We visited Christian Slavin two months ago, when he had a barren storefront in Ballston and a lot of well-researched plans to turn tattoo removal into a booming industry. He knew that 40 percent of young Americans have at least one tattoo, and significant percentages of them would like that tattoo gone.

Christian Slavin stands in the barren space of the Zap-a-Tat tattoo removal parlor in July. To see what it looks like now, see the video below. (Tom Jackman/The Washington Post)

Slavin's approach is to offer tattoo removal in a setting other than a doctor’s office, with lower pricing and longer hours, such as 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. most days. An ad on Craigslist brought in 55 customers right off the bat, Slavin said, they’re now up to 75, and visits only last about 15 minutes. An average tattoo takes about eight treatments to remove, though amateur jobs can come off in four. Treatments are priced by the square inch, and Slavin has already reduced his price on the big acreage tats.

The high-tech laser and cooling devices have been a hit so far, Slavin said. “To a person,” he said, “everybody walked out of here saying, ‘That wasn’t so bad, it was nothing like what I thought.’ Everybody.”

For a brief tour of what could be the flagship of a growing industry, watch the video below:


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