Airbrush vs. HVLP Spray Tanning — What’s the Difference?

If you head to any professional retailer for your spray tanning supplies, you’ll see a number of airbrush products and a number of HVLP products.
So, what’s the difference between the two? And which set of supplies should you buy?

Airbrush tanning equipment is what you normally think of when you think of getting a spray tan. The chemicals are sprayed on using a gun that looks like either a pen or a pistol. If you apply your spray tan by hand — instead of putting customers in an airbrush spray tan machine — it will take about 20 minutes to cover them from head to toe.

If you’re just getting started with spray tanning supplies, opting for airbrushing is a good idea. That’s because airbrush tanning equipment tends to be cheaper than their HVLP counterparts. And, unless you invest in an airbrush spray tan machine, airbrushing products tend to be a whole lot easier to transport around — making them perfect for mobile tanning businesses.

So, what’s the story on HVLP spray tanning?

HVLP stands for “High Volume Low Pressure”. That’s a fancy way of saying that this form of spray tanning uses much more powerful equipment. Similar to airbrush tanning equipment, an HVLP gun is shaped like a pistol — but it comes with a tighter pistol grip. That’s because some experts compare using HVLP equipment to using a vacuum cleaner in reverse!

As a result, HVLP spray tanning supplies work much faster than their airbrushing counterparts. In fact, HVLP equipment can cover your customers from head to toe in about 5 minutes! And, as an added benefit, these guns can handle finer details that airbrushing guns can’t.

You’ll also be happy to hear that HVLP equipment produces less overspray than airbrush tanning equipment does.

Because it’s so powerful, the chemicals spray faster and in a more compact path than the airbrushing chemicals do.

But the downside to all of that power is that HVLP spray tanning equipment is tougher to use. So, if you’re just starting out, it may be a little too much for you to handle. Typically, HVLP equipment is something that only seasoned professionals should tackle!

Another downside? All of that power creates much more noise than airbrush tanning equipment. HVLP compressors are much louder, which can be a real turn-off for some salons and customers. If you’re going for a quiet, tranquil environment, this may not be the equipment for you.

Now that you know the difference, it’s time to figure out which option is better for you and your customers!

The team at Artesian Tan can meet all of your professional spray tan needs… Visit them today!

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