Can You Dye Your Hair While Pregnant? Is It Safe [UK] 2023?
Pregnancy is a delicate period in a woman’s life. It also brings about many questions and concerns. One such concern many expectant mothers face is whether it is safe to dye their hair during pregnancy.
Personal appearance and self-confidence remain essential in your pregnancy journey. This is why it’s essential to address the topic of dying your hair while pregnant with accurate, factual information.
We know how important it is for you to keep looking fabulous even during pregnancy. But if you’ve been asking, “Can I dye my hair while pregnant?” You’re not alone. There are often concerns about getting other hair treatments as well.
Women want to maintain their stylish locks without compromising the health of their little ones. In this article, we’ll dive into the world of hair dyes and their safety aspects. We’ll provide you with the essential information you need to make an informed decision.
Can You Dye Your Hair While Pregnant?
Yes, you can dye your hair while pregnant, as the small amount of chemicals absorbed should not harm the fetus. While the research is limited, most experts believe using hair dye during pregnancy is not toxic.
However, many doctors recommend holding off on hair color until later in your pregnancy to be safe. Most hair dyes have little contact with your scalp, and thus the chances of them reaching your bloodstream is low. Thus, the risk of the chemicals contacting your baby is likely minimal.
Why Hair Dye Might Be A Concern?
Hair dye is a product used to change the natural color of your hair. It can alter the shade from light to dark, completely change the color, or refresh dull strands due to previous color or sun exposure. Various hair dyes are available, including:
- Permanent hair dye.
- Semi-permanent hair dye.
- Demi-permanent hair dye.
- Temporary hair dye.
- Natural hair dye.
Hair dyes are quite popular. So, research has been done on their potential side effects—especially for women asking, “Can you get your hair dyed while pregnant?” There are some reasons why hair dye might be a concern due to the possible side effects it can cause. Here are some of them:
- Allergic reactions: Hair dyes contain chemicals that may cause allergic reactions, like paraphenylenediamine, i.e., PPD and ammonia. These known allergens can lead to skin irritation, redness, itching, and even severe allergic reactions.
- Chemical exposure: Many hair dyes contain potentially harmful chemicals. Some of them include hydrogen peroxide, resorcinol, and formaldehyde. Prolonged and repeated exposure to these chemicals may have adverse effects on health.
Some studies have suggested a possible link between long-term hair dye use and an increased risk of certain cancers, including breast cancer. However, more research is needed to establish definitive conclusions.
- Hair damage: Hair dyeing processes, particularly bleaching or lightening, can cause more damage to the hair shaft. Harsh chemicals strip away the hair’s natural moisture and oils. This can lead to dryness, breakage, and split ends. Overusing hair dye can also weaken the hair, making it more prone to damage.
- Scalp and skin irritation: The chemicals in certain hair dyes can irritate the scalp and skin. A study on azo dye showed it could cause infections. If you have a sensitive scalp, it might cause redness, itching, and inflammation. Individuals with sensitive skin or who have eczema or psoriasis may be more susceptible to these reactions.
- Environmental impact: The production and disposal of hair dye can have negative environmental consequences. The manufacturing process involves using chemicals, water, and energy. These all contribute to pollution and carbon emissions. Improper disposal of hair dye can also contaminate water sources.
When Can You Dye Your Hair While Pregnant?
There are numerous questions you may have surrounding hair dye during pregnancy. A few of these may be “Can you get your hair done while pregnant,” “Can I dye my hair while pregnant in the first trimester, or Can I dye my hair while pregnant in the second trimester?”
Generally, you can dye your hair during pregnancy at any time. Still, many doctors recommend holding off on hair color until week 13 of your pregnancy just to be safe. Most experts agree that the baby has little risk, especially in the second and third trimesters.
Waiting till the 13th week is because your baby is rapidly growing in its first 12 weeks. At this time, you want to actively avoid anything that could cause any effects–even if it is proclaimed safe. It is essential to take precautions and follow guidelines to minimize potential risks to the baby.
Can You Color Your Hair While Breastfeeding?
Have you wondered, “Can you color your hair while pregnant?” Yes, you can, and you can also color your hair while breastfeeding. According to the NHS, coloring your hair during this period is considered safe.
It is beneficial when using techniques like highlights, where the dye does not come into direct contact with the scalp. Since the color is only applied to the hair shaft, there is no way for any chemicals to enter your bloodstream or breast milk.
However, being cautious of potentially harmful ingredients in hair dyes and chemical hair treatments is important. To ensure safety, it is recommended to choose hair dyes without toxic chemicals such as aromatic amino compounds, silver, or mercury.
How To Dye The Hair Safely
Now that we have answered the question, “Can you dye your hair when pregnant” Let’s see how to do it safely. Just like other pregnancy requirements like prenatal supplements–there is a need to approach everything with the baby’s safety in mind. Hair dye is no different. Here is how to dye your hair safely:
- Wait until the second trimester: Many doctors recommend waiting until after the first 12 weeks of pregnancy to minimize potential risks.
- Do a patch test: Always perform a skin allergy test before applying hair dye to ensure you don’t react to the product. Pregnancy can also sometimes cause changes in skin sensitivity, so it’s important to test first to be sure.
- Choose a safer dye: Opt for ammonia-free, semi-permanent, or vegetable-based hair dyes. They are generally considered safer during pregnancy.
- Follow the instructions: Carefully read and follow the directions on the hair dye packaging.
- Wear gloves: Protect your hands from staining and irritation by wearing gloves during the dyeing process.
- Ventilate the area: Make sure the room where you’re dyeing your hair is well-ventilated to reduce inhalation of fumes. Inhaling the fumes might make you nauseous.
- Avoid leaving the dye on longer than needed: Overprocessing your hair can lead to damage and irritation. So, make sure to rinse the dye out within the recommended time frame.
- Use a deep conditioner: After dyeing your hair, use a deep conditioner to help restore moisture and minimize damage.
- Rinse your scalp thoroughly: Lastly, ensure you rinse your hair entirely to remove all traces of the dye from your scalp. This will help you minimize irritation.
What About Other Hair Treatments?
A range of other hair treatments are beneficial to pregnant women. Aside from hair coloring, you can indulge in hair growth, texture, and protection treatments. Here are some safe hair treatments.
Deep Conditioning Treatments
Use natural oils, such as coconut, olive, or argan, to nourish and hydrate your hair.
Combine a few drops of lavender or peppermint essential oil with a carrier oil. Gently massage it into your scalp to promote relaxation and stimulate blood circulation. It also helps with hair growth.
Natural Hair Masks
You can also opt for hair masks made with natural ingredients like mashed avocado, yogurt, and honey. They provide moisture and nourishment without exposing you to harsh chemicals.
Remember to consult your healthcare provider before undergoing any hair treatments during pregnancy. Individual circumstances can vary.
The Bottom Line
While the safety of hair dye during pregnancy remains a topic of debate, it is generally considered safe. This is especially if you take certain precautions.
However, always consult with your healthcare provider before making any decisions. They can provide personalized guidance based on your circumstances and inform you of any possible risks.
+ 11 sources
Health Canal avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic researches from medical associations and institutions. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Health Canal, you can read more about the editorial process here
- B. Encabo Durán, Romero-Pérez, D. and J.F. Silvestre Salvador (2018). Allergic Contact Dermatitis Due to Paraphenylenediamine: An Update. [online] doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.adengl.2018.06.017.
- GERA, R., RAMIA MOKBEL, IVANNA IGOR and KEFAH MOKBEL (2018). Does the Use of Hair Dyes Increase the Risk of Developing Breast Cancer? A Meta-analysis and Review of the Literature. Anticancer Research, [online] 38(2), pp.707–716. Available at: https://ar.iiarjournals.org/content/38/2/707.short
- Saitta, P., Cook, C.E., Messina, J.L., Brancaccio, R., Wu, B.C., Grekin, S.K. and Holland, J. (2013). Is there a true concern regarding the use of hair dye and malignancy development?: a review of the epidemiological evidence relating personal hair dye use to the risk of malignancy. The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology, [online] 6(1), pp.39–46. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3543291/
- Grosvenor, A.J., Bermingham, E.N., Middlewood, P.G., Thomas, A.W., Lee, E., Vernon, J.A., Woods, J.L., C. Barr Taylor, Bell, F.I. and Clerens, S. (2018). The physical and chemical disruption of human hair after bleaching – studies by transmission electron microscopy and redox proteomics. [online] 40(6), pp.536–548. doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/ics.12495.
- Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part C. (2016). Azo dyes and human health: A review. [online] Available at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10590501.2016.1236602
- Ardila-Leal, L.D., Poutou-Piñales, R.A., Pedroza-Rodríguez, A.M. and Balkys Quevedo-Hidalgo (2021). A Brief History of Colour, the Environmental Impact of Synthetic Dyes and Removal by Using Laccases. [online] 26(13), pp.3813–3813. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26133813.
- NHS Choices (2023). Is it safe to use hair dye when I’m pregnant or breastfeeding? [online] Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/pregnancy/is-it-safe-to-use-hair-dye-when-i-am-pregnant-or-breastfeeding/
- editor (2021). Hair Treatment During Pregnancy. [online] American Pregnancy Association. Available at: https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/is-it-safe/hair-treatments-during-pregnancy/
- Talbot, L.A. and MacLennan, K. (2016). Physiology of pregnancy. [online] 17(7), pp.341–345. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mpaic.2016.04.010.
- de, T., Estevinho, B.N. and Santos, L. (2016). Application of microencapsulated essential oils in cosmetic and personal healthcare products – a review. [online] 38(2), pp.109–119. doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/ics.12232.
- Abdel Naser Zaid, Jaradat, N., Eid, A., Hamzeh Al Zabadi, Abdulsalam Alkaiyat and Saja Adam Darwish (2017). Ethnopharmacological survey of home remedies used for treatment of hair and scalp and their methods of preparation in the West Bank-Palestine. [online] 17(1). doi:https://doi.org/10.1186/s12906-017-1858-1.