Once you become pregnant, you’re flooded with all kinds of questions, especially when it’s your first pregnancy. Suddenly, you learn that it’s not safe to do all of the things you used to do. You may be discouraged from eating tuna and raw fish during your pregnancy, told NOT to go on roller coasters, told not to fly on an airplane after your third trimester, and told not to change cat litter, and so on.
Now, you may be wondering if laser hair removal is safe during pregnancy, especially if you’ve noticed more body hair than before your pregnancy. If you’re wondering this, we get it. A lot of men and women turn to laser hair removal to reduce unwanted body hair on the face, legs, underarms, bikini zone, etc. And when women are pregnant, due to hormonal changes, hair can grow in new places, so they may feel they need laser hair removal more than ever. But is it wise to get it done during pregnancy, or is it better to wait until after the baby is born?
Pregnancy Hormones and All That Hair
When a woman gets pregnant, her body is flooded with hormones. Due to higher levels of the hormones androgen and estrogen, hair grows in places she’s never seen before, especially in her third trimester. A pregnant woman may suddenly find new hair growth on her face, neck, belly, arms, and breasts. Not only is this common, but fortunately, it’s usually temporary and ends once the baby arrives.
Pregnancy hormones affect new hair growth, where it’s located, and how much a woman has, but that’s not all. They alter the growth cycle of a woman’s hair and skin pigmentation. The hairs on our heads and bodies have a natural growth and falling out cycle. Pregnancy delays the “falling out” cycle, which is why it seems like a woman’s hair gets thicker during pregnancy. Between three and six months post-delivery, the hormones normalize and the extra hair falls out. The technical term for this is known as “telogen effluvium.”
The estrogen-induced hair growth mentioned above can make a lot of mothers-to-be worry that they’ll be hairier forever. It can also make them question if they should being laser hair removal now. The best answer is to wait, mainly because there is a lack of safety data to support laser hair removal during pregnancy.
Avoid Laser Hair Removal During Pregnancy
Even though laser hair removal is considered a relatively safe procedure, doctors, OBGYNs, and cosmetic surgeons typically advise pregnant patients to avoid this procedure because there are insufficient studies supporting that it’s safe for mothers and their unborn babies.
In the meantime, we recommend old-fashioned shaving, plucking, threading, and waxing. After the joyous day when you welcome your baby, you can contact us about starting or resuming laser hair removal treatments on any areas with unwanted hair.