Laser hair removal, in simple terms, is the procedure which uses a laser to assist in the epilation process. In epilation, the entire hair strand is removed from the hair follicle. This is in contrast to depilation, which deals in removing hair that is above the skin surface. Epilation is the process that produces better hair removing results.
A simpler way to distinguish the two is this: Depilation deals with hair removal methods that are temporary (such as shaving), while epilation has to do with the treatments that can produce both temporary and long lasting results, such as waxing, tweezing, and laser hair removal.
Laser hair removal works in a relatively straightforward manner. In the procedure, a beam of focused light is applied to the skin. This light, guided by the pigments present in hair, differentiates between the skin surface and the hair strand itself. Once it is locked on into the hair strand, it burns the hair follicle, causing permanent damage. The damaged hair follicle is then unable to grow more hair. At the very least, the procedure causes hair to grow much more slowly.
While a burned follicle may sound like a painful thing to endure, it produces only a slight stinging sensation in most patients. The pain is generally so weak that anesthesia or painkillers are not required. Even if you have a low tolerance for pain, laser hair removal is unlikely to make you suffer in any significant way.
Laser hair removal will not always result in the permanent removal of hair, but it can most likely produce a permanent reduction in the hair growth. To ensure zero hair growth, you will probably have to kill all the hair follicles in the target area. Neither should you expect your laser hair removal to be a one-shot deal? The truth is that you will probably have to come back a few times to get the full benefit of the treatment.