When I was around 10 weeks pregnant, my fiance gently suggested that I might need to borrow his razor. I burst into tears. Partly because of the pregnancy hormones and partly because he was correct. I was growing hair on my chin. I had visions of turning into Conchita Wurst, the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2014 and I sobbed uncontrollably as I stood over the bathroom sink going over my face with a razor, man-style.
However, the benefit of a good cry is that once you’ve finished bawling and feeling vulnerable you have more resolve to fight back. I’ve always believed that if you don’t like something to do with your appearance, then you are responsible for changing it. Besides, I figured I couldn’t be the only pregnant person to suffer excess hair growth, and non-pregnant women have to battle facial hair with bleach, waxing, threading, IPL and other methods. I bet the Kardashians would all be Hairy Mary’s if they hadn’t had laser hair but they do it in private so they can present a flawless image to the world.
So why am I opening up about my beard to the world? It’s partly because I want to find out if anyone out there is experiencing the same things and I can only do that if I’m honest about what I’m going through. It’s also partly because I want to comfort other women who may be finding their hairy appearance as tiresome as I am. Since that 10 week mark, I’ve noticed my hair has become thicker and darker on my arms and all over my belly and I’m starting to wonder if pregnancy has turned me into a werewolf.
However, I’ve done the crying and now it’s time for action. I read up on the dos and don’ts of hair removal in pregnancy and I’m happy to say it’s currently Zoe – 1, Embarrassing Hair – 0.
- Use hair removal creams or gels. These products contain the active ingredients barium sulfide powder and calcium thioglycolate, which affect the protein structure of the hair, causing it to dissolve into a jellylike 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 giving birth.
- Bleach. 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.
- Try laser hair removal or 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 (and this is especially risky for expecting mums, since the amniotic fluid surrounding a developing fetus conducts electricity).
- Shave. There are lots of myths that shaving causes hair to grow back thicker. Shaving gives hair a blunt tip so you may notice a blunt tip if you let it grow back but if you keep on top of the shaving, you’ll never notice it grow back. I like to do it every day after getting out the shower and I change my razor fortnightly to make sure its sharp.
- Waxing / sugaring – these are great for long-term hair removal but some ladies find their skin is more sensitive during pregnancy. Thankfully I don’t have a problem with rashes / acne on my face but if you do then you may want to give waxing a miss as it can irritate your skin if its sensitive. It just depends on how fragile your skin is.
- Threading. I treat myself to threading once every three weeks when I get my eyebrows done at the same time. I find that it leaves me hair-free for a week, so I need to shave in between visits but I do feel great for that week.
Have you found you’re more hairy in pregnancy? How are you treating it? Please share tips with me – comment below, find us on Facebook or Tweet @babyvipsblog