Is It Safe to Color Your Hair While You’re Pregnant?

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Expectant mothers often wonder how their regular practices and activities may affect their unborn babies. Like many pregnant women, the health and safety of your baby can be a major concern during your pregnancy. Common beauty practices, such as dying and bleaching your hair, may cause you to think twice before exposing your baby and yourself to the strong chemicals these procedures often require.


Hair Dye Safety Levels

Most hair dyes don’t require the same level of safety testing as other cosmetic color additives. While most manufacturers no long use ingredients known to cause cancer in animals, chemicals made almost the same way have replaced some of the cancer-causing compounds, notes the National Women’s Health Information, and some experts believe the new ingredients are very similar to what they replaced.

Absorption

Although the chemicals in hair dyes aren’t usually evaluated for their effects on fetal development, only a small amount of these chemicals actually absorb into your skin, according to the American Pregnancy Association. However, many health care providers advise women to wait until after their third month of pregnancy to use permanent hair dyes.

Fumes

Permanent hair dyes are those that don’t rinse out over time; these may contain ammonia. Ammonia produces chemical fumes with strong odors. The American Pregnancy Association warns that there are some concerns that breathing the fumes might harm your developing baby. Choosing alternative products to color your hair may help alleviate some of your worries over the ingredients in permanent hair dyes.

Alternatives

If you don’t want to neglect the color of your hair during your pregnancy, consider using semi-permanent and temporary hair colors. While these products eventually rinse out of your hair, they can help you maintain your usual hair shade until after the birth of your baby. Have your hairstylist help you match your permanent color to a similar shade in a semi-permanent or temporary solution.

Safety Measures

Consult your doctor before using strong chemicals during pregnancy, including those in permanent hair dyes. When using hair dyes, follow the safety precautions on the product, performing the allergy test prior to coloring your hair. Complete the coloring treatment in a well-ventilated area to reduce the possibility of inhaling chemical fumes. Wear gloves to protect the skin on your hands and rinse your hair and scalp thoroughly to remove all traces of remaining residue. Avoid mixing different hair dye products when experimenting with various colors.

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