Does laser hair removal hurt?

Does laser hair removal hurt?

Does laser hair removal hurt? Is laser hair removal painful? No, it is not. If you are concerned about whether laser diode hair removal is painful, you can relax. However, each individual's sensitivity and skin type determine the degree of discomfort.

Sensitivity levels can differ significantly depending on the region of the body. Certain areas of the skin may feel discomfort.

I recommend laser hair removal if you feel you cannot tolerate tweezing and shaving. Also, if you are looking for options to reduce hair, you should consider laser hair removal.

Now I am going to talk about their side effects. The possible side effects you may feel are itching, redness, stinging sensation, and mild burns.

If you experience intense pain or discomfort, you should consult your physician immediately. You can also apply an ice pack to the area to relieve pain.

Table of Contents

What is laser hair removal?

Laser hair treatment is when you remove unwanted hair with a laser. You can use it on your face, body, scalp, or genital area.

The amount of time you'll need to spend in between treatments depends on many factors, such as your hair color and skin color, how dark your skin is, and the type of laser you're getting.

Laser hair removal feels like the snap of rubber bands against your skin.

It is performed by a specially trained technician who uses handpieces that apply high-intensity light to the hair follicles you want to target.

Benefits of laser hair removal

Laser hair removal can be a long-term solution for those who don't want to wax or shave.  It's fast, and you'll see results as soon as you've finished your treatment, assuming you get the same effect you would from shaving (i.e., you won't grow back thicker or darker hair). Besides, it has more benefits:

Eliminates folliculitis (ingrown hairs) and hirsutism (excessive hair growth)

The laser treatment is a safe way to get rid of hirsutism (excess hair) and folliculitis (ingrown hairs). It is fast, too. In addition, the laser helps the skin feel better. Other treatments might make your skin worse or irritate.

It removes about 90% of hair.

Ir removes about 90% of hair, which you can continue waxing or shaving as you would do before the treatment. However, it won't grow back thicker or darker.

You'll be likely to have less hair growth over time. You can also keep up with the results from waxing and shaving you had before you started the treatment.

It doesn't irritate most women.

Some women are irritated by waxing and shaving, but not laser hair removal. That is because laser hair removal doesn't cause skin irritation like other hair-removal methods. In addition, you don't need to wait long before you apply your makeup after the treatment is finished, and you won't have redness or scabbing as you do with shaving.

It's not too painful.

Despite what you think, laser treatments don't hurt. Some people say that it's like a rubber band popping you for a few seconds, which you can get used to if you keep going back.

It helps you save time and money.

It helps you save time and money you would otherwise spend on other hair removal methods such as shaving, electrolysis, and waxing.

Pain, redness, and swelling after the treatment are typical. These sensations will go away in a few hours at most. The more you do it, the less you'll feel these sensations. That's because you get used to it. You also reduce discomfort with numbing cream you can apply before you go for your session.

It last longer

It gives you a lasting result that you won't find with any other method of hair removal. If you wax, you'll grow back hair, and you'll need to go back every three to six weeks for a waxing session.

If you shave or use depilatories, you'll probably have to do it every day, which is time-consuming and can irritate your skin. With laser treatments, you save time, and you'll need to do another session only once you've reached your desired length of time between sessions.

Side effects of laser hair removal

Side effects you should be aware of include:

A rash or some redness on the treated area

Rash or redness usually lasts for a few hours. However, some people experience a mild inflammation, which you can avoid by using numbing cream before you go for your laser hair removal sessions.

Mild redness on the skin you can get used to after a while

Mild redness you can get used to after you've done your sessions a few times. It's normal, and you should tell your dermatologist if it appears frequently or you find it intolerable. Your dermatologist may recommend you stop doing laser hair removal until you get used to the effects.

Skin that's too sensitive to sunlight. You can experience this effect if you've just had your laser hair removal treatment, so you should avoid direct sunlight for a few weeks after you're done with your sessions.

Burning sensation or pain you can get used to overtime

Some people feel burning sensations every time they have the treatment. It's normal, and you should tell your dermatologist if you can't tolerate it. You can get used to this feeling over time, though you might feel a slight burning every time you have your session for a while.

You shouldn't do laser hair removal on the skin you have psoriasis or eczema, you should avoid tanning or getting a tattoo before you undergo laser hair removal, and you should tell your dermatologist if you're pregnant.

You can use numbing cream before you go for laser treatments

Ask your dermatologist about the best creams you can use to reduce pain during your sessions. You can also discuss how many sessions you need for you to achieve the result you want.

Laser hair removal treatments

Hair removal treatment

These are the kinds of lasers utilized in laser hair removal clinics:

  • Ruby (694 nm). It is indicated for light phototypes (I to III) with dark hair.
  • Alexandrite (755 nm). The specialists use it to treat phototypes II to IV, as well as brown or black hair.
  • Diode (800 nm). Specialists use it to treat tanned and darker skin tones and phototypes I to V and for multiple applications.
  • Neodymium Yag (1064 nm.). It is a very appropriate laser for skin phototypes I, II, and II.
  • Intense Pulsed Light IPL: with a non-invasive mixed light. Its main advantage is its versatility, and therefore it can treat more types of skin and hair.

Difference between Alexandrite and Diode lasers

Alexandrite and Diode lasers have a similar wavelength. The difference in wavelength is slight but makes the Diode laser better for slightly darker skin than the Alexandrite laser.

Although the Diode screen generates more energy, in practice, the Alexandrite screen does a lot of this quickly. So it is not very different for how much energy reaches the hair follicle.

The differences between an Alexandrite and a Diode are due to the duration of their firings. The firing of an Alexandrite lasts between 5 and 40 milliseconds, whereas that of a Diode is between 75 and 200 milliseconds.

Then there are various cooling procedures to alleviate the discomfort that comes with laser hair removal.

What type of laser do you need?

There are hundreds of hair-removal clinics on the market, with an average of 25,000 people receiving treatment each year.

However, one of the significant drawbacks of these therapies is their ineffectiveness.

There is far too much information on the Internet and among customers in most instances, causing an error. Patients are subjected to data overload about the many lasers and their various applications.

There are five types of laser hair removal:

  • Alexandrite.
  • Diode.
  • Pulsed Light.
  • Soprano.
  • Neodymium Yag.

Some are superior to others; nevertheless, the scientific fact is that all of them are effective and convenient to combine, depending on:

  • The sort of patient.
  • The hair removal region.
  • Finally, the medical team will also consider other elements.

Every hair removal method with laser is very effective as long as the specialist uses it with the appropriate characteristics of each patient at all times.

When you are deciding which laser to use for hair removal, each one has its good points.

There are different types of laser hair removal machines. First, you have to find out your skin, hair, and the area you want to remove hairs from so that you can choose the best machine for it.

As the sessions progress, there is less hair. Unfortunately, it also gets smaller, so you need to change your settings often.

Laser choice

The Lupo Center found that, on average, people need between six and eight laser hair removal sessions. The hair is weaker, and the skin goes through different stages.

Thus, it is more convenient in many cases to change the laser according to the new characteristics of the patient.

It is better to go to a clinic with all the lasers each time. This way, it will take fewer sessions, and you will save money.

Of the VI skin phototypes in the USA, the vast majority are between III and IV.

It is also necessary to differentiate between medical and aesthetic lasers:

Medical lasers

Hair doesn't grow when cells are not alive. Medical lasers can stop this from happening. Unfortunately, this results in permanent hair removal.

Aesthetic lasers

Aesthetic lasers (used in beauty salons, hairdressing salons, gyms, etc.), on the other hand, have minimal energy.

This energy does not overpower these cells, resulting in temporary hair removal or a gradual weakening of the hair but not its total loss.

Their prices are lower but, in the long run, do not result in total hair removal.

What is the difference between laser hair removal and photo epilation?

Because skin and hair are unique, it is crucial to have both laser hair removal and photo epilation systems accessible.

Before applying them, it would be necessary to make a study to know which is the one we have to apply to each patient, such as:

  • Hair color.
  • Skin color.
  • Hair caliber.
  • Hair depth.
  • Anatomical location.
  • Sex.
  • Hormonal moment.

Only then will the specialist apply the most effective technology to each case.

When we look at the word photo epilation, we see that it means "hair removal by light," which should be a reference to two kinds of existing treatments:

Intense Pulsed Light IPL

Intense pulsed light equipment creates mixed light. The mixture of photons is in a range from 590NM to 1200NM.

The light in this machine is like a light bulb. It travels in all directions. However, it only lets certain rays through depending on the filter that you put in the machine's output.

Intense pulsed light machines are not as precise as laser machines. But they give a lot of options. You can use different types of lights. You can use them if you have an unusual color, like someone with dark skin or red hair.

Their main advantage is their versatility, and they use them on many types of skin and hair. The disadvantage is that they are not as precise and can irritate your skin more than traditional treatments.


The laser equipment emits an intense beam of light in which all the photons travel in a straight line (Alexandrite 755NM, or Diode 800NM.)

It is a light that is more effectively absorbed by a specific color because it is clean.

Laser devices are exact tools. They can protect the tissue around them and only affect the element they are designed for.

In the use of medical lasers, a specialist will always need to assess and supervise. You can find them just in medical clinics.

The specialist uses different lasers for different people. No one type of laser is better than another. You need to pick the laser that will be best for you, depending on what you need.

A specialist will always do the part of your body that is undergoing laser hair removal.


Conclusion paragraph: From someone who has experienced it firsthand, laser hair removal is not painful. However, each individual's sensitivity and skin type determine the degree of discomfort.

If you're interested in learning more about how to make your subsequent treatment as painless as possible for yourself or a loved one, read our posts!

DISCLAIMER: does not provide medical advice, examination, and diagnosis.

Medically reviewed and approved by Nataniel Josue M D.