Researching this subject resulted in numerous opinions from doctors’ offices, spas, clinics etc. establishing that as long as the child has parental consent then it is okay!! In some countries they do have age restrictions.
So How Do You Qualify Whether to Treat or Not to Treat?
Having specialized for over 40 years in permanent hair removal you can imagine how many requests I have had for every age requesting treatment male and female and as young as 5 years old!!
I will share my guidelines, through experience to assist you in making that decision.
- Make sure that anyone that is younger than 18 years old is accompanied by a parent or guardian who would be responsible to sign the consent forms prior to treatment.
- Confirm that the child has gone through medical tests to rule out any medical concerns and reasons for hair growth.
- Complete a full case history chart to review with the parent.
- Confirm that it is not the wish of the parent, wanting to have the perfect child, if the hair is not bothering the child.
- Present a very detailed consultation outlining the commitment of treatment to achieve results, what to expect.
- Assess the area of concern to verify the hair color and texture so that you have options to present the best solution.
- Find out what temporary methods have been used to date and how often. Was there a skin reaction, ingrown hair and the tolerance of sensitivity to the client?
- If female, have they menstruated and if so, how long?
- Is the child mature enough to understand the process, commit to a set schedule and will follow pre and post treatment care?
Some examples from my experience.
1 – 5-year-old female with dark dense upper lip hair.
Parent was concerned but the child was not aware so advised them to wait and not bring it to the attention of the child and when she became self-conscious to bring her back to assess.
2 – 9-year-old female with very dark, dense hair growth on her lower legs which was very noticeable.
As she had not started menstruating, I ruled out laser and felt that she could try depilatory creams as long as her skin did not react. I avoid shaving due to the possibility of cuts. Waxing is a possibility but may be too painful at that age.
My findings with laser having treated 14-year-old clients’ lower leg hair is that the hair was not mature enough that results in the long term did not achieve the same results as if I had waited until they were 18 or older. When treatments were repeated at 18 the hair follicles had weakened and again did not achieve the same percentage of permanent hair reduction when compared to a client who started their first laser treatments at 18 or older.
3 – 14 year old Male – unibrow. Client tweezing on a regular basis causing ingrown hair and scars.
As it is not safe to perform laser in this area, we used Elos technology which is safe and very effective treatment.
4 – 16 year old male – fingers. Client tweezing daily to control the hair growth which caused ingrown, scabs and marks.
Laser was performed and after 9 regular scheduled treatments we achieved maximum reduction, skin clear and remaining hair minimal and very fine that the client was satisfied.
5 – 9-year-old female very dark, dense, upper lip hair which was noticeable from a distance.
Elos was performed and is safe and effective on pre-teenage clients as long as the parent is supportive and the client understands the commitment to treatment. More time was taken to help the client feel comfortable and relax during treatment. Approximately 80% of the hair was reduced with the remaining hair finer, lighter and not noticeable. Client was pleased and we decided that she could return for electrolysis when she was older.
When I was in kindergarten a playmate actually wet my arm and rubbed my hair together causing matted hair which was very painful. I have never forgotten that experience.
Note: In my opinion I believe that clients will achieve better permanent hair reduction when their body is fully matured and the hair is dark and coarse. Puberty is when they see the hair turning darker and in adolescence it will appear coarser but it will take until full maturity between 20 – 25 years of age to have the hair in the best condition for maximum results.