How much laser hair removal hurts depends on your pain tolerance and the part of the body being treated.

Wanna laser your way to silky smooth legs or finally take a break from shaving your pits? NGL, it’s prob gonna hurt a bit.

But just how much varies. Some compare it to rubber band snaps, while others say it’s more like being burned with fire. (Yikes. 🔥)

Here’s the deets on the ouch factor.

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Sean Locke/Stocksy United

Laser hair removal tends to be most painful on delicate areas of skin with lots of nerve endings, like the armpits, upper lips, or bikini line. Areas with thicker skin and fewer nerves, like the legs, arms, and back, tend to hurt less.

Here’s the breakdown for each part of the body:

Legs: Mild pain, long sesh 🌶️

Sure, your tender inner thighs might be screaming a bit compared to your shins. But in general, the pain level is more manageable than other areas.

Keep in mind that lasering one full leg will take about 30–60 mins. Similar to when getting a tattoo, the longer session time can be fatiguing on the body, and you might feel sore.

Arms: Mild/moderate pain, medium/long sesh 🌶️ 🌶️

Since the skin on your arms tends to be a bit more sensitive than your legs, it will prob hurt a bit more.

That said, each arm will take about 15–30 mins, so at least you can get it over with faster!

Face or neck: Moderate pain, short sesh🌶️ 🌶️ 🌶️

The area around the chin, neck, and neckline is sometimes treated with laser hair removal. This tends to be pretty painful.

It’ll typically take around 5–15 mins.

Stomach: Moderate pain, medium/long sesh 🌶️ 🌶️ 🌶️

Depending on your body type and how much hair you have, your stomach can be pretty tender or not so tender. Thankfully, the pain will cease in about 20–40 minutes.

Armpits: Intense pain, shortish sesh 🌶️ 🌶️ 🌶️ 🌶️

NGL, getting your pits lasered is kind of the pits. This is one of the most painful parts to get lasered because the skin is uber tender.

On the bright side, it should be over in about 10–15 mins for each underarm.

Back: Intense pain, long sesh 🌶️ 🌶️ 🌶️ 🌶️

Most back laser hair removal sessions last for 30–45 minutes. Thankfully, most people find it relatively tolerable, thanks to the thicker skin on the back.

Upper lip: Super intense pain, super short sesh 🌶️ 🌶️ 🌶️ 🌶️ 🌶️

The upper lip can be super uncomfortable. The good news? It only takes about 2–3 mins.

Bikini line: Super intense pain, shortish sesh 🌶️ 🌶️ 🌶️ 🌶️ 🌶️

You’ll def feel the heat if you get your bikini line lasered, but you’ll be done in about 20 mins.

You’ll prob continue to feel some pain and discomfort for at least a few hours after the session.

Side effects are pretty minimal and may include:

  • redness
  • swelling
  • blisters
  • discoloration
  • scarring
  • sun sensitivity

FYI: Numbing cream may be available upon request.

Not down to feel the burn? No prob. There are lots of other alternatives to laser, including:

Laser hair removal is considered pretty dang safe when done by a qualified professional, but that doesn’t mean it’s painless.

Tender areas of skin like the bikini line and upper lip tend to have the biggest ouch factor while getting your legs done is a bit easier on those pain receptors. If you’re worried about the burn, talk to a doc about your options.