High Pressure Tanning vs Low Pressure Tanning

What is high pressure!

The name High Pressure Tanning derives simply from the fact that the lamps used
in this type of equipment are manufactured to produce an internal pressure that is somewhat higher than the internal pressure of conventional “low pressure” tanning lamps.
Even so, this internal pressure for the high pressure lamps is just a little above nor-mal
atmospheric pressure, while the conventional low pressure tube like lamps are a little below atmospheric pressure.
For years, when it came to high-pressure tanning, there were only two sides: Either
you were all for it and believed it provided a deeper, darker tan that lasted longer; or you strictly were against it believing that high-pressure tanning was detrimental to the skin. There was no middle ground. The line in the sand that salon owners had drawn has dulled throughout the years.
Today, you might be interested in high-pressure tanning, but unwilling to jump in
head-first until some of your questions are answered. Questions such as: "Will high-pressure tanning increase my profitability? Will my clients pay the higher prices associated with these types of units? What is the most current information about high-pressure tanning?
Here is my understanding about the effectiveness of high pressure tanning, derived
from my research on the web, discussions with experts and my observations in our own Salon which has both types of equipment from several different manufacturers.
First, the higher the frequency of the rays (the lower the wavelength), the easier it is for them to penetrate the skin.
This seems to make sense because as the frequency is increased up to X-rays for instance, there is almost no
opposition to the rays. UVC rays have the highest frequency, with a wavelength of less than 290 nm, and no tanning devices use these dangerous rays. UVB is the next highest frequency range at 290 to 320 nm, followed by the lowest frequency tanning rays, UVA at 320 to 400 nm.
Effective low pressure systems, because of the relatively low power of low pressure lamps (typically up to 160 Watts
each), use a higher percentage of UVB rays (up to 9%) than high pressure systems. The higher values of UVB do initially cause the body to produce more melanin for a good tan, but the skin’s defense mechanism causes the skin to thicken to provide protection from the UVB. Also, the damaged skin exfoliates so the tanned look quickly disappears.
For these two reasons, to maintain a tan on a low pressure system requires that you tan often, perhaps as much as
3 times a week or more. High pressure tanning uses lamps of much higher power (up to 2,500 Watts each) and a very low percentage of UVB (less than 1%). The theory is that with little or no damage to the skin caused by high UVB exposure, it is easier for the gentler UVA rays to provide a healthy looking tan in as little as three 15 minute sessions. And with no protective thickening of the skin and no exfoliation, this tan can last for two weeks or more. Some manufacturers go even further with this theory in that their systems filter out not only most of the UVB rays, but also the higher frequency rays in the UVA spectrum.
So from your Client’s point of view, although the high pressure
tanning sessions are more expensive, they are provided with a cool, comfortable tan, with less probability of skin damage and at a lower overall cost to maintain a year round tan. And from the Salon’s profitability perspective, high pressure tanning systems make good sense. Highly satisfied clients with fast and long lasting results and upwards of $35 per half hour session. And it is not unusual for your low pressure clients to switch to high pressure sessions if they happen to see someone coming out of your High Pressure room with a really nice tan after just one session.

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