Unwanted body hair can be distressing no matter how old you are, but it’s important to know if you’re at the right age for laser hair removal.
Laser hair removal treatments stop hair from growing in the first place. If you start the process at the right age, you could get a whole lifetime of smoothness! In this post, we’ll explain the minimum age for laser hair removal, and touch on the age-related factors that can impact your experience and results.
Minimum Age for Laser Hair Removal
If you’re here, chances are you’re curious about the minimum age for laser hair removal. Dense or dark hair growth is one of the major changes humans undergo during puberty, and it can be very unpleasant to experience.
The minimum age to consent to laser hair removal is 18, but there is technically no lower age limit as long as a parent or legal guardian provides their consent. That said, it’s up to the provider to decide whether a patient can undergo laser hair removal safely and effectively.
There has been some research on laser hair removal in children and teens, but it’s not as robust as the research on adults. The results show that lasers can be effective at reducing different types of hair growth in children and teens, although some regrowth is also common in the months after treatment, especially for those still going through puberty.
At SEV, we will usually treat patients between the ages of 14 and 17 as long as their parent or legal guardian consents to the procedure. Teens don’t have to suffer the discomfort of unwanted hair when laser hair removal can give them the confidence they need.
Age Considerations for Laser Hair Removal
There are a few other age-related differences that can impact the efficacy of laser hair removal, whether you’re older or younger:
Laser identifies the root of the hair by its deeper color, so it’s only effective on brown or black hair. It doesn’t work on lighter hair colors. That means that for older patients, the laser won’t work on any hair that has turned white. For younger patients, the laser will not work on red hair, blonde hair, or “peach fuzz”.
There is no upper age limit for laser hair removal, but you should take your skin’s health into account. As we get older, our bodies don’t regenerate as quickly as they used to, which results in thinner skin that’s slower to heal. Additionally, melanocytes tend to get larger which is why many people develop “sun spots” or “age spots”.
If you’re getting laser hair removal in your 50s or later, it may mean slower recovery time from common laser hair removal side effects such as swelling or redness. If you have some hyperpigmentation in the treatment area, those specific spots will have to be avoided.
Pain tolerance can change dramatically with age. Most adults experience laser hair removal zaps as mildly uncomfortable. Children, on the other hand, are more susceptible to pain and often require some sort of topical numbing before they can undergo laser treatments.
Hair Growth and Hormones
Hormonal changes can re-activate the hair follicles, so the long-term efficacy of laser hair removal might be lower in children who haven’t finished going through puberty yet. The same kind of regrowth can occur with other big hormonal fluctuations caused by certain medications, conditions like PCOS, or pregnancy.
For many young children experiencing hair growth on the face or body, the immediate benefits of laser hair removal may outweigh the risk of regrowth. However, it’s important to speak to a physician before pursuing any treatment.
Laser Hair Removal at SEV
At SEV, our patients’ safety is our top priority. We pride ourselves on offering effective laser hair removal to all patients, with minimal discomfort. This means that when it comes to the age of our laser hair removal clients, we often make recommendations on a case-by-case basis.
There is no official age limit for laser hair removal, but that doesn’t mean that anything goes. If you’re under the age of 18, your parent or legal guardian must be there in person to provide consent for your laser hair removal treatment.
If you’re curious whether laser hair removal might be appropriate for you or your child, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us! We’ll be happy to let you know if we think treatment is a safe option for you or those you love.