While you are expecting your little one, each action that previously seemed normal makes you worry that it could harm your baby. Every day a new question arises, especially if you are a new mom; everything is new. If you usually go to the beauty salon, you may wonder about dyes during pregnancy and if it is safe to dye your hair.

Baby Creysi

Hair dyes have chemicals such as paraphenylenediamine, ammoniacal mercury, nonylphenol, parabens, or formaldehyde; they are used to achieve color resistance to last longer, points out the National Chamber of the Cosmetic Products Industry (Canipec).

Yvonne Butler Tobah, a gynecologist and member of Mayo Clinic, explains that only a limited amount of hair dye and other grooming and styling products are absorbed by the skin. Although if your skin is irritated or has a crack, it may absorb more chemicals than usual.

“Research on the use of hair dyes during pregnancy is limited. These chemicals are generally considered to pose no harm to a developing baby; however, given the lack of available evidence, you may, if you prefer, postpone any chemical hair treatment until after delivery”.

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Although there are not enough studies, doctors recommend waiting to dye your hair. Photo: Pixabay
Although there are not enough studies, doctors recommend waiting to dye your hair. Photo: Pixabay

When can you dye your hair?

Although recommendations vary, the American Pregnancy Association recommends waiting until at least the second trimester of pregnancy to dye or apply any treatment (such as straightening or perming) to your hair to avoid any exposure of your little one to the chemicals in these products.

“Small amounts of hair dye can be absorbed through the skin; this small amount is not considered harmful to the fetus. The same is considered during lactation. Although no data is available on women receiving hair treatment during this stage, it is known that a small amount of the chemicals would be absorbed into the blood. Thus, the possibility of it entering the milk and putting the baby at risk wouldn’t be likely”.

Fred Morgan Ortiz, a specialist in Gynecology and Obstetrics, explains that all the baby’s organs and muscles begin to form in the first trimester. The chemicals could affect his development.

“The dyes that have peroxides can affect the development of the embryo

Morgan Ortiz comments that natural dyes based on henna can be an alternative; you can also use those that do not have ammonia or whose chemical concentrations are lower.

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It is recommended to wait until the second or third trimester of pregnancy to dye your hair. Photo: Pixabay
It is recommended to wait until the second or third trimester of pregnancy to dye your hair. Photo: Pixabay

Chemical hair treatments

Most hair styling involves chemicals and dyes. The American Pregnancy Association notes that you should also avoid these treatments until the second trimester:

  • Coloring: It includes permanent, semi-permanent, and temporary dyes.
  • Curling: To form curls, a solution is used to keep the hair fixed.
  • Bleaching: It uses hydrogen peroxide.
  • Straighteners: They use sodium hydroxide, potassium, lithium, or guanidine hydroxide, with which the hair is straightened.
It would help if you waited to get treatments like perms or straightening. Photo: Pixabay
It would help if you waited to get treatments like perms or straightening. Photo: Pixabay

Recommendations

If you decide to color your hair during pregnancy, follow these Food and Drug Administration (FDA) precautions:

  • Follow package directions carefully.
  • Wear gloves when applying the dye.
  • Do not leave it for longer than indicated.
  • Rinse the scalp well after applying it.

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Translated by: Ligia M. Oliver

Spanish version