Can laser hair removal actually be pain-free?


A few years ago, I decided to get laser hair removal. It was expensive, but here’s the thing: I don’t love shaving, and I didn’t want to grow out my body hair (tried that in college; was not to my liking). So I got lasered. Little by little, my underarm hair fell out and never returned. A few years later, there’s a tiny bit of regrowth, but it’s sparse and fine. I don’t need to shave more than once a week.

I pretty much stripped off my pants in five seconds. But not in the sexy way.

Unfortunately, that round of laser hair removal also hurt like a mutha. People tell you it feels like a tiny zap, or like a rubber band snapping against your skin. Nope! Maybe I’m just sensitive, but even after pre-icing my skin, each pulse of the laser felt like a hot needle quickly jabbing my skin. This is why, as much as I enjoyed the results of laser hair removal, I didn’t go back for a second round.

Fast-forward until this spring, when I heard about a new kind of laser that claims to be painless and faster than other lasers. It’s called the Lightsheer Desire, and cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank had an exclusive on its use — as in, he was the only doctor in the whole country to have it (until it rolls out elsewhere later this year). Naturally, I had to check it out.

I marched my stems up to Dr. Frank’s office on Fifth Avenue, where the good doc answered a few of my questions about the Lightsheer Desire. I paraphrase:

  • Would it really be painless? Pretty much.
  • How long would it take to laser the typical area? Ten minutes.
  • What else is new with this laser? The nozzle’s suction feature allows more skin to be treated at once.
  • And how many sessions are needed? Four to six.

Then, he had a question for me: Did I want to try a session on my lower legs?

Boyohboy, did I?! I pretty much stripped off my pants in five seconds. (But not in the sexy way. In the “Behold my stubble and please eradicate it, if you would” way.) Dr. Frank’s medical assistant turned on the Lightsheer Desire, had me don a pair of light-blocking goggles, and got to work on my right leg.

Normally, this is when I’d be making a stoic face, grimacing through the pain. But when the laser hit my legs, I burst out laughing. Yes, I could feel the laser, but it didn’t hurt, and the suction nozzle actually tickled. Over the next ten minutes, I was amazed: the session didn’t hurt at all, and then it was over almost immediately. A month later, my legs already have less hair — and that’s after only one treatment.

It takes a lot for me to get excited over a new innovation, but this is big. Remove the pain and time-suck from laser hair removal treatments, and suddenly it becomes a treatment that even fraidy-cats can get into. As a wise man from the Chicago suburbs once said: If you have the means, I highly recommend trying it out.

Orange shoes, if you’re into them:

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