A hair coloring session may have been a regular affair with you till the time you conceived. However, whether you are allowed to dye your hair during pregnancy is a different matter, be it at home or a salon. There are several things to know about and consider.
Is it safe to dye your hair while pregnant: Studies and research?
A research says that dying your hair while pregnant may be bad. It states that babies born to women using hair dye a month before conception and all through pregnancy are at risk of suffering from neuroblastoma (cancer affecting the nervous system).
It also mentioned temporary hair dyes are more harmful than permanent ones. However, this seems a little surprising as the former does not enter beyond the hair shaft, while the latter has always been linked to cancer formation.
However, according to OTIS (Organization of Teratology Information Specialists), studies conducted on pregnant animals showed that the chemicals contained in permanent and semi-permanent dyes are nontoxic, not harming the fetus since only a little amount of it gets absorbed into the skin. It also shows no changes in human pregnancies due to dying hair.
Women who work as cosmetologists may be at a greater risk because of the long duration and adverse working conditions. One study highlighted high miscarriage chances for women applying an increased amount of bleach and dye, as well as for those working for over 40 hours every week.
Can you get your hair colored while pregnant?
Due to the contradictory findings, there is no way yet to come to a concrete conclusion. As a result, many prefer to go for natural hair colors during this time.
Hair dying might still affect your pregnancy if you do not take proper precautions. It is safe to have a word with your doctor, who will tell you the pros and cons of coloring your hair and the proper time to do it.
Avoid ammonia dyes, as they may be toxic for you and might harm the fetus.
Hair dye and pregnancy: When is it okay and when is it not
Early pregnancy (First trimester): The initial 12 weeks is the most crucial stage as the baby’s major organs begin to develop. The slightest complication may pose a great threat to the unborn baby. Hence it is best to refrain from dying your hair at this time.
Late pregnancy (Second and third trimester): If you still want to go ahead, this is a suitable time for hair coloring as your baby is much more mature now. Make sure you have received a positive nod from your doctor.
Safety and precautions for coloring your hair during pregnancy
- Opt for frosting or highlighting instead of coloring your full hair so that your scalp does not have to come in contact with the chemicals.
- Choose an airy and well-ventilated place.
- Read the instructions given on the package properly.
- Go through a patch test to check for allergic reactions, or try with a strand first to see if your hair adjusts to the dye well.
- Wear protective latex gloves if you are home-dying your hair to prevent harmful chemicals from entering your skin.
- Rinse your scalp thoroughly after applying the dye.
- Leave the dye for longer than what is mentioned in the package.
- Dye your eyelashes and eyebrows as it can result in swelling and infection in the region around the eyes.
What kind of hair colors are safe during pregnancy?
Ammonia-free hair dyes like Olia and natural ones like vegetable dye and henna are considered pregnancy-friendly hair colors as they are devoid of harmful chemicals. Check the package before purchasing them since even the natural ones might have synthetic chemicals.
The brown henna is believed to be better than the black one since the latter has para-phenylenediamine, a dye more likely to cause allergic reactions.
Can you dye your hair while breastfeeding?
Like pregnancy, there is a lack of sufficient information regarding the effects of hair color during breastfeeding. But, according to experts, only a scanty amount of the chemicals may reach the bloodstream. Hence chances of it reaching the milk are negligible. Moreover, women using dyes when nursing have not reported any adverse effects.
Dr. Mashiach has completed his MD at the Sackler School of Medicine, TAU; specialization in gynecology at the Lis Maternity and Women’s Hospital, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center; fellowship in Endoscopy at the Polyclinique de I’Hotel-Dieu, Universite d’Auvergne, Clermont, France.
He is a Senior Physician, Director of the Department of Gynecology, which provides routine and preventative care services to its patients and a full range of gynecological surgical procedures for adequately managing its patients with benign gynecologic disorders.
He offers advanced care in all gynecological subspecialties such as Urogynecology, Colposcopy, Fetal Loss Clinic, and Post Menopausal Clinic.