Can You Safely Dye Your Hair While Pregnant?

When a woman finds out she's pregnant, the news ushers in many unpredictable changes. As her body, skin, and emotions become different from what she knows, there are few areas of her life where she feels she has control. She often has more questions than answers. Questions can include: What foods are safe to eat? What physical activities are recommended? And, of course, what beauty products are off limits during this time?

Although the physical changes occurring are inevitable, pregnant mothers can be calmed by knowing that gray roots do not have to make an appearance. As long as mothers check with their doctors and go about hair dyeing safely, there should be no reason why pregnant mothers can't get a fresh look of beauty (via the Cleveland Clinic). If changing your hair color is going to make you feel better, experts agree that there are steps you can take to keep your baby safe and your mind at ease.

What is actually in hair dye?

While it's true that there are chemicals in hair dye, healthy skin protects our bodies from allowing it in our bloodstream. Hair dyes have chemicals such as ammonia, paraphenylenediamine (PPD), and peroxide (via Forbes). All three chemicals play a part in the hair dyeing process, and even if the dye is labeled "natural," Forbes explains that these chemicals are more than likely present. Even if some dye gets on your forehead or neck, the skin doesn't necessarily absorb the toxins. The amount of chemicals is too small, and our skin is tough (via Healthline). Most researchers agree that the small amount of those chemicals that may be absorbed is unlikely to have harmful effects on your baby's developing body.

Dyeing your hair while pregnant is typically fine if your skin is healthy. However, there are always exceptions. If you suffer from any skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, it's best to discuss dyeing your hair with your doctor and hairdresser. This does not mean that a new hair color is off limits, but they can guide you on how to go about getting your new color safely. Because skin conditions often leave skin broken or irritated, some hair dye may worsen these conditions (via the Cleveland Clinic). If everyone is on board that the process is safe, mothers can enjoy the experience without concern.

Things to consider before dyeing your hair

As you go about getting your brand new look, there are some ways to ensure your baby's safety. Pregnant mothers should wait until the second trimester before getting their hair dyed (via Forbes). Waiting for the first trimester to be over is a good idea if the mother wants to act out of caution. Many major organs are developing in the fetus at this time, and it may calm the mother to wait (via the Cleveland Clinic).

Another precaution mothers could take would be opting for a safer color option. Root touch-ups require the dye to contact the scalp and skin directly, allowing for more chances of dye to be absorbed by the skin. Instead, mothers can consider highlights, lowlights, and frosting, which is when the color is directly painted on the hair (via What to Expect). Finally, if you're applying color yourself, make sure to wear gloves and search for a safer dye. There are options that are ammonia-free and bleach-free (via Healthline). If you are getting your hair professionally done, ask your hairstylist to make sure there is plenty of airflow in the salon, and tell them if you have any special preferences before getting your hair done.

Overall, experts agree that it is perfectly safe for expectant mothers to enjoy a stop at the beauty salon during their nine months of pregnancy. As long as your doctor says it's safe and your hairdresser is on board, mothers are free to enjoy a splash of new color and a fresh look.