Understanding whether Laser Hair Removal Treatments Actually Hurt


One of the biggest points of conversation when discussing laser hair removal treatments is the pain factor – Does laser hair removal hurt?
Well, the simple answer is yes and no. 
There are several different factors that determine the amount of pain or discomfort that will be felt during a treatment, and they are as follows:

1.Type of laser used – This is the single most important factor, and the most painful lasers are NDYag’s, followed by Alexandrite and Diode lasers. 2008 marked a revolution in the laser hair removal industry with the launch of the Soprano XL laser, the first laser to be virtually painless. The Soprano XL uses revolutionary In-Motion technology to deliver high repetition low energy pulses to the hair follicle resulting in a completely comfortable and pain free treatment even on sensitive areas like bikini lines and underarms.

2.Operator skill – Well trained laser operators are able to select the right settings on the laser to minimise discomfort for the client, whilst still providing effective treatments. The Soprano XL relies on experienced and well trained operators to ensure the ‘In-Motion’ technology is working optimally to deliver the pain free experience. 

3.Skin & Hair Characteristics – Darker skinned individuals tend to experience more discomfort than lighter skinned individuals. This is because the greater level of melanin in the skin of those of a darker skin type usually causes greater absorption of energy resulting in more discomfort. All laser operators will usually use a lower energy setting for those with darker skin types to help compensate for the increased discomfort that these individuals experience.

In a similar way those with thick, dense hair will experience greater level of discomfort than those with thin, sparse hair. The laser operators again will usually attempt to compensate for this by altering the energy settings on the laser. 

4.Body Area Being Treated – Certain body areas will inherently be more sensitive than other areas, and this holds true even when disregarding differences in hair thickness and density from one body area to the next. Bikini lines and underarms tend to be the most sensitive area and many people find laser hair removal treatments in these areas the most uncomfortable. Only the Soprano XL can currently claim to provide near painless treatments even in these sensitive areas, although some people do still describe a plucking sensation with Soprano XL. 

5.Individual Pain Threshold – This is the most variable characteristic, as an individual’s pain threshold is highly subjective and variable, and therefore very difficult to assess objectively.