Pregnancy is not an excuse to eat for two, stop exercising, and wear frumpy clothes. We now know that a mother’s health habits–or lack of–during pregnancy affect her child, all the way from conception and for the rest of his life! And with that knowledge in mind, doctors now give women weight gain guidelines and exercise modifications to follow from the first trimester through to the early postpartum months.
Along with the information we have learned, the way the pregnant body is viewed has changed. Maternity wardrobes have evolved over the years. While women at one point in history did all they could to conceal their growing bellies, women today proudly show off their emerging bumps. Who says you can’t dress fashionably during pregnancy? In fact, some women feel better about their bodies during pregnancy than at any other time of their lives! And if you’re going to look good, let’s not forget to talk about your hair!
So here’s the question: since we’re talking about looking your best during pregnancy, do you need to give up dying your hair for nine months? Is hair dye dangerous to your unborn child? Let’s take a look at the recommendations that are currently in place for dying your hair during pregnancy.
General Hair Dying Recommendations During Pregnancy
The small amount of research that has been done on hair dying during pregnancy has determined that the chemicals found in hair dye are not highly toxic to your unborn child. Research has shown that only small amounts of hair dye are absorbed through the skin when a woman is having her hair colored which means that only trace amounts actually reach the fetus.
The most recent information suggests that hair dye does not cause miscarriage. However, pregnant women who spend full-time hours inhaling salon-type chemicals are at an increased risk for miscarriage in the first trimester.
We also know that pregnancy changes many things in the body, including your hair. These changes mean that your hair might respond differently to color, even the color you might regularly get. Although many women usually skip the testing step, it’s best not to skip it during pregnancy. Take the extra time to do a patch test, coloring an inconspicuous area of your hair and skin, and monitor closely for any unusual reactions.
To Be On The Safe Side, Take These Precautions
Although dying your hair is thought to be safe, you can follow the more cautious advice that suggests you only dye your hair during the second and third trimesters. The first trimester is when all the minute details of baby-building happen. So it’s best to avoid as many toxins as possible during the first 12 to 14 weeks.
If you do choose to color, make sure the area you are in is well ventilated. Ideally, have a window open or have a ventilating fan on. If you have been unusually sensitive to smells during your pregnancy, you might find the odor of hair color especially hard to stand.
- Carefully follow the instructions on the packaging.
- Don’t massage the dye into your scalp – try to focus on massaging it into your hair.
- Leave the dye on your hair only as long as recommended and rinse generously with water.
- Wear the gloves provided to minimize your contact with the dye.
If you’re not sure about dying your hair during pregnancy, you still have two other options to consider.
You can look for a more natural dye, such as an organic product. Organic dyes are thought to be safer to use during pregnancy since they don’t contain the usual chemicals such as parabens, ammonia, and other synthetic ingredients.
You can also consider sticking with highlights. In this way, you can limit the amount of skin that is exposed to the hair coloring.
You do not need to give up coloring your hair when you are pregnant, but the choice is yours. If you don’t feel comfortable dying when you’re pregnant, you can err on the side of caution. It will not be the first time you will have to follow your mom-instinct. And if luck is on your side, you may be one of the pregnant ladies who grows thicker, shinier hair during pregnancy.
If you do choose to color your hair, there are some safety measures you should take to make sure you limit the amount of toxins your body absorbs and possibly transfers to your baby. The most important things to keep in mind are to follow the instructions carefully, do the pre-color test, and make sure you have access to fresh air.
If you colored your hair before you found out you were pregnant, there is no cause for alarm. Chances are extremely slim that the chemicals have harmed your baby. Just hold off until the second trimester to schedule your root touch-ups!