Over the years, there have been plenty of hair removal procedures and techniques that have been the frontrunner of their time, from daily shaving to epilating from depilatory creams, waxing, and more, but when it comes to permanent hair removal for smooth, silky skin, the most effective option is laser treatment.
If you are considering laser hair removal treatment, then you probably have a lot of different questions that you would like to ask before committing to an appointment. Some of these questions will be how much laser hair removal costs, how laser hair removal works, what exactly is laser hair removal technology and are there any side effects of laser hair removal.
All of these questions and more will be thoroughly covered and answered by your skin care professional, but the burning question that we are going to be focusing on today is the one that most people ask first… does laser hair removal treatment hurt? Is laser for hair removal pain-free? Let’s take a closer look at this and explain what kind of experience you will likely have with a laser hair removal device!
How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
The treatment involves the use of a laser or intense pulsed light that emits a beam of light that is directly aimed at the hair follicle. The light is absorbed by the melanin (the pigment that gives hair its color) in the hair shaft where it is converted to heat energy. This damages the individual hair follicles in the skin inhibiting or delaying future hair growth.
It should be noted that although the treatment is called permanent hair removal, it is actually only semi-permanent. The results will vary by individual. For some, the results will last months but others will remain hair free for years. However, when hair does regrow, it is less noticeable.
It is not uncommon for people who want permanent hair reduction to have regular maintenance laser treatments.
Who is Laser Hair Removal Technology Suitable For?
Permanent hair removal can be effectively used on all hair types and hair colors (except gray) and all skin types and skin tones, but it is more effective for some compared to others.
Because the laser light is attracted to melanin, the most effective (noticeable) treatment will be for those with dark hair and light skin because that provides the most contrast. But, effective hair removal can still be achieved with lasers for all skin types and hair colors and also for sensitive skin that is prone to skin irritation.
Some clinicians advise that laser hair removal should not be used on tanned skin so it is best to let a natural tan fade before treatment.
Is the Laser Hair Removal Experience Painful?
Something important to note is that the level of discomfort or irritation that you might feel from laser hair treatments is going to depend on which area of the body is treated.
Let’s look at the most common areas of the body treated with laser hair removal.
Typical laser hair removal will cause only light to moderate discomfort to your legs compared to other areas of your body. The skin on the legs tends to be much thicker than other more sensitive areas like your bikini line or your face. However, there will still be portions of the legs that hurt more than others depending on your sensitivity, for example, your inner thighs compared to your shins.
Arms And Underarms
The underarms can be one of the more painful parts of the body to undergo laser hair removal, simply because the skin there is so thin and doesn’t ever really feel the sunlight. This is different for arms, though, especially the forearms, as this skin is much more robust. Fortunately, with our laser hair removal device, an underarm treatment takes less than 90 seconds.
People with dark skin often have dark hair growth on their arms and laser hair removal is very effective and fairly pain-free.
The amount of discomfort during a laser hair removal session on the face depends on which part of your face you want to have the laser treatment. Hair removal on the thin skin of the upper lip (mustache area) can be sore, but it is much milder in places like the cheeks and forehead. Our laser hair removal device has a cooling, chill tip which makes treatment more comfortable.
Just like the underarms, bikini laser hair removal is generally not a painless treatment. The bikini line is a sensitive area, to begin with, and the treatment tends to take a little bit longer when you want it to be thorough. Most patients don’t mind, however, as the momentary discomfort is worth the long-term results.
Back And Stomach
The skin on the stomach tends to be thicker, just like the arms so laser hair removal doesn’t tend to hurt as much in this area. When it comes to the back, however, treatment can be a little sorer (especially for men who might have a large amount of unwanted hair to remove).
Laser hair removal is so effective because it heats your hair follicles, and it is the heat damage to these individual follicles that limits and restricts future hair growth. Due to the heat that is generated by the lasers, you might notice that the treatment areas are slightly red afterward, almost like a mild sunburn. The majority of side effects are very mild and will disappear within 24 hours.
Some things that you can do to help your skin heal as best it can include:
- Staying out of the sun so that your skin isn’t exposed to dangerous UV rays after treatment.
- Using liberal amounts of sunscreen even when you aren’t out in direct sunlight, as well as wearing clothing to cover up to avoid sun exposure.
- Regularly exfoliate the treated areas to reduce the risk of ingrown hairs.
- Regularly moisturize to maintain silky and smooth skin.
Ultimately, the levels of discomfort that laser hair removal machines are going to give will always depend on an individual’s pain tolerance. The average patient won’t feel like the treatment is too much for them. If you would like to know more and if you are a suitable candidate, book a consultation at Z Center for Cosmetic Health. An experienced professional will discuss your hair removal needs and come up with the best treatment plan for you.