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  • Writer's pictureZak Lockhead

What Tattoo removal device should I buy?

Updated: Apr 5, 2022

In this industry, it’s very hard to understand what tattoo removal device you need and what each of them does! For example, take the name of the most typical laser tattoo removal device, the ‘Q-switch ND:YAG’, it sounds like something out of a sci-fi novel. If you are reading this article then you are probably wondering what laser tattoo removal device to buy and what they mean. Well fear not, because this article will hopefully answer all your questions. Now this article might be a bit longer than you have time to read, so I have split it into sections that outline what questions you may have. Remember, you can always call me for a free consultation.


Laser tattoo removal devices we sell
Laser tattoo removal devices

What type of tattoo removal device should I buy?


So firstly, what laser tattoo removal device should you buy? There are several different types currently available on the market and with all the different suppliers, I understand it can be hard to know what to buy. Now this part is easy, I always recommend the Q-switch ND : YAG. The reason why? Well this is currently the gold standard available on the market, meaning it removes tattoos the most efficiently whilst also causing the least damage.


But what is the Q-switch ND:YAG?

To understand what a ND: YAG laser removal machine is, we first have to quickly run through the components of a laser device and show you how it emits light. Don’t worry, I will keep this as simple and as short as possible


Basically, a laser device is split into four main components:


1. A pumping system (basically just a flash light)

2. A laser medium (usually a crystal- no not the magic kind)

3. Two mirrors (A normal one and a partially reflective one that allows light to leave)


And that’s it

Q-switch ND:YAG
Q-switch ND:YAG

The pumping system flashes light at the crystal. The crystal used in the Q-Switch ND: YAG is called a neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet (or ND: YAG for short) which is where the tattoo removal device gets its name from. By adding light to the crystal we actually add energy, which excites atoms inside the crystal and causes them to bounce back and forth between the two mirrors. This causes atoms to release light of the same wavelength from the laser device (i.e. when you shoot it at a tattoo). Usually, a 1064nm wavelength is released from the device, which we use to target and destroy black/blue tattoos. Well 'how about coloured tattoos' I hear you ask. Well by applying a special tip to the ND: YAG machine, we can also halve the wavelength that is emitted by the device to emit a 532 wavelength that targets red/orange tattoos.


Why do we use Q-switch ND:YAG devices?

Basically, the invention of the Q-switch laser revolutionised the way we can remove tattoos. In the 1980’s, two researched developed the ‘theory of selective photothermolysis’ which paved the way for how we now remove tattoos (for more information read my ‘how does tattoo removal work’ article). Now I wont go into much depth here, but basically they discovered that ink particles must be hit with energy very quickly so they can be heated and broken up (which the body then removes) and not destroy any of the skin surrounding it. The Q-switch laser pulses energy extremely quickly (i.e. when you fire the device, the pulse of light it emits is very fast) which is highly effective for removing the ink and leading to the least damage possible.


The Q-switch laser, Nano vs pico

If you have been researching what laser to buy, or have been in the industry a while you are probably wondering what a ‘pico laser’. Basically, this device is a more advanced laser tattoo removal device that is more effective for removing tattoo ink. For more information please read my 'what is a Pico machine' article.



Which company should I use?

I supply all these machines for an affordable price. I have worked in some of the top medical research facilities in the United Kingdom and I used this knowledge to develop the machines I sell today. My machines are built to the highest standard to maximise efficiency and safety!

Q-switch ND:YAG Pico laser
Q-switch ND:YAG Pico laser

What if I want to know more

I offer very comprehensive training courses that take you through everything you would ever need to know and will enable you to be the best tattoo removal technician you can be. Please see my courses section on the website.

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