I think it’s safe to say that all women want to look and feel great even when they are rocking a baby bump. Unfortunately, as soon as that extra line appears on the pregnancy test, there are some extra precautions we need to take to protect ourselves and our unborn baby.
When coloring your hair, there are many chemicals involved that could put unnecessary risk into your beauty goals. I’ve done a good amount of research on the topic of hair treatments during pregnancy, and I’ve found that dying and bleaching hair can pose some risks.
Don’t panic though, you still can get your hair colored and styled while keeping you and your baby safe and sound if you keep in mind a few safety tips, which I’ve listed for you here.
Choose Natural Hair Dyes and Gentle Bleaching Products
Is it bad to dye your hair when pregnant? Not always, but there are several chemicals and product ingredients you’ll want to avoid, like phenylenediamines, parabens, formaldehyde, and a handful of others that are equally unpronounceable.
Chemicals like these can often cause allergic reactions, which can happen more often as your skin becomes increasingly sensitive during pregnancy.
Some chemicals found in hair dye are also known as endocrine disruptors. Endocrine disruptors are increasingly thought to be linked to the development of learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, and other cognitive and brain development problems. Endocrine disruptors are also believed to cause several cancers, deformations of the body and other nasty things; the list goes on and on.
Of course the potential side effects of these chemicals isn’t fully researched. It’s safe to say that all of these risks are increased when you’re pregnant, and many moms are not willing to risk a lifetime of developmental issues for some cool ombre locks that last a few months at best.
To be safe, choose a safe hair dye product that uses only natural ingredients, like henna powder or a semi-permanent dye. For more information about hair dye chemicals, check out this article about safe hair dye products for pregnant women you can find here. In that mini-guide, they list out the chemicals to avoid and give you three safe color at home options to choose from, so do go check that out especially if you’re planning on dying your hair at home.
If bleaching or lightening your hair is needed to get the color you’re looking for, again caution is needed. Common hair bleach contains hydrogen peroxide and possibly ammonia. While the amount of these chemicals used in one or two bleaching sessions is generally safe, you may want to look for, or ask your hairdresser to use a gentler bleaching solution. For more information about how to choose a gentler hair bleaching product click here.
Wait Until Your Second Trimester
Although it’s generally considered safe to dye your hair while pregnant, especially when using natural hair dyes as mentioned above, many doctors advise expecting women to wait until the beginning of the second trimester.
The first reason to wait is that the first trimester is where a lot of the most important development happens for your baby. During the first 12 weeks organs are appearing, muscles and vocal chords are growing, nail beds and hair follicles are developing, just to name a few of the many miracles happening in your body at any given moment.
Waiting until after the first trimester can also help guarantee your best hair results. With all of those pregnancy hormones racing through your body, your hair may be growing faster than ever (like you didn’t have enough going on).
Your hair may even have a different texture and colour than you’re used to after the first month of pregnancy. Giving yourself a few months to get used to your new hair and let your hormones regulate (as much as they can during pregnancy) can help make sure you walk out of the salon looking the way you plan.
Choose the Most Secure Services
If you’re set on using commercial hair dyes or having your hair done professionally at a salon, you may want to evaluate the treatment you choose. Single-process colour refers to root touch-ups and root-to-tip colour changes, which means the dye is applied to the hair and scalp. When dye is applied to the scalp directly the pores in your skin are able to absorb the chemicals, and can at that point enter your bloodstream easier.
For a safer alternative, try techniques that apply the color straight to the hair shaft, such as highlights, lowlights, frosting, and streaks. Doing highlights through a streaking cap and then bleaching and/or dying it is not as popular as it was a few decades ago, but it’s a good method to try out when pregnant as the cap will protect your scalp from the products you’re using.
Getting your hair colored and styled doesn’t have to be a stressful event during pregnancy, but it should be approached with some planning and consideration. With just a few minor adjustments — choosing more natural and gentle products, waiting until the second trimester, and choosing safer techniques — you can get the locks you love and do so virtually risk free.