Is It Safe for a Pregnant Mom to Dye or Bleach Her Hair?

Pregnancy doesn't have to be a time of dull hair and dark roots.

Every pregnant woman experiences changes on a daily basis: her body is changing, her emotions are changing, and even her appetite is changing. Bottom line, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by all the changes. 

One way many women like to feel better about themselves is to head to the salon or beauty store to update or change their hair color. 

Ladies, you know what I mean. There's just something about a few new highlights or a pop of color to make the day a little brighter.  

However, pregnant women are often worried about the personal care products they use because of how the body absorbs certain products. This is especially true of the products they use to color their hair because they are afraid of what chemicals might be in the dye or bleach and how it will affect a developing child. 

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So, can a mom-to-be safely dye or bleach her hair? Thankfully, yes.

While there haven't been extensive studies on the safety of using hair dye while pregnant, the few that have been performed show that the use of hair coloring products is safe for expectant moms. According to the American Pregnancy Association, "most research indicates the chemicals found in both semi-permanent and permanent dyes are not highly toxic and are safe to use during pregnancy."

Some doctors, though, do suggest erring on the side of caution.

"We truly don't know if anything is absorbed internally, but you have many pores that are deep on the scalp, and there's always the potential, especially if the scalp is irritated," dermatologist Nia Terezakis, MD, a clinical professor at Tulane University, tells WebMD. "The fewer chemicals, the better."

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If you're concerned about the safety of indulging your desire to touch up your roots, here are a few tips and precautions to take:

  1. Wait until the second trimester. During the first twelve weeks of pregnancy, a developing baby is growing at a rapid pace and is at its most vulnerable stage. Although there's no evidence to show that hair dye poses any risks to a developing child, waiting until at least week 13 will provide peace of mind.
  2. Use safer products. Another precaution to take if you're concerned about using hair dye or bleach when you're pregnant is to use products that pose less risk, such as ammonia-free hair dye, vegetable dyes or opt for highlights or hair painting that don't touch the scalp. 
  3. Work in a well-ventilated area. If you choose to color or bleach your hair at home, make sure to work in a well-ventilated area, i.e, don't close yourself in a windowless bathroom, and if at all possible, work in an area with fresh air. 
  4. Wear gloves. If you're applying the dye or bleach to your own hair, make sure to use gloves in order to minimize skin contact with the chemicals in the product.

Regardless of how you choose to touch-up or change-up your hair color, remember the importance of self-care while your pregnant. You're creating a beautiful and wondrous life, and you deserve to feel beautiful while you're doing it.

Jen Reyneri

Jen Reyneri

Renaissance Woman Jen Reyneri and her husband Luis often live life on the road with their two home-schooled sons. Popular author and speaker, Jen is founder of Spirited and spirit filled, she savors life, poetic words, sabbaticals and strong coffee.

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