Epilation And Depilation: What You Can And Can’t Do During Pregnancy

There are two main ways to get rid of unwanted hair. Hair removal is a treatment that specifically targets the hair follicle (also known as the hair follicle), gradually destroying it and getting rid of all your hair in the end. There are several types of hair removal, each of which has several varieties. These include electric hair removal, laser hair removal, photo hair removal, enzyme hair removal and elo-epilation. 

Depilation is the removal of hair without destroying the hair follicle. Depilation methods include procedures that are temporarily effective. These include shaving, plucking, chemical depilatories and bio epilation (using wax, sugar paste, etc.). 


Let’s take a look at hair removal methods in terms of their effectiveness and safety during pregnancy. 

Electroepilation is the oldest and most reliable method of drastically getting rid of unwanted hair – its basic principle is that an electric current is applied to the hair follicles and destroys them. We have a lot of advantages of electroepilation. With its help, you can get rid of hair of any type and colour on any part of the body, and if you are patient, forever. But, unfortunately, one of the first contraindications to this procedure is pregnancy. 

No studies have been conducted to confirm the harmful effects of electroepilation on the foetus. Nevertheless, we must not forget that most of the human body tissues conduct electricity, especially if the integrity of the body’s natural “insulator” (stratum corneum) is compromised. Therefore it is not worth risking your baby’s health.

Photoepilation is a method of getting rid of hair, based on the destruction of hair follicles with flashes of high-pulsed light. It happens due to an ability of hair pigment melanin to absorb energy of a light stream and transform it into heat energy, as a result the follicle cells get heated and are irreversibly destroyed. 

The distinct advantages of photoepilation are its relative painlessness and absolute traumatism, as well as the high speed of hair processing. You can perform photoepilation in the salon, as well as at home using a portable photo epilator. However, this method is powerless against blonde, gray and fine pubescent hairs. In addition, it has a number of contraindications, one of which is pregnancy.

Laser hair removal is a method of radical hair removal by destroying hair follicles with laser radiation. The principle of this method, like the principle of photoepilation, is based on the ability of melanin to absorb laser energy. 

The advantages of laser hair removal are similar to those that we have listed, speaking of her closest “relative” – photoepilation. To disadvantages it is possible to carry the probability of side effects such as burns, scars and skin pigmentation disorders. Laser hair removal is contraindicated during pregnancy. Although it is considered that laser does not affect fetal growth, because its effect is only superficial, it is still not worth the risk. At least, it is worth considering that experiments with melanin during pregnancy can cause permanent hyperpigmentation.

Elos-epilation is an innovative hair removal method that combines the action and advantages of photo and electroepilation. This method of hair removal promises high efficiency, including removal of downy hair, and at the same time is considered optimal in terms of safety. However, Elos-Epilation cannot be performed during pregnancy, as recommended by the World Health Organization.

Enzymes against hair

Enzyme hair removal is a relatively new method of getting rid of excess hair, which works by destroying hair follicles with enzymes (or enzymes) – protein substances that act as catalysts in biochemical reactions. They are usually trypsin, papain and chymotrypsin, proteins that can disrupt the hair’s reproductive system. The enzyme epilation procedure also includes heat treatment of the skin, which helps expand the mouths of hair follicles and activates the enzymes. 

Enzyme epilation is considered one of the safest, most comfortable and inexpensive epilation procedures, but it is also contraindicated for pregnant women. So, unfortunately, neither method of radical hair removal is suitable for expectant mothers. 


Plucking is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to have smooth skin. Individual hairs can be easily pulled out with a pair of tweezers, but mass clusters of “unwanted guests” are liquidated with an electric depilatory. Regular use of depilatory (or epilator, as it is commonly known), you can achieve good results: over time, the hairs thinned and weakened, will be much less noticeable. That’s the theory, but practice shows that not everyone is that lucky. There are women who have hair that does not give up: hairs will grow back under their skin and wriggle in all directions, but will not loosen under the pressure of an epilator. Hair ingrowth – one of the unpleasant and fairly common side effects of this procedure. The second drawback of the method – pain, which, in terms of different women, ranges from unbearable to quite bearable.

During pregnancy, using an epilator is not forbidden, of course, with all the necessary hygienic precautions. But the expectant mother is diagnosed with a threatened abortion, uterine hypertonicity or something similar, unnecessary pain (even tolerable) it does not want – they can worsen the problem.

Bio Epilation is probably the most popular method of getting rid of unwanted hair nowadays. It can be carried out with hot, cold and warm wax (waxing), phytosol or sugar paste (sugaring), but its basic principle does not change. He consists of the fact that the sticky mass solidifies and “seizes” the hairs, which are then sharply pulled out at the root. The advantages of this type of depilation includes its simplicity and accessibility, moderate pain, and relatively stable effect. True, bio epilation is not a panacea for all women. Given that the structure of hair and the speed of their growth at all is different, the effect of bio epilation lasts on average from one to three weeks. A common side effect of bio epilation is hair ingrowth. Another concern for women is the irritation caused by short hairs that need to grow back up to 6mm for each subsequent treatment. 

Expecting a baby is not a contra-indication for bio epilation. However, expectant mothers should bear in mind that removing facial hair in this way and in those areas where it has appeared due to pregnancy-related hormonal changes is highly undesirable. Depilatory mass not only captures visible hairs, but also practically invisible downy hairs, which can be affected by the procedure in the opposite way, and they will degenerate into dark and stiff hairs. 

Chemical depilation with depilatories cream is achieved through the action of active chemicals, which help loosen the hair structure. Depilatory cream seems to cut the hair from the surface of the skin, but it also softens the “stump” and, in most cases, slightly slows down further hair growth. Skin tends to be smoother after cream depilation than after a regular shave and stays that way a little longer.

As a rule, all the creams for hair removal have a similar composition, which if you want to call it harmless. And although it is widely believed that it is too short a contact with the skin to have time to absorb it and cause damage to the body of the expectant mother, during pregnancy it is advisable not to abuse the use of all kinds of chemical cosmetics. Especially if it has a depressing effect, albeit on excess hair.

Shaving is the easiest and cheapest method, and also perfectly safe. With all its drawbacks, such as short-lived effects and possible irritation, it can be optimal for use during pregnancy. The important thing is to use a good razor, preferably specially designed for women, and not to forget the need for antiseptic treatment after shaving.

Whichever choice a mother-to-be on the warpath against unwanted hair makes, the important thing is that she doesn’t forget that during pregnancy, it’s not beauty that needs sacrifice, but the health of the unborn child.

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Author: Paige Jones

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Mom Lifestyle, Pregnancy

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