It’s a question we all ask ourselves in the beginning. Just what do we really NEED, to start-up a spray tanning business?
If you search on the internet, you could be forgiven for thinking there are all sorts of things you need, that will rack up the price of your start-up kit.
In reality, although the spray tan kit is the first thing you need when you add spray tanning to your business, or whether you are starting with spray tanning as your first ever venture, make sure you do your research before buying, and only buy what you need to start-up with.
If you haven’t yet had your training, that’s where you should start. Perhaps go and receive a few spray tans locally to you, and see how you find the wear off, guide colour, and application. That might help you decide who to train with. You can always do a generic training course, and pick your own solutions. Be careful, as some trainers will require you to only use a branded product after successfully completing your training.
Ok, down to the basics of your spray tan kit.
- Spray Tan Machine, with Hose and Gun.
- Spare Spray Tan Machine Gun Cup.
- Pop Up Tent or a Room, Booth, or Wet Room.
- Tanning Solutions.
- Extractor Fan Unit.
Spray Tan Machine, with Hose and Gun
Here in the UK, Maximist seems to be a popular choice. Shop around, as there are a lot of machines that just won’t cope with tans back to back. Lite versions tend to be for home or light mobile use, but are unlikely to cope with several back to back tans at a tanning party.
Work out how many tans you will need to have your machine carry out, and look for a machine that will allow you to grow, but stay within your budget. Also think about the weight if you are going mobile, and how much you can carry. All spray guns are noisy… Some more than others, but you’ll just have to get used to it.
Keep your equipment clean as a whistle. You’ll regret it if you don’t. Make sure you clean the gun through regularly. I’d recommend flushing out your gun after each session. DHA is from sugar beet, and you all know what heated sugar beet ends up like. Gloop and tar spring to mind. Imagine your machine trying to get your next tan mist through a gloopy bottleneck……
Spare solution cups mean you can just change the cup, rather than empty solution back into bottles when you are moving on quickly from one client to another. An ideal tan should use from 30-50ml, depending on how much of the body is being sprayed, but when starting off, new therapists tend to use more.
Pop Up Tent or a Room, Booth, or Wet Room
For all of you who hope to go mobile or work from home, a pop up tent is likely to be your most sensible option. It allows you to keep most of the spray tan inside the tend, and not flying around the room you tan in.
There are two types of pop up tents. There is the traditional pop up type that is spring-loaded and folds down easily, or an air blown tent, similar to a traditional bouncy castle that kids play on. Pop up tents aren’t all the same. Some versions are very flimsy and not easy to manage, and others are more robust. Some pop up tents have loops to allow for an inner tent, which can help save on the washing.
To clean out my pop up tent, I have to take it into my garden, and hose it down. I am seeing the benefit of a change to a looped pop up tent on the horizon.
Understand, that you WILL have overspray. It might not be a lot, but you will have it. It’s impossible to keep all overspray away. We are working with a fine mist, and fine mists have a tendency to migrate away from the sprayed area.
If you have a room, and the budget, a booth, or a wet room are ideal options, to help contain more of the overspray, and be easily cleaned.
The world is your oyster. From Nouvatan, Sienna x, St Tropez, Fake Bake, and many many more, we really are spoilt for choice. Get samples and try them out for yourself, or go have some spray tans, and decide which brand is right for you and your clients.
We don’t need extractors, but see above – it’s impossible to remove all overspray, no matter how good our technique is.
In small spaces, or just to protect your room, an extractor is often a good idea. It is an option and most tents will have a space at the back to insert your extractor unit.
Ahh, those fabulous accessories, from sticky feet, to exfoliation wipes, paper underwear and much more.
What I consider to be the essentials are:
- Face masks. To protect your nose and throat from the overspray which can fog up a room very quickly.
- Couch roll. To mop up any mess, and possibly put under clients feet.
- Barrier cream. To protect the palms of hands, elbows and knees etc.
Buy these if you like. There are times where having a couple of sets at hand can make you look very professional, especially if the client expects them. Ask at the booking stage, and you won’t disappoint your client.
- Paper underwear isn’t a great option, but some clients do like it. Clients tend to be more comfortable with old dark underwear that fits securely, rather than paper underwear that blows about with the mist, and quite frankly, hides pretty much nothing.
- Sticky feet is a difficult one. Personally, I like them, but clients are hit and miss. Some love them and others hate picking off the glue. Those with sweaty feet find they don’t stick and then they have to do the foot shuffle in the same way as just using couch roll or a towel underfoot requires.
- Exfoliators & gloves. Your client should have exfoliated before coming to you. There might be an additional revenue potential to exfoliate your client or give them wipes to clean off perfume etc before having a tan.
- Tan removers. Possibly a great retail option.