Parking – Dallas Location

People often ask about parking.  So, here’s a map and some basic information to help.  Meters on the street are free until 6pm.  Also, the first row of the lot directly across the street is free as well.  If you have any other questions about parking please feel free to give us a call or send an email – http://fadefast.com/contact/

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Hush Gel – Topical Anesthetic

After months of testing several different topical anesthetic products, Fade Fast Dallas is happy to announce that we now carry Hush Anesthetic Gel (coming soon to our Arkansas location).

HushGelFor more information on the product please visit – http://hushgel.com/faq/


Because the anesthetic takes an hour for full effect, our Dallas location offers two choices:

  1. Hush Gel can be purchased and applied in advance so our clients can relax in the comfort of their own home prior to treatment.
  2. Let us apply the anesthetic then relax in a recliner, in our private waiting room.  The room features a large television available for your entertainment or feel free to bring your own device and plug into one of the USB power ports available for your convenience.

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For more information and photos of the Dallas location please visit
http://fadefast.com/new-location-new-days-new-hours/

Picosure Comparison

We have had a few clients ask about the Picosure laser and how it compares to our laser, the NaturaLase QS 2J.  So here is a photo comparison on similar tattoos and a little information about our equipment:

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All lasers have their strengths and weaknesses.  Here is the honest information about our equipment.

NaturaLase QS 2J Strengths:

  • Energy – 2 Joules of Energy – Double Energy of Many Lasers
  • Spot Size – 10 to 15mm (over 1/2 inch) – Deep Energy Penetration
    • Speed – Energy + Spot Size = Faster Treatments
  • Wavelength – Nd:YAG – High absorption into black and red inks, Low absorption into melanin (skin tone)
  • Multi-Wavelength – 585nm and 650nm – High absorption in Blue and Green Inks

NaturaLase QS 2J Weakness:

  • Consumables – Unlike Ruby and Alexandrite lasers (Picosure for example) an Nd:YAG uses dye pack hand pieces to treat blue and green inks.  This equipment has a limited life span and must be replaced.  What does this mean for our clients?  Although our prices are competitive, sometimes very large blue and green tattoos can be expensive for us to treat.

NaturaLase QS 2J / Picosure Comparison: The lasers are very different and making a true side by side comparison is difficult.

  • PulseWidth – The Picorsure’s main selling point is the pulsewidth, 550-750ps or .55-.75ns (ps=picosecond and ns=nanosecond)  The NaturaLase QS 2J in comparison operates at 8,000-10,000ps or 8-10ns.  Is shorter pulsewidth better?  The simple answer is yes.  How much better?  That is a very good question and the answer has been widely debated in many different forums.
  • Wavelength – The Picosure is an Alexandrite laser (755nm) where the NaturaLase QS 2J is an Nd:YAG (1064nm).  Both wavelengths break up black ink, however the Nd:YAG has a lower absorption into melanin (skin tone) making it safer for use on darker skin tones.  Both lasers produce wavelengths for breaking up blues and greens; and now the Picosure is offering a 532 wavelength so both lasers can treat red.
  • Spot Size – The Picosure has a maximum spot size of 10mm, where the NaturaLase QS 2J goes up to 15mm.  Because of this the NaturaLase QS 2J can cover 1.5 times as much area per shot, meaning  that the NaturaLase QS 2J has both deeper energy penetration and faster treatment times.
  • Energy – Because the wavelengths are different, the energy is difficult to compare.  The Picosure produces 200mJ (0.2J) where the NaturaLase QS 2J produces 10 times the power 2000mJ (2J). How does this effect overall results?  Please refer to the photos above.

Why Fade Fast; and more importantly why choose the NaturaLase QS 2J? The answers are simple: Experience and Results

Bottom line, researching tattoo removal can difficult, confusing, and sometimes even misleading.  Here at Fade Fast we believe that our clients deserve a straight answer and that honesty and integrity are the cornerstones of a reputable business.  Although we’ve done our best to give you a fair comparison, please feel free to do your research and read more reviews.  Do you have more questions?  Feel free to contact us online or setup an appointment and come in for free consultation.  We look forward to hearing from you and appreciate you taking the time to read this post.

Choosing Your Technician

The laser tattoo removal industry has quickly grown in the last several years. For the industry, that means more and more technicians coming into this field. Some are well trained and dedicated to their job, while others have very little understanding about the procedures they are performing. It also means a few things have changed for clients interested in getting a tattoo removed. The idea of tattoo removal is not such a scary, foreign idea anymore. More and more people have gone through the procedure and are willing to talk about their experiences. It also means clients now have many more options. Figuring out who is best qualified to perform your procedures can often be difficult.

At times the field of laser tattoo removal can be very hard to navigate. Even clients that do their research are often confused or overwhelmed by the abundance of outdated and incorrect information. Though online resources can be helpful, it can still be quite confusing. Words like “Nd:YAG, pulsewidth, and nano/picometers” aren’t in most people’s everyday vocabulary.

So how do you determine who you should or shouldn’t let work on you?

Know what questions to ask. Employees of a laser clinic should never be upset answering questions regarding their abilities or their equipment. Most lasers technicians have dedicated large amounts of time to their training and careers. You should expect them to enjoy discussing the equipment, science, and the results they have achieved.

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Although these questions aren’t foolproof, they will help to determine someone’s qualifications. Also, it is a good start to allow you to get to know your technician. Along with looking at portfolios, trust your instincts. Were all your questions answered? Equally as important, are you comfortable with your decision? If you feel pressured or are unsure about treatment options, take the time to get a second opinion.

Check back soon for Part 2 of this topic: What to expect during your procedure.

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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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.

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.

Nine Bar Removal Project

Laser Tattoo Removal

The gradient laser removal project started August 17, 2007 when Adam Walsh of Hold Fast tattooed the bars on the inside of my right arm.  We chose 9 because an approximate spacing of a half-inch seemed to work well aesthetically, and 8 treatments seemed to be a reasonable estimation to remove a black tattoo.

I began treating the tattoo on September 19, 2007.  This was of course quite soon to start the removal, but the process was as much about experimentation as it was to show my clients how the process worked. As you can see by the first treatment, the ink was quite resilient, breaking down in an uneven fashion.  This result is actually fairly uncommon, usually only seen when treating newer tattoos.  Also, in treatment number two you can see an unusual result.  The white patch on the right side of the bar was from a scab that I accidentally pulled off.  Of course total ink removal is a plus, but I could have been left with a scar.  Thankfully I was not.

Treatments three through five all went as planned with only one constant issue.  The 9th bar, and sometimes number 8, would often blister post treatment.  This was most likely attributed to heat generated by my bicep touching the area when my arm was bent.  Treatment six also went as planned with another minor problem.  Again I accidentally pulled a scab from the area.  This time however the area did not loose color.  In fact, the opposite happened.  The scab was more superficial and the underlying dermis was exposed leaving a very dark area in the tattoo.  It took a few months, but in time the epidermis regenerated and the color evened out.

Treatments seven and eight went well. I increased the energy quite a bit to knock out as much color as possible. I was a bit more aggressive than normal, but the project was nearing completion and results needed to be more dramatic if possible.  Bar number 9 is not perfect.  There is still a bit of tattoo ink left, the tissue feels slightly different and depending on ambient temperature the area will turn red at times.

The removal project ended with the final laser treatment on February 17, 2009 and the outlines tattooed on April 2, 2009.  Overall I am happy with the final product with one minor exception. As can seen in the photo, the bars that were once straight and symmetrical, have changed shape dramatically as they were progressively treated.

In time the bars will continue to fade and the outlines will soften.  So, in the future I will be updating the photo and possibly the story behind the project.

Credit and Special Thanks to Stacy Potter for the photo.

1200th Treatment

On Tuesday May 19th, 2009 Fade Fast hit an amazing milestone, our 1200th treatment! This achievement is especially significant in that every treatment was performed by Allen Falkner, not an accumulation of treatments by multiple technicians. Below is a before and after shot from our client Chris: (The 1200th treatment was done just after the right side of the photo was taken)

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Below you can see a step by step series of images from untreated (top left) to the 8th treatment (bottom right). The white frosting in the last photo is actually a normal post treatment response that disappears 10-15 minutes after the procedure. Click Here for more information on frosting.

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As you can see, the tattoo is not completely removed, but we are very, very close. Another thing you might notice in the first image is that Chris lost 30 pounds since we first started. Congratulations Chris and thank you for trusting us with your tattoo removal!