How to maximise your Laser Hair Removal business
Laser Hair Removal is the largest volume aesthetic procedure. The market has seen rapid change over the past 5-10 years with technology evolving and consumer prices reducing as more providers enter the market.
For many clinics with older slower technology with high running costs it is difficult to compete so they see volume reduce or decide to focus on other higher margin treatments. These changes however can be seen as an opportunity. With lower prices treatment becomes more affordable to a wider audience i.e. it is moving into the mass market.
How to choose the best technology
There are so many lasers on the market at wide variations in price it is very confusing for clinics. Essentially there are 4 things you need to look for in choosing a laser to compete profitable in the laser hair removal market.
- Power: For permanent results you need high power to heat the base of the follicle to 70 degrees as which point the hair is destroyed. A minimum of 1800 watts if required to do so but the higher the better.
- Pulse duration: a very short pulse duration will achieve better results particularly with lighter finer hairs and it will also make the treatment more comfortable. To achieve a very short pulse duration you need a very powerful laser.
- Wavelength: choose a wavelength with maximum absorption in melanin the target or conductor which delivers heat to the base of the follicle. Maximum melanin absorption in around 755-800nm so either 755nm (Alexandrite) or 810nm (Diode) are the gold standard. 755nm is limited to lighter skin types, Diode is suitable for all skin types( as long as you have good cooling and pulse duration).
- Cooling: The ability to cool the skin surface whilst delivering high power laser into the skin requires sophisticated cooling technology which surprisingly not many manufacturers have mastered. By keeping the skin surface consistently cool it protects the skin and allows delivery of high power down the follicle with minimum discomfort.
How much do I need to spend?
Prices range from £3,000 to £150,000. How can this be?
At the low end i.e under £20,000 you are going to have a low specification and poor quality device typically made in China (despite what the label might say!). Typical power levels are 600-800 watts which is simply not sufficient for permanent hair removal.
They will merely damage the hair and not remove it so you will need to retreat every 4 weeks, no better than waxing. With such low power they cannot achieve a short pulse duration and cooling is inconsistent at best maybe starting cool but heating up very quickly.
They use low quality diode bars typically 50 watts compared to 300 watt bars so they will burn out quickly and need to be replaced at your expense. More importantly you cannot build a good reputation if you do not deliver excellent results and meet your clients expectations.
At the high end you are paying a high premium for a brand that may or may not have consumer awareness. The specifications are sufficient to build a good business but not an outstandingly profitable business. With such high up front cost and running costs the return on investment is slow.