So, you’re pregnant – congratulations! Maybe this is your first pregnancy, and you’ve just realized what sacrifices you need to make to keep your unborn baby healthy. For example, no sushi or raw food, no high-heels, no alcoholic drinks, no hot tubs, little caffeine . . . the list goes on but does that mean you have to give up hair dye too?
While it may be frowned upon by some, dying hair while pregnant is not harmful. However, you must follow some rules and precautions, such as staying away from bleach, waiting until the second trimester, and opting for a natural or less toxic hair dye.
Here’s everything you need to know about coloring dying hair while pregnant!
Not enough studies have been done to show whether dying your hair is harmful to the baby. None of the specialists can tell you that you should go ahead and dye your hair without any worry. Hair dye contains chemicals, which can penetrate your skin and might get into your blood stream.
Is it Bad to Dye Your Hair During Pregnancy?
The short answer is no, it’s not harmful to dye your hair during pregnancy. In 2005, a study suggested that the chemicals contained in the hair dye can cause the unborn baby to suffer from a rare condition called Cancer ‘Neuroblastoma‘.
This disease affects the nervous system and can have unfortunate consequences. However, more studies that were done later, didn’t confirm these findings. So it seems as if there are no studies to support the negative effects of hair dying during pregnancy.
Other chemicals found in most hair dyes, such as paraphenylenediamine (PPD), resorcinol, and aminophenol, also have no significant risks to fetal development or birth defects.
While it’s safe to dye your hair throughout your pregnancy, you should always bring up your pregnancy to your hairstylist and your OBGYN before getting your hair done.
Risks Of Dying Hair During Pregnancy
Regardless if you’re pregnant or not, there are always risks when color treating your hair or undergoing a process that involves chemicals.
Some risks include:
- Allergic reactions
- Over-processing can lead to hair loss
- Asthma or increased breathing difficulties
- Increased cancer risk
As far as the risks to fertility, pregnancy, breastfeeding, or even trying to conceive, studies are inconsistent and inconclusive. While most scientific research suggests that there is no effect on an unborn child, other research states otherwise.
For example, hairdressers were most likely to obtain a fertility disorder than non-hairdressers because they were exposed to chemicals through styling, dying, and perming daily.
Other studies stated that there were no teratogenic effects for pregnant women exposed to chemicals in hair products.
Precautions For Dying Hair While Pregnant
Although there is mixed evidence on whether dying hair while pregnant is safe, experts generally agree that using hair dye and styling products is safe.
But, you should always take the required precautions.
Read All Labels and Instructions Carefully
Regardless of whether your hair dye states that it’s natural or organic, the process of dying your hair is to lift color or change the pigment of your existing color. During the coloring process, your hair goes through an oxidation process that damages your hair follicles.
Some women notice their hair becomes dry and brittle during pregnancy. Ingredients like ammonia and peroxide are lightning agents that will damage your hair. These ingredients can make you dizzy and lightheaded and could harm your unborn baby if you’re not getting enough fresh air.
Wait Until Your Second Trimester
During the first trimester, your unborn baby grows all its essential organs, such as the brain, heart, and spinal cord. Miscarriages are most common in the first three months of any pregnancy.
Once the second trimester starts, it’s safer to consider dying your hair. On the plus side, this gives you time to do your research and be fully prepared for the hair dying process.
Speak to a Hair Professional
Keep a list of the hair products you intend to use, and speak to your hairstylist. A professional will be able to tell you what is safe or not and may recommend alternative products.
Speak With a Doctor or OBGYN
After you have spoken to a hair specialist, you’ll want to get a checkup from your doctor to ensure it’s safe to undergo a hair coloring process. If your pregnancy already has complications, you’ll want to avoid unsafe procedures, especially when using chemicals.
Know When to Seek Immediate Help
During the process of hair coloring, watch for immediate signs of danger, such as:
- Extreme dizziness
- Irregular or fast heartbeat
- Burning sensation on the scalp or skin
- Difficulty breathing
- Extreme panic or fear
If you notice any of these signs, wash the product from your hair immediately and call your doctor.
Hair Coloring Alternatives During Pregnancy
Hair dye and styling do not have to be a thing of the past during pregnancy. However, you’ll want to ensure that you take the safest route possible when coloring or putting chemicals onto your body.
Some safe alternatives are as follows:
Safe hair colors include colors that don’t require bleaching before depositing color. For example, if you want to go darker, browns and blacks are safe colors to use during pregnancy.
Stick to the primary hair colors such as dirty blonde, reds, browns, and golds. If you’d like a bolder color or to lighten your undertones, you can try using these natural alternatives:
You won’t find a hair dye that doesn’t include any harmful chemicals or ingredients as these are necessary to change your hair color. However, some dyes consist of gentler plant-based formulas and ammonia-free ingredients.
Some of these alternatives include:
Cruelty-free Hair Coloring
Cruelty-free hair dyes are generally safer because they contain fewer toxic substances that may be harmful.
Some cruelty-free brands are:
How to Reduce Chemical Exposure From Dyes While Pregnant
While you should always take precautions during hair coloring, it’s even more crucial to try your best to reduce chemical exposure while you’re pregnant. Following these recommendations can help keep you and your baby safe.
To avoid chemical exposure from seeping into your skin, always ensure you wear protective materials, like gloves and a towel or neck protectant. Latex-free and plastic gloves are available in most local stores and salons.
Dye In A Well Ventilated Area
Have someone help dye or bleach your hair outside if it’s a nice day. Dying your hair in a well-ventilated area reduces the exposure to inhaling toxic fumes used in hair dye, such as ammonia and peroxide.
Opt For a Safe Hair coloring
Hair coloring techniques such as balayage, ombre, or tip coloring reduce the chemical exposure from your scalp. These options are safer because there is less chance hair dye or hair bleach will come into contact with your skin and scalp.
Do Not Color If You Have Cuts or Scratches
As important as avoiding contact with your skin is, it’s exponentially more crucial to avoid using hair bleach and toxic chemicals on open wounds.
Dying over cuts and burns will increase the risk of chemical dyes seeping into your bloodstream. Sometimes, pregnant women get itchy scalps caused by dandruff and air pollutants.
Can You Color Your Hair While Breastfeeding?
Yes, it’s considered safe to dye, bleach, or style your hair while nursing. Chemicals in permanent or semi-dyes are less toxic, so they are less likely to enter your bloodstream. Although some chemicals may enter your bloodstream, very minuscule traces are found.
Frequently Asked Questions
When you’re not sure, it’s best to speak with a professional about your concerns and questions. However, here are some common questions pregnant people ask about hair dye.
What type of hair dye is safe for pregnant women?
The best pregnancy-safe hair dyes are dyes containing little or no ammonia traces, such as the natural alternatives stated above. Look for cruelty-free and vegan-friendly hair dyes if possible.
What hair chemicals to avoid during pregnancy?
Not all beauty products are safe for a growing fetus. These products include ingredients, such as:
- Artificial fragrances
Should you go to a salon or use box dye while pregnant?
If you choose to dye your hair at home, ensure you’re following all precautions and reducing chemical exposure as best as possible. Although to avoid accidents, you may want to opt for a salon visit. Both are safe options.
Can you bleach your hair during pregnancy?
Yes, it’s safe to use hair bleach during pregnancy.
Do hair dye chemicals enter the bloodstream while dying hair?
While some evidence shows hair chemicals can enter the bloodstream, it’s unlikely.
Can you perm or relax your hair during pregnancy?
It’s safe to get a perm or relax your hair during pregnancy, although it’s safer the further along you are. Ensure you perm or relax hair during the second trimester.
Can dying your hair while pregnant cause birth defects?
It’s improbable that hair dye or bleach will cause birth defects. There is not enough evidence that proves otherwise.
So, is dying hair while pregnant safe? You can dye, perm, relax, bleach, and color your hair during pregnancy, provided that you follow all precautions and reduce the risks of chemical exposure.
If you’re ever uncertain, bring your concerns up to your OBGYN and your hairstylist, as they are more suited to answer specific questions regarding the safety of your unborn child.