Hair coloring and pregnancy: can I dye my hair while pregnant?

A frequent question among pregnant women iswhether they can dye their hair during pregnancy, for fear that the chemicals contained in these products could be harmful to the baby.We are going to clarify any doubts about it.

Can hair dyes harm the baby?

The truth is that there is very little research in this regard andthere are no studiesthat indicate that current dyes can harm the fetus.The chemicals in both semi-permanent and permanent chemical dyes are not believed to be harmful to the developing baby.

The dyes are absorbed by the scalp, butthe concentration of these substances is minimalto reach the bloodstream, cross the placenta and harm the baby.They are considered safe to use in pregnancy, yet there are certain recommendations to keep in mind:

Not in the first trimester

Despite this, since the first trimester is an especially vulnerable period, given that the baby’s vital organs, the head, body and limbs of the baby are formed, there are experts who for greater security recommendwaiting for the second trimester.However, studies do not make this distinction by trimester.

At any time during pregnancy, it is advisable to usevegetable dyesthat contain fewer chemicals than permanent dyes.

Oneof the published investigationson the safety of hair products during pregnancy speaks of the teratogenic effects (substances, physical agents or organisms capable of causing a congenital defect during pregnancy), and concludes:

There is no evidence of teratogenic effects for pregnant women exposed to these products through occupational use (ie, hairdressing);however, it is recommended that pregnant hairdressers wear gloves to minimize exposure, work no more than 35 hours per week, avoid standing for long periods of time, and ensure that the salons where they work are adequately ventilated.

Evidence suggests that there is minimal systemic absorption of hair products, so personal use bypregnant women 3 to 4 times during pregnancy is not considered of concern.

Recommendations on dyeing and pregnancy

  • Saferpast the first trimester.
  • Read the product label carefully to verify that the dyedoes not contain lead acetate, as this compound could be dangerous to the fetus.
  • This is not the time to start dyeing if you haven’t done it before, due to the risk of allergy or eczema.
  • Avoid dyes withperoxides, ammonia or other petroleum derivatives.
  • Do asensitivity teston the back of the arm to rule out allergic reactions.
  • If you are going to dye your hair at home, don’t forget towear glovesand try to do it in aventilated room.
  • Do not leave chemicals on hair for longer than the instructions indicate.
  • Choosenatural dyes,henna, or ammonia-free tinted shampoo.

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