What To Look For In A Salon

I received a call from a tanner named Robert in the Dallas, Texas area.  He had several questions about lamps.  Here is a sample from our discussion:

For starters, Robert’s main concerns about salons were (a) convenience, (b) payment plan options and (c) friendliness and cleanliness of the salon.  After visiting our web site (www.wolffsystem.com), he realized he was barely scratching the surface of what to look for in a salon.

I informed Robert that his criteria for searching for a salon were good ones but he needed to also look at equipment and lamps.  Because Wolff System is celebrating our 30th year, we obviously make an excellent lamp that meets the salon’s demands.  His question, which lamp should he tan with?

Unfortunately, a lamp that will make everyone happy has not been made yet. 
Lamps are designed for use in different beds with different exposure schedules.  Also, based on skins types, some people tan faster than others.  Some people get a dark brown color and some may just turn a golden brown – this is a function of a tanner’s personal physiology and skin makeup.   For example, a skin type V would tan much faster and get much darker, and be less likely to burn, than a skin type II. 

Every tanning lamp needs just enough UVB to stimulate the melanin, and copious UVA to oxidize it and turn it brown.  Typically the higher the amounts of UVB, the shorter the exposure schedule and the more reddening that occurs unless sessions are severely shortened.  If you use the lamp originally recommended for use in the equipment or a FDA-compatible replacement lamp, then little reddening should occur if you follow the recommended exposure schedule.  It’s when you replace the original lamp with a higher UVB lamp or non-compatible lamp that erythema may occur.

There are different UV wavelengths.  UVB is from 280 – 320 nanometers.  UVA2 is from 320 – 340 and UVA1 is from 340 – 400nm.  UVB stimulates melanin production and can burn the skin if overexposed; UVA2 acts a lot like UVB, with melanin production and some pigment darkening; it is also closely associated with elastosis (photoaging, wrinkles).  UVA1 penetrates deeper past the surface of the skin and is primarily responsible for pigment darkening.  The newer lamps such as the Bronzing Sun HPK90 (which in my opinion are close to perfect) focus on providing enough UVB to stimulate the melanin and aid in production of vitamin D, plenty of UVA1, and less of UVA2.

Besides the fact that I work for Wolff System, based on my personal experience I feel our lamps are the best.  You’ll get consistent results with great color.  Hopefully, Robert has found the salon that meets his criteria and employs our lamps.  I wish every potential tanner would take the time to research and gather information before selecting a salon.