Hair Removal Methods in Pregnancy
When women become pregnant, their bodies undergo a series of dramatic changes both inside and out. Outwardly, women often notice weight gain, changes in their skin, and even an increase in unwanted body hair. Increased body hair growth during pregnancy is usually due to hormonal changes; but understanding this change doesn’t mean it’s a welcome one.
This is why some pregnant women find themselves seeking hair removal products and services even more so when they’re pregnant than when they aren’t. But are certain hair removal treatments like laser hair removal safe and effective for pregnant women to use? Read on to learn more about hair removal treatments and pregnancy.
Pregnancy and Hair Growth
Pregnant women experience more hair growth because of higher hormone levels, which can encourage hair to enter the resting phase and thus minimize the number of hairs that are due to fall out and begin regrowth. This makes hair appear thicker and more plentiful. On top of the head, this is a pleasant side effect. Elsewhere, the growth of coarse hair in new places, or an increase of hair in certain areas is far from desirable.
Most increased hair growth will taper off post pregnancy, but new hair growth on body areas like the upper lip, chin, breasts, and even the back and stomach might take longer to return to normal. This is why pregnancy might be a good time for re-evaluating your hair removal regimen, so that you can find just the treatment that works for you during pregnancy and afterwards. Today’s most popular hair removal treatments include electrolysis, laser hair removal, shaving, tweezing, waxing and depilatory creams. But which methods are the most effective, the safest, and the most convenient for pregnant women?
Hair Removal During Pregnancy
There are no studies that evaluate the safety of electrolysis during pregnancy. Many health care providers and electrologists recommend avoiding electrolysis during pregnancy because of the lack of information about the effect on the fetus. 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 very uncomfortable for you at this point in the pregnancy.
There are two types of current used in electrolysis, thermolysis and galvanic. Thermolysis may also be referred to as diathermy, radio wave, short wave, or high frequency. Galvanic electrolysis sends a minute electrical current through the client and back to the device. This is not recommended because the baby is surrounded by amniotic fluid.
In this situation, amniotic fluid acts as a conductor of electricity. For this reason, galvanic current is not recommended for electrolysis during pregnancy. Thermolysis does not flow through the body and has not been found to be harmful to pregnant women or the fetus. Many electrologists require a letter from your health care provider authorizing treatment during pregnancy.
Laser hair removal targets dark pigment in the hair and causes thermal and/or mechanical damage to the hair follicle. There are no studies that evaluate the safety of laser hair removal during pregnancy. Many have no specific opinion about laser hair removal.
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 very uncomfortable for you at this point in the pregnancy.
Waxing is a popular hair removal method because it’s convenient, it’s proven effective, and it is available in at-home kits and as a professional treatment. Hair removal wax also comes in a variety of substances and application methods, and it doesn’t pose many major side effects.
Minor waxing side effects include bleeding, light bruising and possible skin infections. Probably the biggest factor against waxing is the pain that many report with usage. This doesn’t mean that the wax hair removal method is a bad choice during pregnancy, it just means that on the whole, it could be very painful and it still may not guarantee the length of results that you’re after.
Creams and Depilatories:
The main concerns with depilatories during pregnancy are the active ingredients barium sulfide powder and calcium thioglycolate. There is no evidence that they are harmful during pregnancy, but there have been no studies that prove they are safe either.
As with any cosmetic, you should try a patch of skin to see how you react. The chemicals, once exposed to oxygen, leave a distinct odor, which may be very unpleasant for you and in rare cases has been known to cause an allergic reaction. You will want to take extra measures to ensure a well-ventilated area and proper timing so chemical burns do not result.
Arguably the most convenient method of hair removal available, shaving removes unwanted hair with a razor at the skin’s surface. The only real problem with shaving might be the difficulty of performing it yourself as the baby grows, and the discomfort of maintaining the positions necessary to shave different body areas especially when considering the frequency required with shaving!