Laser hair removal promises long-term hair reduction and freedom from tedious hair removal methods. But there’s a catch – you’ll have to endure some pain and discomfort to get those coveted results.
Or will you?
While laser hair removal does involve some degree of pain for most people, recent advances in technology and techniques have made the procedures much more tolerable. The level of discomfort can vary based on multiple factors as well. For those considering laser hair removal, it’s important to have realistic expectations about the potential pain and how to minimize it.
While the pinpricks of pain can be quite uncomfortable, especially on sensitive areas, they are very temporary. The stinging sensations go away as soon as the laser moves to the next pulse spot. For most people, the pain and irritation is moderate but manageable. Still, those with low pain tolerance may find the treatments challenging to endure.
To put the sting of laser hair removal in perspective, how does it stack up against other hair removal techniques? Methods like shaving and epilating provide useful comparisons:
Waxing: Most find waxing, especially Brazilian waxes, more painful than laser overall. With waxing you feel it all at once rather than just pinpricks. The pain can linger for a while after too.
Shaving: Using razors is practically pain-free during the process. But the hair regrows within days leading to constant upkeep. Ingrown hairs and razor burn can cause ongoing irritation with shaving.
Electrolysis: This hair removal method destroys the hair follicle using an electric current. The sensations tend to be more painful than a laser and can cause scarring when not performed properly.
Tweezing/Epilating: Plucking hairs out one by one is time-consuming. Epilators can rip out multiple hairs at once but are painful during and after use. Results are temporary like shaving.
Laser hair removal, when performed correctly, offers a relatively comfortable experience for most patients. The pain does not tend to linger after the session ends. Plus you get smoother, stubble-free skin for weeks rather than days like shaving. For those with coarse dark hair, the long-term permanent reduction is worth the fleeting discomfort.
Managing the pain and discomfort of laser treatments involves both physical and mental preparation. Here are some mindset tips to make your sessions more bearable:
The pain only lasts a few seconds per pulse. Remind yourself that any discomfort will be brief.
Picture how happy you’ll be with smooth skin when it’s over. The results are worth it!
If super nervous, try a small spot first to realize the pain is manageable.
Speak up if the settings are too hot for your tolerance and need adjusting.
This helps relax so you don’t tense up and make it worse.
Releasing emotion can distract from physical sensations. There’s no shame in shedding a tear!
Humor and laughter releases endorphins that naturally relieve pain.
Being well-hydrated keeps pain receptors calm. Drink extra water before and after.
Plan something fun after like drinks with friends to celebrate getting through it.
Use mindfulness to concentrate on something specific like counting or music.
See the pricks as proof the hair is being targeted and destroyed!
With the right preparation, mindset, and post-care, laser can be tolerable for most people who want permanent hair reduction.
Now that you know what to expect when it comes to laser hair removal discomfort, let’s weigh the pros and cons.
|Long-lasting hair reductionTreat large areas efficientlyLow risk of ingrown hairs or bumpsLess frequent treatments over timePermanent results after 6-12 sessions||Can be painful without numbingRisk of burns if not used properlyNot safe for extremely dark skin tonesMultiple sessions needed for best resultsExpensive compared to shaving or waxing|
As you can see, laser offers significant advantages over temporary removal methods like shaving and waxing. No more razor bumps or irritation!
Most agree that the short bouts of pain and heat are worth it for stubble-free smoothness that can last weeks or months between sessions. Waxing and shaving have to be done multiple times per week to maintain results.
If you mentally prepare for treatments, use numbing cream, and employ pain-reducing techniques, laser discomfort is very tolerable for the life-changing confidence that comes with silky, hair-free skin.
If laser sounds too intense, it’s not the only option for dealing with unwanted hair growth. Here are a few other popular hair removal methods and how they compare to laser:
Shaving is fast, easy, and inexpensive. But it only removes hair above the skin’s surface, so stubble reappears quickly. You’ll need to shave the area frequently to maintain smoothness. Irritation and razor bumps are common side effects.
Waxing pulls hairs out from the root for longer lasting results of 3-6 weeks typically. But ingrown hairs and skin irritation can occur. Plus, waxing can be quite painful during the process.
Electrolysis destroys each hair follicle one at a time using an electric current inserted into the skin via a thin needle probe. It provides permanent hair removal like laser but is tedious, expensive and requires many sessions.
Epilators are devices with spinning discs that grasp and pull out multiple hairs at once. Hair regrows within 2-4 weeks. Epilating can cause redness and discomfort.
Chemical hair removal creams dissolve the proteins in hair so it wipes away easily. Results only last a few days and skin reactions are common.
Plucking hairs out individually with tweezers or thread provides precision but is extremely time consuming for treating large areas. Hair regrows within weeks.
At-home IPL devices use broad spectrum light at lower intensities than professional lasers. Results vary greatly and multiple treatments are required for minimal hair reduction.
When compared to other options, laser hair removal provides the best combination of long-lasting hair removal with minimal side effects when performed properly by an experienced professional.
If you’ve decided laser is right for you, here’s a quick walkthrough of what to expect at your first session:
Be sure to communicate any pain or discomfort you feel so the technician can adjust settings and make the treatment as comfortable as possible.
Now you have all the details on whether laser hair removal is painful, how to prepare for treatments, and what to expect.While laser can cause some moderate discomfort, the millions of people who enjoy lasting hair removal prove the brief pain is worth it. With numbing creams, proper breathing, mental preparation, and an experienced technician (like our very own experts at Ethos Spa), your comfort will be of the utmost priority.