How to Remove Hair During Pregnancy Safely

Pregnancy hormones make hair grow in thicker — sometimes in unexpected and unwanted places. While you should avoid some hair removal methods during pregnancy, there are a number of ways to get hair-free safely.

You’re admiring your fresh-faced pregnancy glow and newly luxurious locks in the mirror when you notice something not quite as attractive: thick upper lip hair. Yep, while your favorite pregnancy hormones may lead to gorgeous changes to your skin, nails and hair Opens a new window, they can also bring on hair growth in unexpected and unwanted places (like your armpits, bikini line, upper lip and belly).

Luckily, the extra fuzz is only temporary — your hair should return to normal about six months after you give birth. Until then, here’s everything you need to know about safely removing hair while you’re pregnant.

Tweezing and threading

For small hair removal jobs — like shaping up caterpillar eyebrows, removing pesky chin hairs or zapping stray upper lip hairs (all totally normal!) — tweezing and threading are probably your best options.

While you can conveniently tweeze at home, threading (an ancient technique where a loop of thread is rotated across the skin to pluck hair) is best done by a pro. Because neither require any chemicals or medical procedures, both are completely safe during pregnancy.


To remove unwanted hair on larger areas, shave as needed — you’ll probably need to quite a bit more often than usual. Don’t feel self-conscious if you start shaving facial hair as well: A razor can easily take off upper lip hair, chin stubble and hair growing in around the sideburn area. Shaving it off won’t make the hair coarser — that’s just a hair removal myth.

Shaving your private area when pregnant may be trickier, especially during the later months when your belly is big and you can’t really see what you’re doing down there. But if you’re careful and patient, you can get it done. 

A few pointers to help: 

  • Soften your skin and hair before you shave. A good shower will do the trick.
  • Stand while you’re shaving. If you’re sitting down, you’ll have even more trouble seeing the area and may be more likely to injure yourself.
  • Always use a shaving cream or gel and shave in the direction of the hair growth, rinsing after each swipe with the razor. 
  • Use a fragrance-free moisturizer to reduce post-shaving dryness when you’re done. 

Both manual razors and electric shavers are safe to use, but always use a new blade so you’re less likely to draw blood. And don’t share a razor with your partner, which can up the risk of infections.

When you’re shaving your legs, do so with care (and a lot of nick-protecting shaving gel), since your balance is more likely to be a bit off Opens a new window(plus you’ll be less and less likely to see beyond your growing belly).

One definite no-no: Shaving in the shower, where it’s way too easy to lose your balance — and where a slip-up could be serious. If possible, enlist a willing partner or friend to help you.

Waxing and sugaring

Waxing and sugaring — where a heated sugar mixture is spread on the skin and then lifted off to remove hair — both provide a longer-term solution to unwanted hair and are generally fine if pregnancy hasn’t made your skin too sensitive.

As always, these products should never be used on the nose, ears or nipples; over varicose veins, moles or warts; or on irritated, chapped or sunburned skin.

Avoid waxing areas of the body affected by melasma, aka the mask of pregnancy, or waxing anywhere if you’re using an antibiotic. Check with your doctor before waxing, too, to find out if there is a specific reason it’s not recommended for you during pregnancy.

If you get the okay to wax, you can DIY or go to a pro. As long as you follow the directions, home waxing kits are usually considered safe during pregnancy. 

Just be gentle and cautious. Waxing while pregnant will be more painful than usual because the increased blood flow to your skin makes it super sensitive.

This is especially true of your pelvic area. A bikini wax or a Brazilian wax will hurt while you’re pregnant. But for many women, the several weeks of not having to worry about pubic hair is worth the 10 to 30 minutes of discomfort.

That said, doing your own bikini or Brazilian wax while pregnant may not be a good idea. Not only will you have to get yourself in some weird (and probably uncomfortable) positions, but you’ll probably have a harder time seeing — and reaching — the area as your baby bump grows. A professional salon wax or sugar wax may be the better hair removal option for your bikini line during pregnancy.

Make sure the salon you choose is clean; the technician should wear gloves and use a new spatula between applications to prevent sharing germs. 

Before things start, let your esthetician know you’re pregnant so she knows to be extra gentle. Ask her to test wax on a small area of your skin to see if it reacts differently to waxing while pregnant. And use a soothing antiseptic lotion pre- and post-waxing to decrease irritation, lessen any redness and help prevent infection. 

Though sugar may seem more natural than wax, it can also cause the same skin irritations and infections — so proceed with the same precautions as waxing.

Hair removal creams and lotions

Although hair removal creams, gels, lotions, aerosols and roll-ons may seem like an easy option, the science is still out on whether they’re safe during pregnancy.

These products contain the active ingredients barium sulfide powder and calcium thioglycolate, which cause the hair to dissolve into a jelly-like mass that can be wiped away from the skin. 

The chemicals have a distinct odor, which is at least very unpleasant and in rare cases has been known to cause an allergic reaction. So while there’s no evidence proving depilatory creams are harmful to developing babies, it’s probably best to skip them until after you give birth.

If you feel you must use them, get the okay from your doctor first and make sure to apply on a well-ventilated area after testing the product on a small patch of skin.


While you may have masked unwanted hair growth with bleach in the past, you should avoid this hair removal method during pregnancy. Since it’s applied directly to your skin, there’s a chance you absorb some of the chemicals and possibly pass them on to your unborn child. 

Also, the many different skin changes during pregnancy can make your skin more sensitive and prone to irritation. The new acne on your face or heat rash in other areas, for example, would likely not react well to bleaching. Temporary skin color changes, like melasma and linea nigra (the dark line that runs from the navel to the pubic area), may make bleached hair more noticeable anyway.

Since no reliable studies have determined whether bleach is safe or not during pregnancy, it’s best to skip this option until your bundle of joy arrives.

Laser hair removal and electrolysis

With laser hair removal, laser light targets the pigment in hair, damaging the hair follicle to stop future growth. With electrolysis, a metal probe is inserted into the shaft where a hair grows, passing an electric current through your skin to destroy the follicle.

Bottom line: Since no reliable studies have been done to determine if either laser hair removal or electrolysis are safe for pregnant women, it’s best to wait on these methods until after giving birth.

Although the extra fuzziness you experience while you’re expecting can be annoying (and embarrassing when it shows up in certain places), the good news is there are several options for safe hair removal during pregnancy. And remember that your new hairiness is fleeting. Things should return to normal when your baby is about 6 months old.

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