Can you dye your hair during pregnancy? Here's what mums-to-be need to know

Mums-to-be usually ask: Can I dye my hair during pregnancy?

There are a lot of women who shy away from styling or colouring their hair when they are pregnant. This is because of the belief that whatever you put on your scalp eventually gets absorbed by the body.

If it’s chemicals that you are putting there, there are good chances that these may get absorbed into the body and get transferred to the foetus through the blood. This can jeopardise the baby’s health and therefore is not recommended.

However, it is not necessary for you to forgo all beauty treatments when you are pregnant. Certain treatments may be deemed safe by your medical practitioner.

Hair dye during pregnancy

A person uses hair dye to change the colour of their hair. Hair dye is available in three varieties: permanent, semi-permanent, and temporary.

  1. Permanent hair colour is the most difficult to achieve and lasts months with little to no fading.
  2. Semi-permanent colour lasts a few weeks and can be used at home to cover up greys between salon appointments.
  3. Temporary hair colour is often applied as a spray and fades after one or two washes.

There are also other methods for applying hair colour. A root touch-up is when you apply dye to your roots to match the colour of your hair. This is typically used to conceal grey hair.

This is a single process in which one colour is applied to lighten or darken the hair. Individual strands are “painted” to produce dimension and contrast in highlights, lowlights, and balayage.

As a pregnant woman, you’re inundated with advice about how to have a safe and good pregnancy. Everything you do and eat can have an impact on your unborn child.

Hair treatments during pregnancy are frequently discussed. Most treatments contain chemicals and dyes, leaving women concerned about their safety.

Hair dyes can contain potentially dangerous chemicals. These chemicals can be absorbed via the skin when applied to the hair.

According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, many specialists believe that hair dye is benign to a foetus. According to animal studies, the scalp absorbs only trace amounts of the substances.

Permanent dyes may have more potent ingredients than semi-permanent or temporary dyes. There is, however, no proof that the permanence of hair colour makes it more dangerous to a foetus.

Can I dye my hair during pregnancy?

Yes, you can dye your hair during pregnancy.

The good news is that hair colours are not highly poisonous, so colouring your hair while pregnant is safe. This is true regardless of whether you use a semi-permanent or permanent dye.

According to the NHS in the UK:

“Most research, although limited, shows it’s safe to colour your hair while pregnant. Some studies have found that very high doses of the chemicals in hair dyes may cause harm.

However, these doses are massive compared with the very few chemicals a woman is exposed to when colouring her hair.”

The majority of specialists agree that you can colour your hair while pregnant. Hair dyes can contain potentially dangerous chemicals. These chemicals can be absorbed via the skin when applied to the hair.

Hair dyeing is considered safe when pregnant, especially in the second and third trimesters. Because most hair colours have little contact with your scalp, the likelihood of any chemicals entering your bloodstream and, thereby, your baby is low.

During treatment, small quantities of hair colour may go on your skin. Although dye may come into contact with the skin on your forehead or scalp, only a small amount of the chemical is absorbed.

Because it is a small amount, the chemical is unlikely to harm your baby’s developing body.

The infant is not at risk, especially in the second and third trimesters. It is an optional beauty treatment that may help you feel more like yourself while your body transforms.

Talk to your healthcare provider about what is best for you and your pregnancy.

Why do you lose hair during pregnancy?

Hair loss caused by pregnancy usually happens after birth. Hair loss during pregnancy is uncommon, but it’s still normal.

An increased number of hairs enter the resting phase during pregnancy, part of the regular hair loss cycle.

When most women are pregnant, their hair becomes thicker and fuller. Hair loss, often in huge volumes, is much more prevalent following your child’s birth than when you are pregnant.

This condition is not severe enough to result in bald spots or permanent hair loss, and it should fade within three to four months of delivery.

If you notice unexpected hair loss while pregnant, it could be related to a vitamin or mineral deficiency.

There isn’t a lot of information available about hair loss during pregnancy. One explanation is that hair dries out due to the hormone progesterone, abundant during pregnancy.

If this is the case, your hair will be more prone to cracking and breaking, particularly later in the pregnancy.

It may appear to be hair loss because it breaks off near the roots, but it isn’t. In either case, this can be highly upsetting.

In the meantime, try the following measures to protect your hair:

  • Avoid over-brushing your hair. This can help to prevent further harm.
  • Apply a gentle shampoo and conditioner.
  • Use a detangling brush or comb on wet hair.
  • Only occasionally wear your hair in a ponytail or bun, as this might cause it to pull and break more easily.
  • Avoid using artificial colours or straightening procedures. They might degrade the condition of your hair, making it drier and brittle.

Can I wash my hair while pregnant?

Despite myths that washing your hair during pregnancy will rid your baby of good fortune, it’s perfectly safe to wash it all throughout your pregnancy.

You don’t need to change shampoo or other products, but since our skin, including our scalp, is highly sensitive during this period, you might want to choose hair products that do not contain harsh chemicals that might cause irritation and might be potentially harmful to the baby.

If you have dandruff or an itchy scalp, consult your doctor first before using prescription cortisone shampoo. She might also be able to give you a safer alternative.

How to safely colour your hair during pregnancy

Generally, dyeing your hair while pregnant is safe. However, you should still take care to reduce the chance of harming your unborn baby.

Here are some safety tips to consider if you want to dye your hair during pregnancy:

1. Wait until you’re in your second trimester

Because hair grows quicker while pregnant, you may require more root touchups during these nine months.

Some doctors advise against dyeing hair during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy to reduce the risk of injury to a growing foetus.

You should not tint your hair until your second trimester. During the first trimester, there is rapid growth and development.

During this period, it is critical to establish a safe environment for your child.

2. Choose alternative hair treatment options

Hair dye is generally safe during pregnancy, but it never hurts to be cautious. If you’re worried about potential side effects, use gentler hair treatments to reduce chemical exposure.

Rather than dying your complete head of hair, consult with your hairdresser about highlights, frosting, or streaking to avoid getting dye on your scalp or skin.

3. Select a safer hair colour

Permanent hair colour may yield the best results but is not the only colour choice. Choose an ammonia-free or bleach-free semi-permanent hair colour for a safer treatment during pregnancy.

Although semi-permanent hair colour does not last as long as permanent hair colour, it can decrease exposure to chemicals and carcinogens.

This can provide you peace of mind while you’re expecting. Natural vegetable and henna hair colours are also safer options.

Other methods of reducing chemical exposure

While it is best to avoid any chemical exposure during pregnancy due to the limited studies done, if you must dye your hair, it is recommended that you do so only after the first trimester is over.

Holding it off till the baby’s organs have begun developing can avoid the risk of harmful effects on the baby.

To reduce the risk even further, opt for chemical-free products. Consult a reputable hair stylist with experience in safely colouring pregnant women’s hair.

If you want to dye your hair yourself during pregnancy, you can reduce the risk further by making sure you:

1. Wear gloves

2. Leave the dye on for the minimum time

3. Work in a well-ventilated room

4. Rinse your scalp once the dye is applied

Henna and other semi-permanent pure vegetable dyes are safe alternatives.

Keep in mind that pregnancy can have an impact on the normal state of your hair. For instance, your hair may react differently to colouring or perming or become more or less absorbent, frizzy, or erratic.

Change your hair colour if it makes you feel better. Getting a hair treatment while pregnant is unlikely to harm your unborn child. But, as a word of caution, don’t put hair colour all over your head immediately.

It is also always a good idea to do a strand test first, using the hair dye or treatment you intend to use. Speak to your hairdresser for advice.

ALSO READ: Journey to motherhood: How to write a pregnancy journal

This article was first published in theAsianparent.


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