Professional Edition: Trouble Shooting Spray Tan Part 2

When a technician gives a perfect spray tan application it can be baffling when they receive a complaint from their client. Many times the complaint will stem from the client doing something to hinder the DHA development process. Often times, the client doesn’t know they were the cause.  Client complaints can cost the technician time in repairs and re-applications, as well as cost the technician money and potentially clients. When problems occur it is critical to uncover what happened.

Who would think a spray tan technician would have to be a spray tan detective?

Troubleshooting customer complaints can be tricky but is necessary in order to prevent future incidents. The client may feel defensive because they are afraid you won’t fix the problem. Always start with the statement that you are happy to fix their tan but that you want to try to figure out what happened so that it doesn’t happen again. Believe me, the client doesn’t want it to happen again either and will be more receptive to your questions. 

Below are some real-life examples of customer complaints that our technicians received along with the reasons for the poor outcome of the spray tan. 

Problem 1:  I have these white marks going down the inside of my legs.
Answer 1: The client wore leggings or skinny jeans after her session.  The seams caused friction, which rubbed off the solution before it developed. Remember to tell your client to wear loose clothing while the DHA develops.

Problem 2: I have these patches where the solution didn’t develop behind my 
knees, inner arms and back.
Answer 2: The client is a night sweater.  The sweating caused the solution to stop developing.  Have your client get their airbrush in the morning and shower just before going to bed or get a rapid tan

Problem 3:  I don’t know what happened.  I have no color on my calves or my feet.
Answer 3:  While many clients know not to get wet during development some don’t. This client received a pedicure after her session, which stripped off the color.  Make sure all clients receive manicures, pedicures, hair appointments and waxing 24 to 48 hours prior to their sessions. 

Problem 4: There is color on my hand and a smudge on my face.
Answer 4: The client slept with her hands resting on her face causing the solution to develop on her palm.  As with problem 2, if you have an active sleeper, have them make their appointments in the morning and shower before going to bed or get a rapid tan.

Problem 5:  You missed a spot on my nose.
Answer 5:  The client sneezed and blew her nose after her session.   Many clients are careless with their airbrush because they do not understand how delicate an airbrush is while developing.  Make sure to explain to your clients that they must be careful until the sunless tan has completely developed. This means no sunglasses, constrictive clothing, socks, shoes, etc. 

Problem 6:  My tan was too light and faded too quickly.
Answer 6:  The client applied lotion to her body the morning of her tan. As a result, the tan didn’t develop to its fullest resulting in too light a tan. Keep in mind that they may not have used lotion but used shave creams, sugar/oil-based scrubs or some other cleanser that left a film on their skin. When used it acts as a barrier between the skin and the solution. 

These technicians had to ask a lot of questions. In some cases the client’s were asked to recount their day after the session in order to uncover the cause of the problem.  As a technician, you will need to ask questions in order to help the client understand what they did wrong and prevent it from happening again. Keep in mind, that other things like medications, hormone imbalances (i.e. periods or menopause) can all play a factor in why a tan may not properly develop.   

No matter how the spray tan issues occurred, it’s important that the technician uncovers the problems and resolves them.  With a little bit of prevention and deductive reasoning you will keep your clients happy and you busy with repeat customers.