Tattoo Artists Incorporate Tattoo Removal, Increasing Client Satisfaction and Profits


Bad Habits, located in Fort Lauderdale, is a premiere tattoo studio that’s home to several incredibly talented artists with specialties in nearly all tattoo styles, including color realism, Japanese traditional, watercolor, black and gray, and more. Celebrating its 10th anniversary in business this month, the studio is also celebrating five years since expanding into laser tattoo removal services.

It started as a hobby, not something I thought I’d be doing full-time today,” said Lisandra Chaviano, co-owner and lead laser technician at Bad Habits. “I started working Saturdays, then Saturdays weren’t enough; there were so many clients, and I was already making more money working four days a month than working Monday through Friday at the hospital. So, I decided to leave the hospital and do laser [tattoo removal] full-time.”

Ramirez and Chaviano have been together for about 12 years but weren’t always coworkers. When the two first met, Ramirez worked at a tattoo studio, and Chaviano was in the medical field. After a couple of years of dating, Ramirez followed his entrepreneurial calling and opened Bad Habits Tattoos. He came across New Look Laser College, Astanza Laser’s tattoo removal training program, about five years ago and suggested Chaviano get certified, thinking it would be the perfect addition to his studio. Five years later — they know they made the right decision.

Getting Certified in Laser Tattoo Removal

Getting trained and certified in laser tattoo removal is most entrepreneurs’ first step into the aesthetic laser business industry. New Look Laser College is a two-day training program dedicated solely to the procedure of laser tattoo removal, unlike other laser training programs that cover broader topics and multiple procedures. Not only do students receive in-depth clinical education and hands-on training with Astanza lasers on real patients, but they also learn business and marketing strategies specific to the industry.

New Look Laser College is held in various locations throughout the U.S., with courses taught in Dallas, Fort Lauderdale, and Las Vegas so far this year. Those who successfully complete the course earn three certifications: Certified Laser Specialist (CLS), Laser Safety Officer (LSO), and Advanced Laser Tattoo Removal Practitioner (ALTR).

Chaviano earned her tattoo removal certifications at New Look Laser College in 2018, and Bad Habits purchased the Astanza Duality and started offering laser tattoo removal services just a few months after she graduated from the course.

“The class really gets you excited about it. They teach in detail laser physics; you learn a little bit of everything; you get to practice on clients; it’s a lot of information that you get from the class. It gets people really interested in becoming part of the tattoo removal business industry,” Chaviano said.

Interested in learning more about getting certified in laser tattoo removal? Check out New Look Laser College’s website and registration information here.

Expanding Tattoo Studio Services by Adding Laser Tattoo Removal

At the beginning of Bad Habits’ laser tattoo removal business, Chaviano worked full-time at the hospital and saw tattoo removal clients on Saturdays. The demand quickly outgrew those operating hours, and the physical space of their first location, which pushed Chaviano to quit her job at the hospital to provide laser tattoo removal full-time. Bad Habits tattoo removal services are now available Monday through Saturday, taking appointments as late as 7 p.m.

The studio has also recently moved into a new location — about triple the size of their initial location — going from about a 1,000-square-foot studio to a two-story, 3,000-square-foot studio.

While some people may think that tattoo removal practitioners are anti-tattoo, that’s simply not the case. Laser tattoo removal provides artists more artistic freedom to create coverup or tattoo modification masterpieces.

“It’s a big misconception in the industry — even to this day, people don’t know a tattoo can be completely removed. There’s a lot of misunderstandings about the laser, and we’re trying to break the barrier and bring them in and let them know that laser is for everybody,” said Ramirez. “When a client requests a coverup, sometimes it’s not about what you want, but what you can get. With the laser, you can get exactly what you want, and we’re giving it to them.”

Chaviano and Ramirez’s studio doesn’t just provide tattoo removal in preparation for a coverup; they also offer complete tattoo removal safely and effectively on all skin types, including permanent makeup removal. When you look at Bad Habits today, you see a beautifully designed studio that welcomes guests in a comfortable space as soon as they step inside. But as most business owners can attest, success doesn’t happen overnight; research, intentional planning, and consistent follow-up are crucial for long-term success and growth in the industry. They say it’s all about continual growth and expansion.

For those interested in expanding their tattoo studio and adding laser tattoo removal services, Ramirez offers some advice. “If you can, start small and slow. Give it time, get into a good relationship with the person from which you get the machine because only they can really help you. Anybody that gets into this is going to be new to it. Be patient with your clients, make them understand that this takes time,” Ramirez said. “For the people, like tattoo clients, they want to get tattooed tomorrow, or today. With the laser removal, we’re looking at months and months. If you start slow, little by little, build up your portfolio, soon you’re not going to have anything to worry about. We started small and slow, and that’s how we’ve gotten to where we are now.”

Starting a Laser Tattoo Removal Business

Bad Habits uses the Astanza Duality, a Q-Switched Nd:YAG tattoo removal laser, to provide tattoo removal services to sometimes upwards of 17 clients a day. Thoroughly researching, getting trained and certified in laser tattoo removal, and choosing a reliable and reputable laser company to work with are crucial steps paramount to the success of a tattoo removal business.

If you’re inspired by their impactful story of continual growth and expansion in the tattoo industry and are curious about adding tattoo removal to your services, reach out to Astanza Laser. Astanza helps entrepreneurs, existing practitioners, and business owners launch or expand profitable aesthetic laser businesses. Learn more about Astanza by viewing their website.

When asked why they chose Astanza technology, Ramirez said, “They pretty much do what they said they’re gonna do, so we went with them. The relationship with them has been nothing but great. Everyone on the team is super friendly. It doesn’t even feel like a big company you’re doing business with — it feels like a second family.”

Connect with Bad Habits on social! Check out their tattoo Instagram @BadHabitsTattoos and their laser tattoo removal account @BHlasertattooremoval. Heading to the All Stars Tattoo Convention in Miami later this month? Be sure to stop by their booth and say hi!

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