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Pain Management for Hair Removal

By: Sarah Knowles BA, MA - Updated: 28 Apr 2012 | comments*Discuss

Lots of different methods of hair removal are on the market today, but for those that work the best often a certain degree of pain is taken for granted. If you want to get great hair removal results that are 100 percent pain-free – and last longer than just a day or two - you're probably out of luck.

Waxing and sugaring, for example, require literally pulling the hairs out by the roots, which can be quite painful - especially in the bikini area. Laser hair removal feels like snapping an elastic band over and over again over specific parts of your body, and tweezing out nose hairs is no fun.

Some people handle the pain very well and it hardly bothers them. Others, however, experience the pain to such a degree that they balk at all hair removal methods with the exception of shaving, which isn't the best method to use if you're hoping to look sexy in your bikini on a Caribbean holiday.

If you want to be completely hair-free but experience a minimum of pain while you're accomplishing this state, then investigating specific pain management methods is probably the way to go.

You will still be able to get the hair removal results that you want, and you will be able to keep the pain in check at the same time. What have you got to lose – except unwanted hair?

Specific Pain Management Methods

Here are some ideas to help stave off the pain:

  • Talk your concerns over with your hair removal therapist. If you are having a salon treatment, let the practitioner know of your worries. Often, they will be able to suggest something to lessen the pain.
  • Take a pain reliever before you go. Over-the-counter medicines such as ibuprofen or paracetamol can often take the edge off, and make a treatment much more bearable.
  • Get a prescription anaesthesia from your GP. Often, this is a numbing gel that can make a world of difference.
  • Ice the area before the hair is removed. This will effectively numb the parts that are going to be treated, and make it feel less painful.
  • Apply pressure to the treated area immediately afterwards, to help override the pain receptors and reduce the pain that you feel.
  • Save the tricky bits for last. Knowing that the worst will be at the end often makes the pain easier to handle.

General Pain Management Methods

Some people find that keeping themselves occupied and thinking about something else while having their upper lip waxed or bikini hair pulled out makes all the difference. Try these other top tips:

  • Bring along a friend. Having someone to talk to and, hopefully, take your mind off the treatment can help. Alternatively, take along your iPod.
  • Suck on something sweet. Many people find that keeping their mouth occupied makes the pain more bearable.
  • Concentrate on your breathing. Breathing in slowly, counting to five, then breathing out slowly can help you to calm down and distract your attention from the pain.

Reducing Stress Levels

Bringing down the amount of stress in your life before a hair removal treatment also makes a great deal of comfort to some people. Don't schedule an appointment when you have a big report due at work, or the day before you daughter gets married.

Many people opt for weekend treatments because that is when they feel less harassed. You might also want to take a mild tranquilliser before the treatment begins, if you believe it will help calm you down.

Hair removal often involves some pain, and while some people find it just a minor convenience, others find it hard to tolerate. If you fall into the latter category, then finding a way to make the pain easier to bear will make your treatments all that more pleasurable.

But remember, when it comes to semi-permanent or permanent hair removal such as waxing sugaring and/or laser hair removal, some modicum of pain is all part of the process. After all, no pain, no gain...

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