We Are Sunshine

Do You Speak Fluent Sunless?

Tuesday, April 14th, 2020

By Ivy Potter

It has been 95 years since Coco Chanel stepped out with sun kissed skin, making sunbathing glam and laying the foundation for indoor UV tanning. Although consumers have been trying their hands at “sunless” options for just as long, sunless didn’t garner mainstream popularity until the early 2000’s. Modern day spray tans are the result of decades of evolution, and thank goodness, because our early years were awkward, at best. Those primitive days left a few scars and some infamous sunless fails. We still get the “will I turn orange” question, and who hasn’t heard about Ross from Friends?

On the flip side those early blunders haven’t stopped the upward trajectory of this industry. We are moving on and have learned from those less than stellar moments. The key to continued consumer confidence and sustained growth is education.

Everyone in your salon should speak fluent sunless, which is more than just explaining how to prepare and maintain a spray tan. Employees should understand and be able to communicate FDA recommendations, the salon’s sanitation procedure, as well as any governing regulations. Also ensure they are prepared with a polished response to those silly orange Cheetos questions.

Confidence is contagious; when my staff is excited about sunless, my sales go up. Keep the energy going by doing regular refresher training, and don’t forget to display the certificates you earn. Results speak louder than words. If everyone is in the salon is giving the correct information, clients benefit too. Clients that are getting flawless results are happy to come back, spend money and bring friends!

It is no longer enough to just offer spray tans. We are gaining momentum and adding competition to the marketplace. With greater exposure, clients have also become more educated. From solution colors to equipment, contouring and specialty services, clients are demanding the latest innovations in sunless.

Don’t be caught off guard as standards change. Aim to take at least one class per year or attend a trade show/expo. Reach out to your distributors and product manufacturers for information on upcoming professional development opportunities. You will gain more than mad tanning skills – the atmosphere at these events is invigorating and offers an opportunity to network with other professionals who face the same challenges as your salon. When travel is not a reasonable, webinars are a great resource and provide options for on-demand training. It’s more than just learning how to tan; it’s how to grow and thrive in this developing business.

Albert Einstein said “when you stop learning, you start dying.” If we apply that concept to our business, the greatest ability is teach-ability. Education is the only investment you can make that will always offer a return. Don’t just compete in your market – dominate by keeping your skills sharp. For more information about educational opportunities email