Laser Hair Removal During Pregnancy – Is it Safe?

6 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

Laser Hair Removal During Pregnancy - Is it Safe_

Your hair is denser during pregnancy. They grow in legs, armpits, pubic areas, and so forth. You might even see hair on your stomach or any other body part where you had no hair. All this will return to normal sometime after you give birth as the hormone flow will normalize itself. Meanwhile, one thing that may strike your mind is whether it is safe to go for laser hair removal during pregnancy.

The reason for which you’re seeking this treatment is not valid and is temporary. Before pregnancy, you were okay with waxing, threading, shaving, etc. But now your body is growing a lot of hair, and in places like the stomach and face as well for some mothers, which can feel embarrassing. Therefore, you want to permanently ‘fix’ all the body hair. Before you delve into a solution, here is everything you need.

In This Article

Can You Have Laser Hair Removal Treatment While Pregnant?

As your tummy gets bumpy, your inability to move and stretch stresses you out. You can’t easily bend over and pick something up. Also, using sharp objects to clean body hair becomes a challenge. 

You notice that the hair on your head and other body parts look thicker and grow faster, even after you’ve cut them. Head hairs are denser, that’s okay. But more hair on legs, underarms, and bikini zone have irritated you to search for a permanent fix. 

At this phase, laser hair removal seems a better choice over shaving, waxing, and depilatory creams. As you know, the use of lasers on your body during pregnancy can prove to be risky for your baby. 

Laser treatment is generally free of any side effects. Its global market size is $583.99 million as of 2021. Many people opt for it, and it’s safe. But for you, it would be wise to play safe until you deliver your little one. 

According to a paper published by the International Journal of Women’s Dermatology, laser treatment should be avoided while pregnant. Some pregnant mothers with kidney stones had no side effects when laser treatment was used. However, it’s difficult to predict what would happen if laser hair removal is used. There are slight differences in the technology and its application.

The experts do not have any research backing to advise the use of lasers for hair removal during pregnancy. After all, it’s not ethical to use lasers on pregnant mothers to find out if it’s safe, what if the baby suffers any problem? It’s best to not use laser hair removal during pregnancy.

How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

How Does Laser Hair Removal Work_

A laser is a concentrated beam of light. These laser beams are concentrated on the pigment or melanin of your hair. Imagine your black hair is made up of bricks. Melanin is present throughout your hair – it gives them a black color. 

Melanin absorbs the light, generates heat, and distributes it around the hair. It reaches the bulb – a tiny and round white portion at the end of your hair you see in plucked-out or fallen hair. Furthermore, through this bulb, the heat reaches the stem cells and hair follicles which get damaged. 

You might have seen them in TV commercials for hair oils – a U-shaped hole where the hair strand is attached. These stem cells and hair follicles create and maintain new hair. Damaging them either stops hair production and growth or produces light hair. 

All the hair follicles and stem cells do not get damaged in one session because of hair cycles, explained further. So, 6-12 appointments are usually needed to see full results and no hair growth. 

How Effective is Laser Hair Removal?

How Effective Is Laser Hair Removal_

Medical professionals in an office provide laser hair removal services. It can also be done in a salon setting. It’s not a one-time fix. Typically, an average of 8 sessions are necessary to see good results. Laser treatment can only target your hair in an active growth phase. 

How Laser Treatment Works

For example; your leg hair, let’s say, can grow up to 2cm. The hair will grow in full length – the bulb, the round and white part at the end of the hair will also stay connected to the stem cells and hair follicles. This is called the anagen phase. 

Once full 2 cm growth is achieved, hair will get disconnected from the stem cells and hair follicles. The bulb of the hair is not attached to its origin. Imagine a nail hammered on a wall. When pulled out a bit, it doesn’t stay in contact with the bottom surface of the hole. But it’s still attached to the wall. 

Similarly, your hair is still on your legs but not in touch with the root. This is called the telogen phase. Your hair is preparing for shedding. 

Laser treatment is only effective when melanin present in hair can transfer the heat to hair follicles and stem cells, to damage them. And that’s only possible in the anagen stage.

Now, many hairs are present in your legs or armpits, or any region. Some are in the anagen stage, some in catagen, and others in telogen. Laser treatment is done for the entire region, but only hair strands in the anagen or active growth phase are affected, the rest are mostly not. Therefore, because of this hair cycle phenomenon, you have to pay multiple visits. 

Moreover, the treatment does not promise complete hair removal. Light hair can always grow back. On top of that, pregnancy hormones disrupt the hair cycle. Hairs stay longer in the anagen phase, that’s why you see thicker, longer, and more hair. So the medical professionals can’t properly decide on the appointments, and you don’t see good results. 

Problems That May Arise If You’ve Laser Hair Removal Treatment During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, hyperpigmentation or darkening of skin parts is common. Melanin is present in your skin, as well as your hair. So the procedure is less effective.

There are problems that you might encounter after your laser hair removal appointment;

  • Blistering
  • Scarring
  • Too much hair growth, in rare instances
  • Irritating skin
  • Skin color changes

[Read : Skin Darkening During Pregnancy]

Can Laser Hair Removal Treatment Affect Your Baby?

Can Laser Hair Removal Treatment Affect Your Baby_

Your and your baby’s health is of utmost importance during the whole pregnancy period. It’s a good thing to be extra cautious and avoid taking risks. Laser hair removal during pregnancy can possibly have some negative effects, but it’s also possible that it won’t. Experts are not clear about this, so better to stick with traditional alternatives such as shaving, waxing, threading, and so on to be on the safer side when you are pregnant.  

Due to the absence of studies that determine the safety of laser hair removal during pregnancy, it’s best to wait. Once you’ve delivered your baby, you can consult your doctor about whether it’s safe now to go for these treatments. But after your delivery, your hormones will revert to normal. So the problem of extra hair will subside, and so will the need for laser treatment.

[Read : Is It Safe To Bleach Facial Hair During Pregnancy?]


1. How Long Does Laser Hair Treatment Take to Complete?

The sessions can spread up to 8 weeks, or even 1 year to see maximum results.

2. Does Laser Light Affect Pregnancy?

There isn’t enough research done on this, but experts and scientists are strictly against laser hair removal during pregnancy.

3. Is Hair Removal Safe During Pregnancy?

Aside from laser hair removal, shaving, waxing, twitching, and threading are safe during pregnancy. 

Read Also: Is It Safe To Use Hair Removal Creams During Pregnancy?

Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

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