Can I Dye My Hair During Pregnancy?

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Pregnancy brings about many changes in a woman’s body, but it doesn’t mean she has to stop doing everything she enjoys and prefers during this time. A woman’s physical appearance can influence how she feels about herself, and things like hairstyles and makeup can help lift a woman’s spirits about her outward changes if she is feeling stressed or questioning the new shape of her body. However, many women then ask: Can I dye my hair during pregnancy?

Hair Dying During Pregnancy

The short answer to the question Can I dye my hair during pregnancy? is yes. The long answer is yes, as long as you follow some basic safety guidelines and speak with your doctor about any of your concerns. There are several precautions you can take to minimize the risks that hair dye might pose to your developing baby.

Can you dye your hair while pregnant?

Image Courtesy of marin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Wait Until After the First Trimester to Color Your Hair.

If you are planning on becoming pregnant, this might mean you plan your coloring schedule well in advance, taking steps to minimize any drastic differences in hair roots that might appear while you wait it out through the first trimester. If you are a blonde but like to dye your hair darker, slowly and subtly lighten the color shades you choose before becoming pregnant so that you won’t notice as much as the roots grow out during this time. The reason why many physicians recommend not coloring your hair during the first trimester is because that is the time when the major organs are developing at their fastest rates and avoiding any chemical interference is probably the safest option.

Here’s 9 other tips for pregnant women who want to dye their hair during pregnancy:

  1. Consider foil highlights instead of overall color. Foil highlights help to minimize the contact that the dyes could potentially have on your skin.
  2. Consider all-natural coloring options, such as the vegetable based dye henna.
  3. Avoid excessive contact between the dye and your scalp. The dye amount used to color hair is usually insignificant when it comes to health-related risks during pregnancy. Therefore, reducing the amount of dye that comes in contact with your skin helps to even further minimize those risks.
  4. Wear rubber gloves during the dying process if you are doing it at home. This will help keep the chemicals from coming in contact with your skin.
  5. Dye your hair in well-ventilated area. The fumes from some hair dyes can be irritating to the lungs and potentially harmful when inhaled, especially in larger amounts. If you are having your hair colored at a salon, make your appointment for as early as possible during the day so that your exposure to all of the fumes in the salon is minimized.
  6. Look for dyes that contain little or no ammonia or peroxide, as these harsher chemicals tend to be more dangerous.
  7. Don’t leave the dye on for longer than absolutely necessary. When you reduce the coloring time you reduce the exposure time to the chemicals.
  8. Rinse your scalp thoroughly after dying to make sure that there is not prolonged skin contact.
  9. For most women in most situations, hair dying is not dangerous or harmful to their pregnancies, especially when these precautions are taken. If you have any questions about your personal health safety or that of your baby’s, ask your healthcare provider for recommendations.
[Featured Image Courtesy of marin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net]
Dr. Gareth Forde

About Dr. Gareth Forde

An obstetrician-gynecologist, a clinical professor, a researcher, and a father of five—and he delivered them all! He speaks and publishes extensively on maternal and child health issues, where he emphasizes the role of a healthy maternal lifestyle, good nutrition, and breastfeeding on infant development. He chose the field of obstetrics because it is a celebration of life, a happy and exciting profession. “Children are a blessing and they bring joy and laughter to the world,” he says. “I cherish my work, as a doctor and a dad.” The study of genetic imprinting is a major focus of both Dr. Forde’s research and medical practice. This looks at what happens in the womb, how the genes a baby inherits are expressed (turned on and off), and how this influences the child’s health after birth. “This field holds great promise, shedding light on many unsolved mysteries in health and disease from infancy to adulthood,” he adds. Dr. Forde grew up in London, England and Orlando, Florida. He received his medical degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School and is currently pursuing a fellowship in gynecologic oncology at the University of California, Irvine. Prior to this, he practiced with Grand Rapids Medical Education Partners, a consortium of Saint Mary’s Health Care, Spectrum Health, Grand Valley State University, and Michigan State University College of Human Medicine—where he was a clinical professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive biology. He also has a master’s in molecular and cellular biology from Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University; a Ph.D. in environmental science (computational chemistry) from Jackson State University; and a post-doctoral fellowship in biophysics from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, in New York.”