Laser Hair Removal for Teens
When a child reaches adolescence, many changes take place in their body. Hair growth is one of the most noticeable of these changes, and can often be annoying for some teenagers. Teens have a tendency to be overly sensitive about their hair growth, especially when it appears in a less desirable area of the body such as the face or arms. Girls are usually more sensitive about this than boys. What can they do about it? Laser hair removal might be an option.
How Laser Hair Removal Works for Teenagers
A teenager with unwanted hair might not want to shave just yet, or use wax and other methods because these methods can encourage more rapid hair growth in a teen whose body is not fully mature. Laser hair removal is an option to consider, but should be decided by both the parent and the teen. All laser hair removal clinics require a parent or legal guardian's consent to perform the procedure on a child under 18 years of age.
Laser hair removal works the same for teens as it does for adults. In the latest technology, a laser light called intense pulsed light (IPL) is used to destroy hair follicles where the unwanted hair appears. The procedure is safe for teens, but they should be aware of how the procedure works beforehand. Knowing what to expect will make the visit more pleasant.
Possible Side Effects for Teenagers
The side effects of laser hair removal have been lessened tremendously with the latest IPL technology. However, teens should be aware of the possibility of side effects. A reddening of the area treated can occur for several days after a laser procedure so the patient will want to plan the days after carefully. Having the procedure during a school holiday week or the summer months might be a good idea. Also, the hair will not disappear immediately. It will usually thicken first, then fall away within a week or two, so expectations of the actual visit should not be set too high. Swelling in the treated area can also occur for several hours after treatment.
Teens should also understand that several visits might be required to remove all the unwanted hair. Four visits are the average, but it might take less depending on the amount of hair that needs to be removed, and the color of the patient's hair and skin.
Drawbacks of Laser Hair Removal for Teenagers
Laser hair removal might not be the best option for some teens. One reason is the cost. Laser hair removal can be expensive for teens because it is not permanent. A teen's hair growth process is usually not mature, so more treatments might be required soon to keep the unwanted hair away. After a treatment or session, hair will usually stay gone for around six months. After this period, hair begins to grow again. A teen's hair growth is sometimes more rapid than an adult's, so the laser hair removal procedure might have to be repeated.
Another reason is laser hair removal doesn't always work with every type of hair or skin. The affects are usually best with the combined light skin and dark hair. Blond, white and gray hairs lack pigment, so the treatment is not effective or success rates can be very limited. The teen and parent(s) should consult with a laser hair removal specialist to decide if treatment is best.
Tanning and Laser Hair Removal
Another thing to consider for teens is whether or not they tan their body frequently, either in the sunlight or a tanning facility. A tanned body does not react to laser hair removal positively in many cases. The reason? Tanned skin can prevent some of the laser energy from reaching the hair follicles because the darker the skin, the more light energy it absorbs. When the skin absorbs much of the light, the hair follicles are deprived of the light, and the skin might also be burned during the procedure, causing discomfort. Before the procedure, teens should avoid tanning for as long as possible by wearing strong sunscreen while outdoors.
Fortunately, there are new methods coming on the scene to help those with tanned or dark skin as well. As technology and techniques improve, so are more positive results for people of all skin and hair types. One example is super long-pulse technology, which spreads out the light energy over a longer period of time instead of using intense, fast treatments. The skin is not affected, and more hair follicles can be reached successfully. There are many types of lasers and treatment methods on the market, so the right type of specialist and equipment should be sought out before considering treatment.
Teens can benefit from laser hair removal if they are prepared for the procedure and possible side effects. A successful procedure can help build confidence and provide a safe, simple way to get rid of unwanted hair.
This article was written by Candice Pardue.