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Which Laser Hair Removal is the Least Painful and Works Best?

There are many types of laser hair removal procedures available to remove unwanted excess hair. The one thing they all have in common is that they can stop hair from growing to a lesser or greater extent, but finding the least painful method is also often a concern among many patients.

Modern laser hair removal systems are available with different methods. Some are more painful than others, including the traditional “shots” laser hair removal treatment.

Traditional “shots” laser hair removal treatment.

Traditional “Shots” Laser Hair Removal Procedure

This is a more outdated laser hair removal procedure, using laser systems such as Magma, Cynosure, and Candela. During this treatment, the machinery applies laser energy to a specific area, raising the temperature of the follicle to 45-50 degrees, moving it a centimeter or two, and then repeating the process until the area is fully covered. This process can be painful because the energy is delivered all at one time, until a cooling method is applied to help alleviate the pain and prevent burns. In some cases, patients may be offered numbing cream, but using this can make it harder to detect pain that’s indicative of skin damage.

Diode and YAG Laser Hair Removal: Which Laser Hair Removal Works Best?

While the traditional “shots” procedure can cause pain at varying degrees, “diode” and “YAG” laser hair removal procedures are potentially more effective while simultaneously preventing pain. Both procedures use pulses of infrared light energy that penetrate the skin’s surface, gradually heating the follicles beneath the skin until they are incapable of growing new hair. The heat disrupts the melanin protein pigment that creates hair color. This melanin swells and ruptures the follicle cells in the process. However, the skin’s surface remains cool and comfortable throughout the procedure, unlike the traditional “shots” method. This is achieved by using lasers with refrigerated tips that not only prevent pain, but also eliminate burns.

The main difference between “diode” and “YAG” lasers is that “diode” is used on light to intermediate skin tones, while “YAG” is used solely on darker skin. Both procedures are safe and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, ensuring they pass strict efficacy and safety tests.

Diode Laser Hair Removal for light to intermediate skin tones.

How Many Sessions Are Required for YAG and Diode Treatments?

The YAG laser operates at a lower energy level than diode lasers, which makes it overall safer for the skin, but at the same time it removes less hair during each session. Ultimately, six sessions are needed for diode lasers, while ten are often required for YAG laser treatments.

Throughout each session, lasers can treat different problem areas, helping prevent hair growth on a permanent basis.

So, if you want top-quality laser hair removal without the kind of pain that you might otherwise experience with other traditional procedures, turn to Althea AgeWell for some of the best YAG and diode treatments available. You’ll be able to get the results you want without suffering in the process when you work with us.

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Lasers: Are they painful?


Often a large concern new clients have when first coming to Althea for a laser treatment is the amount of pain they will be enduring throughout the procedure. In order to answer this question we must look at several factors. Pain levels are specific to each client and can vary in each circumstance.

Pain in men and women

First, lets look at how men and women experience pain. Which gender generally has a better pain threshold? Many spa practitioners believe that men are more sensitive to pain than women. However, this is widely debated among experts. Pain is subjective and difficult to measure. We have to rely on what people say. Pain cannot be analyzed as if it were under a microscope in some physical form.

This hinders study due to the tendency of males to refuse to admit pain. This denial results from the social construct of male masculinity and image, which can inhibit accurate data collection.

Our sex hormones also affect our pain threshold. During a woman’s menstrual cycle, hormones such as estrogen increase. This helps the brain suppress pain. Thus a woman’s ability to handle pain changes cyclically.

Despite these difficulties, multiple studies show that men have a higher tolerance for pain. However, the difference between men and women is not great. Males can handle sudden acute pain better. Men and women experience chronic pain, such as cancer pain, similarly.terrified-man

Pain and hair removal

Other factors are the client’s hair type and the area of the body being treated. Patients with thicker and denser hair experience more “zaps” from the laser, as there are more follicles for the laser to find and kill. The laser kills follicles by emitting flashes of light to the desired area. The light heats the follicle and is absorbed by the hair’s melanin pigment. Heat is then conducted through the hair shaft. Finally, the combination of light and heat kill the follicle.

This process tends to be less uncomfortable on areas that have more fat and muscle then bonier areas. Sensitive areas include (but are not limited to): the upper lip, jaw, collar bone, genital area, hands/wrists, and feet. Other areas may be sensitive if the hair is thick, dense, or dark in color.

Pain relief

Most clients find the discomfort tolerable. On certain areas some clients like to apply numbing cream before treatment. Numbing cream is one of several methods that can be used to reduce discomfort during treatment. Other methods include: taking an over the counter pain reliever, icing the area to be treated, and limiting sun exposure as much as possible.

When having laser hair removal done, avoiding sun exposure is a must. Even being outside for short periods can make the skin sensitive to the laser and make the treatment less comfortable. Even sitting in your car or in an office that receives sunlight from a window should be avoided.

To prevent sun exposure, apply a sunscreen that contains zinc oxide. The zinc oxide creates a barrier between the epidermis and the sun which protects the skin more effectively.

Most clients handle laser discomfort without using any prior pain reduction techniques. Laser hair removal may not be completely painless, but most find it to be tolerable even if it is mildly uncomfortable.

Looking for some ways to wind down after getting a laser treatment? Check out last month’s blogs: Relaxing After a Laser Treatment Part One and Part Two!