This is an excellent question and one we get asked all the time by our patients. Discomfort or pain is a very personal issue and for some of our laser hair removal patients, treatments are a walk in the park. For others, treatments can seem quite painful. The type of hair you have matters for how painful the procedures will be.
Dark Coarse Hair
They absorb more laser light than fine, light hair. Because of this fact, laser hair removal for dark coarse hair is generally more uncomfortable.
Dark Thick Hair
They achieve a high peak temperature during the removal process. Generally speaking, the thicker and darker your hair, the more you will feel the procedures.
Reason for Discomfort
The reason we feel any discomfort with laser hair removal is the science behind the process. To create permanent hair loss, the follicle needs to achieve a high enough peak temperature to disable the growth mechanism around the hair follicle (the skin cells responsible for hair growth and the blood vessel that feeds the hair). When this high peak temperature is achieved, we can create permanent hair loss. Along with it comes a certain amount of discomfort.
Pain Varies from Individual to Individual
In our experience the young are more sensitive than the old and men are more sensitive than women. Young patients generally have a harder time with discomfort than older patients. Perhaps it is because older patients have experienced more types of pain in their lives or because they are more motivated to rid themselves of hair. Men also tend to be more sensitive than women. We are not clear as to why this is the case, but perhaps it is because men generally have thicker hair.
Methods to Minimize Pain
If pain is an issue for a patient, we have options. Topical numbing creams, cold air and even ice can be used to make the procedure more comfortable. Regardless of what sex you are, how old you are and what type of hair you have, pain is a very personal issue and trying to predict how painful laser hair removal will be for you (if at all) is impossible until you try it. What we can say is that in providing laser hair removal procedures since 2004, we can count on two hands the number of patients that have opted out of the process because it’s too painful.