Is Laser Hair Removal Painful? What You Need to Know before Ditching the Razor for Good

does laser hair removal hurt

Is laser hair removal painful? This is a common question people ask before ditching the razor. Many of us find it bothersome to constantly shave every few days to keep our unwanted hair under control. It can be a real hassle, right?

Laser hair removal is an excellent alternative that can help you manage unwanted body hair effectively. Now, you might be wondering, does laser hair removal hurt? Well, let's put your mind at ease and share everything you need to know about the pain factor before you make your decision to ditch the razor for good.

What Is Laser Hair Removal?

is laser hair removal painful on legs?

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In recent years, laser hair removal has become increasingly popular. Today, tons of salons exist where you can book a quick appointment to get yourself smooth and hairless for the beach, date night, or just because. But, is laser hair removal painful? It sounds like it could be, which may leave many individuals hesitant to try it. To understand a bit more about why laser hair removal might inspire some anxiety, let's take a closer look at what it is.

Laser hair removal is a procedure that beams highly concentrated light into hair follicles. The pigment in the follicles then absorbs that light until they are destroyed. It is one of the most commonly done cosmetic procedures in the United States according to WebMD. Laser hair removal can be done on most parts of the body and is especially useful for problem areas like sideburns, the upper lip, underarms, stomach, chest, and the bikini line. The procedure also comes with a number of benefits:

  • Targets dark, coarse hairs
  • Leaves the surrounding skin undamaged
  • Works at high speeds for maximum hair removal
  • Can lead to permanent hair loss so that treatment is needed less frequently over time

Who Should Get Laser Hair Removal Done?

is laser hair removal painful for everyone?

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Anyone who is tired of or sensitive to shaving, waxing, or tweezing should get laser hair removal done. It is also useful for those who simply don't have time for other hair removal methods. As mentioned, shaving, tweezing, and even waxing has to be done pretty frequently to be effective. Hair grows back rather quickly, meaning that having shaved one day does not mean completely smooth skin the next.

Typically, laser hair removal is reserved for adult use, but minors may partake so long as they have the consent of their parents or legal guardians. With this in mind, there is really no legal age to start laser hair removal, but certain factors must be taken into account. One is how the procedure feels. Does laser hair removal hurt? The answer varies from person to person and depends largely on where the hair is being removed from. Some parts of the body are more sensitive than others, which can lead to more pain for some individuals.

Is Laser Hair Removal Painful?

is laser hair removal painful on certain areas?

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If you were to ask a dermatologist or salon hand, "Is laser hair removal painful?" chances are you'll get mixed answers. For many, the procedure hardly hurts at all. For some, laser hair removal is incredibly painful. Of course, to answer this question, you can take a cue from how other hair removal techniques feel for you.

Do you have sensitive skin? Does shaving hurt? Is tweezing more painful than helpful? Does waxing cause you so much pain that you just can't do it anymore? If you answered affirmatively to any of the questions, chances are that laser hair removal might be painful for you. Since laser hair removal is done using hyper-concentrated light, i.e. lasers, you can expect some heat and a tingling sensation. Some people find them to feel like rubber band snapping on the skin. After laser hair removal sessions, your technician will apply a serum or cream to help soothe the skin.

For some, laser hair removal requires some topical numbing cream to help ease the pain. While some have a higher tolerance for the pain, others have described it as feeling like being stung or snapped by an elastic band over and over again. The numbing cream is meant to help the area tolerate the pain a bit better, and some patrons really need it.

Some Frequently Asked Questions about Laser Hair Removal

is laser hair removal painful on any skin?

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In addition to, "does it hurt?" you probably have many other questions about laser hair removal. Knowing exactly what to expect helps ease anxiety for many people, so we hope that going over these frequently asked questions will touch on some of the other concerns you may have:

Does Laser Hair Removal Work on Any Skin Color?

Short answer: yes. There are some concerns that since laser hair removal targets the pigmentation in hair it is not suitable for darker skin. While traditionally, laser hair removal treatments worked best on fair skin and dark hair, advances in technology has resulted in laser hair removal that can cater to darker skin tones and hair. If you're concerned, do your research on the best technologies and clinics for varied skin tones.

Can You Get Laser Hair Removal Done Anywhere?

Yes, you can get laser hair removal done just about anywhere. There are some areas that are off limits, like the eyebrows. This is because of the risk of the eyes being damaged by the light. Aside from anywhere near your eyes, laser hair removal can be done anywhere from brazilian laser hair removal to even those unmentionable places. For the sake of full disclosure, however, we're going to go ahead and mention them:

  • Private parts 
  • Nipple hairs
  • Bottom
  • Anus

Yep, when we say almost anywhere, we really mean it. Be warned, however, that the more intimate the area, the more pain you may experience.

Is There Anything You Can Do to Prep?

You should definitely do some prep before undergoing laser hair removal. You want the process to be as quick and painless as can be, so doing your part can go a long way. Typically, you'll be asked to shave the area you want to be lasered a day or two before your appointment. So, if you want a Brazilian, a smooth bum, or literally anything else, be sure to shave it down beforehand. If you decide to not shave yourself, be aware that some salons will charge a fee for shaving you!

How Long Does it Take?

Laser hair removal is surprisingly quick. A lot depends on your technician's style and experience, as well as how many breaks you may need during the procedure to help manage the pain. For the most part, though, laser hair removal can be done in thirty minutes or less, depending on where you're getting it done.

So Really, Is Laser Hair Removal Painful?

Like we said, laser hair removal can be painful, but how much it hurts depends on you and some other factors. Think about where you're getting hair removed, your pain threshold, and even your technician. Usually, your technician got the job because they know what they're doing and how to not just be effective but quick as well. With this in mind, your technician's skill level should cause you the least amount of anxiety.

This just leaves the area of removal and your own pain threshold. Intimate areas like the bikini line can be highly sensitive and may require the use of numbing cream or a couple of breaks. Other areas like your bottom, your face, your nipples, and even under your arms may be less sensitive but still prone to pain. Be cognizant of the different areas and how they respond to sharp pain. If you feel you can't handle it, you can always stick to shaving!

Finally, if you know you have a low tolerance for pain, laser hair removal just may not be for you. The use of lasers, the slight burning and stinging, and the discomfort afterward as you recover may just be too much if you don't have have a high pain tolerance. If you have concerns about how painful the procedure will be, consider getting it done with your dermatologist rather than in a salon. Dermatologists will usually have better equipment which leads to heightened precision and a faster experience.

Why You Might Choose Laser Hair Removal Over a Razor

is laser hair removal painful compared to shaving?

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So, there you have it. Does laser hair removal hurt? It does, but some people find it manageable. If you aren't sure about ditching your razor in favor of lasers, consider the following drawbacks that come with razors:

  • Razors can cause stubble, bumps, and ingrown hairs
  • Razors can get dull and rust quickly
  • Razors can be expensive and must be bought frequently
  • You're subjected to a heightened risk of irritation and wounds/cuts

We hope we've answered your question - is laser hair removal painful - and if you're ready to give it a go, be sure to do your research, speak to your doctor, and find a salon or dermatologist you trust.

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