Dyeing your hair while pregnant isn't a huge risk — here's how to minimize side effects
- The research is mixed, but experts tentatively agree that it is safe to dye your hair while you're pregnant, especially after the first trimester.
- Plant-based dyes such as henna or other all-natural hair dyes cut down on the risk posed by chemicals.
- Use hair coloring procedures that don't touch your roots, such as balayage or foil highlights, to further avoid any chemicals coming into direct contact with your scalp.
View all Offers
- 31% OFF
Apple iPhone XR (64GB) - Black₹ 32999₹ 47900Buy On
- 48% OFF
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 (Mystic Bronze, 8GB RAM, 256GB Storage) with No Cost EMI/Additional Exchange Offers₹ 44999₹ 86000Buy On
- 17% OFF
Redmi Note 10 Pro Max (Glacial Blue, 6GB RAM, 128GB Storage) -108MP Quad Camera|120Hz Super Amoled Display₹ 18999₹ 24999Buy On
- 14% OFF
Apple iPhone 11 (64GB) - Black₹ 41999₹ 49900Buy On
- 18% OFF
Redmi 9 Power (Mighty Black 4GB RAM 64GB Storage) - 6000mAh Battery |FHD+ Screen | 48MP Quad Camera | Alexa Hands-Free Capable₹ 11499₹ 13999Buy On
While the research is mixed, experts tentatively agree that it is safe to dye your hair while you're pregnant, especially after the first trimester. However, there are some caveats and a lot of unknowns.
Here's what you need to know about dyeing your hair while pregnant and the precautions to take to keep you and your baby healthy.
Is hair dye safe during pregnancy?
Hair dyes often contain a lot of chemicals, including ammonia, parabens, phthalates, and hydrogen peroxide, says Kimberly Lang don, MD, an OB-GYN at Medzino, an online service connecting patients to doctors and pharmacies. When you're pregnant, you want to minimize your exposure to any toxic ingredients.
However, when it comes to hair dye, only a small amount of chemicals get absorbed through the scalp. This means that the risk of those chemicals entering your bloodstream and reaching your baby is minimal. For this reason, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists states that hair coloring during pregnancy is not toxic.
That said, it's worth mentioning some of the limited studies that have found some risk in using hair dyes while pregnant:
- A 2005 study found a moderately raised risk of neuroblastoma (a type of nervous tissue tumor) in the children of 538 mothers who had used any kind of hair dye around pregnancy compared with 504 mothers who did not. Temporary hair dye had a stronger associated risk of neuroblastoma than permanent hair dye. A 2014 study found similar results, but researchers from both studies believe there should be more investigation.
- There also are mixed results regarding hair dye and the development of testicular germ cell tumors in the sons of mothers who dyed their hair while pregnant. Although a 2018 study did not find a link, a more recent 2020 study found testicular germ cell tumors were more common among children with mothers who had been exposed to synthetic chemicals in barbecued foods and hair dye while pregnant.
How can I color my hair safely while pregnant?
You should always check with your OB-GYN first before dyeing your hair while pregnant. Once you and your OB-GYN have discussed it, here are a few ways to make hair dyeing as safe as possible:
- Wait until after your first trimester to get your hair colored, says Lauren Demosthenes, MD, a senior medical director with Babyscripts. This is when your unborn baby is rapidly developing, so it's an ideal time to err on the side of caution. After the first trimester, the risk of harm to your baby is a lot smaller.
- Skip the hair dye if you have any cuts in the skin on your scalp. Those cuts could increase the chance of chemicals getting absorbed into your skin and your bloodstream.
- Use plant-based dyes such as henna or other all-natural dyes. Langdon says these can cut down on the risk posed by chemicals. Ask your hairstylist what's used in the salon's hair dye. Or, if you're DIYing it at home, read the ingredients list before you choose a kit.
- Use hair coloring procedures such as balayage or foil highlights that won't touch your roots. These methods help to avoid chemicals coming into direct contact with your scalp, says Langdon.
- Practice some common sense for hair coloring at home. Wear gloves, only leave the dye on for the amount of time recommended by the instructions, and rinse your scalp thoroughly afterward. These practices are smart any time you dye your hair, even if you're not pregnant.
- Keep COVID-19 risk in mind if you go to a salon. You don't want the double whammy of worrying about hair coloring and the coronavirus. To minimize your risk, go at a time when the salon is less busy, says Lynn L. Simpson, MD, an OB-GYN and the Hillary Rodham Clinton Professor of Women's
Healthat Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Make sure that both you and your hairstylist wear masks and use good hand hygiene.
- Color your hair in a well-ventilated room. Better ventilation can lower your chances of breathing in chemicals, which may be harmful to you and your developing baby. Better ventilation also lowers your risk of contracting COVID-19. At home, this means using an open area where you have a fan on or windows open. At a salon, avoiding crowds can help with healthier air circulation.
Hair dye while nursing
There's very little research that focuses on the use of hair dye while nursing, Langdon says. Health experts generally believe that it's fine to color your hair while breastfeeding because the amount of chemicals that could reach your breastmilk is likely insignificant.
If you want to dye your hair while pregnant, it's probably best to wait until after the first trimester. Moreover, make sure to dye your hair in a well-ventilated area and avoid dyeing the roots to minimize your risk of chemical exposure as much as possible.
You should be able to feel and look your best during pregnancy, Simpson says. That said, don't do anything if it makes you feel uncomfortable.
Even though the chemicals in hair dye are likely safe, it's always better while pregnant to use plant-based dyes to minimize your risk of chemical exposure. Whether you choose to color your hair at home or a salon, do it in a well-ventilated area and follow all instructions on how to use hair dye properly.
Related stories about pregnancy:
- How to reduce your pregnancy nausea
- A study found there's no safe amount of coffee for pregnant women, conflicting with national health guidelines
- Yes, Tylenol is safe for pregnancy. Here's the right dosage
- Yes, you can get a flu shot while pregnant. Here's the best time to get it.
- Doctors debunk the 25 biggest pregnancy myths
- Income tax department updates Form 26AS, now includes mutual fund purchases, foreign remittances and more
- IPOs opening on November 1: SJS Enterprises and chemical maker Sigachi industries
- ‘Don’t ban Web3 games’ — 29 blockchain game studios and groups write an open letter to Valve to revert ban on NFT games
- PhonePe's new campaign featuring Aamir Khan and Alia Bhatt showcases the ease of buying insurance on the platform
- Indian equities fall led by global cues and weakness in ICICI Bank, ITC, HDFC Bank, ONGC