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Does Laser Hair Removal Hurt? What To Expect on Your First Visit

Does Laser Hair Removal Hurt? What To Expect on Your First Visit

Does laser hair removal hurt? If you're considering laser hair removal for your unwanted hair, there's no need to fear. Here's what to expect.

Are you tired of shaving and the pain that accompanies waxing?

Wouldn't life be so much easier if you had a genuinely long-lasting hair removal solution?

If you answered "yes" to either of these questions, then laser hair removal may be the right choice for you. You may be wondering, though, does laser hair removal hurt? We'll answer that question and more in this article.

How Do Laser Treatments Work?

Laser hair removal uses concentrated light that is absorbed by the pigment (melanin) within the hair. This light is then converted into heat, which destroys the hair bulb at the follicle's base to prevent the hair from regrowing.

Who Does This Treatment Work For?

Because the laser targets the melanin within the hair, these treatments work best on darker hair contrasted by a light to medium skin tone. However, thanks to laser technology advancements, these treatments can be successful for all skin and hair types.

How Many Treatments Do You Need?

While you will see a decrease of hair in the treated area after your first visit, you will need multiple treatments to achieve long-term results.

The average number of treatments for success is six, but this number will vary from person to person. The number of treatments you need will depend on your skin and hair type.

You'll want to consult with your aesthetician on a treatment plan based on your skin and hair type to achieve the optimal results.

Does Laser Hair Removal Hurt?

The short answer to this question is that it depends. For most patients, laser treatments cause only mild discomfort if they feel any pain at all.

Let's talk about a couple of factors that may contribute to discomfort during laser treatment.

Pain Tolerance

Each person's tolerance for pain is different.

If you have higher pain tolerance, you may not experience any discomfort at all during your treatment. While if you have a lower tolerance for pain, you may experience more discomfort during your treatment than other patients.

It may help to use a numbing cream or mild pain reliever, like acetaminophen, 30 minutes prior to your appointment to minimize any discomfort you may experience.

Sensitive Areas

Laser hair removal can be used almost anywhere on the body, including naturally more sensitive areas.

The under-arms, bikini area, inner thigh, and upper lip are areas where a patient may feel more discomfort due to sensitivity and skin thinness. However, the legs, arms, back, and stomach areas are not areas where discomfort is usually felt because the skin is thicker.

Types of Lasers

There are different types of laser hair removal treatments, so let's touch on a few of them.


IPL, or intense pulsed light, is the type you're most likely to be familiar with. Technically, while included under laser hair removal methods, IPL isn't a laser at all.

Like a proper laser treatment, IPL does damage the hair follicle and can impede regrowth. However, because only intense light is used, IPL may not be as effective for permanent hair removal.

Nd: Yag

Nd: Yag is a high-intensity laser that has the longest wave-length of available laser treatments. Due to its intensity, Yag treatments can be very uncomfortable for patients.

The Yag laser is also not effective on all hair and skin types, limiting who can receive this treatment.


The Ruby laser was one of the first hair removal lasers to be developed. Because of advancements in laser hair technology, this method is becoming obsolete.

Like the Yag laser, the Ruby laser is not effective on all hair and skin types.


The type used at Renaissance Med Spa is the diode laser, Vectus. This laser offers a nearly pain-free laser treatment experience thanks to the hand-pieces' advanced contact cooling technology.

The Vectus laser hand-pieces come in two sizes, allowing us to complete your treatment fast and efficiently.

For larger areas, like the back or legs, we'll use the larger hand-piece that measures 1" by 1.5". For precision treatment on smaller areas, like the face and bikini area, we'll use the smaller 0.1" by 0.75" hand-piece.

This laser treatment is effective for all hair and skin types, which is why we use it at Renaissance Med Spa.

How to Prepare for Your First Treatment

Due to how laser hair removal targets the hair follicle base, you'll need to discontinue the use of any hair removal methods that remove the hair follicle entirely four weeks before your first appointment. These methods include plucking, waxing, sugaring, electrolysis, and hair removal creams.

However, you will need to shave at least twelve hours before your appointment to allow the laser the most direct access to the follicle beneath the skin surface.

Post-treatment Care

There are few side effects when using the Vectus laser. Still, some patients may experience some temporary redness in the treated areas and minor sensitivity, or a "sunburn-like" feeling.

Hypo or hyperpigmentation in the treated areas is also a possibility for some patients. This effect does vary based on skin and hair type and will be addressed by your aesthetician during your consultation.

After your treatment, be sure to wear sunscreen on the treated areas. If you are experiencing any redness, it's recommended to ice the site as needed.

Are You Ready To Have Smooth Skin?

Let's revisit our question from earlier: does laser hair removal hurt?

It doesn't hurt at Renaissance Med Spa, thanks to the Vectus laser by Palomar. It's time to stop relying on hair removal methods that steal your valuable time.

Chat with us online or call (847) 485-2650 for your free consultation.

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