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Can You Dye Your Hair When Pregnant?

Expectant moms and dads go through a lot of different issues throughout the pregnancy. I have to side with moms, though. An expectant mother goes through many changes physically, emotionally, and mentally in those nine months. It does not seem fair, but moms are more than happy and excited to experience all the ups and downs.

During this time of changes, weight gain, hormonal imbalance, morning sickness, nausea, and all those other little issues that develop, mom needs to worry about herself too, not just the little one growing inside of her. Believe it or not, the little mama can still be active, continue to go dancing, and still have her nails and hair done.

Yoga is a very good activity for her to participate in, along with most exercising. It is a wonderful idea to stay healthy and happy when you are pregnant. Make a list of things that make you happy, as long as they are not dangerous or risky to your health and safety—the old wives’ tale about dyeing your hair when pregnant is just that, a tale. Of course, there are still precautions you need to take, and some alternatives you could consider.

Toxic or Not

There is very little research done on the topic of hair dye and pregnancy. The hair dye used is not toxic, and very little would even come close to reaching the baby. It has been determined that very, very little may actually reach the bloodstream, so even less would be able to come close to the baby.


If you or your partner are still nervous and unsure, you could have highlights put in your hair. This would mean that none of the hair dye would reach the scalp.

Vegetable or Henna

Another option is to use vegetable color and natural henna dyes. Henna is a plant that only dyes red. To have other colors, the manufacturer needs to add different herbs or other ingredients, which may include chemicals, metal salts, and additives.

Can you wait?

Hair does grow at a slightly quicker rate while you are pregnant. If you have any hesitation, it is then suggested that you wait until your second trimester. Your first trimester is when there are major development and growth for the baby. Waiting until this trimester will minimize even more so, the chances of any dye reaching your baby.

Test it out!

Be sure that you have a skin test completed before you sit down to have your hair colored. During pregnancy, major changes are going on within your body. Due to all these changes, not only is it possible that the way your hair absorbs the dye faster, or it may take longer but also your skin could be much more sensitive to allergic reactions. Having a skin test done beforehand may prevent a serious allergic reaction.

Follow guidelines with dye.

Do not leave the hair dye in your hair any longer than recommended. Again, during pregnancy, your hair changes also. It may or may not absorb the hair dye in the same manner that it did pre-pregnancy.

Rinse and rinse again

Rinse your scalp completely when finished with the dyeing process. Remove any dye on the scalp and skin.


Pregnant hairdressers also need to take extra precautions if they are hesitant. You should change out your gloves a few times just for the surety that no dye remains on your skin and taking the chance it may reach the bloodstream. Wearing a face mask while dyeing a client’s hair is also recommended.

The Highs and lows

Highlights and lowlights are done away from the scalp. Hair is wrapped in pieces of foil with dye on the hair strands.

Leave the face

Do not dye the eyebrows or eyelashes. This will prevent any skin irritation.

Will it reach your milk?

Let’s go ahead and answer some of the fear during breastfeeding. Again, even if you have a cut and dye touches the wound. There is very little dye that would reach your bloodstream, and even less would be able to reach the baby. There is no risk of harming the baby by dyeing your hair during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Straight or curly

It is highly advised that you do not have your hair straightened or have any keratin treatments done to your hair during pregnancy or breastfeeding. The ingredients used in these two processes include formaldehyde in keratin treatments and ammonium thioglycolate in hair straighteners. Rest assured that there are advancements made for these processes that do not contain the chemicals that are harmful to you and your baby.

Ultimately, waiting until the second trimester and using vegetable dyes or henna to color your hair, rinsing the scalp, and all skin immediately when the process is finished would be ideal for all pregnancies. However, there are very few studies done where one could determine any harm done to a fetus.

Seriously, moms! It is such a minuscule amount of dye that would reach your bloodstream if you had an open wound and dye touched it, that the risk of any reaching the baby is likely nil. The fear factor does remain for straightening and having keratin treatments. The point is it is you going through all these drastic changes, and you want to do something good for you in this period of change.


Go ahead, mom, treat yourself to hair color, get your nails done, maybe a massage, you deserve it. Enjoy these months of good hair. When the pregnancy is done, the hair will tend to revert to what it was like previously. Sometimes, a mom may be lucky enough to continue with the great hair she got during pregnancy, others though, when the hormones are beginning to fall back to their normal levels, the hair most likely will return. You may also find that you are shedding more hair. This is all completely normal also. Do not let the excess hair falling out to cause you trauma. I promise it will not last!

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