Does Laser Hair Removal Hurt?

I get asked this question a lot, and I think there’s a lot of misconception about what laser hair removal feels like. So let me help you understand exactly what to expect from your appointments and put your mind at ease.

First of all, laser done properly by a professional esthetician should not hurt at all. You’ll feel some discomfort, which will vary depending on the area you are treating, as the laser works. In fact, it is my job to make sure you are as comfortable as possible, and I customize everything about your treatments to your specific needs to ensure you have a great experience.

It’s starts with educating you on what to expect and how to prepare.

Preparing For Your Appointment

Let’s begin with your part. Before your laser hair removal treatment, there are several things you can actually do to make your appointment more comfortable:

  • Limit sun exposure – You should not do your laser treatment if you have even the slightest sunburn. Not only can it cause discoloration to get laser hair removal on sunburned skin, but it can also cause painful blistering.
  • Mention any medications you’re on to your esthetician – Some medications can make you more prone to burning or blistering. It is essential to let your esthetician know if you are on any medications so that your treatment can be adjusted if necessary.
  • For women, check your calendar – hormones can make your skin more sensitive. Men don’t need to worry about the timing of their treatments, but women should avoid making laser hair removal appointments around their cycle.

During Your Appointment

Now for my end. The safety and comfort of my clients is my highest priority, and I take every measure to ensure a positive experience for them. If you’re based in Murray Hill or anywhere in Manhattan, here’s what you can expect at Laser By Monica:

  1. Communicate – Honestly, the first thing I’m going to do is discuss your needs. This is the most essential part of the treatments I offer. I encourage all of my clients to communicate to me any concerns or apprehension before we get started, and to let me know during treatments how they feel. My clients have only ever reported feeling comfortable and relaxed during sessions.
  2. Apply a numbing cream – I can apply a special numbing cream to help relieve any potential discomfort associated with your treatment.
  3. Keep equipment maintained – Outdated equipment is simply not acceptable, and it really upsets me when I hear of faulty lasers used in my industry. I keep all of my studio and all of my equipment in peak condition to ensure your comfort and safety, as well as the best results possible.


Once you’ve had your treatment, no matter where you are at in your series of sessions, your job isn’t over. After any laser hair removal treatment, your skin will be more sensitive for a time, so you’ll want to avoid irritating your skin.

For the first 24-48 hours after your treatment:

  • Apply sunscreen – To avoid sunspots, premature aging, fine lines, and wrinkles, you should always wear sunscreen, but it is especially vital after laser hair removal. The photosensitivity of your skin increases after a laser hair removal treatment. So slather that high SPF sunscreen on and keep your skin protected.
  • Avoid touching the area – While you may want to feel your newly-smooth skin, it’s best to avoid touching your skin immediately after laser hair removal treatments. Not only are your pores open, but your skin may be sensitive to the touch.
  • Avoid sweating – This might be the one time exercise is not a good idea. I’d recommend skipping the gym. Sweating can irritate your skin right after laser hair removal.

Between Appointments

What you do between laser hair removal treatments makes a difference in not only the effectiveness of your treatments but the level of discomfort you may feel during your next session. Between your appointments:

  • Stay hydrated – This is another good habit for all of us to be in anyway, but once again, after laser treatments it can improve your skin as well as reduce discomfort at your next session.
  • Exfoliate – Dead skin can cause redness on lasered areas. Keep your skin squeaky clean, and gently exfoliated between sessions.
  • Avoid heat – Sources of heat can also exacerbate any potential discomfort between sessions. You’ll want to avoid those super hot showers, heating pads, and postpone the day spa sauna trip for about 24 to 48 hours after treatments.

In the scheme of hair removal treatments, laser hair removal is actually one of more comfortable methods. You really don’t need to be concerned or nervous about whether laser hair removal is painful. If you have any other concerns about your upcoming laser treatments, or just need to talk it over with an expert, please feel free to schedule a consultation with me.

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