One of the many challenges of pregnancy is having excessive hair growth. It may comes as a surprise when you notice more hair growth not only on your upper lips, arms, legs but places you have never seen them before like around your nipple, or on the belly. So if you notice more hair growth, don’t panic as it is quite natural. Rest assured it wouldn’t last forever and things will go back to normal after delivery.
Body Hair Growth in Pregnancy
Excessive hair growth on the body is also called hirsutism. It is attributed to hormonal changes that your body goes through in pregnancy. Not only you will feel unusual hair growth on the face and other body parts like belly, but you might find the texture of your head hair is also changed. They feel more vibrant, thick and fuller.
Reason for Thicker Hair During Pregnancy
It’s not that your hair strands are getting thicker. You are actually growing new hairs, but the old ones are not falling. Therefore, hairs look more lush and strong.
Normal women experience a fall of 100 hairs daily that are removed through brushing or bathing. Around 5-15% of the hairs are in their resting phase while the rest are in a growing phase that means they grew and fall and new hair strands grow at their place. With an increase in oestrogen during pregnancy, the growth phase is longer, and your hairs feel more thick and fuller. Don’t pin many hopes as after pregnancy when the hormones become balanced, these hairs will fall, and you would complain of losing too many hairs after pregnancy.
Causes of Hair Growth in Pregnancy
As we mentioned above, abnormal hair growth is caused by having more hormones than usual. Some of the causes of excessive hair growth are
Androgen: Androgen is a male hormone that women also have but in a small amount. During pregnancy, the androgen level can rise in the body causing more hair growth on face and body.
Estrogen: Estrogen is another culprit for having more than normal hair growth. The estrogen level surges in your body during pregnancy, and it causes rapid hair growth. It also prevents the hair from falling, and that’s why you feel fuller hairs in pregnancy.
Other Reasons That Can Contribute To Hair Growth
- You are taking good care of your diet. Having nutritional food also contributes to better hair growth.
- You are taking supplements regularly. Vitamins and minerals in the right quantity can also increase your hair growth.
Are These Hairs Permanent?
You might wonder if you have to spend the rest of your life with these hairs then don’t panic as you won’t have to. This abnormal hair growth on the face and another part of the body are due to a surge in hormones, and after birth, you will be back to your normal self. These extra hairs will fade down after pregnancy. If they don’t, you might need to check with your doctor as it may be a sign of something else like hormonal imbalance.
Can I Remove Them?
As we said, these hairs would go back to normal after delivery. But you may want to remove them for cosmetic reasons. So yes, you can remove them, but you need to be extra cautious during pregnancy. Not all hair removal methods are safe in pregnancy. Skin is extra sensitive because of pregnancy especially the stomach skin, and you don’t want anything that may affect your baby.
Methods For Removing Unwanted Hair While Pregnant
For smaller areas where the hair growth is not very thick, and you find a few strands here and there, tweezers are the safest and easiest way to get rid of them. Tweezers are especially useful for plucking hairs on breast and around the nipple or for shaping the eyebrows. So tweezers are perfectly safe and you can make use of one for plucking few unnecessary strands.
Use of thread is an old method of getting rid of unwanted hairs. It can be used to pluck unnecessary hairs. You can make use of it for facial hairs, fixing the line of eyebrows, or even upper lips. It is done by making a loop of thread and plucking the hairs with its help. Though not everyone is an expert in it and if you are not you should better not use it. You may catch skin in loops of thread and cause cuts.
Shaving is another easy way. It is a quick and easy method for legs and arms, especially in times when your skin is too sensitive and risk pigmentation with wax. Both manual razors and electric shavers are safe for a pregnant woman. Be careful while shaving legs as you can be a bit off-balance due to pregnancy. Shaving in the shower is not recommended at all. You may lose your balance and slip. You can shave while sitting comfortably on the sofa, or even better ask the help of your partner.
Waxing provides a long-term solution of unwanted hairs. It is fine in pregnancy if your skin is not too sensitive. Your body is producing extra fluids and blood to support the baby. It may react differently so be careful and check little area first to see any signs of burn, red patches, or irritated skin.
Also, be careful if your skin has cuts, blemishes, varicose veins, moles, or pimples. Waxing can flare the already irritated skin. Broken skin can also cause skin infection.
Waxing during pregnancy
Waxing during pregnancy is safe, but you should take all necessary precautions to make it extra safe for your sensitive skin. You can do it at home with a waxing kit or takes professional help at a spa or saloon.
There are two kinds of waxes, soft and hard. Soft wax is spread on the skin, and then a patch of cloth is placed over the wax. The patch is quickly pulled to the opposite side of hair growth. Hard wax is simply applied on the skin, and you allow it to dry. Then pull off the wax to another direction. If you are not confident of doing it at home better leave it on professionals.
Waxing and Melasma
Melasma is also called the pregnancy mask. It’s a common skin condition in pregnancy when skin becomes brownish or has greyish patches. Women with melasma should avoid waxing as it can irritate their skin.
Taking professional Help
With your belly growing and all the extra weight that you have put on, you might not feel comfortable to wax or shave during pregnancy. In that case, pamper yourself with a visit to a salon.
Take all basic precautions like:
- Choose a salon that is clean and practices excellent hygiene.
- All tools should be properly sterilized.
- Make sure the products are natural and safe.
Hair Removal Method to Avoid
Some hair removal methods are not suitable for pregnancy.
Although hair removal lotions, creams, and sprays may seem an easy option, there is little research to confirm if they are safe to be used in pregnancy. These creams contain ingredients like barium sulfide powder and calcium thioglycolate. These chemicals dissolve the hair protein, so they are easy to be removed from the skin. These chemicals can penetrate the skin and may enter your bloodstream. It can harm the developing baby. Though there is no proof if they are safe or harmful, it’s better to stay on the safe side and avoid these creams until delivery.
Bleaching is another option to deal with unwanted hairs. The excessive hair is bleached to the color of skin so that they become less visible. Again, bleach creams also contain strong chemicals that may penetrate the skin and harm the unborn baby. No reliable study backed the safety of these creams, so it’s better to not to take any chance until delivery.
Laser treatment or Electrolysis
Laser treatment and other permanent hair removal solutions are not suitable for pregnancy at all. You might risk the exposure of your baby to laser beams. So the bottom line is no need to take that risky decision for removing hair in pregnancy. You already got so much to deal with, and the last thing you want is to add a laser or other such permanent treatments of hair removal.
Electrolysis involves opening the hair follicle and destroying the growth inside. Although the procedure is considered safe in pregnancy, still we will recommend waiting for the baby’s arrival before any such treatment.
Products That Can Save You Time in Dealing With Body Hair During Pregnancy
Here we have selected a few products that may help you to remove unwanted hairs while staying on the safe side.
These hair removal wax strips are great for removing unwanted hairs safely. Non woven wax strips are suitable for body and facial hair. The soft and hard wax is both easy to use and less messy. Soft wax is perfect for arms, legs, or brow hair removal while hard wax works great on sensitive areas like armpit, pubic hairs, and bikini area. The strips are made of high-quality fabric that is perfectly safe for even sensitive skin.
This Epilator is a long lasting hair removal solution. You can enjoy weeks of hair-free smooth skin without any chemical. Its rotating tweezers stay gentle on the skin and do not pull the hairs. These are excellent for even sensitive areas like around nipple, or facial hairs. The epilator can catch hair shorter than wax, and you don’t have to wait for hairs to grow so you can remove them. Shave them the moment they become visible.
The epilator has a washable head that makes cleaning easy and convenient. The rounded shape epilator fits into your hand perfectly, and ergonomic design makes it easy to use. It’s a great solution for excessive hair growth that you can keep utilizing after pregnancy too.
This multifunctional shaver and epilator is an easy and convenient solution to deal with excessive hair growth. It includes four attachments to maximize personal care convenience. A shaver head quickly removes hairs. A bikini comb attachment is for sensitive areas. Its 48 precision rotating tweezers capture, hold and extract hairs at the roots and an epilator head limits the number of exposed tweezers to lift and remove shorter and thinner hairs comfortably.
The flexible head pivots 30 degrees forward and 30 degrees backward for easily contouring to the shape of your body. Its high-speed motor can be adjusted to the preferred sensitivity and comfort level. The shaver and epilator are waterproof so you can use it in the shower too. A built-in LED light illuminates the area for you to see thinner hard to see hairs. The epilator is a sort of permanent solution to your hair growth even beyond pregnancy.
Salons can be costly, and you can easily wax at home with this complete kit. The kit comes with everything you might need to wax your body. It includes hard chamomile wax for face and fine hairs like eyebrow waxing. Lavender wax beans and violet wax beans are excellent for the entire body like arms, legs, or pubic hairs. The wax is specially designed for sensitive skin and eliminates hair as long as four weeks. You don’t need to shave them again and again. It’s a cost-effective option that works great on all type of skins.