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The truth about laser hair removal pain

11th November 2016  : 

After countless (dreaded) trips to my local beauty salon for monthly waxes on my underarms, I finally decided enough was enough. Enough of the unsightly and often painful ingrown hairs and rapid regrowth… I took the plunge and booked in for a laser hair removal consultation at sk:n.

During my consultation my practitioner, Narelle, explained exactly how the process works and I asked plenty of questions and voiced any concerns I had. My biggest concern was regarding the pain of the treatment… But as I soon found out when my practitioner completed a patch test on my right underarm, it’s not too bad! The laser machine is very noisy and as it fired up so did my anxiety levels. But as soon as I felt the zap of laser, I realised the pain was very minimal and completely manageable, and I felt much more at ease. 

Four days later and the real thing begins… I see Narelle again and she cleanses my underarms to get rid of any deodorant that may be on my skin, she shaves and marks the area she’ll be treating with a white skin marker to create a grid. As Narelle begins moving the head of the laser over each gridded area of my underarm, it feels uncomfortable like lots of short sharp pricks. Each zap of the laser lasts for just a couple of seconds and cool air is simultaneously blown onto the skin at the same time, which massively helps as it creates an instant soothing effect – but don’t get me wrong, I still can’t wait for it to be over. Luckily, I don’t have to wait too long, as Narelle completes my right underarm in less than 5 minutes, before moving onto my left underarm. 

The whole thing lasts about 15 minutes, so I still had another 15 minutes of my half an hour lunch break to spare! Narelle cools my underarms down by applying a thin layer of aloe vera gel to them. When going through the aftercare advice, Narelle informs me that I can shave and use hair removal creams in-between sessions. This is a huge advantage that laser hair removal has over waxing because when you tamper with hair in-between waxes, you interfere with the long term thinning effect, meaning dreaded regrowth in-between treatments is no longer an issue.

My practitioner told me that the laser sensitises the skin and so sun exposure needs to be avoided otherwise is could lead to pigmentation. This is why beginning treatment at the end of autumn – beginning of winter, makes perfect sense as you are generally wrapped up in these chillier months. 

After just my first treatment, my underarm hair is noticeably thinner. The hair will get finer and finer after every treatment, but it takes several sessions to destroy all the follicles. Six to eight sessions are recommended, each being six weeks apart, for the full, optimum and permanent result of a 90% reduction in hair growth. If I stick to all my appointments I will be enjoying permanently smooth skin by May 2017.

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