Sixty is the new 40, 50 is the new 30, and baby boomers aren’t letting anyone tell them different. Those born between 1946 and 1964 are staying active, dressing hip and fighting wrinkles and other signs of aging with an arsenal of new cosmetic procedures.
One of the newest is Cool-Sculpting. First brought to Baton Rouge by Dr. Ann Zedlitz, of Z Aesthetic Dermatology in Baton Rouge, CoolSculpting is a non-surgical body contouring treatment that freezes and breaks down fat cells. The treatment, which takes about an hour, treats bulges on the abdomen, flank, back and thighs that are resistant to diet and exercise.
“Fat freezes at a higher temperature than regular skin,” explained Zedlitz. “The skin is sucked between two metal cooling plates, the fat is frozen and then those fat cells die in a process called apoptosis. The cells are eliminated over time by your own immune system.”
Zedlitz said CoolScuplting is replacing the more invasive liposuction because it typically results in a 20 percent reduction in fat, can be done multiple times and requires no downtime.
Whereas CoolSculpting freezes fat cells, the new Vanquish procedure Zedlitz is introducing melts them.
“I learned about Vanquish this past summer at a seminar in Chicago,” said Zedlitz. “It uses radio frequency to kill the fat cells. It feels like a warm blanket on your body.”
Like CoolSculpting, Vanquish can be done in the doctor’s office in about an hour and has no down time.
Women have embraced these procedures from the beginning, but men are now beginning to get on board.
“We’re trying to make men more comfortable with the process; we’re starting to tap into that market,” said Dr. Jon Perenack with Williamson Cosmetic Center in Baton Rouge, adding that, while some of his patients are construction workers, most are doctors, lawyers and business professionals.
Gordy Rush’s problem was the back side of his head where his hair was seriously thinning. It wasn’t something he was aware of until his cell phone “lit up” after an ESPN interview following the LSU vs. Alabama National Championship game with friends commenting on how much hair he’d lost.
Friends with Rachel Dunn, the center’s marketing director, and founder Dr. Chuck Williamson, Rush sought answers to his problem and had a hair transplant performed by Perenack in August 2012.
“The biggest hurdle for guys is knowing what’s what,” said Rush. “There’s a lack of knowledge about what’s available and that you can get done right here in Baton Rouge.”
And, it’s something he loves educating his guy friends about. “Once we start talking, they always have a lot of questions,” said Rush.
Men aren’t the only ones who experience thinning hair as they get older . For a lot of women, extensions are the answer.
That was Rhonda Augustus’ solution, but she wanted something better than the synthetic, processed hair typically glued or woven into existing hair. “That’s so damaging,” she explained. “I didn’t want to damage my hair any further.”
After a lot of research, and trial and error, she created her own clip-in hair piece from virgin hair sourced from India. Excited with the result, she and husband Ron opened Image Virgin Hair in Baker in August 2012.
“I made mine into a clip-in unit that I can take off at night or change out to another style,” said Rhonda.
“Typical extensions last six to eight weeks,” she continued. “Raw hair is sourced from people who donate the hair from their head. It’s never been processed, never colored and it lasts a year or longer.”
The donor may not have done anything to the virgin hair, but that doesn’t mean you can’t. It can be bleached, curled, flat ironed — “you can treat it like real hair.”
Virgin hair is also easier to match and blend with a client’s natural hair. “The quality gives a more natural look; you can tell synthetic, processed hair,” said Ron.
“Virgin hair has been Hollywood’s secret for years, but it’s just now being made available to the public in large quantities,” said Rhonda.
Ron likes to point out that virgin hair is also a good investment. “The average woman spends a couple hundred dollars a month on her hair. The average cost for virgin hair is $200, but that’s going to last you a year.”