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6 Rookie spray tanning errors

Tanned hands

When it comes to spray tanning, things don’t always go to plan – especially when you’re new to the treatment. 

Streaks. Green armpits. Orange nails. Whether you’re spray tanning at home or in a salon, here are six rookie mistakes you really don’t want to make. 

1. Not discussing pre and post spray tan care with your clients 

The success of a spray tan is partly down to what the client does pre and post-treatment

Those streaks could be caused by an oily moisturiser. Green underarms? That’ll be the deodorant! And patches that the tan just doesn’t take to could be caused by waxing or shaving too close to the appointment. 

Equally, wearing tight-fitting clothes, hitting the gym or walking in the rain straight after an appointment can also affect the quality of a spray tan. 

What you can do…

It’s super important that you run through spray tanning facts and tips before a client even arrives at your salon. Don’t be afraid to repeat yourself! Clients can be forgetful. And for newbies there’s a lot to learn.

2. Not taking the time to work out what your client wants

Your client wanted a subtle, sun-kissed glow. But they’ve ended up several shades darker than they would have liked. 

If you don’t get a clear idea of what your client wants before you start spraying, they’re unlikely to be 100% happy with the end results. Which means fewer repeat bookings for your spray tanning business. 

What you can do…

Ask your client what they want from the spray tan before getting started. Ask about how they’ve tanned in the past and what tanning products they’ve used. 

You should also find out how their skin tans naturally. That way you can come up with the best spray tanning procedure and the most natural look for them

3. Leaving your client with darker hands, feet and nails

No-one wants to give their clients a patchy, uneven spray tan. But tan naturally clings to some areas of the body better than others. These dry patches of skin need a little extra attention if you want a flawless finish.

What you can do…

Use a barrier cream on problematic areas, like the hands, wrists, feet, ankles, knees and elbows. You can also use sticky pads for the soles of the feet. And as soon as you’ve finished tanning, wipe over the nails, between the fingers, over the palms and the inner wrist to get rid of product build-up. 

4. Leaving your client with white lines

Just as some areas of the body can end up looking too dark, some run the risk of missing out on the spray altogether. You’re left with white lines on your client’s knuckles and in the creases under their bum – tell-tale signs that a tan isn’t as natural as it otherwise looks. 

What you can do…

In order to spray tan those hard to reach areas, you need to ask your client to move around a little. Ask them to claw their hands so you can get their knuckles. And then ask them to bend over slightly so you can spray those bum creases too!

5. Making the treatment room too hot

Sweat is a spray tan enemy! If the tanning room is hot, your client will sweat. And if your client sweats, the spray tan will run, leaving a streaky mess.  

What you can do…

You don’t want your clients shivering away in the tanning tent. But there’s something to be said for leaving the thermostat well alone. Try to ensure that your treatment room is cool and dry before beginning your spray tan.

6. Using too much spray tan product

Spray tanning for beginners can be tricky. When you’re still getting used to your spray gun, it’s easy to spray too fast or too close to the body. 

You cover your client in too much product, which then drips and smudges leaving a far from perfect tan. 

What you can do…

Hold your spray tan gun about 30cm away from the body and try to ensure a light mist flows continuously from the gun. If any tan does run, use a tanning mitt to blend and even up the tan without wiping it away.

If you’re new to spray tanning and want to avoid these kinds of mistakes, it’s essential you do some spray tanning training. Choose a spray tanning course online with New Zealand Beauty School and you’ll learn the pro techniques that guarantee a flawless finish every time!

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