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BBL Hair Removal

Conveniently located to serve the areas of Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Unwanted hair can be troublesome for many patients. The constant grooming and removal through methods such as waxing, tweezing, and shaving can be time-consuming and costly. Instead, patients who want to experience permanent hair removal in a specific area of their body can consider the benefits of BBL hair removal at Cosmetic Surgery Associates. Please contact our office and schedule a consultation today!

About BBL Hair Removal

BBL hair removal is an innovative treatment that provides amazing results! Patients can undergo one treatment and see some results, but the best results are often achieved across multiple sessions. This is because the treatments must be done at specific intervals to ensure it targets hair in the active growth phase. Once the initial 6-10 appointments have been completed, patients should continue to schedule annual visits to touch up any areas that may have been missed during these previous sessions. This ensures permanent, long-term hair removal rather than reduction.

BBL hair removal uses the Sciton BBL broadband light source to target hair follicles in the growth phase and eliminates them from producing hair. Large areas can be treated, including the face, back, chest, arms, legs, bikini area, and underarms. Patients may find that this is the best way to eliminate the time and money necessary to remove the hair from the area continually using traditional methods.

Patients can shave before the appointment but are encouraged not to wax or pluck as this removes hair from the follicle and keeps it from being affected by treatment. On the day of the treatment, patients should wear clothing that is loose and comfortable. Often anesthetic is not needed. Patients may feel a mild stinging sensation, but this is well tolerated by many and is only temporary.

How It Works

Multiple BBL treatments will need to be done to ensure that all hair is treated during the growth stage.

BBL utilizes photothermal energy. During your consultation, a customized wavelength will be chosen to treat your specific skin type. Hair is only susceptible to light therapy when it’s in the growth stage. BBL heats the follicles, disabling hair growth. Because hair grows in stages, not all of the hair will be in the growth stage at the same time. Your treatment schedule will be set during your consultation.

BBL (broadband light) hair removal utilizes laser energy that is absorbed by the melanin in hair follicles. Melanin is the key to laser hair removal. Melanin is a molecule that gives hair its brown or black color. The color pigmentation in melanin is what is targeted by laser energy. This is a process called selective photothermolysis. Different light colors are calibrated to address pigments of hair color. To achieve different light qualities, lasers are powered using different precious stones such as argon, ruby, and alexandrite. The broadband light treatments are not technically lasers and are more effective for lighter skin tones against dark hair color. The energy then destroys the cells located within the follicles. At the same time, BBL also heats the follicles to disable growth because hair reduction can only be successful when done during the active growth phase of the cycle.

Treatment Areas

With BBL hair removal treatment, you can finally say goodbye to waxing, plucking, shaving, and creams for good. Some of the most common treatment areas include:

  • Bikini area
  • Underarms
  • Legs
  • Arms
  • Back
  • Face
  • Neck

Preparing for BBL requires avoiding sun exposure for four weeks before your procedure and three weeks afterward. Because the laser targets the pigment in the hair follicles, you want it to stand out. Suntans can get in the way of the laser’s ability to address the unwanted hair adequately.

Other Treatments

With the more common methods of hair removal, there is a number of pros and cons to consider. Shaving is the classic method for hair control. Using a razor and shaving cream is affordable and gets the job done, but the results are very temporary. For individuals with thicker hair that grows in hard to reach areas, this method becomes a troublesome chore. Especially for patients who may deal with ingrown hairs in difficult to groom areas, this method simply may not cut it.

Waxing is another hair removal technique that has been around for a long time. Wax treatments do remove hair for a longer period of time, but their main drawback is that they can be incredibly painful and imprecise.

Electrolysis is older technology that involves electrifying hair follicles individually. It is effective for hair removal and produces long-lasting results, but it is extremely tedious and slow. It is better for gray, white, and blonde hair which is not effectively treated with BBL.


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Treatment and Recovery

Your treatment plan is highly dependent on the area of the body being treated, varying anywhere from three to eight sessions. Most sessions are scheduled a month to six weeks out in order to accommodate the growth cycle.

Patients will need to shave the area 24 hours before treatment. BBL requires no downtime and patients can resume normal activity immediately after treatment. There may be redness in the treatment area after the session.

The experience of BBL hair removal is a relaxed affair. Since the treatment is non-invasive and safe, it can be performed while you are awake and resting comfortably. On the day of the treatment, have the area thoroughly cleansed, and the hair shaved and trimmed. You make pick up numbing cream at the office for small to moderate treatment areas and forty-five minutes before the treatment starts, a cooling anesthetic topical cream is applied to reduce discomfort.

Just before the treatment begins, a smooth glass handpiece is applied to the target treatment area. The hand-held BBL laser is held over the targeted area as pulses of light are beamed into the skin. The heating effected microscopically destroys the hair follicles at the root. A session can take just a few minutes or longer depending on the size of the area to be treated. As soon as the session is done, a lot of the hairs will immediately fall off. Thicker follicles may take longer and fall out after two weeks.

After treatment, patients should consider the following precautions:

  • Redness and swelling may occur but should subside within a few hours.
  • Post-treatment discomfort can be reduced with an ice pack and mild analgesics.
  • Keep the treated area clean, as hair will fall out over several weeks.
  • Avoid self-tanners or tanning beds between treatments.
  • Plucking and waxing hair is discouraged between treatments.
  • Do not shave the treatment area until three days after the session.
  • Avoid rubbing the skin dry after a shower; gently pat dry instead.

Candidates for BBL Hair Removal

BBL is not suited for patients with a tan because the melanin will absorb the light intended for the follicles. Patients seeking BBL will need to avoid sun exposure for at least three weeks before treatment.

BBL will not work on white, blonde, red, or gray hair. Patients with certain medical conditions may also be excluded from BBL. A thorough medical history will be taken during your consultation. BBL Hair removal is a great method to remove hair for adult men and women of all ages who have unwanted hair.

BBL treatments also offer a number of other benefits for your skin such as skin rejuvenation. As the light energy passing through the skin layer, the heating effect triggers a number of positive reactions in the skin. Heating stimulates the outer skin cells to trigger the body’s natural production of collagen. The boost in collagen results in firmer, youthful, fresher skin. Skin discoloration issues such as freckles, age spots, and vascular lesions are treatable.


Patients in the Bethesda area can schedule a consultation and achieve hair-free, smoother skin immediately. During a consultation, you will meet with one of the Cosmetic Surgery Associates physicians and be able to discuss your aesthetic goals. The area that you are concerned about will be assessed, and your hair quality will be examined.


The pricing of a BBL Hair removal treatment will vary depending on certain factors such as the size of the treatment area and the number of sessions required to achieve the best results. The best way to receive an accurate assessment is during the consultation. Please contact Cosmetic Surgery Associates today!

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Our Plastic Surgery Associates team includes Dr. Franklin Richards, Dr. A. Dean Jabs, and Dr. Keshav Magge. Each of our plastic surgeons is board-certified, and together they have over 60 years of combined experience. Drs. Richards, Jabs, and Magge are all highly qualified in procedures for the face, breast, and body, and pride themselves in providing excellent results through our state-of-the-art, Quad A certified operating centers