woman shaving legs

Many people seek smooth, hair-free skin, making them consider laser hair removal instead of old-school methods like waxing. A significant factor in this choice is how much it hurts. Pain can be a major turnoff for folks considering hair removal treatments. So, in this guide, we’ll take a deep dive into whether laser hair removal is painful. We’ll look at how the discomfort varies depending on which part of the body you’re treating and compare it to waxing and other methods.

By understanding how pain works and how well each method works, you can decide what’s best for you when it comes to getting rid of unwanted hair. It’s all about weighing the pros and cons of each option before embarking on your hair removal journey.


How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

Laser hair removal utilizes light beams, or lasers, to selectively target hair follicles. Here’s a breakdown of how this popular cosmetic procedure works:

  • Targeting Melanin: Laser hair removal targets the melanin pigment in hair follicles. Melanin converts the light emitted by the laser into heat, which damages the follicle, preventing it from producing new hair.
  • Destroying Hair Follicles: The absorbed heat from the laser effectively destroys the hair follicle, preventing future hair growth. The process targets the hair follicle while minimizing damage to the surrounding skin, making laser hair removal a safe and effective method for achieving long-term hair reduction.
  • Multiple Sessions for Optimal Results: Desired results with laser hair removal typically require multiple visits. Hair grows in different cycles, and the treatment can only target actively growing follicles. By undergoing multiple sessions several weeks apart, individuals can target hair follicles at various growth cycle stages, ensuring comprehensive and long-lasting hair reduction.

Laser hair removal offers a precise and effective solution for reducing unwanted hair by targeting melanin in hair follicles and destroying them with heat. While multiple sessions are necessary for optimal results, the procedure offers a long-term solution for smoother, hair-free skin without constant maintenance.

close up of beautiful eye of womanDoes Laser Hair Removal Hurt?

The experience of laser hair removal varies from person to person but is often likened to the sensation of a rubber band snapping against the skin. Generally, the discomfort associated with laser hair removal is mild to moderate, and most people find it tolerable.

While some may find the sensation uncomfortable, it typically lasts only momentarily, fading shortly after the procedure is finished. Several techniques can help minimize discomfort during laser hair removal. These include using methods like chilled air or cooling gels before and during the procedure.

Furthermore, topical numbing creams or gels can be applied to desensitize the skin and alleviate discomfort. By employing these methods, individuals can undergo laser hair removal with minimal discomfort, effectively and comfortably achieving smooth, hair-free skin.


Why Is Laser Hair Removal More Painful in Certain Places?

The level of discomfort felt during laser hair removal varies depending on the body area being treated and several other factors. Skin thickness and nerve density differ across body parts, affecting sensitivity. Areas like the face and bikini area, with thinner skin and more nerve endings, may feel more sensitive during laser hair removal compared to thicker-skinned areas like the legs or back.

Moreover, discomfort intensity can be influenced by hair density and color. Areas with denser or darker hair might require higher laser intensity, potentially causing more discomfort. Additionally, individual pain tolerance significantly affects how uncomfortable the procedure feels.

While some people may find the process bearable, others might experience heightened sensitivity or discomfort, especially in more sensitive areas. Knowing these factors can help you anticipate potential discomfort areas and better prepare for laser hair removal sessions.

How Laser Hair Removal Feels in Different Areas

As anyone who has experienced it can attest, pain thresholds vary significantly across different areas of the body. This variability extends to the sensation of laser hair removal, where the level of discomfort can vary depending on the specific body area being treated. 

Understanding how laser hair removal feels in different areas is essential for individuals considering the procedure, as it can help them anticipate potential levels of discomfort and prepare accordingly. In this section, we explore the varying pain thresholds associated with laser hair removal in different areas of the body, shedding light on what to expect during treatment.


Laser hair removal on the face usually causes mild to moderate discomfort, often described as a brief, sharp sensation. The intensity of this sensation may differ depending on the facial area targeted, with more sensitive regions like the upper lip potentially feeling more intense sensations. Nevertheless, the discomfort is typically tolerable, even in these areas. By adequately preparing and maintaining open communication with your provider, laser hair removal on the face can yield smooth, hair-free skin with minimal discomfort.


Laser hair removal on the legs is generally well received, often described as feeling akin to light pinpricks by most individuals. Laser sessions might take longer because the legs have a larger surface area than the face or underarms. However, despite the extended duration, discomfort during treatment is usually mild-moderate. Given the potential for minimal discomfort and the promise of smooth, hair-free legs, laser hair removal remains a sought-after choice for those seeking lasting results in this area.


Laser hair removal on the underarms can be more sensitive than other body areas because of the thinner skin and denser hair follicles in this region. However, despite the possibility of heightened sensitivity, discomfort during treatment is usually brief and controllable. Individuals might feel short, sharp pains during the procedure, but these sensations quickly fade after treatment. With advancements in technology and techniques, laser hair removal on the underarms provides a convenient and effective solution for attaining smooth, hair-free skin with minimal discomfort.

Bikini Area

The bikini area is known for its high sensitivity due to the dense hair and delicate skin in this region. Despite the potential for heightened sensitivity, discomfort during treatment is typically intense but brief. Many individuals describe the sensation as manageable, with the discomfort subsiding shortly after the procedure is completed. To improve the overall experience, cooling methods such as chilled air or cooling gels may be applied before and during the treatment session. These techniques help alleviate discomfort and enhance comfort levels during laser hair removal in the bikini area, providing individuals with smoother, hair-free skin with minimal discomfort.


The sensation felt during laser hair removal on the stomach varies based on your hair density and skin sensitivity. Generally, discomfort during treatment ranges from mild to moderate, often described as a tingling sensation by many individuals. While the degree of discomfort may differ among people, laser hair removal on the stomach is usually well tolerated. Thanks to advancements in technology and techniques, achieving smooth, hair-free skin in the stomach area is now possible with minimal discomfort and impressive results.


How To Manage Pain During Laser Hair Removal

Although the pain varies from person to person during the treatment, you can do things before and after the procedure to minimize any discomfort or skin irritation you may experience. Up to four weeks before the procedure, avoid excessive sun exposure and/or tanning beds. One week before the procedure, don’t use any cosmetic products that may exfoliate the skin, such as sugar scrubs or anything with retinol or glycolic acid. Otherwise, your skin may be exposed and more susceptible to irritation or other reactions.

After the procedure, you should avoid any activities that may irritate the affected area further. This includes waxing, rubbing, tweezing, and exfoliating the affected area for at least 3 days. You should also avoid heavy exercise or exposure to hot environments, such as hot tubs, warm showers, or saunas. These activities may further hinder the healing process and even cause redness, blistering, or crusting. If you do happen to experience further irritation, you can apply Vaseline or a prescribed ointment. 


Laser Hair Removal vs. Waxing 

Regarding hair removal methods, laser hair removal and waxing are two popular options, each with its pros and cons. Here’s a comparison between the two:

  • Long-Term Solution and Discomfort: Laser hair removal offers a longer-term solution for hair reduction, with less discomfort over time than waxing. While waxing provides immediate but short-lived results, often accompanied by discomfort during the procedure, laser hair removal targets the hair follicle, leading to reduced hair growth over time with minimal discomfort.
  • Hair Removal Mechanism: Waxing involves pulling hair from the roots, which can be painful and may cause skin irritation. In contrast, laser hair removal targets the hair follicle with concentrated light beams, effectively reducing hair growth without requiring frequent treatments. By targeting the follicle, laser hair removal provides a more precise and less painful method than waxing.
  • Number of Sessions and Maintenance: Laser hair removal typically requires fewer sessions compared to waxing for lasting results. While multiple laser sessions may be needed initially, the long-term reduction in hair growth means fewer maintenance sessions are required over time. In contrast, waxing necessitates regular appointments to maintain smoothness, as hair regrowth occurs relatively quickly after each session.

While laser hair removal and waxing offer effective hair removal methods, laser treatment provides a longer-term solution with less discomfort over time. By targeting the hair follicle, laser hair removal reduces hair growth with fewer sessions than waxing, making it a convenient and efficient choice for achieving smooth, hair-free skin.


woman with radiant skin

Where to Get Laser Hair Removal in Detroit

Thorough research is critical when choosing a laser hair removal clinic in Detroit. Look for our established clinic, Théia Aesthetics. We are known for our certified and experienced technicians who prioritize client satisfaction.

Before you decide, take the time to read reviews and examine before-and-after photos from previous clients to gauge the clinic’s effectiveness and client satisfaction levels. We have a strong reputation for delivering exceptional results and positive experiences.

Additionally, consider clinics that offer consultations to address your unique needs and expectations. Luckily, we at Théia Aesthetics value personalized consultations, allowing you to discuss your goals and concerns while receiving expert guidance tailored to your specific requirements.

With our stellar reputation and commitment to client care, you can trust us to cultivate a safe, effective, and satisfying experience.

Laser hair removal presents a compelling alternative to waxing, offering longer-term results with less discomfort over time. While waxing provides immediate but short-lived solutions, laser treatment targets hair follicles for lasting growth reduction. By weighing the benefits and considerations of both methods, individuals can make informed decisions about their hair removal preferences.

FAQs About Laser Hair Removal

Is Laser Hair Removal Permanent?

While laser hair removal significantly reduces hair growth, it may not permanently remove all hair. Periodic maintenance treatments may be necessary for long-term hair reduction.

How Many Sessions Are Needed for Laser Hair Removal?

The number of sessions varies depending on the treatment area, hair color, and type. Typically, 6 to 8 sessions spaced 4 to 6 weeks apart are needed for optimal results.

Can Laser Hair Removal Be Done on Any Skin Type?

Advancements in technology have made laser hair removal safe and effective for most skin types. However, certain lasers are better suited for specific skin and hair color combinations. Consultation with a professional can determine the best approach.

What Should I Do Before My Laser Hair Removal Appointment?

Avoid sun exposure, tanning treatments, plucking, waxing, or electrolysis for at least six weeks before treatment. You are shaving the area 24 to 48 hours before your session is recommended, as it leaves the hair shaft below the skin surface.

What Are the Possible Side Effects of Laser Hair Removal?

Side effects are usually minor, including redness, swelling, and temporary discomfort. Rarely, blistering, changes in skin texture, or pigmentation changes can occur. Following post-treatment care instructions minimizes risks.

Can I Shave After Laser Hair Removal?

Yes, shaving is allowed between sessions, but avoid other hair removal methods that pull the hair from the root, as they can interfere with the treatment’s efficacy.

How Long Does Each Laser Hair Removal Session Take?

Duration varies based on the treatment area. Small areas like the upper lip can take a few minutes, while larger areas like the legs may take up to an hour.

Is There Any Downtime After Laser Hair Removal?

There is no significant downtime. Most individuals can return to their daily activities immediately. However, direct sun exposure should be avoided, and sunscreen should be applied to the treated areas.

Does Laser Hair Removal Work on Grey or Blonde Hair?

Laser hair removal is less effective on light-colored hair (blonde, grey, red) due to lacking melanin. Alternative hair removal methods may be recommended for these hair colors.