Somewhere in your pregnancy journey, you will notice hair growing out of different areas of your body, so you might ask: can I get rid of them with laser hair removal? Experts have weighed into this question, and in this article, you will find out why their advice is going to be a no.
How Laser Hair Removal Rids of Hair
Before diving into the main reasons why pregnant women cannot get laser hair removal, one must understand how laser hair removal even works.
It starts with a trained professional setting up lighting to ensure the concerned area is fully visible. Then, they aim the laser at the dark pigment in each hair strand, where heat is then transferred from the laser onto the hair shaft and into the follicle.
The job of the laser is to destroy the follicle. Only in doing so does hair not grow back again. There will be instances where the laser fails to destroy the follicle completely. So, for this reason, hair might still grow back, but they look much lighter and thinner than before.
Laser hair removal is also not done in just one session. Your technician will most likely ask you to come back for around 2 to 6 more sessions because this method works best when it’s done during a specific stage in your hair growth cycle.
Image Source: iStock
You see your hair grows in 4 stages: Anagen (growing), Catagen (transition), Telogen (resting), and Exogen (new hair growth). Laser hair technicians will target the new hair growth stage of your hair, so it can successfully destroy your follicles. And, they need to do this several times to ensure hair will not grow back.
Does it hurt? The most that one can feel from laser hair removal is some pinging. So, for women with much higher pain tolerance, the pain is almost tolerable. And, you get less and less of the sensation as you go through the sessions because there’s lesser hair.
Body Hair Growth in Pregnancy
The biggest culprit to all of the sudden hair growth in different parts of your body is the hormones. All of a sudden, you will find hair on your belly, your arms, your face, and yes, even on your breasts. It’s weird, but during pregnancy, it’s extremely normal.
You might ask if all this hair is going to be permanent. The good news is that it’s not. You will shed some of this hair a few months after giving birth.
Your hormones cause so much change in your body that it’s not only the sudden growth of hair that they’re causing. They are also the culprit behind the changing growth cycle of your hair.
Image Source: Shutterstock
To understand how that is so, you’d need to understand a bit about how the normal hair on your body grows. Spots where you normally have hair usually have a resting phase. The resting phase is when some of your full-grown hair fall out.
Now, when you get pregnant, your hormones further delay this resting phase. So, what happens is you grow a lot of hair within those 9 months of carrying your baby – none of them falling out. And, so you grow out thicker and fuller hair.
Then, you give birth, your baby turns 6 months old, and all of a sudden, most of your hair falls out. It’s what we commonly know today as postpartum hair loss. This is the phase when the freezing of the resting phase ends. Then your normal hair growth cycle resumes.
Why Laser Hair Removal is Not Recommended
The main reason why experts would advise pregnant women against laser hair removal is because of the lack of studies around it. No study can confirm that laser hair removal has direct negative effects on a pregnant woman or her baby. And, no one wants to risk doing a study on it, given that negative repercussions might arise.
So, until a reliable study can be their basis for giving women the go signal for laser hair removal, doctors are not recommending it.
Side Effects of Laser Hair Removal
If the potential unknown effect of laser hair removal on you or your baby is not enough reason not to go through with it, perhaps the side effects will.
As mentioned earlier, hair removal works by using heat to prevent hair growth. Since you go through hormonal changes during pregnancy, the risk of skin burns is highly likely. And it’s also due to your pregnancy why you heal slower too. So, should you get skin burns, the healing process will take time, and the risk of hyperpigmentation becomes more likely.
Any procedure done to your skin during pregnancy can irritate it and cause hyperpigmentation, so it’s best to err on the side of caution.
There is also a potential for laser hair removal to not work for women. This is due to your hormones at work. They can make your hair follicles more difficult to treat.
The risks of laser hair removal seem greater that their benefits from this perspective. That’s why if you want unwanted hair lasered off during pregnancy, you might want to wait. Or, you can try these alternatives.
Alternative Hair Removal Methods To Try or Not to Try
Image Source: Shutterstock
Experts are quite half and half on this one, because some epilators are safe to use, while some can cause slight irritation on the skin. So, just to be safe, use another alternative as well.
Hair removal creams are said to be a safe hair removal method as well. But, you have to be cautious of certain things. Your skin during pregnancy becomes highly sensitive, so the possibility of burning your skin or causing irritation is highly likely.
And, since using hair removal creams is a very low-effort hair removal method, not many professionals can offer to do this for you. Usually, it’s a DIY situation, which you don’t want because a lot of unexpected things can happen.
So, at best, if you’re going to do this yourself, make sure to get a hair removal cream that is highly recommendable for pregnant women. Always check the ingredients in the formula and, of course, the product reviews.
If you really want unwanted hair off, you might think that waxing is an alternative to laser hair removal. And, according to experts, it’s generally safe. But, there are certain things you need to take into consideration before getting one.
Getting them done by a professional is one. Many things already go wrong when women who are not pregnant wax themselves; you can expect the same thing for pregnant women. So, get them done professionally, so you can achieve maximum results safely.
Make sure to get it done in a reputable waxing salon too. Ask the staff how regularly they clean their client’s tables, how often their estheticians clean their hands, and so on and so forth. If you’re going to get waxed, you want to do it right and safely.
Finally, make sure to follow the post-wax care rules. No washing waxed area for 24 hours, avoid harsh sunlight or tanning and skip chemicals and perfumes within that 24-hour window. Otherwise, you can inflame your skin and cause infection.
This method is by far the safest hair removal method. You won’t need to go deep into the skin; it doesn’t burn or electrify and is low-effort. Before you go crazy with the shaver though, make sure to use a brand-new set of blades. You don’t want bacteria from a used shaver to go to your newly shaved skin and cause infection.
There you have it. All your need-to-knows about laser hair removal, its effects, and alternatives you can try. If you can wait until your pregnancy is over to get unwanted hair lasered, please do so to avoid all the potential risks it can cause.
Being pregnant is the best excuse for you to forego shaving your legs or armpits. But if you insist on body or facial hair removal during pregnancy, consult your gynae on which method is the safest for you and your unborn baby.
Image Source: iStock
Here at theAsianparent Singapore, it’s important for us to give information that is correct, significant, and timely. But this doesn’t serve as an alternative for medical advice or medical treatment. The Asianparent Singapore is not responsible for those that would choose to drink medicines based on information from our website. If you have any doubts, we recommend consulting your doctor for clearer information.