Does Laser Hair Removal Actually Hurt?

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Pain. By nature, we try to avoid it. We put off that one last set of reps at the gym so our legs don’t ache the next day. We call an Uber for a six-block walk so we don’t have to worry about our high heels pinching on a night out. So it’s no wonder many of us get squeamish when we start believing that laser hair removal treatments hurt … like, really hurt. In fact, it’s probably one of the biggest factors that holds people back from choosing to pursue laser hair removal treatments. They’ve heard that it’s painful and it just doesn’t seem worth the struggle. So. The million-dollar question. Does laser hair removal actually hurt, and if it does, how bad? 

Unfortunately, the answer is not that simple. For example, take the sensation of getting a bikini wax or having a tattoo done. Most people will agree that both those things come with a degree of discomfort, but it’s based on individual experience. We all know people who said they barely felt a thing when they had a tattoo done, yet we also know people who simply can’t stand the feeling of a bikini wax. Everyone has a different pain tolerance, so it’s difficult to determine whether or not something is painful across the board.

Laser hair removal is much the same. While most people agree that the experience is uncomfortable in moments, the overall experience depends on the individual client, as well as the skill of the specialist and the equipment they use. Is it worth it? Here are some things to consider:

Technology has improved … and so has comfort

Laser treatment has been around since the 90s, and you better believe it’s not the same technology it was when it first hit the market. Think about the evolution of computers. Are they as difficult and awkward to use as they were back then? Much of the bad rap that laser gets originated in earlier times, when the technology was more primitive and still being refined. Lasers have not only evolved to be much more efficient, but also to deliver more comfortable sessions. Today, a single session can be done in just a few minutes, depending on which part of the body you’re having treated.

It used to be considered much more difficult to treat clients with darker skin tones, because machines were made with limited wavelengths. This saddled laser hair removal with a bad reputation for those with certain complexions, but as laser technology has evolved, lasers are now able to treat clients with almost any complexion, though it is still limited to dark hair. In a similar way, technology has evolved to improve the comfort of the individual receiving treatment. This is due to many factors, including the variety of wavelengths that lasers now include, as well as their precision and accuracy.

Cooling options can be built into your treatment

The best laser hair removal specialist will provide cooling options, either before, during or after treatment and these go a long way when it comes to eliminating discomfort and soothing your skin. The cooling method will vary based on the clinic and practitioner you see.

Gel-based coolants are fairly common and are often applied after the treatment to soothe irritated skin and decrease redness. Cyrogen spray, which is a liquid gas that cools the skin, is sometimes used as well. This is a perfectly effective method, although occasionally people react to it and have to deal with itchiness and irritation for a few days afterward. In general, cool air is a fantastic option, because it can be used to numb the skin beforehand, then connected directly to the laser machine to provide additional cooling during your laser hair removal treatments.

Cooling treatments can be applied directly afterwards, or even by yourself at home. Some people find aloe-based products or ice-packs perfectly acceptable for a little extra self-care once they’re at home and relaxed. Basically, the variety of methods for soothing and cooling the skin means that there are many options for customizing your experience and minimizing discomfort.

The alternative is waxing … forever!

If you tolerate waxing, you likely do it because your sessions are short enough – and infrequent enough – to handle, or, perhaps because you think the end result is worth it … at least until your next waxing appointment rolls around.

You can look at laser the same way, but with significantly more permanent results! After six treatment sessions, you can expect an average of 80% hair reduction, which significantly cuts down on grooming time. Like waxing, there is a momentary discomfort, but only for a short period of time. In fact, most people find the laser even more tolerable than a wax!

In exchange, you get silky, touchable skin without having to return for monthly sessions. The process of laser hair removal usually requires several sessions, each about six weeks apart, but once you have finished a course of treatment, you really are finished, although people do occasionally need touch-ups to maintain the lack of hair growth. You do, however, get to cut down significantly on the amount of time you spend waxing or shaving, which is a big bonus.

Think of laser hair removal as short-term discomfort for long-term gain.

1 comment:

  1. I did waxing for a little bit and man did it hurt.


I love reading and responding to comments but in order to get my reply you must ensure you are NOT a no-reply blogger. If you are, here are some quick steps to change that!

1. Go to the home page of your Blogger account.
2. Select the drop down beside your name on the top right corner and choose Blogger Profile.
3. Select Edit Profile at the top right.
4. Select the Show My Email Address box.
5. Hit Save Profile.