Advances in Hair Removal

Maryland Plastic Surgeon serving Washington DC, & Virginia including Alexandria and Fairfax.


Chances are, if you’re reading this page, you’re a shaver. Or a plucker. Or a waxer. Or maybe you’re all three. Well, whatever you may be now, consider for a moment being someone who is none of these. That is what laser hair removal in Maryland is all about.

Fact is, the hair is there and it’s a problem. The question that remains is how you get rid of it. We don’t need to go into what a pain it is to shave, pluck, and wax; you already know that. What you might not know is that laser hair removal can eliminate unwanted hair for good after only four to six treatments in the average case. A laser can treat large areas of the body in a short amount of time, which totally beats out the tedious and sometimes painful process of electrolysis.

When you consider the time, pain, and cost of waxing, shaving, and plucking, then pair it with the fact that the hair is just going to grow right back, it’s pretty easy to answer the question: “Why laser hair removal?” The more important question is: “Why not?” It seems that just about everyone offers laser hair removal these days, so deciding who to go to can be a daunting task. It’s important to remember that not all lasers and not all practitioners are the same.

Laser technology has rapidly advanced in a short period of time, making laser hair removal equipment developed just a few short years ago practically obsolete. The difference in limitations and potential side effects of newer and older equipment is significant. For instance, newer lasers have more adaptive capabilities that are suitable for all skin colors, making the procedure available to more people now more than ever.

Laser hair removal in Washington, DC, and Maryland is a medical procedure, and as with all medical procedures, it’s important that you consider the skill and qualifications of the person performing the laser hair removal. You wouldn’t go to a gynecologist for a toothache, would you? Then why would you consider having an important medical cosmetic procedure performed by anyone other than a cosmetic surgeon, someone who is an expert with extensive training and education?

Laser hair removal requires a full understanding of the skin and hair—skin and hair pigmentation/color, coarseness of hair, as well as age, metabolism, and other individual factors that influence hair growth rate. Although it’s an outpatient procedure with no downtime, several treatments are needed because hair grows in three distinct cycles:

  1. The active (or growth) cycle (anagen)
  2. The dormant cycle (catagen)
  3. The fall-out or shedding cycle (telogen)

Laser hair removal is most effective during the anagen or growth cycle. Your hair is at different stages all the time, so the procedure must be repeated to “capture” hair when it is in the growth phase. The pigment in the hair follicle absorbs the laser light and converts the light to heat. The heat, in turn, damages the follicle and destroys its ability to re-grow. With more advanced lasers, your skin is compressed and cooled.

So you can see that in the right hands and with the right tools, the procedure can be very effective. In the right hands, you can be very pleased with the results. You can throw away your razor, tweezers, bleaching agents, and wax and be ready for the beach at a moment’s notice. But since several treatments are needed, the best time to start is now.

To visit our cosmetic plastic surgery office in National Harbor, Maryland, serving Washington, DC and Alexandria, Virginia, request a free consultation online or call the office at 866-BELLA 06.

By Michael F. Chiaramonte, MD, FACS, Bella Cosmetic Surgery