The chemicals in permanent and semi-permanent hair dyes are not highly toxic. Most research, although limited, shows it’s safe to colour your hair while pregnant.
Some studies have found that very high doses of the chemicals in hair dyes may cause harm. However, these doses are massive compared with the very low amount of chemicals you may be exposed to when colouring your hair.
Using hair dye when you’re pregnant.
You may decide to wait to dye your hair until after the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, when the risk of chemical substances harming the baby is much lower. If you’re colouring your hair yourself, you can reduce the risk further by making sure you:
▪️ wear gloves.
▪️ leave the dye on for the minimum time.
▪️ work in a well-ventilated room.
▪️ rinse your scalp once the dye is applied.
Highlighting your hair, by putting the dye only on to strands of hair, also reduces any risk. The chemicals used are only absorbed by your hair, and not by your scalp or bloodstream.
Semi-permanent pure vegetable dyes, such as henna, are a safe alternative.
Do remember that pregnancy can affect your hair’s normal condition. For example, your hair may:
▪️ react differently to colouring or perming than it usually does.
▪️ become more or less absorbent, frizzy or unpredictable.
▪️ It’s always a good idea to do a strand test first using the hair dye or treatment you intend to use. Speak to your hairdresser for advice.
What if I Work as a Cosmetologist and Am Pregnant?
For cosmetologists, the risks during pregnancy come from the amount of exposure to hair treatment chemicals, which is affected by the number of hours worked, as well as, working conditions. One study indicates a greater risk for miscarriage in women who apply large numbers of bleaches and permanent hair dyes, work more than 40 hours per week, and/or work in salons that offer nail sculpturing services.
Proper working conditions, such as wearing protective gloves, not eating or drinking in the work area, and making sure your work area is well-ventilated are also important to limit exposure to hair treatment chemicals.
Overall, hair treatments are generally considered safe to use during pregnancy. However, you may also consider getting highlights or using pure vegetable dyes. Regardless, your safest option is to wait at least until after the first trimester, if not until after pregnancy.
“Is it safe to use hair dye when I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?”, www.nhs.uk
“Hair Treatment During Pregnancy”, www.americanpregnancy.org