Pregnant women are often given conflicting advice. They're told not to take certain medications, but they're never told why. Well-meaning friends and family members warn against too much exertion, while medical professionals recommend physical activity. Everyone – from medical professionals to bloggers to yoga teachers – offers advice on what to eat, what cosmetics to avoid, etc.
While I can't address every concern, I can speak to the facts regarding laser hair removal and pregnancy.
Is Laser Hair Removal Safe For Pregnant Women?
According to the American Pregnancy Association, there are no published studies that link safety between pregnancy and laser hair removal…meaning there is no data to prove or disprove the notion that laser hair treatment is safe for pregnant women. While there have been thousands of women who have undergone laser hair removal procedures during pregnancy – and no ill effects that I've ever read, seen, or heard about – there is no data to firmly conclude one way or another.
Therefore, many doctors recommend avoiding laser hair removal during pregnancy, the thinking being that it's best to err on the side of caution. Again, as an expert on laser hair removal I've never read, seen, or heard anything to suggest laser hair removal is dangerous to anyone (pregnant or otherwise), but the cautious approach makes perfect sense to me. If you're concerned about ill effects, by all means pause your treatments until later.
Does hair regrow faster during pregnancy?
For most women, hair does not regrow faster during pregnancy. In fact, most pregnant women find that their hair doesn't grow much at all until after they give birth.
After delivery, hair growth in certain areas of the body is triggered by hormones. Depending on the amount and type of hormones released by your body, there's no guarantee that body hair you've had treated won’t grow back post-pregnancy.
Having said that, every woman's body is different. Some women don’t experience any body hair regrowth post-pregnancy, while others experience noticeable growth in areas that were previously treated.
For some women, they might see hair growing in places that it has never grown before, including the face and around the belly. Others might experience a change of texture in their hair or even hair color.
What Happens If I'm In the Middle of Treatment and Become Pregnant?
If you've started a laser hair treatment process and then become pregnant – or if you learn about your pregnancy while in the middle of treatments — don’t worry. Your little baby is all but certainly healthy, as there's simply no evidence to suggest otherwise.
Additionally, if you've pre-paid your laser or IPL hair removal treatments, you should be able to arrange for a pause in your treatments without financial penalty. It's a good idea to ask your hair removal clinic to hold your treatments until after your pregnancy, or perhaps even until after you’ve finished breastfeeding if you want to be extra safe (only again, there's no medical evidence to support or challenge this precaution).
Some hair removal clinics will actually require you to pause your treatment if you become pregnant and might keep you on hold until you finish breastfeeding.
One of the main reasons some women even consider laser hair removal during pregnancy is that their unwanted hair is growing faster and even thicker than what they’re used to because of hormonal changes.
Pregnancy is a special — and delicate — part of life. You need to be careful. There’s no scientific evidence that ties laser hair removal to affecting pregnancy in a negative way, but it’s best that you don’t take the risk.
Stick to waxing and shaving during this exciting time in your life and then return to laser hair removal after your little pride and joy comes into this world.