Does Laser Hair Removal Hurt?

Generally speaking, yes, laser hair removal is uncomfortable. But if that’s what’s keeping you from considering having treatment, then perhaps you should reconsider? Everyone’s perception of pain is different, and we feel like we have identified a few factors that are correlated with an increased amount of pain with laser hair removal.  If you don’t fall into one of these groups, maybe it is something that you should think about doing! If you are in one of them, we suggest you try at least a single treatment. Often patients will tell us that the pain of laser hair removal was more a figment of their imagination than a reality after they’ve gone through a treatment or two.

Through our unofficial research, we’ve found the following factors generally point to increased pain with laser hair removal: thick, dark or coarse hair; young age; and male gender. Let’s go into each of these briefly:

Thick, dark, coarse hair is a “target rich” environment for the laser. These follicles are larger and they contain more melanin or pigment, which is what the laser’s energy is drawn to and absorbed by. So naturally, people with this type of hair will feel the laser more. But on the flip side, that sensation tells you that the laser is working! This type of hair responds the best to laser hair removal.

Why the pain? Because the follicle must heat up to the point where it becomes structurally damaged and can no longer grow hair. The larger the follicle and the more “target”, the more heat absorption which produces the sensation or pain, but the better the results too!

The good news is that thick, dark hair disappears quickly, so pain typically diminishes with each subsequent laser hair removal treatment.

Younger patients tend to tell us that laser hair removal is more painful. Why? We aren’t totally sure, but maybe it has something to do with not having experienced much pain previously in life (those reading who are older can appreciate this). If you’ve gone through childbirth, a surgery or injury, then you have some experience with pain. Younger folks maybe just haven’t gotten in on all the fun yet! We also wonder if older patients are more committed to getting rid of their unwanted hair. They’ve shaved, waxed, tweezed and plucked to the point where they don’t care how much it hurts; they just never want to have to groom themselves again!

Men seem to tolerate the discomfort of laser hair removal less than women. We again can only speculate as to why, but possibly it’s because they tend to have thicker hair than women, so perhaps they really do feel it more? Or perhaps the societal pressure on women not to be hairy is so much greater for a woman than a man, that again, women don’t care how much it hurts—they just want the hair gone once and for all!

Remember, not everyone struggles with discomfort during laser hair removal. Pain is a highly individualized sensation, so you really don’t know how it will feel to you until you try it! At Celibre, we treat everyone with the same respect; and we take all measures we can to ensure that you are comfortable and can tolerate your laser hair removal procedure. We use topical numbing creams, ice packs and cold air to help ease your discomfort and get you through the procedure.

As the leader in laser hair removal in Southern California since 2004, we will tell you that during that time only a few patients have opted out of having laser hair removal with us because of pain. We encourage you to give it a try and see how it goes! We know you won’t be disappointed with your results!

* View Some of our Laser Hair Removal Before and After Pictures

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