Hair removal for teens is a growing trend. Teenagers are generally ﬁrst in line when it comes to removing unwanted hair. As ﬁne and light-coloured as it may be, hair is simply not tolerated. Young girls compare with each other: one friend shaves, the other doesn’t, one sees an aesthetician for waxing while the other is undergoing electrolysis. One question remains in the minds of many parents: at what age should we allow teenagers to begin hair removal and which method is the best?
There is no ideal age to begin hair removal; the best course of action is to discuss the subject openly with teenagers before they pick up a razor in the bathroom and shave all unwanted hair with unfortunate consequences. Here are a few methods of temporary hair removal, pilosity reduction and permanent hair removal available to today’s teenagers. We qualify certain techniques of “temporary”, because in these cases, hair is bound to grow back in the short or medium term, and it may even become darker and stronger than it was before.
Razors, clippers, depilatory lotions and abrasives are readily accessible low-cost methods. It comes as no surprise that they are very popular with teenagers. However, they generally stimulate hair regrowth, especially in sex-specific areas and the results are short-lived. In most cases, we can see the hair shaft stick out of the skin as early as the next day. As far as shaving is concerned, there is also a risk of cuts and infection if the razor is not properly disinfected or if it was borrowed from another family member. Mechanical epilators that use a coiled spring are a fairly painful method that yields mixed results at best. When using this type of device, the hair can become highly distorted and often breaks in its follicle, which promotes the formation of ingrown hair with or without infection. And hair regrowth is still stimulated and fairly quick. Bleaching creams give the hair a yellowish colour and open its scales, which increases its diameter. Even if a teenager has facial hair, it would be much better to use a different method, since this method makes the hair more noticeable once the effect of bleaching fades. Waxing and plucking are two hair removal methods that provide slower hair regrowth (up to three weeks), which is very convenient for teenagers. However, they can be painful for certain people. There is also a risk of distorted hair follicles or ingrown hair with or without infection if the technique is not properly executed. Hair regrowth is stimulated, regardless of the type of wax used: hard, soft, hot or cold, or even sugar.
Hair removal by LASER or IPL (intense pulsed light) is not effective on all skin and hair types. The ideal situation is fair skin and dark hair. It is a costly technique that yields a reduction of pilosity rather than permanent hair removal. Moreover, remember that teenage hair is often quite ﬁne and barely pigmented. For this reason, it would be better to wait until the end of adolescence before resorting to this method.
Electroepilation (electrolysis) is, to date, the only permanent hair removal method known to be effective on all skin and hair types, regardless of the treated area. And with new technologies and the 27 MHz ultrarapid frequency now at our disposal, we can offer teenagers highly effective treatments with hardly any feeling. There are even insulated probes that can protect the skin surface while providing extra comfort and effectiveness. Electrolysis is therefore the ideal method to rid teenagers of unwanted hair for life. Particularly in the facial area, electrolysis is the method of choice for young women, because unlike LASER, there is no need to shave the face prior to treatment. Although it requires discipline, electrolysis is safe and has no side effects. For young girls, we do recommend waiting until the ﬁrst menses before starting an electrolysis treatment to be certain her pilosity has reached maturity.
In short, regardless of the selected hair removal method, the most important thing is for teenagers to feel good about themselves. However, when the budget allows it, the ideal would be to offer them permanent hair removal. It’s an intelligent investment for which your teens will be eternally grateful.