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Does Laser Hair Removal Hurt? Ways to Manage Pain

By Mariela
November 16, 2023
6 minutes
Does Laser Hair Removal Hurt Pain

Ever since lasers have been used to remove hair, people have started opting and loving this method of hair removal. The long-term results and convenience of the procedure have left everyone awestruck.

Despite all the benefits it provides, some people are still afraid of undergoing the treatment because of its potential side effects. Does laser hair removal hurt down there? Does laser hair removal hurt? How much does it hurt?

Are you hesitating about the procedure with all these questions in mind? We have all these answers for you regarding the amount of pain, factors affecting the pain level, and some management techniques.

Table of Contents:

Part 1: How Much Laser Hair Removal Hurt?How Much Laser Hair Removal Hurt

How bad does laser hair removal hurt? Does Brazilian laser hair removal hurt more than any other part? Let’s see.

Generally, laser hair removal feels like a rubber band snapping quickly against your body. However, the snapping sensation might not be the same for everyone and every area of your body. Sensitive areas like underarms, bikini lines, and upper lips are more painful to treat while other areas with thicker skin make the procedure less painful.

Let’s evaluate the pain level in figures from a level of 1-10 to help you understand it easily.

Body area Pain Level
Face 2-6 ( excluding upper lips)
Legs 5-7
Bikini lines 6-8
underarms 8-10
Upper lip 6-8
chin 4-6
Stomach 2-4

Part 2: Factors Influencing Sensation During Laser Hair RemovalFactors Influencing Sensation During Laser Hair Removal

Why does laser hair removal hurt? A variety of factors contribute to the pain and discomfort you feel during your hair removal sessions. Let’s understand them one by one.

Individual Pain Threshold

The most important factor responsible for the pain is your pain threshold. It is the minimum intensity of the stimulus at which one perceives the pain.

It varies from person to person depending upon their age or skin sensitivity. Therefore, those with a low pain threshold feel a higher level of pain than those with a high threshold.

Body Area

The amount of pain perceived by your body also differs from area to area. It is because some areas of your body have thin skin like those of underarms, upper lips, and bikini lines.

Moreover, these areas are more sensitive as they have more nerve endings so you will easily feel a highly discomforting sensation during the hair removal. Hence, arms, stomach, and legs have thicker skin so pain in these areas is relatively mild.

Hair Type and Skin Type

Your hair, whether they are thick or thin, is also going to influence the level of pain you are going to experience. Those areas with thicker, darker, and coarser hair are going to be more painful to treat as compared to those with thin hair.

On top of that, if you have a dark skin tone as well, laser hair removal will be more painful. Dark skin has more melanin and lasers with longer wavelengths are used for such skin types. For example Nd: YAG laser and those lasers with longer wavelengths tend to be more painful.

Hormonal Variations

This point is especially true for women. Hormonal variations can also affect your laser hair removal experience. For example, during menstruation, the level of estrogen reduces in your body and the skin becomes more sensitive even to slight stimuli.

So, if you are getting laser hair removal done around your periods, you can expect a higher level of pain.

Part 3: Pain Management Techniques During Laser Hair RemovalPain Management Techniques During Laser Hair Removal

Topical Numbing Creams

Topical anesthetic creams can be one of the top options to try when it comes to minimizing the painful laser sensation effectively. They numb the area and inhibit your nerves from sending any pain signals to the brain.

The application time varies from cream to cream and you can use each according to the instructions given. For instance, lidocaine should be applied half an hour before the treatment.

In-Built Cooling Mechanisms

With the advances in science, there have also been advancements in laser hair removal procedures for the client’s comfort. Now are devices that come with cooling systems that are incorporated in them to protect your skin and soothe it.

You can choose clinics with these innovative devices so try your at-home cooling device. What can it be? Ice-packs. Applying the ice packs before the session can numb the area and reduce the discomfort.

Take Care of Your Body

Another favor you can do yourself is to take care of your body before the treatment session. This includes hydrating it by drinking enough water. Make it a routine day before the treatment so that your skin can be more supple, elastic, and fresh to endure the pain.

Also, sleep well to relax your body and get rid of unwanted stress from your mind.

Part 4: Managing Discomfort After Laser Hair RemovalManaging Discomfort After Laser Hair Removal

Applying Soothing Products

There are chances that you might feel pain and discomfort for a while after laser hair removal. In such circumstances, you can also expect mild redness, irritation, and inflammation on the skin. To cope with this unpleasant sensation, using soothing and pain-reducing products like lidocaine can help.

Such products are either prescribed by a professional or use over-the-counter soothing creams and gels.

Avoiding Strenuous Activities

Strenuous and intense physical activities can add to the discomfort caused by laser hair removal. For example, vigorous exercise and cardio sessions can cause sweating and this sweat can irritate your skin causing itching and ultimately redness and inflammation.

Additionally, you should avoid going in the sun as it can tan your skin and cause sweating which increases skin irritation and pain.

Use Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe vera gel can be a natural substitute for skin-soothing products. It is essentially suitable for people with sensitive skin as it speeds up the healing process, moisturizes your body, and decreases the inflammation of your skin.

Thus, you can apply it every day for at least 3 days and manage discomfort easily. Moreover, it is important to wear loose clothes to let your body heal completely.

Part 5: Less Pain Alternative: IPL Hair RemovalIPL Hair Removal

Even though laser hair removal hurts a lot less than waxing, it is still going to be uncomfortable and mildly painful. Therefore, we have another much less uncomfortable hair removal method for you, the IPL devices. With results similar to lasers, these are nearly painless.

The mechanism of IPL hair removal lies in the usage of broad-spectrum polychromatic intense pulsed light to target the hair pigment and reach the hair follicles to get rid of them using heat. In addition, the Ulike Sapphire Air 3 at-home IPL hair removal device has made things even easier because of the following features.

  • The built-in ice-cooling system of Ulike Air3 reduces the temperature of the body and soothes the skin. Therefore, the temperature is kept within a controlled range to avoid skin burning
  • This sleek device slides quickly on your skin and shows you significant hair reduction within 3 weeks (note: the results can be different individually)
  • It is thin, graceful, and lightweight with a rectangular ergonomic flash window. Thus, it gives you maximum coverage with little to no chance of missing any section of unwanted hair on the body
  • Its long-lasting results are for as long as 6 months or even more. There can be variations from individual to individual in the results as well.


When it comes to the pain associated with laser hair removal, it is safe to say that lasers are not as painful as plucking, waxing, depilatory creams, or tweezing. But there is some mild to moderate pain in a laser that directly relates to your pain threshold, the skin area, hair and skin type, and the time of hair removal. Therefore, thick hair, dark skin, thin skin, and low pain threshold are some factors that aggravate the amount of pain felt during hair removal. This pain is transient.

Fortunately, in such cases, there are soothing products including aloe vera, numbing creams, and ice packs that you can use to reduce the intensity of this pain. Furthermore, the compatibility of such methods varies according to the skin type, type of laser used, and hair type. So, the results and hair removal experience can be different from one person to the other.

Also, if you still feel pain and discomfort even after trying all these methods, it is recommended to go to a doctor and get a consultation about your condition.

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