You can’t place where you’ve read the sentence… probably in the list of pregnancy precautions. The idea of hair color being harmful to the developing fetus sounded so trivial that you overlooked it at that moment. However, now you can’t seem to get rid of the thought. 

What if the use of hair dye is not safe during pregnancy? Could it cause serious birth defects? We’ll answer these questions and tell you whether hair dye is worth worrying about during pregnancy. 

Till a few years ago, physicians did not recommend the use of hair dyes because of the synthetic chemicals they used. The chemicals were believed to have a damaging impact on the fetus. Supporting this view was a report of 2005. It established that childhood cancer neuroblastoma was closely related to the use of hair dye during pregnancy. 

Today, there has been a drastic change in the views of medical experts on this subject. Modern physicians do not advise expectant women against the use of hair colorants. According to them, when a woman dyes her hair a very small amount of the substance is absorbed into the system. This proportion is too little to cause any damage to the mother and her developing baby. Besides the report of 2005, there is no evidence to support the fact that maternal use of hair dye before or during pregnancy causes birth defects. 

Pregnancy Tips If You Choose to Dye Your Hair

Although considered safe, the Food and Drug Administration has laid down specific precautions for the use of hair products during the nine months of childbearing. They are as follows:

  • To be on the safer side, you can steer clear of hair colorants and other chemical treatments during the first trimester. The first trimester is considered to be the most sensitive of the three trimesters.
  • All over hair color allows a greater proportion of chemicals to be absorbed by the skin. To reduce skin exposure to chemicals you can opt for treatments such as highlighting, streaking, frosting and painting. In these procedures, the product is applied to the shaft and not the scalp. Thus, the chances of the chemical being absorbed into the skin are lower.
  • Instead of hair colorants that make use of synthetic chemicals you can opt for the natural and herbal formulations. They are made of vegetable dyes. Pure Henna is a safe alternative. You can add some coffee powder to henna powder to tone down the reddish-orange hue. Choose ammonia-free hair coloring products.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions listed on the package.
  • Wear gloves when dying your hair.
  • Work in a well ventilated room. The strong fumes tend to make many women sick.
  • Do not leave the hair dye on the scalp for longer than recommended.
  • When it is time to rinse the hair, rinse it thoroughly. Make sure no traces of dye are left behind.
  • Perform a patch test before you use the product to ensure if it agrees with your skin. A severe allergic reaction will require a course of antibiotics which is not advised for a pregnant woman.
  • Try to avoid frequent hair coloring.
  • Ask a hair stylist or a dermatologist for recommendations.

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