5 Years and over 6000 Treatments Later

September 19th, 2012 is truly a historical day for Fade Fast. Exactly five years ago today Allen Falkner treated his very first clients, including himself. (See the 9 Bar Removal Project) At the time Fade Fast was little more than a dream, however through hard work and dedication we have made it past the five-year mark and preformed more than Six Thousand treatments.

Six Thousand? Why not Sixty Thousand or more? This is actually a common question and the answer is quite simple, client satisfaction. There have been times when we’ve considered expanding, taking on new technicians, and trying to capture a larger audience. At this point we don’t feel it’s the best for our clients. We want you to work with the same technician every time. We want to spend quality time with each client. We want to be familiar with your tattoo. Ultimately we want to treat tattoos that we know will have great results.

Bottom line, our business is built on results not profit margins. From day one our motto had been, “better artwork is our passion.” Five years may have come and gone, and our goal has remained the same. On behalf of everyone here at Fade Fast we would like to thank our clients for their support and patronage over the years.

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4750 Treatments and Superior Results

One of the most common questions we get here at Fade Fast is, “How do you remove tattoos in such few treatments?” With 4,750 treatments on over 1,300 clients that brings our average down to less than 4 treatments per client. In the business of laser tattoo removal, these numbers are exceptionally low. How do we get these amazing results?

  1. Equipment – Our laser produces twice the power of most machines presently used in the industry. By using larger spot sizes we are able to get better penetration to break up stubborn inks.
  2. Client Education – Certain inks such as yellow do not respond to laser treatments. Also, other inks that contain white may actually get darker when exposed to laser energy.
  3. Patience – We encourage our clients to wait longer between treatments. Although this practice brings in less income, the extended time actually decreases the final number of treatments.
  4. Real Expectations – Not all tattoos respond well to laser treatments. Here at Fade Fast, if we feel that the client will not be happy with final results, we often encourage them to seek other options.
  5. Other Options – Laser treatment is normally the most effective form of tattoo removal. However, there are other options such as surgical excision and tattoo cover up.
  6. Lightening – For most people seeking removal, it’s not that they hate tattoos. They simply dislike what they have. Over the year many of our clients have chosen to lighten their tattoos. Although this option is not for everyone, it is one of the fastest ways to free yourself from your bad tattoos.

Below is an excellent example of a client that wasn’t happy with his lower back “tramp stamp” tattoo.  With just two laser treatments he was able to cover the area with an amazing tattoo done by Dru Bias of Saints and Sinners.  Click on the images below to see larger closeup versions of the process and final tattoo.

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As you can see in the image below, the old tattoo is completely covered by light blues and virtually invisible in the areas with no ink.

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3100th Treatment and Coverups

Today we hit another milestone by completing our 3100th treatment on Cameron Jones from Knuckle Up Tattoo.  As you can see in the photo below, just one treatment has dramatically lightened up his tattoo.

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Now of course this tattoo is still a few treatments away from being totally removed, but it is close if not ready to be covered with something better.  Like what?  Well, the lighter the tattoo the more options an artist will have.  Below you can see an excellent example of a post-laser coverup done by Jamie Mahood of Suffer City Tattoo

Click on the photo below for higher resolution image
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If you examine the high resolution version of the photo above you can see that even pastel colors easily mask the dark lines and shading that would have been virtually impossible to hide if the previous tattoo had never been lightened.

2500th Treatment

Today we passed our 2500 treatment.  As it turned out, we did the 2500th removal session on one of our local tattooers, eJay from Saint’s and Sinner’s Tattoo.

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You might ask.  Why would a tattoo artist want laser removal?  The answer is simple.  By using a laser to lighten a tattoo, we can give our clients the option to have the old tattoo covered with a better piece in as little as 2-4 treatments. Because of this, we actually have huge client base of tattoo artists.

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Of course we are happy to fully remove tattoos as well.  Laser lightening is simply just one option for our clients to fix their bad tattoos with fewer treatments and by spending less money.

Laser Testing

After spending over 4 months testing different lasers on the market, Fade Fast Laser Tattoo Removal decided to upgrade our Palomar QYAG5 to the Focus Medical NaturaLase QS 2J. With so many lasers on the market all having pretty hefty price tags it was a long, tedious and expensive process. In the end we spent over $20,000 in research costs, but the hands-on experience was worth every penny. Below is a list of the machines we tested and a bit of information on each.

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Revlite200 Hoya Conbio’s Revlite was the first system we tested. Actually, it was the second time we had the machine in our office (we did a side-by-side comparison with the QYAG5 a year and half ago.) However, this time we treated significantly more clients. The verdict: Conbio makes good solid machines. There is a reason that both the Revlite and its predecessor, the C6, are often called the “Gold Standard” of laser tattoo removal. Overall the results were good and the local sales guys (Maxim Laser) were fantastic.
The next laser that we tested was the Lutronic Spectrum VRM III. Again, a good solid machine. Putting it through the paces, it compared very closely to the Revlite. There were several pros and cons but overall the main things that made the machine most attractive were a lower cost and a longer warranty. If we had stopped our testing at this point, I think Lutronic would have been our new machine, but we pushed forward researching more equipment. Lutronic200
NaturaLase200 Laser number three that came to our office was the Focus Medical NaturaLase QS 2J. This machine is unlike any other laser on the market. The hand piece allows for more settings. It has external calibration. But, the real selling point on the laser is power. It produces twice the power of both the Revlite and the Spectrum VRM III in single pulse Q-switched mode. In laymen’s terms this means faster, more effective, and ultimately less treatments for the clients. Also, because of the increased power, the NaturaLase QS 2J is twice as effective in treating blue and green ink, which has always been the shortcoming for Nd:YAG lasers.
Finally, we tested the Fotona QX Max. This laser really is in a class all its own. It’s a 1.6J machine, which means that it produces 60% more power than most of the Q-switched Nd:YAG lasers on the market. The machine is tiny and seems to be very well built. The hand piece is similar in functionality to the NaturaLase and is extremely light and ergonomic. It even has the option of a wireless foot pedal. Of all the lasers we tested, this was one of the most impressive and is still one of our favorites on the market. Fotona200

It took over a month of deliberation, but in the end we chose the Focus Medical NaturaLase QS 2J. Every machine we tested would have made an excellent addition to the business, but ultimately, it is all about power. If our practice included skin tightening, acne treatments, vascular lesion treatments, etc, then we might have chosen a different machine. However, Fade Fast only does laser tattoo removal. The speed and the power of the NaturaLase 2J just can’t be rivaled.

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Furthermore our decision was based on the future research, development and training that Focus Medical offered with the laser. Our technician, Allen Falkner, has visited the manufacturing facility twice, was trained to service the machine and still works closely with laser designer. What does this mean for our clients? By understanding the physics, inner workings and operational parameters of the laser, we can provide more customized treatments for our individual clients and ultimately give them better and faster results.

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Update: It has been two months since we integrated the NaturaLase 2J into our business and the results have been phenomenal, but that’s not all. Due to the increased power and huge ten-millimeter spot size, sessions have been 4 to 6 times faster than our older laser. Also, compared to some 450mJ systems, such as the Medlite C3, the NaturaLase 2J can, in some cases, reduce the time per session by as much 1/10th.*

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*1/10th reduction is a comparison of area treated per laser pulse – 6.5mm spot size (33.17 mm squared) to a 2mm spot size (3.14 mm squared)

For more information on the machines such as in depth comparisons, energy outputs per spot size, and final results of our trials, please feel free to contact us.

Big News

On Saturday November 14th, New Look Laser Tattoo Removal closed their Dallas clinic to focus on their training and consulting projects. The following is the announcement letter sent out to all of their Dallas clients:

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New Look is pleased to announce a significant change in our Dallas clinic.  We are handing over our Dallas laser tattoo removal practice to allow ourselves time to focus on laser tattoo removal training and consulting projects.

Starting today, we are referring our patients to Mr. Allen Falkner, owner and laser specialist at Fade Fast Laser Tattoo Removal.  For years, Mr. Falkner has been a leading competitor and we could think of no one more capable than he to service our clients.  Not only does his practice use the latest equipment and well-regarded protocols, but it contributes to the tattoo removal industry through research, presentations at conferences, and volunteer work.

You can reach Fade Fast at 214-394-6824, where they have appointments available between 1pm and 9pm, Tuesday through Saturday.  Their office is located at 9012 Garland Road, Dallas TX 75218 and their website is www.FadeFast.com.  Please call and they’ll be happy to schedule an appointment for you.

Sincerely,
Lynette Kennedy, FNP and Ryan Lambert
http://www.newlookhouston.com/

Tattoo Ink Study

Recently we put together a study to determine how different laser wavelengths interact with particular colors and more specifically different brands of tattoo inks. This test was designed to present empirical data proving or disproving the following statements:

Presently the four most common wavelengths that are used to remove tattoos are:
1064nm (infrared light) is absorbed by black and most other ink colors
650nm, 694nm, 755nm (red light) are absorbed by green ink
585nm (yellow light) is absorbed by blue ink
532nm (green light) is absorbed by red ink

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The study was also designed to further determine the interactions of each wavelength on nonstandard or mixed colors such as orange, teal, purple, etc. In addition, the effectiveness of infrared light (1064nm) was tested on all colors to determine the absorption rates in comparison to the standard complimentary colors. Ex: Green absorbs Red Light.

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Many of the inks did conform to the generally accepted light absorption archetype. However, some colors did not and produced some very surprising results. The outcome of this preliminary test identified some interesting ink interactions with every wavelength; most notably the less commonly used 585 (yellow) wavelength.

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High resolution photos were taken and cataloged to show each ink’s interaction for side-by-side comparisons. All of the data produced by this study will be available during our lecture at The Biggest Tattoo Show on Earth, October 3rd at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas Nevada:

http://www.tattooexpo09.com/seminar.php?id=18

White Tattoos

Does the sun fade white tattoos?  The answer is actually quote complex and here’s why:

First, think of tattoo ink like paint that is being used to cover a pinkish red wall. If the wall were painted black it’s highly possible that it could be covered in one coat. If it were painted white it would take numerous coats, or the case of tattooing packing in the color. (This is why covering a dark tattoo with a lighter one is almost impossible) Also, besides “masking” any underlying color of the skin, the ink is still under the body’s natural melanin. (This is why darker skinned people cannot get light tattoos)

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Physics and Biology:
Just like melanin, tattoo ink will block and/or absorb radiation. Commonly white inks contain Titanium Dioxide. Ti02 in it’s natural state is white, but when it is exposed to radiation, the composition of the molecule changes giving it a bluish color. Although, this means the tattoo is actually darker, this accounts for some of the fading. Besides changing the ink color, solar radiation also causes the body to produce melanin which is on top of the ink. This tan/brown/black color obscures the ink and in turn makes the tattoo to appear less bright. Furthermore as most people know, sun exposure destroys tattoos through the body’s process of repairing the dermal and epidermal damage caused by UVA, UVB and possibly UVC radiation.

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Optical Illusion
Besides all the factors stated above, the more dramatic the difference in color, the less noticeable the fading. If you look at traditional tattoos they normally have a black outline. This is done to create a visual barrier between lighter inks and natural skin tone. Without the separation the tattoo can appear to blend into the surround tissue, giving the appearance of faded tattoo. Lastly, there is ink absorption. As already mentioned the body absorbs ink over time. However, the first month after the tattoo is put into the skin, the body removes ink particles down in the lower levels of the dermis. Even if white is packed in, there is a very good chance that your body’s lymphatic system will remove enough of the white to show some fading. Does sun exposure effect the tattoo during this time? Sure, but the basic healing period is often just a factor people don’t take into account and the sun is blamed for the fading of the tattoo.

Dallas Police Department to require that officers cover tattoos

Although tattoo removal is our business, and the new DPD regulation might actually increase our business, I would like to go on record stating the we adamantly oppose the new rule and hope that the department reconsiders. Not only should they allow our men and women in blue to express themselves in the manner they see fit, but for their health and well being, not require them to wear long sleeves during the sweltering summer months.

-Allen Falkner

06:42 AM CDT on Wednesday, July 22, 2009
By TANYA EISERER / The Dallas Morning News
teiserer@dallasnews.com

The next time you see a Dallas police officer wearing a long-sleeved shirt when it’s hotter than a furnace outside, it may be because he or she is hiding something.

A tattoo.

The department is planning to require police officers to cover up their tattoos, even if it means wearing makeup or a skin-colored patch over a hard-to-obscure place such as the neck or wrist.

A lot of officers are coming in with tattoos, said Lt. Andrew Harvey, a police spokesman.

It’s more normal now than it ever has been, he said but added that the department wants officers to display a more professional image.

The department’s personnel division is drawing up the official policy. It could go into effect as soon as this summer.

The old rules are silent on tattoos and state only that employees must present a neutral and uniform image to effectively relate to all segments of the population they serve.

The department largely left it up to the individual commander to decide whether an officer needed to cover tattoos.

A number of other cities also require officers to cover tattoos, including Los Angeles, Arlington and Houston, though they typically exempt officers working undercover. This is in stride with what other cities are doing, Harvey said.

Officer Nick Novello has four tattoos on his arms, including an American Indian on his right forearm that was there when he was hired by the city in 1982. He said he believes the department should consider grandfathering in current officers and thinks it’s a mistake to have an across-the-board policy.

If I got hired in 1982 and had that tattoo on my forearm, how can you expect me to cover my tattoo up in 2009? Novello asked. If you have to cover up your arms, they’re going to have a lot of problems staying hydrated. You put a guy in long sleeves and he’s not going out of the car unless it’s an absolute emergency during the hot summer months.

Novello, who also has an eagle bursting out of an American flag on his left arm, said he can understand requiring officers to cover up tattoos if they are offensive in some way.

In culture at large, tattoos are extremely prevalent, he said. We’re not divorced from society at large.

Another officer, who asked that his name to be published because he feared retaliation, said he’s worn a long-sleeved uniform for years because his tattoos cover his entire arms. But he said a portion of the tattoos still peeks out on his left hand.

Are they going to make me wear gloves or makeup? he said.

He suggested that a more reasonable approach would be to require officers to cover tattoos if they cover a certain percentage of the body part or if the tattoos are larger than a specified size.

What are you going to do with that guy who is 300 pounds, and you put him in long sleeves in the heat of summer, and he drops out on you? the officer said. There’s other alternatives than saying everybody with tattoos has to cover it.