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. Although laser hair removal may be an option for unwanted hair, teenagers are advised not to get laser hair removal until they are through with puberty. No two teenagers are alike, so the age when a teenager finishes puberty can vary. During puberty new follicles are being created and hair grows faster. The laser is attracted only to hair that is in the growth stage so teenagers, who normally have more rapid hair growth than adults, may have to undergo more treatments to target the new hair they are producing.
Possible side effects of laser hair removal for teenagers is the reddening of the area treated, that can last for several days after a laser procedure. Swelling in the treated area can also occur for several hours. Hair will usually thicken first, then fall away within a week or two, so expectations of the actual visit should not be set too high. It is a good idea to schedule a procedure during a school vacation.
As with adults, 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. Teens that go tanning or are exposed to sun frequently, may not be good candidates for laser hair removal. 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.
Teenagers can benefit from laser hair removal if they are prepared for the procedure, possible side effects, and cost. The teen and parent(s) should consult with a laser hair removal specialist to decide if laser hair removal is right for the teen.