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Pregnancy can be tough on your body. You’re dealing with swollen ankles, never-ending fatigue and an aching back. Do you have to deal with roots and grays, too? Not necessarily.
Dying Hair While Pregnant – Is It Safe?
Research is limited in this department, but data suggests that the chemicals found in semi-permanent and permanent dyes are not highly toxic and are generally safe for use during pregnancy. You’ll also be happy to hear that only a small amount of dye is absorbed by the skin, so only a tiny bit would actually be able to reach the fetus.
The tiny amounts of dye that may make it to the fetus are considered harmless.
If you’re still concerned about dying your hair, talk to your doctor and consider waiting until later on in your pregnancy to start coloring your hair again.
10 Tips for Dying Hair during Pregnancy
If you’re ready to dive back in and get rid of those grays and grown-in roots, use these tips to make sure your dying session is as safe as possible for you and your baby.
1. Wait for Your Second Trimester
With so many hormonal changes occurring early in your pregnancy, your hair may be growing faster than ever. It may even be a different color or texture. After four weeks, you may be tempted to reach for that bottle of hair dye. But you may want to wait until your second trimester.
Although there’s little evidence that dying your hair isn’t harmful to your baby, major developments are taking place during the first 12 weeks of your pregnancy. To be on the safe side, wait until you’re at 13 weeks or later to dye your hair.
2. Try Pure Henna Instead
If you’re looking for a truly safe and natural dye, opt for pure henna. Henna is a semi-permanent vegetable dye, and it’s been used for thousands of years.
There’s only one slight drawback to using henna – it can be very messy.
Henna won’t lighten your hair. It can only darken your hair, but it’s free of harsh chemicals.
Make sure that you purchase pure henna, as some products labeled as henna actually contain risky metallic compounds.
3. Be Wary of Vegetable Dyes
The natural and organic craze has finally reached the hair dye market. But be wary of vegetable dyes – they may not be what they seem.
Make sure that you read the label carefully before you buy or use a so-called natural vegetable dye. You may find many of the same chemicals found in conventional hair dyes, like dihydroxybenzene, p-phenylenediamine and aminophenol.
4. Wear Gloves and Don’t Forget Ventilation
It’s believed that only a tiny amount of dye will be absorbed by the skin when you color your hair. But this is only true if you wear gloves. Gloves will keep your hands protected while you apply the dye.
Don’t forget to consider ventilation as well. Dye your hair in a well-ventilated area to avoid breathing in more chemicals than necessary.
If you can, opt for having a professional stylist color your hair. Salons are well-ventilated, and your stylist will be the one handling – and applying – the chemicals.
5. Don’t Overdo It
For the sake of your baby – and your hair – don’t leave the dye chemicals on your hair longer than directed. Yes, dyes may not be highly toxic, but overexposure can be potentially harmful.
Follow directions accordingly, and set a timer to remind yourself that it’s time to wash out the dye. Rinse thoroughly – until the water runs clear – before conditioning your hair.
6. Opt for Dark Colors or Gentler Dyes
Bleaching can be tough on your hair and your body. Darker dyes are generally milder and may be a safer option.
If you must lighten your hair and are still concerned about safety, consider highlighting or streaking your hair instead of dying your full head of hair.
Semi-permanent dyes are also gentler. While the results aren’t as long-lasting, semi-permanent dyes are generally less toxic, and may be a better option during pregnancy.
7. Perform a Strand Test
Hormonal changes can cause your hair to react to chemicals in different ways. The results may not be what you were expecting – even if you go with your usual color and formula.
Perform a strand test first, so you don’t end up with a head full of wacky colors.
A patch test will also help you determine if you have an allergy to the dye, which can cause a serious reaction.
8. Go the DIY Route
While the results aren’t as long-lasting or vibrant as commercial formulas, you can create your own hair dye right in your kitchen.
- Black walnut hull powder
- Black tea or coffee
Henna and indigo will create longer-lasting results than black walnut hull powder, black tea or coffee.
- Rhubarb root
- Lemon juice
Lemon juice has long been used as a natural hair lightening, but there’s a catch: you need sunlight for it to truly lighten your hair. And it can be damaging to your hair.
9. Be Careful Where You Apply the Dye
Take care not to apply the dye to your eyebrows or eyelashes. The chemicals can cause swelling in the eye area, and increase your risk of developing an eye infection.
10. Choose the Safest Service
Whether you’re trying to upkeep your color or changing color altogether, be careful of which service you choose when you visit the salon. Both root-to-tip color changes and root touch-up services require the dye to be applied directly to the scalp and hair. When applied directly to the scalp, the pores in your skin absorb more of the chemicals.
Instead, opt for safer techniques where the color is applied directly to the hair shaft.
Feeling good about yourself is important during pregnancy, and the general consensus is that dying your hair is relatively safe during pregnancy. Make sure that you wear gloves, color your hair in a well-ventilated space and if you can, opt for a natural dye that’s free of harsh chemicals.