Hair Removal during Pregnancy

We’ve seen the pictures. The magazine covers a la Demi Moore (circa 1991). A daringly, nude celeb embracing her forthcoming motherhood. A shiny baby bump on display. And a beautiful pregnant silhouette – with smooth, glowing, perfect skin.

The reality is a little hairier.

Extra hair growth during pregnancy is triggered by hormone changes. It’s incredibly common. After loads of laser treatments, Kim Kardashian was reportedly upset with her hair regrowth and having to go back to waxing while pregnant. Drew Barrymore even admitted that she grew a wonderful little goatee while carrying daughter Olive.

That’s right, in your first trimester, all the effort invested in waxing, lasering and electrolysis will seem useless. The good news – it’s temporary and you should be back to normal within six months of having the baby.

So what can you do while pregnant?

Electrolysis and Laser

There is no research that evaluates the safety of electrolysis and laser hair removal during pregnancy. Many electrologists will require a letter from your Dr. authorizing treatment. And many health care providers recommend avoiding laser hair removal during pregnancy altogether.

If you choose to have electrolysis, the breasts should be avoided in the last trimester, especially if you’re going to breastfeed. In the final weeks of pregnancy, you should avoid the abdomen because it is very sensitive and would be uncomfortable for you at this point in the pregnancy.

It’s always best to consult with your doctor about possible risks and what methods and technologies are safest.

Creams and Depilatories

There is no consensus on using hair removal creams. Some people adamantly avoid them because of concerns with the active ingredients barium sulfide and calcium thioglycolate. Again, there is no evidence that these agents are harmful during pregnancy – but there have been no studies to prove them safe either.

If you do use a cream, make sure you are using products that are for sensitive skin and do not skip the patch test. Don’t keep creams on longer than needed, and ensure a well-ventilated room. Finally, never use products on broken skin.

Tweezing, waxing, and shaving

You can certainly tweeze, wax and shave while pregnant. But keep in mind, you’ll probably be more sensitive to tugging on your skin, so applying a soothing antiseptic lotion before and after should help prevent stinging, redness, infection and irritation. Also, be careful if shaving while standing up in the shower. Ask your partner to help you keep your balance and help you in and out of the tub. (Don’t be shy – you could use the time to bond).

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