Are you looking to introduce a few high tech treatments into your practice? Offering a laser or light treatment can mean big returns, but it can also be daunting. Here are some tips for getting started.
#1 Do your research
It sounds obvious, but the first thing to consider is what your clients want. Do you have a large waxing business that could transition to laser hair removal? Or would your customers be interested in a skin rejuvenation treatment or a cellulite busting laser?
“You have to decide what application you want, for example hair removal,” says Jim Norman, managing director of Aussie Medi Tech. “Then you move on to understanding the energy and other things you need.”
Cutera Australia country manager, Phil Schramm, says that trends in the US show the market for aesthetic procedures is growing, especially for laser hair removal and tattoo removal, as technical developments have improved treatments and reduced downtime.
“[There] are better technologies available to aesthetic practitioners,” he says. “As an industry we are gaining access to better technology with lower costs and predictable and repeatable results.”
#2 Get technical
Once you’ve decided on the application, Norman says it is important to do detailed research on the device you are considering purchasing, so you can be aware of any “hidden marketing”.
“A brand may say they have the biggest or the fastest machine, but it won’t always be the best,” he says. “The device might be the biggest, but you might only be able to use it on dark skin.”
Schramm agrees that therapists entering the world of tech often fail to learn enough about how devices operate. You need to understand the limitations of the device you are buying, so you can be sure it does everything you want.
“One of the things we hear from more experienced practitioners is that they learn the hard way that there is an important relationship between the adjustable parameters such as wavelength, pulse duration and fluency, which is rarely reflected in a specification test,” Schramm explains.
“With the power supplies used by some manufacturers, a clinical level of peak power is only available for a limited, fixed or narrow set of parameters. If peak power is reduced or parameters are restricted, as can be the case with some systems, it may mean that desired clinical outcomes are not possible at all in some instances.”
#3 Shop around
Because buying new equipment is a big investment, it’s important to shop around to get the right device at the best price. Norman encourages therapists to look at a range of suppliers. “Shop around and compare brands,” he says. “Think about cost and quality.”
Although you might be hesitant to spend a lot of money, it can be more cost-effective to purchase a more expensive device that comes with extensive training and ongoing support, rather than spending less and getting less in return.
#4 Future-proof your purchase
According to Schramm, putting your hard earned cash into tech is only worth it if you consider your salon’s needs now and in the future.
“Only the right laser or light device would be a good investment,” he says. “It should be well engineered, low cost to run (not always low cost to purchase because that can be a false economy), well-supported with clinical evidence, local training, and service and support teams.
“And finally, it must be future-proof to answer the demands of your growing practice.”
Devices like Cutera’s Xeo Platform are a good starting point as you can customise your treatment applicators to suit your current needs and upgrade in the future as your practice grows.
#5 Do the training
Before you operate your shiny new device you’ll need to get a laser safety certificate, says Schramm. “We also recommend a couple of industry-based courses to get a suitable technical skill level before commercialising this part of your practice,” he says.
Your training should cover how to operate the device, an introduction to laser physics, how lasers interact with tissue, hazards, pre and post treatment instructions, safety procedures, regulations and patient consultations.
#6 Spread the word!
There’s no point investing in technology if none of your clients are aware of the exciting new treatments on offer. Plan a marketing campaign across all your channels – promotional signs in salon, updates in your eNewsletter, first time treatment deals on social media – and make sure you are informed enough to educate your clients on the benefits of aesthetic devices.