There’s never a good age to be afflicted with unwanted hair, and there’s never a wrong time to have it taken care of at Flores Plastic Surgery in Miami, FL. Laser hair removal is a fast, permanent way to get smooth, stubble-free skin: but is there an ideal age to seek out treatment?
What Is the Best Age for Laser Hair Removal?
The good news is that there is no “best” age to get this treatment. Whether you’re 18 or 88, you can benefit from getting rid of the hair you don’t want, and this treatment is perfectly safe. The age that’s right for you is probably the age you’re at when you first notice the problem and look for ways to deal with it, but there are some age-related facts to consider as you make your decision.
Thoughts for Teens
If you’re just starting out in life, don’t believe anyone who tells you that you’ll “grow out” of unwanted hair. That’s simply not true. In fact, in nearly all cases it will only get worse. If you have hair where you don’t want it, or hair that grows more thickly or quickly than you can easily manage, laser removal is an option for you. You need to have the consent of your parents if you’re under 18, but otherwise, there are no restrictions. Here are two important things to know, however:
Peach Fuzz Can’t Be Treated
The lightly colored hair on our faces that is often referred to as “peach fuzz” doesn’t respond to laser treatments. If your peach fuzz bothers you, talk to your parents and to us about other ways to get rid of it.
Excessive Hair Growth Could Be a Problem
If you’re a female experiencing heavy, dark hair growth on the chest or face, you could have a disorder known as polycystic ovarian syndrome. If that’s the case for you, it’s important to talk to a doctor. Laser hair treatment isn’t as effective in these cases, and you need a doctor to help you stay in overall good health.
Thoughts for Younger Adults
If you’re in the busy years of your 20s and 30s, there are good reasons to consider a laser hair treatment to get rid of unwanted hair. This is the time of life when you’re building a career and perhaps also a family. When you were younger, there might have been plenty of time to take care of unwanted hair through shaving and plucking, but as life gets busier, this becomes more and more of a burden.
You may also feel your unwanted hair as a drag on your confidence and self-esteem, especially if you struggle to find time to get rid of it. Being permanently rid of it can give you self-esteem a boost, and that will give you more confidence in every area of life.
Thoughts for Older Adults
As we age, there are some inevitable signs of aging that come with it. We see these in our skin as wrinkles and sagging appear. We may feel it in our body as it gets harder to retain muscle and keep off unwanted weight. Hair that wasn’t too difficult to deal with before, or which we weren’t even bothered about previously, can suddenly be the last straw in dissatisfaction with appearance.
Even worse, hair removal efforts that worked fine before, like shaving, can now irritate skin that’s suffering from age-related issues. If any of this is true for you, then now is the best age to get laser hair treatments.
What to Know About Laser Hair Treatments
Laser hair treatments are a long-lasting reduction in unwanted body hair. They work by getting at the root of the problem, which is the follicle right below the skin’s surface that is growing the hair. By damaging this follicle with laser energy, you can stop it from continuing to grow unwanted hairs.
How It Works
The laser’s energy is attracted to the melanin in your hair. Melanin is what gives the hair its color. The laser energy travels down the shaft of the hair to the follicle beneath, where it heats the follicle and damages it. The advanced lasers used today can do this for people with a variety of skin tones in contrast to first-generation lasers, which could only help those with very dark hair and very light skin.
However, it’s still a little tricky to treat hair that’s too light because there’s not much there for the laser to focus on. That’s why this treatment won’t work on peach fuzz, but if you have unwanted hair of any color, come talk to us and discuss your options. If laser hair treatments aren’t the best option, we may be able to suggest other treatments that can help.
What Can Be Treated
Laser hair treatments are suitable for unwanted hair nearly anywhere on the body, including the legs, underarms, back and chest, shoulders, face, and bikini area. There’s nothing special you need to do to prepare for a treatment other than avoiding any tanning or sun exposure for a few weeks prior. It’s always smart to enhance the contrast between your skin’s color and the color of your hair, so this includes avoiding all tanning creams, as well.
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 unwanted hair, where it will send out laser pulses. The process doesn’t hurt, and for some patients, the chance to lie down for a while in our comfortable office is very relaxing!
When you’re done, there are no elaborate after-care instructions, and no downtime is required. Just treat your skin in the treated area as if you’d been out in the sun a bit too long. Baby it with some extra moisturizing and keep it carefully protected from any sun exposure for a couple of days. After that, be sure to wear sunscreen whenever you go out.
Why Several Treatments Are Needed
You may wonder why it takes several treatments to get all your hair. This is because of the way hair grows. Our hair goes through cycles of growth and dormancy, and the laser is only able to target follicles that are in the growth stage. It’s not possible to tell which hairs are in what stage, nor is it possible to predict when hair will go from one stage to another.
At the very most, you can expect 80% of your hair in any treatment area to be in the growth stage: and it may be less. Thus, your first treatment can only get rid of 80% of the hair at most. Over the next few weeks, more hairs will enter the growth stage, and you can get up to 80% of the remaining hairs at your next treatment. As you can see, it will take a few treatments to deal with it all.
The number of treatments you need will depend on your unique physiology and your goals, but most people will see the results they want in three to six treatments. Some people want to be rid of all the hair in a particular area, while others just want to thin hair out so it’s easier to shave without risking razor burn.
At first, you might think your laser hair treatments haven’t worked. The follicles have been killed, but they still have to shed the hairs that were in them. This shedding looks a lot like normal hair growth for a few days, but don’t worry. This stage will be finished soon, and within two weeks you’ll realize that you have a lot less hair. In three or four weeks, you’ll be ready for your next session if you want or need one.
Comparing Laser Hair Treatments and Other Hair Removal Options
As you consider whether laser hair treatments are the right choice for you, it’s important to compare this to other forms of hair removal. Many people don’t even consider laser hair treatments because they think it’s a waste of money: yet nothing could be further from the truth!
Shaving only removes hair that appears above the skin. It doesn’t damage the follicle, and it doesn’t even reach hair that’s a little bit lower. That means that while shaving is fast, it’s an endless cycle. The hair will be back. For some people, it will be back by evening. For others, it will return the next day or later in the week. The average woman, in fact, will spend a whole 58 days of life shaving.
Shaving is superficially cheap since inexpensive razors are readily available, but the costs mount up hugely over time. Shaving accessories cost women more than $10,000 over a lifetime, and men spend only marginally less. And the cost of the products doesn’t even take into account what your time is worth.
These creams may smell better these days than they ever did, but that’s only because manufacturers have added neutralizing scents to the product. The basic composition remains the same, and that horrifying smell you remember from years ago is just being masked. These work by dissolving your hair into a jelly-like substance using strong chemicals. Every time you use them, you’re taking a risk with your skin. They‘re also not cheap. A $10 bottle might not seem like much, but the prices add up over the years.
Plucking is very cheap. All you need is a pair of tweezers. But you’re still paying for plucking; you’re just not paying in money. Instead, you’re paying in lost time. Plucking simply isn’t a viable option to get rid of a lot of unwanted hair. You could go to a salon for threading that will make it all go faster, but then you’re spending big bucks for something that really hurts and has to be redone regularly.
Waxing is a popular way to remove a lot of hair at once. It pulls the hair out right from the follicle, so the results last longer than with shaving or creams. But the hair will still come back because the follicle is undamaged. It costs a lot to get waxing treatments constantly at a spa, and at-home waxing kits often return very unsatisfactory results.
Laser Hair Treatments
A laser hair treatment costs a bit more initially, but once you’ve finished all your treatments, you’re done. For good. There’s no more worrying whether you missed some hairs or if stubble is showing. And while your unique hormone changes may mean you require a maintenance treatment at some point in the future, in general, you don’t have to worry about that hair ever again.
Get Rid of Hair for Good
If you’re ready to be rid of unwanted hair and the trouble and expense that goes with it, contact Flores Plastic Surgery in Miami, FL today. We offer laser hair removal and many other beauty treatments that can give you the skin and look you’ve always wanted.