This article was printed in Evergreen Newspapers in July 2012.
In fantasy, problems are quickly and easily solved by magical means. In the real world, real solutions are required. Rethink the Ink offers real solutions to people wishing to erase the more visible excesses of callow youth, and provides results that often seem nothing short of magical.
“People are always amazed at what we can do for them,” says Victor Beyer, who launched his Littleton-based tattoo-removal practice and school after seeking solutions to his own decorative dilemma. “I had the Grim Reaper tattooed on my back,” Beyer says, wryly. “Then I got married, had a daughter, and got tired of explaining the Angel of Death to a 2-year-old.”
What Beyer learned through his researches was that recent leaps in laser technology have made tattoo removal less arduous and more effective than ever before, and what followed is a fortunate intersection of man, method, and machine. The man is Beyer, of course, a 38-year-old lifelong Coloradan with a profound respect for the methods and machines of his craft.
His basic method is time-tested and trusted. Beyer and his colleague, fellow C.L.T.R. Mary Baker, apply nano-second laser bursts to the affected areas of skin. Pin-point beams blast apart deeply imbedded ink particles, and the resulting molecular debris is flushed from the body by natural and ongoing functions.
But even lasers have limitations. For one thing, they generate heat, and traditional laser tattoo removal treatments commonly leave patients blistered and bandaged for up to three weeks at a stretch. For another, the standard laser arsenal simply can’t compete with the tattoo artist’s kaleidoscopic range of ammunition.
“Blacks and reds are fairly easy to remove. Blues, greens, purples and yellows are a lot more difficult. You need different wavelengths to react with different colors.”
Which brings us to Beyer’s remarkable machine. In name, it’s a Quanta DNA Q-Switched laser. In fact, it’s one of a mere handful of such machines currently operating in the world that can bring three separate wavelengths to bear on inconvenient ink. By applying the proper wavelength to its corresponding colors, even the most complex personal palettes can be divided and conquered without needlessly scorching the canvas. Indeed, so finely is Beyer’s laser calibrated that those same beams directed at un-inked skin produce no more effect or sensation than a garden-variety flashlight.
And that means faster, more effective treatment with minimal discomfort and drastically reduced recovery times.
A lot of others think so highly of Rethink the Ink’s man, method and machine that they’re willing to brave significant commutes to receive its expert attentions.
“Quanta changed the game so much we get clients from literally all over the world,” says Beyer. “Right now we’ve a client who flies up from Brazil every six weeks.”
Beyer also treated a thoroughly illustrated California filmmaker named Jacob Tillman who was so delighted with his result that he’s showcasing Rethink the Ink in the feature-length documentary “D’Inked” set for release in November .
As it happens, clients aren’t the only people who come from far and wide to spend a few minutes with Beyer. Rethink the Ink’s office suite include two comfortably appointed classrooms that are frequently filled with professionals from across the country seeking to learn the man’s methods and the proper use of his machine. And Beyer is always willing to take his tutorial on the road.
“I travel anywhere from 10,000 to 20,000 miles a month teaching people about what we do here. It’s the future of this industry.”
“I don’t like to turn anyone away,” Beyer says. “People have a lot of different reasons for wanting to remove a tattoo, but it’s always very personal, and it’s always very important to them.”