I've blogged about laser hair removal a couple times, but I've answered questions about it a few times in the past couple weeks. Here's some nitty gritty on what it's really like in the chair.
I had my underarms done with a LightSheer Duet laser. There are no lotions or creams used to make the area more conductive. The hand piece seems to suction up a chunk of flesh and heats it (equivalent to a sunburn but each area takes seconds). I could smell the hair burning. It takes maybe five minutes from walking into the treatment room to walking out after treatment. It's very fast and efficient.
I had my, ahem, good time done with a Palomar Starlux laser. They use aloe gel for conductivity. (I suggest you wear loose clothing and plan for a restroom stop after the procedure because they can get excessive with the gel, and they don't always give you enough paper towels to mop it all up before you dress.) This laser feels like being popped with tiny rubber bands one at a time. I counted 127 pulses for my entire area on one visit. I couldn't smell the hair burning but I will have to go back for more visits than I purchased in my discount deal. It takes about ten minutes for the entire procedure, then another five to mop off half a bottle of aloe gel. I think this is the method I'll have done for my legs because I can't stand the smell of burning hair.
Unlike waxing, you don't have to let the hair grow out before getting laser hair removal. I always shave before my laser treatment. I do let some hair grow in after the treatment if I can, and remove the dead hair that's passing through the shafts with double-sided tape. Exfoliating helps loosen dead hair shafts so the hair comes out easier.
The procedure was done by nurses in both offices, and my willingness to have a male nurse at one of the businesses gave me more scheduling possibilities.
I cannot recommend this procedure enough for those who hate shaving, who travel and find shaving inconvenient, and for those who just want to get rid of dark hair in a few places.