Many women worry about coloring their hair when they’re pregnant. That’s probably because an old rumor claims that the dye will harm a developing baby. But what are the facts behind this claim? Read on to find out the truth about what happens when you color your hair.
What the research shows
It may seem like doctors give mixed messages about whether it’s actually safe to color your hair during pregnancy. It’s because studies don’t link any harmful effects to the developing baby, but doctors want their patients to be overly cautions. Patients often hear that they should avoid coloring their hair during the first trimester, because that’s when the baby undergoes critical developments, according to WebMD. So, many doctors err on the side of caution and recommend women to wait until the end of the first trimester.
There have been studies performed on both animals and humans to examine any health risks associated with hair color and a developing baby. However, the studies showed there were no changes in the baby and found no direct link between hair dye and fetal health, according to WebMD. In fact, experts say that very small traces of hair dye chemicals, in any at all, can reach the baby. That’s because the skin does not absorb enough chemicals from the dye to cause harmful effects. So because of this, most researchers and experts conclude that hair coloring products are unlikely to pose an increased risk during pregnancy, according to the Mayo Clinic.
However, many doctors and women want to play it safe. Although current research doesn’t show any apparent risks, that doesn’t mean there isn’t potential for them. Many stylists still recommend that their clients wait until after the first 2-3 months of the pregnancy before coloring their hair, just to be safe. Many women do color their hair during this time without negative results. But in the end, it’s up to you whether you want to color your hair right away or wait a few months. If you’re still unsure, talk to your physician to get a medical opinion.
You can take precautions to avoid any potential risk from coloring your hair, since the dye does contain some chemicals. It’s a good idea to keep the room well-ventilated when you color your hair to limit your exposure. Make sure you wear gloves to protect your skin from the dye. Also, follow your coloring instructions carefully to avoid any risks. Don’t leave the color on your hair any longer than prescribed, and rinse your scalp thoroughly after applying the color.
Don’t forget that your hair’s texture and quality often changes during pregnancy, so your hair may respond to color differently than it did before. Make sure you use a dye that’s customized to your hair and color shade. One option is eSalon.com, a new beauty company that custom blends a hair color for you based on your online hair profile. They’ll even mail the color directly to your house, all for only $25. (Click here for a special offer for first-time clients, which includes a hair profile and complete coloring kit for only $9.95)
When you’re with child, the choice to color your hair is up to you. If making sure you hair is beautiful will help you tolerate bloated feet, then go ahead and color away. But if worrying about potential risks will cause you anxiety, just wait a few months before coloring your hair. If you’re still concerned about the health of your baby, make sure to consult with your physician to be safe.