Zulu Medical Cosmetics
601 67 Ave SW Calgary AB T2V 0M3 (403) 692-9858
Does Laser Hair Removal Hurt? Hero

Does Laser Hair Removal Hurt?

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Professional applies laser hair removal on patients leg at office using gloves and machine.

Laser hair removal is one of the most popular and commonly performed cosmetic procedures. As a result, more and more people choose laser hair removal over alternatives such as waxing, shaving or electrolysis.

Many people know that laser hair removal can save you money and time while delivering long-lasting results. Laser hair removal gives you the freedom to stop your daily, weekly or monthly hair removal treatments and can allow you to be hairless in just a few sessions.

But if laser hair removal is so great, then why doesn’t everyone do it? The biggest thing that stops people from getting this treatment is the fear of pain. But how much does laser hair removal actually hurt? 

Unfortunately, there is no simple answer. The pain you feel is dependent on many different factors, from the type of hair you have to your pain tolerance

Keep scrolling if you want to learn more about laser hair removal, why it can be painful, and tips on how you can reduce your pain during and after treatment. 

What is Laser Hair Removal?

Laser hair removal is a medical procedure that uses a laser to remove unwanted hair. The most common areas that people get treated are the:

  • Face
  • Upper and lower leg
  • Chin and face
  • Upper and lower arm
  • Back
  • Underarm
  • Underwear line

Your medical provider will use a specialized laser that delivers concentrated monochromatic light into the hair follicles during a laser hair removal treatment. The pigment in these hair follicles absorbs the light, destroying the hair at the root. Because the laser eliminates the hair at the root, it drastically reduces the ability of the hair to grow back, resulting in long-lasting or sometimes completely permanent hair removal.

Benefits & Risks of Laser Hair Removal

Like any medical procedure, you must receive laser hair removal from a medical professional. Certified laser hair removal specialists have access to the highest quality of equipment and go through extensive training in identifying and reducing risks. This allows you to receive a treatment that is:

  • Quicker
  • Less painful
  • More effective

Benefits of Laser Hair Removal

Benefits of laser hair removal include:

  • Treatments are quick and only take 15 minutes to 2 hours 
  • You’ll save money in the long run
  • Decrease or eliminate ingrown hairs
  • Saves time
  • You don’t need to grow hair between treatments

Risks of Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal is a safe procedure when done by a licensed professional. However, no medical procedure is entirely without risk, and you might experience some side effects.

Common side effects related to laser hair removal include:

If you are experiencing side effects and they are severe or prolonged, contact your doctor. 

Preparing for Laser Hair Removal

Before having laser hair removal done, you should book a consultation with your provider to:

  • Discuss your goals and desired results
  • Ensure you are a good candidate for the treatment
  • Create a personalized hair removal plan tailored to your needs and wants

If you want to reduce the amount of pain felt during your laser session, preparing your body before you go is essential. Tips for preparing your body for laser hair removal include:

  • Get enough sleep the night before your treatment 
  • Avoid getting laser hair removal if you are menstruating 
  • Discuss numbing agents with your practitioner
  • Ice the treatment area before your appointment
  • Stay hydrated before, during, and after treatment 
  • Try an over-the-counter pain reliever
Young woman receiving laser hair removal on upper lip by professional.

Is Laser Hair Removal Painful?

The truth is, there is no definite answer on how painful laser hair removal will be for you. Everyone is different, and the pain felt during laser hair removal treatment will vary from person to person. 

For anyone, the procedure will most likely feel painful to some degree. The amount of pain you may feel largely depends on the part of the body undergoing treatment. Generally, the more sensitive the skin is, the more painful it’ll likely be.

The treatments tend to be less painful on parts of your body where the skin is thicker, like your lower legs or lower arms. Common areas where the skin is thinner and may be more sensitive to pain include:

  • The bikini area
  • The underarm 
  • The upper lip

Although everyone experiences pain differently, most people compare the sensation of the laser to a rubber band snapping the skin. However, when compared to waxing, many patients feel that laser hair removal is less painful. 

Post-Treatment Care

Typically it will take six to eight treatments to achieve complete hair removal, but some patients see desired results in as little as four sessions. How many treatments you need depends on your skin and hair type. 

Immediately after your treatment, you may notice that your skin looks and feels sunburned. This will typically go away on its own, but to speed up the healing process, you can:

  • Use moisturizer
  • Apply a cool compresses
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes
  • Avoid working out or getting sweaty 
  • Wear sunscreen for the following month
  • Avoid itching or scratching

Laser hair removal can save you money and time and give you long-lasting results. If you have any questions or concerns, contact us today!


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  • Written by Dr. Jeane Lombard

    Dr. Lombard was born and raised in South Africa. In 1998, she graduated from the University of Pretoria with her medical degree. She worked as a physician in London, England from 1998 to 2002. In 2002, Dr. Lombard made the decision to move to Canada. She became a licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada that same year, allowing her to practice medicine in Saskatoon, Canmore, and Calgary.

    Dr. Lombard has been working as a medical professional for over 21 years, and in that time, she has discovered a deep passion for the cosmetic side of medicine. Today, she specializes in cosmetic procedures, boasting 13 years in the industry.
    With deep compassion for her patients and a professional commitment to exemplary care, Dr. Lombard prioritizes health and safety over all else. When she isn’t hard at work, Dr. Lombard likes to spend time with friends in the mountains, enjoying good food and fine wine.

    More Articles by Dr. Jeane Lombard


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