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Does Laser Hair Removal Hurt? Time To Overcome The Fear.

Many are curious to know - is laser hair removal painful? It's a common question among those exploring the procedure. Generally, people describe the sensation as manageable, often likening it to a slight rubber band snap against the skin.


If you are a beginner and planning to go for a session, this article will help you overcome the fear.

Is laser hair removal painful?

How Painful The Laser Hair Removal Truly Is

Laser hair removal is typically described as uncomfortable rather than painful. Most people compare the feel to a rubber band snapping against the skin or a mild stinging feeling. However, pain tolerance varies from person to person, and some areas of the body may be more sensitive than others.


Practitioners often use cooling techniques or numbing creams before the procedure to manage discomfort. While laser hair removal may cause some discomfort, many find it tolerable and worth the results.

How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

Laser hair removal focuses intense light energy on the pigment within hair follicles. The melanin in the hair follicles absorbs this light energy, which then converts to heat. This thermal effect harms the hair follicle, preventing or slowing down future hair regrowth.


The process involves several steps:


1. Preparation: It is essential that the designated area is shaved before treatment, and occasionally, a cooling gel is applied to the skin to safeguard it and optimize the treatment's efficacy.


2. Laser Application: The practitioner uses a handheld device that emits intense pulses of light onto the skin. The particular light wavelength aims at the pigment in the hair follicles while minimizing harm to the surrounding skin.


3. Targeting the Hair Follicles: The light energy is absorbed by the melanin in the hair follicles, causing them to heat up and impairing their ability to produce new hair.


4. Cooling: Numerous laser devices incorporate built-in cooling mechanisms to reduce discomfort and shield the skin.


5. Post-treatment Care: After the procedure, the treated area may appear slightly red and irritated, similar to a mild sunburn. Applying soothing lotions or ice packs can help alleviate any discomfort.


Laser hair removal usually requires multiple sessions scheduled several weeks apart to adequately target hair follicles at various stages of the hair growth cycle. Over time, this process can lead to a significant and long-lasting reduction in hair growth in the treated area.

Types Of Lasers Used In Hair Removal And Their Pain Effect

Hair removal commonly employs various laser types, each with distinct characteristics and suitability for diverse skin tones and hair shades. Here are some of the main types:

Alexandrite Laser:

This laser emits a wavelength of 755 nanometers, which is highly effective for targeting melanin in the hair follicles. It's known for its fast treatment times and is suitable for a wide range of skin types, although it may not be ideal for darker skin tones. Generally, Alexandrite lasers are known to be relatively comfortable compared to other types.

Diode Laser:

Diode lasers typically emit wavelengths ranging from 800 to 810 nanometers. They are known for their versatility and effectiveness on a variety of skin and hair types. Diode lasers can penetrate deeper into the skin, making them particularly effective for coarse or thick hair. The lasers are also known for being comfortable, with many people describing the sensation as tolerable. Due to its versatility and effectiveness, this is the laser that Lana Skyn uses (The TripleICE Diode and the Lightsheer Diode Laser.)

Ruby Laser:

Ruby lasers emit a wavelength of 694 nanometers, which is absorbed well by melanin and effective for light to medium skin tones. However, they are less commonly used today compared to other types of lasers due to their slower treatment times and limited effectiveness on finer or lighter hair. The lasers are known for being less comfortable compared to other types, with some individuals experiencing a higher level of pain or discomfort during treatment.

IPL (Intense Pulsed Light):

Although not strictly lasers, IPL devices employ broad-spectrum light to focus on melanin in hair follicles. They offer versatility and can be effective across various skin tones and hair colors. However, IPL devices may be less precise than lasers and may require more sessions for optimal results. The devices can vary in terms of discomfort depending on the specific device and settings used.

Are Different Body Parts More Painful during Laser Hair Removal?

Different parts of the body can vary in terms of pain sensitivity during laser hair removal. Some areas tend to be more sensitive than others due to differences in skin thickness, nerve density, and proximity to bones or other sensitive structures. Here's a general overview of how pain levels might vary across different body parts:


The upper lip, chin, and cheeks can be more sensitive due to the thinner skin and higher nerve density. However, many people find facial hair removal to be tolerable with proper numbing techniques.

Bikini Area:

The bikini line and genital area can be quite sensitive, and some individuals may experience more discomfort in these areas. However, the discomfort can be minimized with proper technique and numbing creams.


The underarm area is relatively sensitive for many people, but the pain level can vary depending on individual pain tolerance. Some may find it more uncomfortable than other areas, while others may tolerate it well.


The legs generally have thicker skin and fewer nerve endings than other body areas, so laser hair removal on the legs is often less painful for most people.

Back and Chest:

These areas can vary in sensitivity depending on individual factors such as hair density and skin thickness. Generally, the pain level may be moderate, but it's often manageable with proper preparation and techniques.

Can You Make Laser Hair Removal Less Painful?

There are several techniques and strategies to make laser hair removal less painful:

Numbing Creams and Cooling Devices:

Using a topical numbing cream that includes ingredients such as lidocaine or benzocaine before the procedure can alleviate discomfort. Additionally, many laser hair removal machines have built-in cooling mechanisms to soothe the skin and minimize pain during treatment.

Ice Packs and Pain Medication:

Applying ice packs to the treatment area before the procedure can numb the skin and reduce pain sensations. Taking over-the-counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, before the procedure can also help minimize discomfort.

Choosing the Right Laser and Practitioner:

Discussing your pain tolerance and concerns with the specialist at a laser hair removal service in Amsterdam can help them choose the most suitable laser for your needs. Additionally, selecting a skilled and experienced practitioner who employs proper technique can ensure a more comfortable laser hair removal experience.

Breathing Techniques and Distraction:

Engaging in deep breathing or employing relaxation techniques throughout the procedure can serve as a distraction from discomfort, enhancing the overall tolerability of the experience.

What Does It Feel Like After Your Session?

The treated area may sometimes feel slightly warm or tender to the touch for a day or two following the procedure. Aloe vera gel or a gentle moisturizer can help soothe the skin and alleviate discomfort. It's also essential to avoid exposure to direct sunlight and hot showers or baths immediately after the treatment, as this can exacerbate irritation.


In general, the post-treatment sensation varies individually and relies on factors like skin sensitivity, treatment intensity, and the treated area. If you have any concerns about your post-treatment symptoms, it's best to consult with your practitioner for personalized advice and recommendations. Book your consult with us today!


Wrapping Up

Although laser hair removal may induce discomfort in some individuals, many consider the level of pain to be tolerable and highly worthwhile given the long-term results. By understanding personal pain thresholds and utilizing available pain management techniques such as numbing creams and cooling devices, individuals can confidently undergo laser hair removal at beauty salons in Amsterdam and other cities, knowing they're taking steps to minimize discomfort.

Veelgestelde Vragen

Does laser hair removal hurt more than waxing or shaving?

Laser hair removal is often described as less painful than waxing, which can be more uncomfortable and may cause skin irritation. Shaving is generally painless but needs to be done frequently, unlike laser hair removal, which offers longer-lasting results.

Will the pain decrease with subsequent laser hair removal sessions?

How long does the discomfort last after laser hair removal?

Is laser hair removal more painful for certain skin types or hair colors?


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