Hair Removal During Pregnancy: Everything You Need to Know

There are many methods of hair removal during pregnancy, but effective results must be guaranteed for the health of the baby and the mother.
Hair Removal During Pregnancy: Everything You Need to Know
Maria del Carmen Hernandez

Written and verified by the dermatologist Maria del Carmen Hernandez.

Last update: 11 January, 2023

Hair removal during pregnancy is one of the practices that concern women due to the increase of hair on their bodies due to hormonal changes. In addition to these changes, the skin is more sensitive and blood circulation undergoes certain variations.

Suitable methods of hair removal during pregnancy

During pregnancy, hormone levels in the blood (progesterone and estrogen) increase and cause an increase in body hair. There may even be an increase in facial hair due to male hormones (androgens). When choosing how to remove hair, the contraindications of each hair removal method should be taken into account to ensure effective results.

Depilatory creams

Depilatory creams are a good option for pregnant women to use on any part of the body. In addition, the product isn’t absorbed by the skin, so it doesn’t cause damage. These products act on the keratin found in the hair and cause hair loss.

Therefore, it’s a method that removes hair quickly and painlessly because it doesn’t remove the follicles. In addition, although it’s not dangerous, certain precautions must be taken to avoid irritation or burning of the skin surface. Consequently, it’s not recommended for sensitive skin or skin that may cause allergic reactions.

A woman shaving her legs in the the bathtub.
Manual razors cut the hair close to the surface without affecting or intervening in the hair follicle. Ideally, moisturize the skin before shaving to avoid irritation or dermatitis.

Shavers

These home shavers are one of the fastest methods of hair removal. In addition, they’re usually inexpensive and disposable. However, one of the disadvantages of this method is the high possibility of developing irritation, scratches, or wounds on the pregnant woman’s skin.

In conclusion, razors are a good method because they have no contraindications, they’re painless, portable, inexpensive, and the results are very fast.

Home electric devices

An electric shaver can be cordless, corded, rechargeable, or battery operated. Therefore, one of the disadvantages is that when the battery runs out, you must wait for a full or partial charge.

However, it’s one of the ideal methods for hair removal during pregnancy because it doesn’t damage the skin surface and doesn’t cause irritation to skin that’s sensitive during this period. These are portable machines that can be taken anywhere, just like manual shavers.

Hot or cold waxing

Waxing during pregnancy has no contraindications. However, it’s better to use cold wax instead of hot wax. Cold wax strips are preferable because of the temperature at which they work. In this way, blood vessels aren’t dilated and circulation problems aren’t worsened.

There are fragrance- and dye-free, hypoallergenic variants that are suitable for skin that’s highly prone to allergic reactions.

Hot wax, on the other hand, isn’t recommended for the sensitive skin of pregnant women and even less so for use on the legs in the last months of pregnancy. The last trimester of pregnancy is when there’s a greater possibility of varicose veins, and hot waxes stimulate this process.

A woman undersgoing laser hair removal on her legs.
Laser hair removal isn’t recommended during pregnancy, except in exceptional cases. Ideally, it’s best to wait until after breastfeeding, whether it’s a hair removal or beauty and cosmetic treatment.

Is laser hair removal during pregnancy safe?

Permanent laser hair removal or electrolysis isn’t usually recommended during pregnancy due to a lack of safety data. For this reason, the use of lasers during pregnancy has been limited to cases of absolute necessity.

However, studies in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology concluded that it’s a safe method for people who aren’t breastfeeding or pregnant. Also, if in doubt, you should always consult your family doctor.

Care after hair removal during pregnancy

Whatever the method of hair removal chosen, you should follow some aftercare recommendations to keep your skin healthy and take care of it. Ideally, you should apply a moisturizing cream with vitamin A, vitamin E, allantoin, or urea and avoid exposure to ultraviolet rays, as well as water with chlorine or saltpeter the day after and the day before waxing. In addition, it’s important not to wear tight-fitting clothing for one day to avoid chafing or irritation.



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