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Is Laser Hair Removal Painful – How Does It Feel?

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Razor cuts, painful waxing experiences, the bumpy skin, unsightly ingrown hair, frequent trips to the threading lady, etc. – these struggles are pretty much a part of most women’s (and some men’s) beauty regimen. Laser Hair Removal always seems like an attractive option to explore, but we somehow tend to hold back. Is laser hair removal painful than waxing? Is it really effective and what are the side effects? What does laser hair removal feel like? These are some common initial apprehensions.

Is Laser Hair Removal Painful?

As compared to waxing, laser hair removal is less painful. Depending on the body area, a laser procedure may feel like a small elastic band snapping against the skin. We must remember that pain tolerance varies from person to person, so some might find it slightly painful. Other factors like skin type and coarseness of hair might increase the level of discomfot.  After each session of treatment, the hair becomes lighter or thinner and the pain subsides, which makes the whole procedure easier to handle.

Cold compression, lasers with cooling devices or the use of numbing cream are some other options that can substantially reduce the level of discomfort. As a result of the latest technologies available in the market, like the Super Hair Reduction method, ‘the laser hair removal pain level’ is more or less non-existent and the whole process is virtually pain-free.

Also Read: Safe And Painless Hair Removal Treatments

How Does Laser Hair Removal Feel On Body Parts?

The sensation from the laser hair removal procedure can be compared to that of a tiny elastic band being snapped against the skin or like tiny pinpricks followed by a cooling sensation. The sensitivity to the procedure and the pain felt varies, depending on the area being treated. Let’s give you a break down into laser hair removal pain levels experienced at different spots that people usually get the treatment done on, starting with the least painful.

Face – Coming to the facial area, the pain varies depending on the thickness of the skin. Therefore, your chin and sideburns areas feel relatively lesser pain when compared to the upper lip area, which can get quite sensitive.

Underarms – The snapping sensation on the underarm area tends to be a tad stronger when compared to the other spots of treatment. Nevertheless, owing to the coarse nature of underarm hair and its darkness, laser hair removal works to its full potential here and gives great results.

Bikini Line – The sensitivity to the laser head is heightened at the bikini line and the snapping sensation felt is relatively more pronounced but definitely lesser than the feeling of being waxed. Similar to the bikini line, the Brazilian area experiences almost the same amount of pain with a change in relevant laser settings, owing to the difference in hair thickness.

Back And Abdomen – This is one area that tends to be ignored, but owing to moderately thick skin here, you can get through your laser sessions easily without major pain barring a few ticklish sensations.

Hand And Shoulder – The skin on the arms is relatively thick compared to other sensitive parts of your body. Therefore, a sensation of mild discomfort is experienced when the laser targets the hair on your arms. Pain is at its minimum level.

Legs – One of the most common spots for laser hair removal, the pain levels are tolerable with an occasional spike in the sensitivity, which goes away before you can react. The area to be worked on is relatively more, though.

Also Read: How Much Does Laser Hair Removal Cost In India?

Laser Machines And The Level Of Pain Associated

Broadly speaking, there are two different technologies available at the leading laser hair removal clinics for permanent hair reduction.

  • The first one is the more conventional method and the machine used is a Neodymium YAG laser 1064 nm (Nd YAG), which is US FDA approved. This laser is safe for all skin types and has a longer wavelength, which is less absorbed by the epidermal melanin and is safer for darker skin and Indian skin tone in general. It also has one of the most effective cooling mechanisms to protect the skin during the procedure. As far as the pain level is considered, the conventional method might result in mild prick like sensation as unwanted hair is targeted shot-by-shot.
  • The second type of technology is an in-motion method and is based on advanced fluorescence technology. It is called Super Hair Reduction (SHR) and works on relatively fine hair too. It is referred to as a ‘pain-free and hair-free’ service. The only sensation you might have is a mild sensation of warmth. SHR offers complete coverage with no missed spots and is safe for all skin types, including tanned skin.
  • The third method is a combination of both conventional and in-motion techniques and the machine used for this is called the Soprano-ice.

Also Read: Different Types Of Laser Hair Removal Machines

Laser Hair Removal Vs. Waxing Discomfort

“Does laser hair removal hurt more than waxing?” is probably the first question that pops into the minds of people considering going in for the procedure. The simple answer to that question is ‘no’. Depending on the area being treated, the laser hair removal discomfort varies but is still way below the waxing discomfort level. And, depending on the client’s pain threshold, the option of using a numbing cream or lotion is always present.

The pain levels experienced with laser hair removal are nothing compared to the pain and discomfort of the monthly process of hot wax being used to manually rip hair off your body!!

Also Read: Hair Removal at Home Vs Professional Laser Hair Removal

Why Should You Go To A Good Laser Hair Clinic?

The importance of choosing a good and reliable laser hair clinic cannot be emphasized enough. Because at the end of the day, the laser hair removal procedure is

  • Not cheap,
  • Lasts for at least a year in the majority of the cases,
  • Involves equipment that can potentially have adverse effects, when not handled by experienced and qualified technicians.

So, here are some parameters that can guide you in choosing a good laser hair clinic that is experienced and reliable with its procedures, equipment, and professionals; thus building confidence in you.

  • How long has the clinic been in existence?
  • How many branches do they have?
  • At the consultation appointment, are there other clients present and what has their experience been like?
  • What are the customer service protocols?
  • Is the medical supervision/clinical staff well trained and experienced?
  • Is there an availability of customized treatment plans based on client requirement?
  • Is the laser hair removal equipment US FDA approved?

Taking a well-informed decision here will ensure satisfying and long-term benefits from the procedure.

It is absolutely natural to have apprehensions about a cosmetic procedure that is relatively new and unknown to you, but it is also important to dive in and do your research if something beneficial piques your interest.

It is clear from the above information that Laser Hair Removal is a relatively stress-free and pain- free procedure that gives you permanent results, especially if you’re someone who has tried the other hair removal techniques that don’t last long. The mild discomfort experienced during the process fades away in front of the permanent silky, smooth skin that you get in return.

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About The Author

Kushneet Kukreja

Kushneet Kukreja

A postgraduate in Biotechnology from Kingston University and an ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition, Kushneet Kukreja is a passionate writer who works in close association with the dermatologists at our head office to generate valuable and scientifically accurate content for our blog.

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