I'm pregnant; If I color my hair, will it harm the baby?
Updated: Dec 19, 2019
All too often I get asked this question. There are so many do's and don'ts now when it comes to pregnancy that most women enter panic mode as soon as they see that blue line on the test and then a grey hair thinking 'how can I go nine months without coloring my hair?'. The short answer is you can.
In actual fact, most research that has been conducted on this topic has shown that coloring your hair (pasting color directly on the scalp) whilst pregnant CANNOT harm the baby. Yep, you heard that right folks; the baby will not be harmed. The reason? Your skin only absorbs the smallest amount of color. Think about it for a moment; if you have an all-over permanent or semi-permanent color done, your scalp doesn't stay the same color as what's been applied does it? Any stains you have soon fade away and the color is still firmly gripped to your hair. Color is designed to color hair, not your skin!
This small amount that is absorbed does not cause any harm to the baby. The same goes for breastfeeding. The amount of dye that your skin absorbs will not even reach your bloodstream and in turn, will not even reach the milk ducts let alone the baby.
If you are hesitant, there are a few things you can do.
1) Wait until your second trimester. Some physicians advise waiting until then and also make sure when you do have it done, you're in a well-ventilated room.
2) If doing your hair at home (again something I don't recommend because box dyes cause more harm than good, see this post) don't over-process the color. In other words, do not exceed the recommended time it's left on. Also, make sure you wear gloves.
3) Have highlights done instead. Highlights are great because they camouflage grey hair so you don't get that awful line as it grows out and of course no color will physically touch your scalp.
In truth, some hairdressers advise against color because pregnancy comes with serious hormone changes. These hormones are the things that are causing problems with dying hair. What I mean by this is the color may not take properly or may do something different to what it is intended to do because your hormones are through the roof!
Always remember to avoid home hair dyes and seek professional hairdressers advice when pregnant. This is because your hairdresser will know which formulas will work best on your hair without causing damage and coloring your hair in a safe environment.
So moral of the story; if you have a bun in the oven, please don't freak out about your greys. Just go speak to your hairdresser and get it sorted. And in turn, if you're lucky enough not to have grey hairs (and for this, we are all jealous!) and just fancy a change of color it's also fine. There's no point in looking like you haven't colored your hair for months when it's perfectly safe to have it done. Don't sacrifice looking fabulous because you're carrying another person in your belly. Be that yummy mummy and go pamper yourself. You deserve it!