Can you dye your hair when pregnant?

Many women often debate this when pregnant, while some avoid it completely others try to find a more natural or organic option. Research suggests the chemicals found in permanent and semi-permanent hair dyes are not very toxic and there have been studies that confirm dying hair is safe to do during pregnancy.

When getting your hair done only a small amount of dye is absorbed by the skin, leaving little that could reach the baby. Despite this, many women choose to wait until the 12th week of pregnancy to dye their hair, as the early stages of organ development are complete and the risk to your baby is lower. Physicians also recommend waiting until you reach the second trimester.

Your hair will go through changes during pregnancy including reacting differently to colouring and perming or becoming frizzy and unpredictable.

Using at-home hair dyes

If using a home hair dye, make sure to use gloves, only leave the dye in for the recommended minimum time, use a room with plenty of ventilation and rinse your scalp thoroughly after applying the dye.

Alternatives to traditional hair dyes

You can try natural hair dye alternatives including tomato juice, black walnut hull powder, henna, and vegetable dyes. A safe option is using a vegetable dye, but make sure to check if it contains chemical compounds that are found in man-made dyes.

Other options include having highlights, painting, or frosting your hair as these options are applied to the hair shafts and won’t be absorbed through your scalp.

Breastfeeding and hair dye

There is limited research on hair colouring while breastfeeding, but it’s thought to be safe for use. According to the experts at House Call Doctor, a small amount of the chemicals used will enter your bloodstream, but it’s unlikely that this will be in large enough quantities that could be passed on through breastmilk.

Overall, hair dyes are generally considered to be safe, but if you are worried either wait until after the first trimester or even after your pregnancy. You can also speak with your doctor if you are concerned.


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