not only because the economy was shut down for two months. But also because spas, salons and other businesses will need post COVID-19 safety tips in order to offer a safe environment to their clients.

The main reason why cases decreased is social-distancing. People staying home, practicing pristine hygiene and staying away from each other is how the contamination rate decreased. Although indispensable, reopening businesses make social-distancing harder to practice. Thus, it is crucial that spas and salons implement safety, health and hygiene guidelines to protect their clients.
Post COVID-19 Safety Tips For Salons & Spas

That is why, as a laser machine supplier to spas, salons and clinics, we put together this list of post COVID-19 safety tips for salons and spas. The safety and comfort of your clients matter most. Protecting them is key for your business to be able to reopen and run smoothly.
1. Implement Protocols

The first of our COVID-19 safety tips is to implement hygiene and safety protocols. Your staff, both technicians and front desk, must know of them and be able to explain them to your customers. It is important that your clients know protocols are in place and that they can witness them being implemented.

Your team should be cleaning and disinfecting your spa regularly, more than once a day. This applies especially to areas and spaces in contact with people, like the counter of your front desk or the bathroom. Disinfect surfaces in the waiting areas and each single piece of equipment after each client.

Make sure you have hand sanitizer, wipes and gloves available for anyone who may need them at your front desk. Receptionists and technicians should be wearing gloves and masks. It will be important that you signal to your clients what steps they need to take to step into your spa.

For example, require that all your clients wear a face mask. Establish frameworks of safe distance in your waiting area. People should not sit closer than 6 feet from each other. Hygiene is crucial. Make sure to tell your clients that should they feel sick, you can reschedule their appointment even at the last minute.

Finally, consult the CDC website for guidelines and advice on what to do. Even though they did not communicate a precise set of guidelines for spas and salons, it is always a good idea to keep yourself updated on best practices that they recommend. They are also the best place for COVID-19 safety tips.
2. Have A Reopening Strategy

Reopening a spa or salon after closing for two months is no walk in the park. It will take work, planning and preparation. Not only will you have to change how you manage your spa, you will have to adapt to CDC guidelines and other post COVID-19 safety tips. Each state will issue specific advice that you will need to follow to be able to reopen.

Furthermore, it is important to take some steps towards reopening even weeks before you do so. Surely, your business mostly works on scheduling appointments far in advance. It is also likely that you had to cancel a lot of appointments prior to the lockdown. Those clients will want to be booked in as soon as possible.

Break down the month prior to your spa reopening in smaller steps to take. A month before is the time to strategize your reopening, put together some marketing campaigns, review your services and think on how to adapt your spa to COVID-19 safety guidelines. Take care of back office and maintenant tasks: now is the time to order hand sanitizer, soap, gloves, masks.

A week before, you can have a meeting with your staff to explain how the salon will now work, adjusted to the COVID-19 safety tips. Inform your customers of your reopening, start booking people in, evaluate how to go through the check in process with maximum safety.

The day before, turn on your email and marketing automation. You can send another newsletter to remind your clients of your reopening. Have a last deep clean of the place to make sure it is pristine. You can use the first week to assess and evaluate how the reopening went and how your business works alongside the safety protocol.

You will have to reevaluate every two weeks or so whether to do so me change, enforce more guidelines or even close again.
3. Update Your Marketing Materials

A good marketing strategy will be essential to efficiently communicate your reopening to your customers and help your business increase revenue. It will also be the best way to show that you are implement COVID-19 safety tips and protocols.

All your newsletter in the weeks prior to your reopening should include the date of reopening as well as some of those protocols you are implementing. For example, make sure to say in your emails the day before you reopen that all customers should be wearing a mask should they want to come in.

Your website should have a post COVID-19 safety tips and protocol page. It should be linked on your navigation menu, easy of access. Should you offer packages, include on the product page that the current situation may disrupt the delivery of the service.

Finally, make sure to provide provisions for services bought prior to the lockdown. For example, someone bought a yearly package but missed out on two months, they will have those two months added to the validity of their package.
4. Communicate With Your Customers

This situation we are currently experiencing was unforeseeable and never seen before. Thus, it is difficult to know how things will evolve and how smooth will business start to run again. The newness of this situation will lead to uncertainty which can lead to frustration.

The fourth of our COVID-19 safety tips is to communicate with your customers effectively. This will mostly happen through your marketing (social media and newsletter) as well as in-spa efforts (front desks, technicians and signage).

It does not matter how many emails you send and how many times you explain your safety protocols. People might still miss them. Thus, to ensure that you clearly communicate your safety guidelines and protocols, print them and stick them around your spa. Signs will be striking and people will see them.

Should there be any changes in your business hours or safety protocols, inform your customers. Make sure your technicians are also able to explains the guidelines and demonstrate them if need be. Receptionist should also know and be able to answer any related questions.

Understand that the situation can be tricky and frustrating to anyone and that in the end, we are all in the same boat. If you update your terms and conditions, make sure to inform your customers.
5. Clean And Disinfect Frequently

Last but not least of our post COVID-19 safety tips is of course, circling back to implement protocols, to clean and disinfect your spa frequently. People walk in and out, bringing with them dirt and trash. Doors close and open.

People will touch your front desk so make sure to disinfect it often, as well as other surfaces in frequent contact with clients. It might also be a good idea to disinfect electronic equipment such as keyboards and phones. Offer to mist client’s phones with sanitizer as they have proven to be a huge carrier of the virus.

The rooms should also be cleaned as well as the equipment. Technicians and estheticians should disinfect equipment after each client and be ready to do that in front of the next customer should they ask to. Have someone wipe the floor often as well.

Check the products you are using to clean. Are they still effective? Have they expired? Make an inventory of what you have to ensure that you have stock and that the products can be used at any time. Have a big deep clean each evening after you close the spa and that the trash is taken out.

That’s it four our post COVID-19 safety tips for salons and spas. Most of the safety guidelines and hygiene protocols mostly are steps that spas and salons were taking already. Hygiene and cleanliness are both essentials to the smooth running of a spa, making a great first impression as well as a good reputation.

Vertex Lasers Blog

Why Laser Hair Removal Is The Best Hair Removal Method

In the endless quest to remove unwanted hair on our bodies, we tend to give a try to any sort of hair removal solution. After all, trying them all and comparing will only help make a decision and stick with the most effective. However, some hair removal methods take longer to assess. How to know what it the best hair removal method then if you need to wait months or even years sometimes?

That is where we come in. As cosmetic laser machine manufacturer, we are expert in laser hair removal and had the opportunity to test and compare different hair removal methods. After all, patients pick the most efficient, fastest, and cheapest option available. What does that mean though?
Why Laser Hair Removal Is The Best Hair Removal Method

To a lot of people, shaving is cheap. In the short-term, it is. In the long-term, not so much. What about laser hair removal? In the short-term, it is an investment. In the long-term, it ends up being cheaper than laser. Thus, in order to prove that laser hair removal is the best hair removal method, let us compare them all between each other.
1. Waxing

Waxing is the hair removal method of choice when you wish to remove hair and be done for a few weeks. The concept is easy: the wax removes the hair along with the root and leaves your hair free for a few weeks, the time for the hair follicle to produce a new hair. However, waxing is painful, time consuming, expensive and not without negative side effects.

The most common side effects of waxing is ingrown hairs and pimples. It can also cause redness and irritation. Worse case scenario, patients have an allergic reaction or an ingrown hair becomes infected. Did we already say waxing was very painful? Especially around the bikini area. Thus, not the best hair removal method.

Waxing is a long-term hair reduction method. After years and years of waxing every month, the hair follicle will eventually be damaged enough to stop producing new hair. Thus, women and men waxing for a very long time will indeed notice hair growth reduction. However, first, it will take a lot of time, and second, a lot of money.

Waxing at home or with cold wax stripes will never be as efficient as waxing at a salon, which of course costs time and money. Most women usually wax their full legs, bikini, underarms and upper lip. Not including tax or tip, such a procedure will cost on average $90. Done on a monthly basis, the yearly bill rises to $1,080 at least.

If you start waxing around 18 years old and up to 50 years old, the cost will be $34,569, still not including tax nor tip. God, that’s the price of a car or a house down payment. In the end, waxing is a significant financial investment on the long term. It will also require time and may have bad side effects.
2. Shaving

Moving onto shaving, which is the most common, most convenient and easiest hair removal method out there. After all, you just need to buy a razor, shave in the shower and you’re good to go. For a couple of days only, unfortunately. As opposed to waxing, which could eventually lead to hair growth reduction, shaving stimulates hair growth. It is a very repetitive tasks that also can also have bad side effects.

The most common side effects of shaving are itching, cuts, razor burn, blisters and pimples, ingrown hairs also and even inflamed hair follicles. Sure it is fast and easy, but it still is not the best hair removal method. Especially because the simple task of doing it will take a few minutes… However, shaving needs to be done more than once a week, which in the end will add up.

Shaving cuts the hair flat at the surface of the skin. Thus, when the hair grows, which it does immediately after shaving, the tip of the hair will be flat. It will not be pointy and thinning towards the end. Thus, you will have the impression that it grows darker and thicker. While not. However, shaving does stimulate hair growth and will never lead to hair growth reduction since the follicle or root are intact.

Just like waxing, shaving as a cost. Although it is lower, it is still significant in the long term. Of course, shaving gives more freedom regarding expenses. Some will purchase a razor and change cartridge every month. Others will buy shaving cream as well. Overall, you will still need to spend $20 for a good razor. Which you may change twice a year.

Considering you need to change cartridge every month, you will approximately spend $35 a year for cartridges. Not including shaving cream nor after shave lotions, your shaving budget is around $460 a year. If you start shaving at 18 and stop at 50, although you would need to shave for much longer since your hair growth did not decrease, thats $14,720. We’re sure you’d love to spend that money on something else.
3. Depilatory Creams

Depilatory creams are another hair removal method that is very commonly used. They can actually be gels, lotions or creams all with the goal of removing unwanted hair. Just like razors, they are easily accessible in drugstores and supermarket and fairly affordable.

Depilatory creams are also easy to apply since you can do it on your own in your bathroom and achieve quick results. However, in order to remove unwanted hair, it is packed with chemicals. Those chemicals will dissolve the hair, making it easy to wipe away. Those chemicals, which as increase the pH of the hair, are also harmful for the skin.

Indeed, you may be get skin irritation, chemical burns or even have an allergic reaction. As a matter of fact, those chemicals are so aggressive to the skin that it is unadvised to use them on sensitive areas such as the bikini. Furthermore, they will not remove the hair permanently nor for a long them and thus are not the best hair removal method.

Depilatory creams have the same results as shaving. The hair is dissolved but the root or follicle aren’t. Thus, the follicle will produce a new hair immediately. Not only is not impacting hair growth significantly, depilatory creams also do have a cost.

An average, a bottle cost $8, and would allow you to do your full legs. Chances are, you will need more than one tube if you wish to remove hair under your arms. You will need to use it once a week. Let’s say you need five tubes a month, which make $40 a month, and $400 a year. From 15 up to your 50s, you will have spent $12,800 at least. Not taking into account the fact that you would probably spend more than that if you have it done more often or do larger areas.
4. Electrolysis

Electrolysis has been around for decades. So far, it is the only permanent hair removal method approved as such by the FDA. As opposed to laser hair removal, it does not uses light pulses but electricity to remove unwanted hair.

Electrolysis sends an electric current to the hair down to the follicle. The follicle is damaged forever immediately and cannot produce any new hair. The process works by inserting a tiny needle into the follicle.Thus, the procedure requires such a high level of accuracy that only a licensed professional can do it.

On paper, electrolysis sounds great. It removes hair permanently after all. In reality, it has more cons than pros. First of all, it is a very lengthy treatment. Indeed, the needle targets one hair follicle at a time. Thus, each area will take a lot of time to complete. Large areas will require more than just one session.

The procedure uses electricity, which is not comfortable nor painless. The sensation is like stinging somewhat akin to plucking. Overall, it is more painful that laser hair removal. Furthermore, electrolysis does have side effects such as ingrown hair, scaring, redness, swelling, skin discoloration and permanent skin damage.

Finally, the cost is quite significant. The cost per electrolysis session goes around $45 for a small area. One session is 30 minutes. While that may be enough for a small area like the upper lip, large areas like the legs will require much longer sessions on a more frequent basis. In the end, the number of sessions required will be much higher than with laser hair removal, and the cost much bigger too.
5. Laser Hair Removal

Now that we talked about all other common hair removal method, we can focus on laser hair removal. Laser hair removal has been around for just a few decades but made a breakthrough only recently. Thus, there aren’t enough research on it to confirm that it is indeed permanent. However, most patients will achieve permanent hair removal with laser hair removal.

Laser hair removal is a cosmetic procedure that uses selective photothermolysis. The laser produces a beam of light that is absorbed by the pigment in the hair and travel to the hair follicle. There, the heat damages the follicle preventing it from producing any new hair. Some follicle are more resistant than others and will need several treatments to be permanently damaged.

The combined effects of all the hair follicles going through the same process will help achieve long-term hair growth reduction. Technology advancement now make laser hair removal efficient on all type of skins and hair. Nd:YAG lasers work great on dark skin and fair hair since they do not rely too much on melanin to get to the hair follicle.

The number of sessions needed will vary from one person to another. Many factors may impact the results of the treatment: skin color, hair texture, hair color, hair growth cycle, genetics, hormonal treatment, etc. Hormonal areas such as the face or bikini will require more sessions than non hormonal areas like the legs.

Laser hair removal is the best hair removal method simply because it is quite straightforward, convenient, painless and in the long-term, cheaper. A session can last from 10 minutes for a small area (i.e. upper lip) up to an hour and a half for a large area (i.e. full body). The price will vary from $500 (small area) up to $6,000 (full body).

Should you do full legs, full Brazilian, underarms and upper lips, the cost would amount roughly to $3,500 for six sessions. Six sessions is an industry standard. However, most people will need between eight and twelve sessions to achieve the best results. Patients might need additional touch-up sessions here and there once a year after they are done with the main treatment.
In Conclusion

Laser hair removal is the best hair removal method for many reasons. In the long-term, it is cheaper than all other hair removal methods. It is also safer with very few side effects and no downtime. As opposed to what many believe, laser hair removal is almost painless and done fairly quick. The results are also great, permanent for a lot of patient. It is a straightforward process that produces great results at a fairly low cost. Laser hair removal is a skincare investment that is worth making.

Vertex Lasers Blog

10 Ways To Stay Connected With Your Customers

Studies show that acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing customer. In addition, increasing customer retention by 5% can increase revenue from 25% up to 90%. Finally, it is much easier to sell to an existing customer (60% success rate) than to a new customer (up to 10% success rate). Although customer acquisition is important, existing customers are a huge asset to a business. Thus, maintaining a strong relationship with your past and existing clients is essential so they stay loyal to your business. The best way to do that is simply to stay connected with your customers.

There are plenty of ways to stay connected with your customers. Even more so in the digital age where publishing mobile-friendly content can sometimes be enough to nurture that connection. For small businesses, making a smart use of online platforms and tools can really help nurture existing customer relationships, stay connected and up-sell.
How to stay connected with your customers
1. Use social media

Social media is a great, free and easy tool to stay in touch with your customers. Brands will use different platforms depending on their audience and so it is up to each business to know where their audience is. Although social media are very commonly used to raise awareness, promote products and built a brand identity, it is more and more used for customer service.

Indeed, platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram provide an easy and direct access to brands. Not only do they prove to customers that there are human beings behind digital content, but they also allow brands to establish a direct relationship with customers.

For example, a spa client of ours opened their DMs on Facebook and Instagram to allow their customers and followers to book appointments directly through social media. This direct access strengthens trust and loyalty since it shows customers that the brand is very responsive should they have any question. It also helps to make a good impression.
2. Send newsletters

A lot of people think email marketing is dead and that emails either end up in the spam folder or are sent straight to the bin by subscribers. Of course, the title and abstract of the email as well as the use of emojis will determine whether an email catches the attention of their target reader. And thus, open rate will vary greatly.

The seasons, specific sales or other updates will also impact the opening rate of each newsletter. Businesses however have noticed that most of online purchases were made by customers subscribed to their newsletter. Thus, email marketing is well alive.

Building an email list may seem difficult and tedious at first but it is worth it. Website visitors will need an incentive to sign up (i.e. a welcome discount) but they will also be more likely to purchase your product next. The conversion rate of email marketing is three times higher than social media’s.

Sending frequent newsletters and updates is a great way to stay connected with your customers, inform them of new offers and promotions while giving them your latest updates.
3. Curate a blog

Curating a well-written and informative blog not only is good for attracting new leads, improve your website’s SEO (and google ranking) but it is also great to keep your existing customers interested in what you are doing. A blog will help establish your brand as an expert in your industry as well.

A website offers practical and in-tone information. However, a blog allows more flexibility and the opportunity to share updates that show who you are, what is going on behind-the-scenes. In short, a blog is a direct communication channel that really help you to stay connected with your customers.

Writing a blog will add content to your website, which will boost SEO and Google ranking. It may help with internal and back linking as well. You may choose to write very detailed blog posts on your niche or service, which people may refer to in their own blog posts. A blog is great to teach people about your product and establish yourself as a trusted source of information.
4. Survey your customers

One way to stay connected with your customers, have them stay engaged with your company is to go beyond showing your appreciation for their customership. You need to show them that you value their opinion, that what they think about your business is important and that you need their feedback.

Businesses want their brand to have a certain image and will build their marketing strategy around that. However, sometimes it may be difficult to know what customers actually think. Surveying customers and asking for their feedback is a great way to improve your business.

Furthermore, by listening to your customers’ feedback, you show that they matter to you and you give them the chance to participate in making your company better. In other words, you give them the opportunity to contribute to your company’s success, which is something very rewarding and that increases customer engagement and loyalty.
5. Engage on social platforms

We mentioned earlier how can social media be used by brands to stay connected with customers and strengthen relationships. That is one form of engaging with them. Staying in touch with customers, speaking with them, ensuring they engage with your brands on social media can be done through content marketing.

Each platforms will require a different content strategy since each platform offers different features. For example, Instagram stories offer polls, survey and little quizzes that are great for engagement. Twitter is a much more conversational platforms and often allow people to engage in long threads.

Facebook is mostly based on people commenting and tagging each other below publications. Some publishers and fashion brands have used cute videos to increase engagement, followers and revenue. Engaging with customers on social media is actually giving them the opportunity to engage with you first. Some brands even go as far as commenting back on users Instagram posts.
6. Always answer questions and queries

By being on social media, you give customers a direct communication channel to you. Even though most brands do not use their social platform for customer service, people will eventually use them for that purpose. And thus, you should expect to receive queries and questions.

Never ignore a customer trying to reach out to you on social media or anywhere else. Not only is it bad for customer service but it is taking a huge risk for your brand’s reputation. Posts can spread like wildfire on social media. It takes very little for a frustrated customer to take to social media to express their anger. And thus, you risk damaging your brand.

Always answering questions is a great way to stay connected with your customers as it shows them that you are always available. They can ask a question, they know they will get a response. And then can come back any time. It shows that you are responsive, helpful, approachable and accessible.
7. Provide exceptional customer service

Providing great customer service is common sense to many but is sometimes still overlooked. The way you treat your customers will impact your brand reputation as well as revenue. Why would people buy your products if you do not treat them well for it?

Some customer service hiccups have had huge damage on some brand’s reputation. It is important that you always find a solution to a customer, whether they’d be right or wrong. In the end, their opinion is what will help other people to make their own and decide to buy your products.

People tend to remember a negative experience much better than a positive one. It does not matter if out of the ten times they ordered from you, the ninth first were good if the last was bad. People share negative experiences, which will affect your business.
8. Offer a great online experience

Nowadays, a lot of businesses have an online presence. A website is very helpful to make your products more accessible to anyone wherever in the world they may be. Which in turns increases your chances to sell your products. More people, more visibility.

Customers may find your website through a Google search, through social media or through word-of-mouth. Here again, the first impression is crucial. Your website needs to be visually pleasing, easy to navigate, quick to load and offer all the information people need to make an informed decision about your brand.

Keeping people on your website is key to increase your conversion rate. One thing a lot of business emphasize on is reducing bounce rate. Bounce rate is the percentage of people that did not go beyond the first page of your website they landed on. A website taking long to load will lose you a lot of potential customers.

That is why it is important that your brand offers a very smooth and pleasant online experience to make sure people want to come back.
9. Monitor review sites

As a brand or small business owner, you may be dreading review sites as you may land on negative reviews about you. However, even though they are not ideal, negative reviews provide you with the opportunity to reflect on your business and improve it.

That is why you should monitor review sites like Yelp or Google My Business. And again, answer any comments made by customers, good or bad alike. It is easy to answer a good review. A bad review? Not so much. But it is important to show unsatisfied customers that you care about them and that you want to provide them with a solution.

Indeed, most unhappy customers end up changing their negative review when they feel that the brand took responsibility and was actively looking for a solution. You cannot change the past. However, most customers are more forgiving than hou think. You need to restore their faith in you by admitting that you made a mistake and are doing everything you can to fix it.

Only then can you increase customers’ trust in you and loyalty.
10. Stay on brand

Last but not least, a great way to stay connected with your customers is simply to stay on brand. You need to stay consistent with your brand image, content and online behavior. Changing all the time can only be confusing to your followers on social media for example. You are allowed a rebrand, which you will announce to your followers prior. But switching all the time may just push them to hit that unfollow button.

Although a lot of people are open to change, they may not understand a sudden shift in your brand. This could break the relationship you had with them. People follow brands on Instagram for a particular reason after all. Very often it is for their content and personality. Customers love consistency.

That is it for our ten tips on how to stay connected with your customers. We hope those tips help you strengthen customer relations and help you secure people’s loyalty and trust in your business!

Vertex Lasers Blog

How To Build A Social Media Strategy For Your Spa

Nowadays, most businesses have a website and some social media channels. It is after all easy to set up an Instagram account, so why not do it after all? Having a brand name mentioned on multiple platforms contributes to raising awareness. The more people know about you, the more likely they are to buying your product. As a result, the more likely you are to increase revenue. However, this is true only if you build a social media strategy for your spa that works.

Indeed, although a lot of spas and salons do have some traces of online presence, they usually do not use those social media channels to their full potential. Publishing posts and stories on Instagram is all good and well but it is not enough to get noticed and to grow your business. However, those who did invest time and energy in building a proper social media marketing strategy usually do see great results.
How To Build A Social Media Strategy For Your Spa
1. Set objectives and goals

The first step in building a social media strategy for your spa is to set goals and objectives. They can be hard to set as there is no right answer to what social media objectives need to be. Thus, it may be tempting to overlook them and move on straight to content creation. Do not. Spending time defining goals and objectives are essential to the success of your social media strategy.

Setting objectives will allow you to get directions as per where you want to go with your social media strategy and what you want to achieve through social media marketing. In short, objectives also allow you to answer the question: Why do you need social media? To raise brand awareness? To increase community engagement? What about generating sales? Or to increase web traffic?

As per goals, they are usually more precise than objectives and very often numbers. You evaluate goals against KPIs that your social media effort must meet. Goals keep you accountable and will encourage you to change and improve your social media strategy as time goes on and you get results. Goals bust me S.M.A.R.T.: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-sensitive.
2. Focus on your brand

One purpose of social media is to increase your online presence and have your brand on multiple platforms so that it can be seen by multiple people. Today, the average customer is bombarded with content and will need to see at least ten pieces of content from a brand to eventually decide to finalize their purchase. Thus, your brand must be striking and memorable.

More important, your brand needs to be consistent and the same across all platforms. You brand should be the focus on your social media strategy. The latter must be built around the former. Thus, once you decide on your logo, you must use it as profile picture across all your platforms. The same goes for your social media handles. Although it may difficult to find a username that is not taken yet, you must do your best to have similar social handles across platforms.

Finally, your content must also be consistent (in tone, imagery, language, vibe). Not so much in the form but in the vibe. Your brand image and identity will rely on social media a lot to grow and strengthen. Although each platform will require different types of content, it is important that overall, each gives away the same unique vibe that defines your brand. Only then will you make a strong long-lasting impression in your customers’ minds.
3. Know your audience

Before you carry on with your social media strategy, you need to know who you are speaking to. Who is your ideal client and who you are trying to convince that your spa is the best in town. Furthermore, knowing and studying your audience will help you know what they are looking for in a spa or salon, what keywords make them tick, what content they like. Then will you be able to create content around those preferences.

The best way to know what content to create and where to post it in order to reach your audience is to build a customer persona. Name, age, gender, family and relationship status, occupation and income, personality, social media channels, other media, health and lifestyle priorities, interest and hobbies, etc. One business may have different customer personas, which you can build around your product’s price point for example.

If you know who your audience is, where they hang out and what they are looking for, you can curate your social media strategy to fit exactly those criteria. The better you communicate with your target audience, the more likely they are to notice your brand and to ultimately make a purchase.
4. Pick social media channels

Now that you know your audience, you also know where they hang out. In other words, you know which platforms they used and so, which you should use to promote your products, services or brand. Setting goals and objectives will also help here since there are many different social media channels out there and each can be used for a different purpose.

Ideally, you will pick a maximum of five to six social media channels to use with different frequency. You should not spread yourself too thin. Indeed, better have a strong social media strategy and the time to create content for a few platforms than being overwhelmed by too many social channels and unable to maximize the use of each.

So, what social media channel does your ideal customer use? For example, according to their demographic, they hang out on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest mostly. Then, make those three socials the pillar of your strategy and decide what to do with each. Instagram is great to spread awareness and, depending on the nature of your product, can have a high conversion rate. Twitter is more of a conversational tool and could be used for customer service. As for Pinterest, it is a visual search engine that can bring a lot of traffic to a website. Thus it is a great place to promote blog posts.

In summary, you need to be where your audience is.
5. Build a content calendar

The thing with social media is that it needs frequency and consistency of use. Indeed, with the sea of content published each minute on each platform, the best way to be noticed is to post high quality content often. Thus, you need to decide when and how often to post. Then again, knowing your audience will help answer that question.

When is your audience active on each platform? When is engagement the highest? What if they are in a different time zone? Should you post once a day? Surely, five times a day will have people unfollow you, no? On Facebook or Instagram maybe, on Twitter or Pinterest however, no.

You can research the best time to post for your time zone and your audience and the best practices frequency-wise. For example, the optimal posting frequency on Pinterest is eleven pins a day while it is one to two posts on Instagram. You may use scheduling tools for each platforms such as Planoly, Tailwind, Buffer or use social platforms’ built-in schedulers.

Building a content calendar as part of your social media strategy will help you know what piece of content needs to be out on what platform on what day. Plus, it will allow you to plan content creation better.
6. Create content

Before you get into this stage of building your social media strategy, know that content creation is time-consuming and requires some planning ahead. Although you will be able to take advantage of user-generated content (which will save you a lot of time), creating original content, especially when it comes to photos will require planning photoshoots quite in advance.

You now know your audience, what platforms they use and what content they are most likely to engage with. Furthermore, you have studied each platforms and best practices and know what type of content works best on each. Thus, now is the time to choose what type of content will be posted on each platforms and to create it.

The type of content you want to create will be determined to a large extent by which social media channels you have chosen to use as well as who your target spa guest is, as well as what resources you have available. For example, Pinterest will requires long vertical images or videos online. Instagram needs short videos and portrait (or square) images, Youtube is videos only and Twitter is links, text, images and short videos.
7. Grow your following

Growing a social media following is tougher today than it used to be but it is not impossible. Before we delve into this stage of your social media strategy, know that there are some practices to avoid at all costs when using social media. Do not buy fake followers or likes nor do you get into following/unfollowing patterns on Instagram. The algorithm is smart and not only will it flag you but also see you as spam, which will hinder your growth.

You need to grow your social media accounts using best practices. Creating high quality and engaging content is the pillar of social media growth. You will need to engage with your followers on a regular basis and never leave a comment unanswered. Cross-promoting social media channels helps making sure people follow you on all your platforms. You may also organize giveaways where people need to follow you to enter.

Other techniques include using user-generated content, using influencer marketing, building a strong hashtag strategy, posting frequently, commenting on other users’ posts, making use of all the features each platform has to offer (i.e. stories, polls, surveys, stickers.). Paid promotions may also help to get more followers but they should be combined with your paid media strategy.
8. Measure success

Last but not least of all the steps to build a social media strategy that works is to measure the results of all your activations. This is where setting up goals is so important since they serve as frame of reference to assess whether your social media efforts and latest campaigns were efficient. Those goals and KPIs were probably related to follower count, engagement rate, story views, link clicks, etc.

On platforms such as Instagram, you should have a look at statistics every week to ensure the data is accurate. Other platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest have much more precise reporting systems with data saved for up to months prior. You can also see how your growth went over the past few months.

If you are not meeting your goals a specific month, you may either readjust your goals or change your content strategy. You tried one type of content somewhere, which did not work as well as expected. Maybe a different type of content will give different results. If you exceeded your goals, you may set them higher for the month to come.

When it comes to social media, a lot goes down to trying and testing. There is no set formula nor right answer to how you should build your social media strategy and what works or does not. Of course there are best practices. It is obvious that high quality content will increase your chances at being noticed. However, as each brand is different, what works for one may not work for another.

Furthermore, as social media platforms constantly evolve, algorithm changes and audiences grow, so must your social media strategy and content marketing. This is how you will stay relevant to your audience and ensure your success in the long-term.

Vertex Lasers Blog

Everything You Need To Know About Laser Hair Removal

We are firm believers that laser hair removal is the best hair removal method available on the market. Indeed, it has many advantages over shaving, waxing and electrolysis, which we already covered in a previous blog post. However, we do understand that switching to laser hair removal can be a big decision as it remains a mystery for many. You may have questions on how laser hair removal works. Or you may just have many other questions. Which is why we put together this little guide to everything you need to know about laser hair removal.

Some things of that list of things you need to know about laser hair removal will seem very obvious. Some other a bit less. The essential is that upon going to your first laser hair removal session, you know everything there is to know about laser hair removal, the procedure, how to prepare. Thus, will you be fully confident and ready to tackle this first step on your journey to be hair-free.
Everything You Need To Know About Laser Hair Removal
1. Shave before you go

You may think that is it a bit contradictory that you need to shave before you go for your laser hair removal session. After all, shaving stimulates hair growth so why do it? Not only does shaving makes laser hair removal safer but it also makes the procedure more efficient.

It is one thing to know about laser hair removal that remains a mystery for many. Laser hair removal uses selective photo thermolysis to target pigments in the hair before getting to the follicle. The longer the journey to the follicle, the less energy gets to it. Thus, long hair hinders the process.

Furthermore, since the pulse of energy would heat up the whole hair, it would also increase the risks of burning, scarring and pain. Coming clean-shaven to your session will ensure the treatment is safe and effective.
2. Stop waxing and plucking

Waxing and plucking are medium-term hair removal method. It takes a few weeks to see hair back on the treated areas. Both methods will remove the hair plus the root, thus leaving nothing in the follicle. Waxing also has some bad effects for the skin.

Laser hair removal targets the hair to get to the follicle. If there is no hair to target, the laser cannot get to its destination. It can take up to six weeks before the follicle where the hair wax removed produces a new hair that will grow and show above the skin.

As a results, waxing in between sessions would completely hinder the treatment. Not only would you have to wait a few weeks before the hair grows back after your first session before you can wax, but most of the hair would not have grown back on time for your next session. A waste of time and money.
3. Avoid the sun before and after

Since laser hair removal targets the pigment in the hair, the sharpest the contrast between skin and hair, the better. Thus, it is important to avoid staying in the sun and tanning before your session.

Most important of things to know about laser hair removal is to avoid the sun after your session. Indeed, the laser will leave your skin more sensitive and vulnerable. Thus, UV-rays could really damage it. Sun damage is really hard to correct.

Beyond burning your skin, it may also cause hyper or hypo-pigmentation. It is thus important to apply a strong SPF after each session. Should you be in the sun often or naturally tanning quickly, ask for a YAG laser during your session as they are the safest for darker skins.
4. It is not that expensive

Contrary to the common misconception, laser hair removal is not that expensive. It may seem so, but it is not. Laser hair removal is like a membership that you pay upfront. For example, should you be looking to do your full legs, you will pay around $1,300.

Paying upfront that sum seems like a lot. You need to think about laser hair removal as a long-term skincare investment. After completing your laser hair removal sessions, you will be hair free close to permanently. You may need a few touch-up sessions once year but overall, you will not have to spend any money on hair removal.

Say goodbye to waxing and shaving. All that waxing money you would have paid each month over fifty years will come to a much larger amount than one year of laser hair removal once in your life. Long-term, it has a much cheaper cost and is a much better investment!
5. Laser hair removal is for everyone

Another thing to know about laser hair removal is that it is actually for everyone. For a long time, people believed people of color were not able to undergo the procedure but they can. Improvements in technology now allow all skin complexions to be treated.

Since dark skins are richer in pigments, the laser may not be able to differentiate between hair and skin. However ND:YAG lasers like our V-Frost solve that problem. Indeed, its 1064nm wavelength , is not as highly absorbed by melanin as other wavelengths.

Due to this, the wavelength can safely treat all skin types because it deposits its energy deep into the dermis without relying on melanin to do so. Since it does not rely that much on pigments, it can also treat blond and ginger hair on fair skin, which are lower in melanin. However, laser hair removal for dark skin and fair hair make require more sessions.
6. It is not painful

A lot of people avoid laser hair removal as a hair removal method because they think it is painful. And while it is not painless, it is not painful either. Simply because “pain” is the wrong word here.

During a laser hair removal session, you will feel heat coming from the laser and a sensation of pinching when the energy gets to the follicle. Because the laser gun sends a lot of waves at once, you experience that sensation a lot of times during the session.

While it may not be painless, it will not be unbearable either. The sensation is uncomfortable, like you’d be slapped with a rubber bands multiple times or bitten by many mosquitos at once.
7. You do need several sessions

One huge factor to take into account when undergo laser hair removal is the role of the hair growth cycle in the treatment. The hair growth cycle determines the speed at which body hair grows. For the treatment to be efficient, the laser must reach the follicle through the hair. Thus, there needs to be a connection between the two.

The only phase of growth where hair and follicle connect is the anagen phase. Thus, it is the only time laser would work. Unfortunately, only 20% of all body hairs are in this particular phase at any point in time. Thus, one session of laser hair removal will only be able to target 20% of all your hair.

That is why several sessions are required, in order to target the hair that was not in the right stage before and thus could not be targeted. Since some hair may take much longer to get back into the anagen phase, it is also possible that some hair may never be targeted during your treatment, thus requiring touch-up sessions later on.
8. Results will vary because of many factors

Following up on what we just said before, many factors may impact the results of your laser hair removal treatment. First of all, your hair growth cycle may interfere, as mentioned above. Second of all, the procedure may take longer for dark skins and fair hair.

Genetics can also have a role if you naturally have more resistant hair, follicles that are more resistant and thus take more attempts to damage. Medication such as birth control or hormone treatments can also interfere. Indeed, the hair growth cycle is mostly regulated by hormones.

How sensitive a patient is may come in play too. If your tolerance to pain is very low, the laser intensity may be lower for you and thus, you may need additional sessions. If you miss a session, you may also make the process less efficient and thus need some more appointments.
9. Tell the technician of your medication

One thing to know about laser hair removal is that there may be contraindications to undergoing the treatment depending on the medications you may be on. Hormonal treatment may interfere with the procedure but will not make it any less safe.

Other medications however, combined with a laser treatment, may have an impact on your health. For example, antibiotics increase photosensibility, which will increase the sensation of discomfort and could lead to pain during the session.

Other medications like Roaccutane, acne treatments or anything retinoid-based, should not be taken while undergoing laser hair removal. While some retinoid treatments will require a two-weeks pause before a laser session, some other like Roaccutane will require a six months pause.
10. It is not permanent

Official, laser hair removal is not permanent. Indeed, it is too new of a treatment to have extensive research done over years to prove that it is indeed permanent. To the FDA, electrolysis is the only permanent hair removal method that may be called as such.

However, most patients undergoing laser hair removal will achieve permanent hair removal. While customers should not expect it, it is very common that they become hair-free forever. The repetitive targeting of hair follicles will damage them beyond repair or regeneration and may lead to their destruction.

Thus, they will be unable to produce more hair permanently. A very rare consequence to laser hair removal is that it will stimulate hair growth. However, this is less than 0.1% of all patients undergoing laser hair removal.
11. Laser hair removal is safe

One other thing to know about laser hair removal is that is very safe. Like any other hair removal methods or cosmetic procedures, it may have side effects such as swelling, burning, redness, etc. However, those are very rare, especially if the procedure is done well by a certified laser technician.

The safety of laser hair removal will depend upon how the technician is providing the service and whether the patients is following recommendations seriously. As mentioned above, you must come in clean-shaven, avoid the sun before and after, communicate whether you are on any medication, etc.
12. Practice aftercare seriously

Last but not least of those things you need to know about laser hair removal is that the success of the treatment will be as much on the technician that it will be on you.

Indeed, while the laser technician will ensure the procedure is safe, communicate with you about the intensity of laser is right, if you feel pain, etc and adjust the treatment accordingly, you will also need to be serious about aftercare.

You will be given a set of recommendations to follow to ensure you do not put your health at risk and that the treatment is the most efficient it can be. Avoid waxing, plucking, sugaring, bleaching. Shave before you come. Avoid direct sun light and apply sunscreen.

That is it for the twelve things you need to know about laser hair removal before you come in for your first session. You now what to expect of the treatment and how to act afterwards to ensure the efficiency of your session.

Vertex Lasers Blog

12 Instagram Marketing Tips For Laser Clinics And Spas

In the age of social media, Instagram has become a crucial element of marketing strategies. It is an amazing visual tool where you can promote your products or services to more than one billion people. The best part you may ask? It is free! Using Instagram is completely free and gives you a lot of business opportunities! No matter your industry, you should consider utilizing the platform. That is why we came up with 12 Instagram marketing tips for laser clinics and spas.

We sell laser machines for laser hair removal, laser tattoo removal and skincare procedures. Thus, our client base mostly is made of laser clinics and spas. It can be intimidated to start on Instagram and some small businesses will straight ask what is in it for them. Simply put, access to a huge pool of potential clients.
Instagram marketing tips for your laser spa

And a way to increase brand awareness, strengthen your online presence as well as a direct communication channel to your existing customers. Instagram will be part of your social media marketing strategy and the app is also a great way to stay connected with your customers. Now, let’s get started with those Instagram marketing tips.
1. Pick your aesthetic

When starting out on Instagram, it is important to think of how you will make your profile match your existing brand. It must be part of it. That is why you need to stick to a color palette and pick an aesthetic for you Instagram account.

If you already had marketing materials, other social media accounts or specific colors around your logo, you may build an Instagram color palette around those. All your channels must be coherent and consistant to strengthen your brand.

Your aesthetic will rely on the major colors featured on your feed as well as the type of content you are going for. For example, some companies will alternate lifestyle and inspirational photos with their own content.
2. Use a scheduling tool

Social media never sleeps, however social media managers do. After building your following, you will have access to more data on when your audience is on Instagram, what is the best time to post for the best engagement, etc.

Use those data to post your content and ensure your followers engage with it. Instagram business has an analytics feature which will help you in that. Sometimes, your audience may be the most engaged in the morning or at the weekend.

As it may be difficult to post then, using a scheduling tool such as Planoly, Later Later or Tailwind can make your life easier. Those schedulers will allow you to plan your Instagram far ahead, write captions, pick hashtags and choose what time you want the post to be up. There will be no need for you to post at the weekend manually.
3. Use relevant hashtags

Third of our twelve Instagram marketing tips is to find the best hashtags for your brand and Instagram profile. Hashtags are like SEO keywords that define what your content is about. If people are looking for a specific type of content through a hashtag, they can find your own content and decide to follow you.

Instagram allows up to thirty hashtags. We advise that you use them all and a combination of different size hashtag. For example, you may combine ten big hashtags (over a million posts), ten medium hashtags (over 500k posts) and ten smaller hashtags.

All hashtags must be relevant to your brand, your spa and your industry. Pick a branded hashtags for yourself (most likely your brand name) to create a community around it. Try and test different combinations to see what works best.
4. Optimize your posts for discovery

Instagram is a platform that has over one billion users. To stand out from the crowd and ensure people can find your posts, or that you have them shown in as many places as possible, you need to optimize them for discovery.

In other words, you must increase their discoverability. This firstly goes through using the right hashtags, as explained above. Remember to geo-tag your images. First, people will be able to find you based on your location. Second, people in said location are likely more interested in your local spa than someone miles away.

You can also add an alt text to your images which allows visually impaired users to access your content. Furthermore, if your photo doesn’t load for any reason, you’ll see a descriptive text instead
5. Post high quality images

One of the most important of all Instagram marketing tips is to use high quality images. Users will not be impressed if your photos are blurry, unprofessional and not visually attractive. The nine top photos of your grid are crucial to make an impression. Just a few second will suffice for a user to stay or leave. That is why all your image must be clear, high quality, reflect your brand and visually attractive.
6. Use all sorts of content

When building your Instagram content strategy, it is tempting to just post about your brand. While posting your own content and promoting your services are essential, you must also remember to diversify your content.

Your followers do not want to be constantly bombarded by brand-centric content. For example, posting three images that are not yours for one that is branded can make your feed more interesting.

You can use videos, images, before/after, quotes, etc. Furthermore, UGCs and inspirational content will contribute to building a strong Instagram profile and an engaged community.
7. Be consistent on Instagram

To be successful on Instagram goes beyond posting pretty pictures and witty captions. The key is consistency. You need to be posting at least once a day, up to twice, to build a strong coherent feed and offer content to your followers. People are thirsty for content, so give them what they are looking for. Or else, they will unfollow.
8. Make the most of stories

Instagram stories are a way to allow people to share “moments” of their day quickly and easily. They can be a series of photos or videos and will stay live for twenty-four hours. IG Stories are featured at the top of the home feed. Simply add another element to your Story and you’re bumped to the front of the line.

Instagram stories are great for businesses as they allow to:

Promote product, services or sales
Show what happens behind-the-scenes
Crate how-to and other educational videos
Host live contests
Allow for influencer takeover
Can broadcast ads
Are create to engage with followers with polls, questions, quizzes, etc
Can be used to get feedbacks from users.
Can send back followers to your website with a swipe up link

People are switching from still images to video content. Demand for such content is increasing and represent a great opportunity for businesses. Take a look at the stats below:

1 in 4 Millennials and Gen Z-ers look for Stories of the products and services they want to buy.
15%–25% of people swipe up on a link in branded Stories.
One-third of the most-viewed Instagram Stories are from businesses.
36% of businesses use Instagram Stories for product promotion.
59% of brands link Instagram Stories to a shoppable page.
Instagram Stories accounts for 34% of Instagram’s sponsored content.

9. Engage with your audience

In order to build a community of engaged followers on Instagram, you need to engage with your audience yourself. Posting is not enough. Reply to all comments under your posts and to all messages in your inbox.

You can use stories to ask for feedbacks, ask questions, etc. Let people contribute to your business by taking into account their feedback. You can also use DMs for customer service. If you actively engage with people, they will engage with your content.

The more your followers engage with your content, the more likes and comments your post get, the more the Instagram algorithm will push it and make it more discoverable, thus growing your audience and increase your follower count.
10. Work with local influencers

A very effective way to get your business noticed and seen by more people is to work with local influencers. The details of each collaboration will depend on the objectives of your influencer strategy. Some spas will work with local bloggers for SEO and reputation purposes. Other will focus on Instagram for immediate visibility and awareness.

For example, you invite an Instagram influencer to review a service of yours. They will post stories before, during and after the treatment tagging you, speaking about you, sharing their experience. They can also post a photo on their feed. Either way, you will have access to the influencer audience and may get new client in the process.

In order to maximize return on investment when working with influencers, request a break-down of their audience. If you are based in NYC but only 10% of the influencer’s followers are too, you may want to pass on this one. Find influencers whose audience is quite similar to yours.
11. Repurpose UGCs

When influencers work with you, they will create content to promote your spa. Customers might also take photos documenting their experience with you. This is called user-generated content.

They are a great social proof and when reposted on your own Instagram profile, will serve as testimonials and will increase your credibility in the eyes of your followers. They might also encourage prospective customers to become clients.

UGCs are also great to create a community. Indeed, if you choose a branded hashtags, people will use said hashtags in their caption. After some time, you will have a collection of posts under your branded hashtag.
12. Host giveaways and contests

It is good to reward your followers for their loyalty and for being engaged. Organizing giveaways and contests is a great way to do so. You may give away a free service. Who does not love a freebie?

Not only are giveaways great to increase engagement, but they can also boost your follower count. Indeed, most Instagram giveaways require users to follow, like the post and tag few friends. As more and more people tag each other, the word spreads and your follower count increases.

Instagram is a quick changing platform with new features coming each year. Due to the high number of users, it can seem difficult to grow or stand out. However, the benefits are always worth it since you can really increase your audience. When harnessed well, Instagram can help you to significantly increase your revenue. We hope our Instagram marketing tips will help you nail the Instagram game!

Vertex Lasers Blog

How To Remove Unwanted Tattoos

Getting inked is easy. You can find tattoo parlors anywhere and will have a wide variety of places to go. However, when it comes to removing unwanted tattoos, it is another story. First, because there are not so many options. Second, because the most efficient of those options is not that widely known.

However before we start, you can straight cross out of your list removing unwanted tattoos at home. Not only are they not effective but they are also not very safe. Some methods such as salabrasion can be extremely dangerous and should be avoided at all cost.

First thing first, before getting into how to remove unwanted tattoos, it is important to book a consultation with a dermatologist or tattoo removal expert. They will be better able to help and assess what treatment you will need.

Removal methods will vary from one tattoo to another as well as one professional to another. That is why a meeting is a good idea to discuss your options and get a quote. Know that many factors will impact tattoo removal.
1. Surgical removal

Surgical removal is a tattoo removal method mostly used on smaller tattoos. It is the heaviest procedure of the three and will not get your skin back to its original state. This procedure can only be performed by a medical professional.

The doctor will numb the skin with a local anesthetic prior to starting the procedure. Then, they will use a scalpel to cleanly cut the tattoo out. Finally, the doctor will stitch the skin back together.

This method may work with larger tattoos but will require a skin graft to do it. Essentially, the doctor will take a piece of skin from elsewhere on your body and apply it to where they remove unwanted tattoos.

A surgical tattoo removal will leave a scar where the stitches will be. Risks of getting a skin graft include infection and rejection as well as inconsistencies in the appearance of your skin.
2. Dermabrasion

Dermabrasion is another option to remove unwanted tattoos. It is cheaper than surgical removal but it is not as effective. Dermabrasion will actually remove the top layer of the skin.

As opposed to surgical tattoo removal, here the professional will not use a local anesthetic. Indeed, they will numb the skin by chilling it. Then, they will use a rotary tool with a sanding head to wear down the skin. Eventually, the dye will leach out.

The tattoo removal method is quite aggressive to the skin and will leave it raw for a couple of days after the procedure. You may also experience bleeding. On average, it will take two to three weeks to heal completely.

Patients will go for one treatment as it should be enough to produce satisfactory results. However one session may cost as much as $1,000. In the end, it might even be more expensive that laser tattoo removal which is the safest most efficient way to remove unwanted tattoos.
3. Laser tattoo removal

Laser tattoo removal is a FDA approved way of removing unwanted tattoos. Just like any other laser treatment, it comes with some risks: hyperpigmentation, infection and scarring. However, they are very rare.

Laser tattoo removal requires a laser machine called a Q-Switch, which will emit a very hot, very fast and ultra-short pulse. Here, speed and heat are both crucial to break the ink particles. Heat will expand the ink particles.

However, the zap has to be quick enough so that half of the particle remains cool. The opposing cool and hot forces then rip the ink particle apart. This process is called photothermolysis.

Once the ink particle is broken, your immune system will take over to remove them from your body. Each session of laser tattoo removal will target a set area of the tattoo, meaning that patients will need more than one session.

Some ink particles and newer tattoos are harder to break. Which is another reason why you may need several sessions. The price of the procedure is difficult to estimate without seeing the tattoo. The bigger the tattoo, the more sessions you need, so the more expensive.

It is always a good idea to schedule a free consultation with a laser spa prior to have a quote and know how many sessions the procedure will require.
In conclusion

There are three ways to effectively remove unwanted tattoos. However, they are not all made equal. The best way to remove unwanted tattoos with little recovery is laser tattoo removal. Indeed, laser tattoo removal aftercare is very straightforward and the procedure will leave the skin very close to what it was prior to getting inked.