tips on how to prevent laser from hurting
Laser Hair Removal | 7 August 2021

Does laser hair removal hurt?

Laser hair removal should not hurt you during treatment. It is common for some areas to be a little more uncomfortable at the start of a course. However, over time treatment in these areas will become easier to tolerate.

Where hair tends to be thick, coarse, and dark in colour laser will feel a little more sensitive. More heat from the laser will be absorbed by these types of hairs and for this reason results will be quicker in these areas. For areas where unwanted hair is mid-brown in colour and lighter in texture laser will feel much more comfortable. Less heat will be absorbed by these hairs so it may take longer to see these hairs reduce. 

What does laser hair removal feel like?

Laser hair removal treatment feels like a slightly warm, bearable pinch on the skin. Treatment will not feel the same for everyone. Some people may feel it more than others and this will largely depend on hair colours and the density of the body hair in the treatment area. Other factors like skin type and sensitivity to heat also play a part.

The sensation of laser will be felt more at the start of a course of treatment when hair is thick. As hair reduces so does the feeling from treatment. At the very beginning of your treatment you may feel it more. However, after a few minutes your body gets used to the sensation which really helps to make you relax.

Treatments are quick with laser, when compared with other laser hair removal devices, the laser only has to pass over an area once per treatment. So to cover an area doesn’t take long. Throughout treatment our therapists will ask how you are feeling and will adjust settings if needed.

Air coolers are attached to our lasers. These deliver a jet of ice-cold air onto the skin as laser is pulsing. This makes treatment much more comfortable on all areas of the body.

Does laser hair removal hurt more than waxing?

No, laser does not hurt more than waxing. The sensation from waxing is completely different from laser. When you wax the hair is pulled completely from the follicle. This action can feel quite intense and can be painful depending on the person performing the wax.

If hair is thick and coarse it can also be quite stubborn to remove. An area may have to have several applications of wax to achieve a clean result. For most people hair will continue to grow in the same way after waxing. Some people may find their hair thins out a little after years of regular waxing treatments. But it will still continue to grow. Regular waxes will still be needed every 4-6 weeks.

With laser hair removal pulses of energy are delivered onto the skin. Hair is not pulled out of the follicle like it is with waxing.  After each session, the laser becomes a lot easier as less hair will be present. After a full course of laser, there will be very little regrowth. Any hair that is left will be fine, light, and very sporadic.  Maintenance sessions will be needed after your laser hair removal treatments, but only 2-3 times a year.


Where on the face and body might you feel laser more?

You might feel laser more on areas of the face and body that have thick, dark hairs. How laser feels will largely depend on the density and colour of hairs in the treatment area.  For example, parts of the bikini line may feel a little sensitive at the start. It is not uncommon to feel slightly more of a sensation on the top section but very little on the sides of the thigh area. This is because hairs on the thigh tend to be a little lighter for most people.


The most common areas that people feel laser more are the following:


Areas where laser may hurt more for women




Areas that may hurt more when having laser hair removal for men



What causes the heat sensation during laser hair removal?

Laser works by using pulses of light energy on the skin to target hair follicles. These pulses of light create heat within the hair follicles when they are absorbed.  At the base of each tiny hair follicle there are nerve endings. When these are pinched by these pulses of energy from the laser this leads to the sensation of heat that you will feel. When hairs are thicker they will absorb a lot of heat from the laser so you may feel this more. However, when hairs become finer and light a lot less heat is absorbed so it has less of an impact on these nerve endings. This makes treatments a lot easier for the rest of your course. 


Does laser hair removal hurt less the more sessions you have?

Yes, laser hair removal does hurt less the more sessions you have. After each session hair is becoming lighter and the amount of future hair growth is reduced. If you leave too long in between sessions you may find treatments are a little more sensitive. This is because you may have missed a growth cycle and more hairs are present on your next session. Ideally, facial treatments should be performed every 4-5 weeks and body every 6-7 weeks initially. 

Our rule of thumb is on a pain scale of 1-10 you should feel about a 5. You should feel a warm, bearable pinch not a very intense pain. You should not be white-knuckled on the treatment couch, laser is not meant to feel excruciating. During treatment, it’s so important to feel comfortable. Our therapists are dedicated hair removal experts and will work with you to make sure you feel at ease throughout your session.  We would always recommend coming to see us for a consultation and patch test before you start laser. This way we can show you the laser and you can feel it on your skin before you start. 


How to prevent laser hair removal hurting?

There are a few things you can do to prevent laser hair removal from hurting. Preparing your treatment area properly is the simplest way to avoid any discomfort.  

Top tips on how to prevent laser hair removal from hurting



What to avoid before your laser hair removal treatment?

There are a number of things you need to avoid before your laser hair removal treatment, as is the case with many similar cosmetic procedures. If you have not followed all of the pre-treatment recommendations your session may have to be postponed. This is for safety reasons. During a laser hair removal treatment pulses of energy are delivered into the skin. If the skin has been compromised in any way this can lead to an adverse reaction. After each one of your treatments laser settings are increased in order to improve results. This means the more treatments you have the greater the risk as more energy from the laser will be used.

It is vital that you keep to the guidelines set out for the duration of your course. If your circumstances change in anyway inform your clinic immediately to inform them. Another patch test may be needed to ensure you are safe to continue with your treatments. 


What to avoid before your session of laser hair removal


What to avoid after your laser treatment?

Skin in the treatment area may be a little sensitive after treatment.  It is important to give the skin in the treatment area time to recover. Keeping the skin cool and free from topical products will speed up this process. Avoiding any strenuous activities will also allow the skin to replenish. It’s normal for the area to be red and for small swellings to be present after treatment. If this persists longer than a few hours applying a cold compress to the area will help. 

Try to avoid the following for 24-48 hrs after your session

  • Shaving directly after treatment (give the skin a few days to recover first)
  • Tight fitting clothing
  • Perfumed products, lotions, oils etc
  • Exercise and swimming
  • Hot baths, showers, saunas, steam rooms 
  • Sun exposure or sunbeds (avoid this at all stages throughout your course)


How to soothe the skin after laser hair removal?

There are a few ways to sooth the skin directly after laser hair removal. In the hours that pass after your session try to do as little as possible. Wearing the right clothes to your session will really help your skin to disperse any heat from the skin after treatment. Please do not wear synthetic, tight, restrictive clothes in areas where you are having treatment. Especially after Brazilian, Hollywood and leg treatments. Light, loose, cotton clothing should be worn to allow your skin to cool properly. In the hours after your laser session be careful what topical products you apply to the area also. Creams, moisturisers, oils, balms and anything scented should be avoided. 100% pure aloe vera may be applied to the skin to help soothe the skin.


How to soothe skin after laser hair removal treatment

If laser is hurting too much during treatment what can you do?

The most important thing you can do is tell your therapist. It’s normal to feel a warm, sharp pinch but it should not feel severe. You are the one on the treatment couch having treatment so let us know how you are feeling. If treatment is too intense settings need to be adjusted. Our therapists are skilled professionals who will check throughout treatment how you are feeling. You may notice some treatments are a little more sensitive than others and this may be down to your hair growth phase, stress levels, or hormonal changes.

Don’t be afraid to chat to your therapist if you are finding treatment uncomfortable. The settings on our lasers are there for a reason, we will make sure to take care of you throughout your treatments with us. 

Why a consultation for laser hair removal is important?

A consultation for laser hair removal is important because it helps put you at ease before you start your laser journey. Laser can be a long process lasting over a year. It’s vital you know what to expect along the way. For some laser is an easy process but for others it can be slightly more difficult to achieve long lasting results.

One size does not fit all when it comes to this treatment. We have to factor in so many different elements, your hair type, skin type, skin sensitivity, medical background, sun exposure and lots more to determine your treatment plan.  Some people may feel nervous or embarrassed so by meeting with us first you get to get a sense of how we do things here at Urbana.

Our consultations are more like a friendly chat. They are not a pushy sales pitch in anyway and we don’t ask you to sign up for on the day deals etc. We simply give you in information and then allow you the time you need to decide.

How having a patch test before your first laser session can help you?

Having a patch test before you go ahead with your very first session of laser can really help. When we patch test we deliver pulses of the laser onto a very small section of your skin in your treatment area. This will allow you to feel both the laser and the cooler. You will be pleasantly surprised at how laser feels after your patch test. By doing a patch test first you know exactly what to expect on the day of your first session, this will make you feel more at ease.

Don’t be nervous, take your first step today

There are ways to avoid painful laser sessions, keep to your treatment intervals as much as possible, prepare your treatment area well, and don’t expose your skin to sun. These very simple guidelines will help to reduce any discomfort from the treatment. It’s normal to be a little nervous if you have never had laser hair removal treatment before.

Our free, no-obligation consultations allow you to meet with our friendly team of laser hair removal experts in Dublin and Drogheda before you start.

Book yours today to get started.



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