WTF Is Underarm Microwaving?

by Tyler Atwood

Perhaps you thought you'd seen it all when the dyed armpit hair trend surfaced in July. However, the great debate over bodily hair continues with a new pit-driven phenomenon: that of underarm microwaving. With the advent of this new, cutting-edge technology, could the armpit become the new body part to flaunt?

According to Huffington Post, armpit microwaving allows patients to simultaneously inhibit hair growth and keep unwanted perspiration at bay. Dubbed MiraSmooth and miraDry, respectively, the technologies by Miramar Labs were issued FDA approval on July 23, and in the mere weeks since have tantalized consumers with the prospect of a hair and sweat-free summer. A glowing recommendation from New York City–based doctor and dermatologist Jeremy Brauer further spurred the technology to its current state of popularity. "Based on the results we've seen using miraWave, it's clear that microwave energy has a role to play in the long-term hair reduction space. Using this technology we've seen stable axillary hair reduction of approximately 70 percent regardless of color, and these results were based on a non-optimized treatment protocol. It will be exciting to see the increase in results given the protocol improvements we've made since then," Brauer explained in a statement to PR Newswire.

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Patients well-versed in laser and electrolysis may recognize the procedure's form and technology; while laser hair removal utilizes targeted light to gradually eliminate hair growth and electrolysis favors an electric pulse, microwave currents are a slightly different iteration of the same basic hair-removal principles. BuzzFeed reports that side effects can include pain and redness post-procedure.

The procedure entails utilizing a handheld device that emits "precisely controlled microwave energy" to substantially decrease sweat and underarm hair. Women's Health Magazine notes that the device's most pioneering feature is its ability to tend to all hair and skin tones, unlike lasers which are only deemed safe for fair skin.

The miraDry website already possesses a growing list of patient testimonials claiming beautiful results from the procedure as well as one before-and-after photo displaying the admirable, perspiration-free results. If you're already sold on the seemingly ideal solution to sweat and hair woes, you may wish to pump the breaks a bit before booking your first appointment. Doctor Jennifer Wider explained to Women's Health that more research is required before the procedure can be lauded as a panacea. "The use of microwave technology has been established for sweating, and the safety and efficiency has been well-established. But despite the FDA approval, there's not much long-term information and data on safety and efficacy for hair removal,” Wider stated. If you're in the market for a new antiperspirant or hair removal technique, microwaving may be the solution — but give the technology a few months to settle and kinks before diving directly in.

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Image: Cora Foxx/Bustle; Keran Look Joy/Unsplash