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Can I use hair dye when I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

Posted by Be Well

Can I use hair dye when I am pregnant or breastfeeding?
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The chemicals in permanent and semi-permanent hair dyes are not highly toxic. Most research, although limited, does show that it is safe to color 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 in comparison to the very low amount of chemicals that a woman coloring her hair is exposed to.

Many women decide to wait to dye their hair until after the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, when the risk of chemical substances harming the baby is much lower. You can reduce the risk further by making sure that (if you are coloring your hair yourself) you wear gloves, leave the dye on for the minimum time, and work in a well-ventilated room.

Highlighting your hair also reduces any risk, as the chemicals used are only absorbed by the hair itself, and not by your scalp and into your bloodstream. Semi-permanent pure vegetable dyes, such as henna, are a safe alternative.

Do remember that pregnancy can affect the normal condition of your hair. Your hair may react differently to coloring or perming, becoming more or less absorbent, frizzy or unpredictable. Its always a good idea to do a strand test first using any treatment you intend to use. Speak to your hairdresser for advice.

Information about hair treatments while breastfeeding is limited, but it is very unlikely that a significant amount of the chemicals that are used in hair dyes will be passed on to your breast milk. This is because very little enters the mothers bloodstream and, in the past, many women have received hair treatments while breastfeeding and there have been no known negative results.

NOTICE: The information provided on this site is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on Wellsphere. If you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
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