Is it safe to use bleaching products for body hair during pregnancy?

It should be fine to bleach your body hair during pregnancy. There’s no evidence that using bleaching products will harm your unborn baby.

Hair bleaching products contain dilute hydrogen peroxide mixed with ammonium hydroxide.

If you are exposed to hydrogen peroxide, it’s unlikely to harm your baby, because it’s rapidly broken down, with only a tiny amount getting into your body.

Ammonium hydroxide is a solution of ammonia and water. It’s a commonly occurring chemical that is used in many household cleaning products.

The ammonium hydroxide reacts with hydrogen peroxide to produce the bleaching effect.

You may find your hair growth increases during pregnancy. This extra growth is triggered by hormone changes. Your hair growth should return to normal within six months after you’ve had your baby.

If you are worried about using bleaching products for your body hair, you can give yourself peace of mind by not using them during the first trimester. You may want to remove the hair instead, by shaving, waxing or using a cream. You can always go back to bleaching after your baby is born.

If you choose to bleach your facial or body hair during pregnancy, follow these safety steps:

  • Read the manufacturer’s instructions on the packet carefully before applying the bleach.
  • Don’t use the bleach on swollen or broken skin.
  • Always do a patch test on a small area before you use the bleach, even if you used the product before you were pregnant. Your skin can become more sensitive during pregnancy and the bleach may irritate your skin. Stop using it immediately if you have any kind of reaction to it.
  • Make sure the room is well aired. Hair bleach can have a strong smell that you may find unpleasant, particularly if you’re feeling queasy.
  • Don’t keep the product on your skin any longer than is necessary. Leave it on for the minimum time suggested on the instructions.

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