No one wants to be afflicted with unwanted hair, and the good news is that there’s really never a wrong time to have laser hair removal. At Jon Ric International Health and Wellness in Edmond, OK, we can help you get the smooth skin you’re looking for. Is there an ideal age to seek out treatment? We answer this question and more below.
What Is the Best Age for Laser Hair Removal?
Thankfully, there is no one age where it’s right to get this treatment. Whether you’re 19 or 90, you can benefit from getting rid of the hair you don’t want. Since this treatment is perfectly safe, there are really no concerns about age.
In the end, the best age for you to seek treatment is the age you’re at when you first notice the unwanted hair and look for ways to deal with it. But concerns about unwanted hair can vary by time of life. Here are some age-based considerations:
Unwanted Hair and Teens
Many teens either believe or may have been told that they will simply “grow out” of unwanted hair. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Typically, unwanted hair that shows up in your teen years only tends to get worse with time.
Laser treatment is an option for you if you have hair growing more thickly than you can manage or in places where you don’t want it. Depending on your age, you might need the consent of your parents for treatment, but there aren’t any restrictions otherwise.
Know What’s Behind Your Excessive Hair Growth
If you’re female and are experiencing heavy, dark hair growth, you could have a disorder known as PCOS, or polycystic ovarian syndrome. This often manifests with hair growth on the face and chest. If you suspect PCOS, it’s important to talk to a doctor. Laser hair treatment isn’t as effective for these cases, though it can certainly help. Most importantly, though, you may need other medical interventions to improve your overall health.
Unwanted Hair and Young Adults
If you’re living through the busy years of your 20s and 30s, a laser hair treatment could save you a lot of time as well as get rid of your unwanted hair. When we’re younger, there is usually plenty of time to pluck and shave, but this becomes increasingly burdensome as we grow older and face greater responsibilities.
Many of what seemed “small” aspects of self-care can fall by the wayside as a career or growing family get in the way. Even worse, self-esteem can lag if you’re struggling to get rid of the hair you don’t want. Once that hair is gone, though, you’ll get a self-esteem and confidence boost in every area of life.
Unwanted Hair and Older Adults
Aging brings some inevitable difficulties and changes to your skin. Unwanted hair can appear, and even hair that wasn’t hard to deal with before–or maybe didn’t even bother you–can become a greater burden or the last straw of frustration with your appearance.
Even worse, some things that may have worked in the past could cause difficulty as you age. Shaving, for example, may start to irritate the skin. It’s not unheard of for someone to develop an allergy to a depilatory cream that never bothered them before. Thinner skin could make waxing and plucking more painful. If any of these things are ringing true for you, now might be the right time for a laser hair removal treatment.
About Laser Hair Treatments
Lasers offer long-lasting hair reduction because they don’t just deal with the hairs themselves. Lasers get at the root of the problem by disabling the follicle beneath the skin that’s growing hair in the first place.
How Lasers Work to Remove Hair
The light of the laser is attracted to the melanin in a hair shaft. The light travels down the hair, generating heat as it goes until it reaches the follicle. The heat from the laser damages the follicle and disables it. In the past, lasers and light energy only really worked for people with very light skin tones and dark hair. The light couldn’t differentiate between the melanin in hair and the melanin in skin, so the contrast between skin and hair had to be fairly extreme.
Today, however, next-generation lasers can work on a variety of skin tones and most hair colors. We use the state-of-the-art Soprano XL laser precisely because it can effectively remove even white, grey, red, and blonde hair and works on skin of all colors–even tanned skin–with amazing results.
Areas It Can Treat
Lasers can treat unwanted hair nearly anywhere. They’re great for removing hair from the legs, underarms, back, chest, face, and bikini area. Men sometimes seek just a few treatments to thin out a thick beard to make shaving easier and razor burn less likely.
Preparing for Treatment
Thankfully, there aren’t many special steps necessary before a laser hair treatment. The only thing you need to do is avoid plucking, waxing, or anything that completely removes the hair shaft a few weeks before treatment. Shaving is fine: in fact, you should shave the day before your treatment.
What Treatment Is Like
At your treatment session, we’ll give you special eye protection just to be safe. Then, we’ll simply run the handheld device over your skin. It will send out pulses of laser light that target the melanin and destroy the hair follicles.
One of the best benefits of the Soprano laser is that the process is very comfortable. The laser itself comes with advanced cooling technology that ensures your comfort. For some patients, the chance to just lie down for a while can be very relaxing!
When you’re done, there are no elaborate after-care instructions. Just treat your skin with a little tender, loving care for a few days. Moisturize it carefully and keep it out of the sun. Wear sunscreen when you do go out.
FAQ About Treatment
How Many Treatments Will I Need?
It takes several treatments to get all your hair, and this is because of the way hair grows. Our hair goes through cycles, and the laser is only able to target follicles that are in the active growth stage. The follicles in their dormant stages will need to be targeted by subsequent treatments.
At the very most, you can expect only 80% of the hair to be targeted in any one treatment, and the initial treatment may be more like 25% to 50%. Hair removal rates speed up with subsequent treatments, though. Most people need about six to eight treatments to get their desired results. Ultimately, the number of treatments you need will depend on your unique physiology and goals. If you just want to thin your hair to make razor burn less likely, two or three treatments may be plenty.
When Will I See Results?
At first, it might seem that treatments haven’t worked. That’s because, while the follicles have been disabled, it can take a few days to shed the hairs that were in them. The shedding might look like normal growth for a day or two, but there’s nothing to worry about. Within two weeks you’ll definitely notice you have a lot less hair! In about three to four weeks, you’ll be ready for your next treatment, if you want or need it.
How Does Laser Treatment Compare to Other Hair Removal Options?
Before you start treatment, it’s important to know how this compares to your other options. Many people think of laser hair treatments as expensive, yet that’s often not so true once you consider the true cost of your other options.
Plucking is cheap, of course: all you need is a pair of tweezers! But the cost here isn’t measured by the cost of the tweezers. It’s measured by the lost time. This simply isn’t a viable option if you need to get rid of a lot of hair, and while you could go to a salon for threading to get rid of some unwanted hair more quickly, you’re just spending a lot of money on something that hurts and has to be constantly redone.
Shaving only removes hair that appears above the skin. That means that while shaving is fast, it’s an endless cycle, and the hair will be back in a few hours, days, or weeks. The average woman spends more than $10,000 on shaving. For men, the numbers are only slightly lower. And that’s not counting the time involved. The average woman will spend 85 whole days of her life shaving, and even at minimum wage that’s worth almost another $15,000 in lost time.
These creams smell better now than they did a few years ago, but that’s not because they’re any less damaging to your skin. The manufacturers have simply added some neutralizing scents. These creams still contain harsh chemicals designed to reduce hair to jelly, and chemicals that can do that to your hair aren’t doing wonderful things to your skin. They’re also not cheap. A bottle may last a while, but over time you’ll see the costs add up.
Intense pulsed light, or IPL, works on the same principle as lasers, but it’s not as effective. Even if you get an IPL treatment from a spa-strength device, the wide wavelength of the light means that much of the energy is scattered before it can do its job of destroying the follicle. This means more treatments are needed for the same effect. Worse, the scattering effect means IPL devices have a harder time differentiating between skin and hair, so there are more limits on hair color and skin color with IPL.
Worst of all are those at-home IPL devices that offer far more than they can deliver. They aren’t nearly as strong as med-spa devices, so they take many more treatments and the hair comes back more quickly. There’s also the constant need to replace bulbs, the pain, and the possibility of eye damage if you make a mistake.
Laser Hair Treatments
Getting hair removed with lasers costs more initially than any other type of hair removal, but you’re not spending more over time. Once the follicles are disabled, the results last far longer and take very little to maintain. There’s also no worrying about whether you missed hair or some stubble is showing.
Get Rid of the Hair You Don’t Want
If you’re ready to be rid of unwanted hair and the trouble and expense that goes with it, visit us at Jon Ric International Health and Wellness in Edmond, OK today. We offer laser hair removal with the advanced Soprano XL–and many other beauty treatments–to can give you the look you’ve always wanted.