We humans have millions of hairs covering our bodies. Frankly, we could do with fewer. Shaving helps. Laser hair removal helps even more. And now there’s a new treatment using microwaves to zap hair follicles that could be even better. Called miraSmooth, it is designed to eradicate 70 percent of your armpit hair over the course of about an hour in a physician’s office. And there’s a bonus: it simultaneously reduces around 82 percent of your armpits’ sweat secretions. “It’s total armpit victory,” exclaims Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Sheila Nazarian. “Not only are you getting rid of sweat, you are getting rid of odor and hair. Everything that bothers you about your armpits, you are conquering.”
Before Nazarian performs miraSmooth on her patients, she advises them not to shave for a few days. Once they arrive for the treatment, grid-like fake tattoos are affixed to their armpits to guide the placement of the miraSmooth device, and they receive an injection of saline, lidocaine and epinephrine to numb the area and diminish bruising. After that, the armpits are ready to be microwaved. Explaining how miraSmooth works, Nazarian says, “When you take food and put it in the microwave with a little water, the water molecules go back and forth, back and forth and heat up the food. Sweat glands are filled with water and, when the microwave is applied to them, they heat up and are eliminated.”
Nazarian has had miraSmooth done on her pits, and she reports the pain is minimal. Immediately following the treatment, sweaty armpits cease. “Then, the hair grows, falls out and doesn’t come back,” details Nazarian. Fifteen years ago, she resorted to laser hair removal to address thick, dark hair under her arms. The results didn’t compare to miraSmooth’s. “I was a dancer and, even when I shaved, you could still see the hair under my skin. Laser hair removal thinned the hair, but it didn’t remove it. I still had hair growth,” she reveals. Post-miraSmooth, Nazarian says a coin-sized dollop of sweat under her arms is the most she’ll experience in sweltering heat, and she forgets to shave because she has almost no underarm hairs.
Unlike laser hair removal, which is ineffective for blonde hair and not advised for people with darker skin tones, miraSmooth is suitable for a vast range of skin and hair colors. For patients choosing between Botox and miraSmooth – or miraDry, another name for the treatment – to abolish sweat, Nazarian underscores miraSmooth is generally cheaper than Botox injections. She charges slightly less than $2,000 for a single miraSmooth treatment, and the majority of patients only require one treatment, while Botox injections for the same purpose are typically $1,000 and have to be repeated every three to six months. “And that doesn’t even address the hair,” adds Nazarian.
Four to six people undergo miraSmooth weekly at Nazarian’s office, and they aren’t disappointed by it. “They are so happy,” she declares. Many seek out miraSmooth to stop excessive sweating or the need to wear deodorant. “There are yoga instructors that never want to wear chemicals again, and there are socialites who don’t want to ruin their designer dresses,” says Nazarian. Luckily for socialites, yoga instructors and the rest of us, miraSmooth may be available in the future for body parts beyond armpits. Hands are most likely up next. “It is in the plans to have different applications for more areas of the body,” says Nazarian. “They are targeting the palms right now because they think there will be a big patient base. Some people will show me their hands, and the sweat drips from them onto the floor, and people in business don’t want to have clammy hands when they get nervous.” If miraSmooth can deliver on good handshakes and hairless pits, it seems like a winner to us.