Can you get laser hair removal while pregnant? It’s true that during pregnancy, hair removal can become a new kind of challenge.
You might not be able to see past your bump to shave your legs, or your skin might feel too sensitive for waxing.
If your usual hair removal methods aren’t working out for you, it’s totally understandable to look for alternatives.
But is laser hair removal the answer? And is it safe for mamas-to-be?
Let’s find out.
In this article: 📝
- You and your hair during pregnancy
- Can you get laser hair removal while pregnant?
- Other reasons to skip laser hair treatment during pregnancy
- How long after pregnancy can you get laser hair removal?
- Is hair removal safe during pregnancy?
You and your hair during pregnancy
First, let’s talk a little about the impact pregnancy can have on your hair.
While it’s possible you might experience some hair loss in your first trimester, many mamas-to-be find their hair becomes thicker and glossier later in pregnancy.
Why? As usual, we can point the finger at pregnancy hormones.
These disrupt your hair growth cycle—the process each of your hair follicles goes through to produce a new hair, grow it, shed it, and then start all over again!
Basically, during pregnancy, your hair follicles can take longer to shed their hairs once they’ve stopped growing, meaning you have more hair than you normally would at any one time.
You might also find hairs growing from places where you’ve never seen them before. Especially your belly, breasts, face, and neck.
So, what to do if you want to say goodbye to this extra hair?
Can you get laser hair removal while pregnant?
During laser hair removal treatment, a technician aims a laser (a really concentrated beam of light) at the unwanted hair.
The pigment in the hair absorbs the light, which then turns into heat.
The aim is for the heat to damage or destroy the hair follicle so that hair growth is delayed or even stops completely.
Although laser hair removal is safe when carried out by a licensed technician, many healthcare providers recommend avoiding this treatment when you’re pregnant.
That’s because we don’t have enough information about the impact laser hair removal could have on your unborn baby.
One 2017 study confirms that lasers can be used safely to treat some medical conditions – kidney stones and genital warts, for example – in pregnant women.
But the researchers note that there is a “lack of safety data” on cosmetic laser treatment, such as hair removal, during pregnancy.
So, the safest choice seems to be to save laser hair removal until after your baby is born and stick to other hair removal methods for now.
Can you get bikini laser hair removal while pregnant?
As with laser hair removal on other parts of your body, having this treatment on your bikini area during pregnancy isn’t recommended.
Other reasons to skip laser hair treatment during pregnancy
Aside from safety, let’s look at some other reasons why it might be best not to mix laser hair removal and pregnancy:
- Unpredictable hair growth. To be effective, laser treatment needs to target the hair follicle in its first growth stage. But your hair follicles are all on different growth cycles, so you need multiple treatments across several weeks in order to catch all the hairs at the right time. But because pregnancy can disrupt your hair growth cycle, making it more unpredictable, it’s harder to schedule the laser treatments for the right time. You might end up paying for more sessions than you would need if you weren’t pregnant.
- Sensitive skin. Stretching skin and increased blood flow in your body can make your skin extra sensitive during pregnancy. This could make laser hair removal more uncomfortable than usual.
- Hyperpigmentation. Darkening of the skin–aka hyperpigmentation–during pregnancy might make laser hair removal less effective. That’s because the treatment works best when there’s more of a contrast between your skin color and your hair color.
How long after pregnancy can you get laser hair removal?
You’ll probably want to wait until about six months after your baby is born.
That’ll give your hormones and hair growth cycle time to get back to normal.
You might choose to chat with your healthcare provider before booking any laser treatment, too.
Is hair removal safe during pregnancy?
Okay, so laser hair removal might be best left until after pregnancy, but what about other types of hair removal?
Let’s finish with a quick run-down of other hair removal methods and whether they’re a good idea for pregnant people.
- Electrolysis. As with laser hair removal, there’s not enough evidence that electrolysis is safe for mamas-to-be. Probably best to skip it for now.
- Depilatory creams. Not advisable either. They contain the active ingredients barium sulfide and calcium thioglycolate, which haven’t been confirmed safe for pregnancy.
- Waxing. Safe, but may be uncomfortable if you have sensitive skin.
Go for it:
- Tweezing, threading, shaving. All safe! But you might need a partner or friend to help with shaving if that bump gets in the way.
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