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Is Laser Hair Removal Safe During Pregnancy?

The female body experiences a handful of changes while pregnant, one being increased hair growth on the scalp and pretty much elsewhere, including the face, belly, and breasts. Despite an influx of hair due to increased hormone levels—plus other bodily changes when you’re expecting—it’s pretty standard to press pause on most beauty treatments while pregnant. Even though it is technically safe to get laser hair removal during pregnancy, you’ll want to weigh the pros and cons of undergoing the treatment and decide to make the best decision if you need to get rid of excess unwanted hair or wait until after bringing your new bundle of joy into the world to zap away those pesky hairs.

How Full Body Laser Hair Removal Works

Whether you’re expecting or not, laser hair removal works all the same. During a laser hair removal treatment, a specific wavelength of laser light is directed onto the skin to eliminate unwanted hair. The light from the laser targets pigment in the hair, which then is converted into heat to disrupt the hair follicles, their regular growth pattern, and, ultimately, future hair growth.

Full body laser hair removal, which can be used on multiple body parts, is a permanent solution for addressing unwanted hair. However, multiple sessions and maintenance treatments are required to keep the skin smooth. We use the Candela Gentle Max Pro Plus, which is a safe laser hair removal treatment for all skin tones, including darker ones thanks to its dual wavelength system. The only hair color that the Candela Gentle Max Pro Plus cannot effectively treat is white hair because there is a loss of pigment, which is what the laser targets to reduce hair growth.

Is Laser Hair Removal Safe While Pregnant?

Technically, you can get laser hair removal while pregnant. Still, there’s not enough scientific data behind the treatment to know whether it is safe or dangerous to undergo the procedure while expecting. It’s best to always err on the side of caution and wait until your pregnancy is over before moving forward with treatments like laser hair removal. That’s because there is more potential for risks like skin burns, prolonged and delayed healing, and hormonally-triggered hyperpigmentation that can leave the treated areas darker than they typically are. And, there’s no known risk of the impact of the emitted light and laser energy on the unborn baby. Plus, the skin can be extra sensitive during pregnancy, making laser hair removal more uncomfortable than if you were to do the treatment while not pregnant. 

Rather than risking it with laser hair removal while pregnant, it’s best to resort to shaving, waxing, or threading to treat areas with excessive hair. Then, after delivering your baby and your doctor has given you the green light, you can start (or resume) laser hair removal. Remember, any additional hair growth you see during pregnancy will likely subside once your hormones balance back out—yet another reason to wait.

When Is It Safe to Get Laser Hair Removal?

The best time to go forward with a laser hair removal treatment series is after you have birthed your baby and you are done breastfeeding. The same potential risks that apply to laser hair removal during pregnancy also apply to breastfeeding. However, if you are ready to get laser hair removal and you are still breastfeeding, you will need consent from your doctor.

If problematic hairs persist long after pregnancy and breastfeeding, then it’s time to consider laser hair removal.