By Raymond Schoeman

We have a hair removal quiz on the website for hair removal therapists to take. The questions in this quiz are based on basic knowledge that any starting therapist should have.

I want to show you a sample of the scores that people get for taking the quiz. But before I do that I have to say that the quiz is anonymous. We do not get any information on who’s taking the test. We only get an email that says a quiz has been completed on this date and the final score.

Below you see the scores from the 20 latest quizzes that were completed.

Final score01234567891011121314
Number of participants013524112100000
The top row shows all the possible scores a participant can achieve. 0 means that all the answers were wrong and 14 means all the answers were right.
The bottom row shows the number of participants that achieved that score. 3 means that 3 people had a score of 2.

I am very relieved to say that we have not yet had a score of 0. However, I am sad to say that since the quiz is on our website, for over a year now, we only had 2 participants with a score of 14.

It scares the shit out of me. Looking at this, I fully understand why the aesthetic laser industry is developing such a bad reputation in the public’s mind.

I really got it wrong. I had an impression that people in general take pride in what they do. Especially if you’re going to invest a lot of money in the tools to do it with. But I realize now that the therapists who I interact mostly with (our students at LaserCollege) are way above the industry standard. A LaserCollege student is someone that wants to be professional and deliver a real service. That is why they are willing to pay for it and take the time out to complete the course. I am now fully aware that this calibre of therapists represents only a very small percentage of the industry.

Since I had a couple of days to think this over and what it means, I though up some scenarios in other industries.

What if I’m attending the event of my life. Let’s say my wedding day. We invested a lot of time, money and energy in this extravaganza we’re planning on having. The theme is ‘Louis XIV’. Thus, a lot of hair to do. Now, let’s assume that all the hairdressers have recently completed a quiz on basic knowledge of hair colouring. Can I assume that the hairdressers that will style us for the event all had a 14/14. This is after all a challenging project. Maybe the main stylist had a 14/14 and the rest at least 10/14? What happens when we find out that the main stylist, who know the most of them all, only had a 3/14? Keep in mind that we will only know this hours to minutes before the event is due.

I like travelling, when possible, and it is not unusual for me to take an airport shuttle. Now, let’s assume all the local airport shuttle drivers took a basic knowledge test on road safety and first aid at an accident site. I’m leaving tomorrow morning at 6 am for the airport, and it just started snowing heavily, it’s now 11 pm. The road will not be a lot of fun on the way to the airport and we will catch morning peak traffic in the last half of the route to the airport. Should I put my hope on someone that had a score of 10/14? What are the risks when I actually get a driver who scored 2/14?

What if I’m babysitting my sister’s child, and she becomes suddenly ill with a severe temperature? I assume that I will probably rush her to the emergency room at the local hospital. Now, let’s assume that all the doctors at the emergency room have recently completed a quiz on basic knowledge of care for a child. Can I also assume that since they are doctors, they all had a score of 14/14 or some might had a bad day and got away with 10/14. What happens when I’m lucky enough to get the doctor that scored 3/14?

How lucky are your clients? Or have their luck run out?

Your clients do not know your score on this silly little test. They made an assumption that you had to undergo comprehensive training before you’re allowed to practice as a laser therapist. Little do they know you just had to buy a machine and put up a sign. They do not know that your beauty diploma excludes laser training.

Introduction to laser therapy is not training. Neither makes ‘trained-by-the-machine-supplier’ a specialist of you. Which supplier will provide you with a true and unbiased training if that reflects badly on the equipment you’ve just bought? And how much of a profession will you build on a one-day or weekend training?

But that is not really your problem as much as it is your client’s problem.

Your problem is how to make the money back you’ve just spend on the machine? How to compete with the six other laser clinics in your street? Most of them have the same training as you and know what you know. Some of them may have had better training and know more than you do. And some of them even have the audacity to copy you directly.

Now add to this one lock-down after the other. And a shrinking pool of clients. What is going to be the reason for people to come to you? Which of all the laser clinics in your street will offer clients a real service with real results? This is a luxury business, and we’re entering a phase where more people have to make a choice between luxury and necessity.

The only way you can ensure the survival and growth of your business is to increase your knowledge and skills.