I know we have all heard that women should never color their hair while pregnant. You may have also heard that you can color your hair, but not during the first trimester. The belief is that the chemicals will harm the development of the baby. This, for some reason has been preached over and over from woman to woman, but where did this idea come from? Does it even stand true today? We aren’t medical professionals but we do care about children and our clients so here is our take.
The Research On Hair Coloring and Pregnancy Risk
Researchers and scientist alike, have done multiple studies, on humans and animals. In all these they have tested semi permanent and permanent color, and have not been able to link any connection to the chemicals in hair color being harmful, and the development in the fetus. They actually found no change to the fetus at all. Experts say that very little, if any trace at all of hair color can be found to reach the baby. The reason for this is that the skin does not absorb enough chemicals from hair color to be harmful. If the skin were able to absorb enough it would directly effect our brain first. Researchers have also concluded that the risk is non existent during breastfeeding as well. This is because the chemicals in the color do not enter the blood stream, meaning they will not enter the breast milk the baby is ingesting.
Getting Straight Answers From Your Doctor
Many doctors avoid giving direct answers as to whether coloring your hair during pregnancy is harmful or not, because no studies link any harm to the fetus. Doctors want their patients to be overly cautious, and many patients alike want to be overly cautious, just in case to protect their baby as well. Now even though there isn’t any risk or harm, connected or linked to keeping your roots disguised, doesn’t mean there isn’t a possibility in learning or discovering there maybe some.
Risks are slightly higher for cosmetologist and women working in the cosmetology field when pregnant. This risk comes from the amount of exposure to the hair chemicals, considering the number of hours worked, and the working conditions. One study done indicated a much greater risk for in women who applied large numbers of bleaches and dyes due to inhalation. The same study also had the women working more than 40 hours a week and/or worked in a salon that offered nail sculpting services. These were extreme conditions for any stylist, especially when pregnant. Over all hair treatments are deemed safe during pregnancy. You can also consider highlights, since the lightening agent never typically makes contact with the scalp.
Minimizing The Unknown Potential Risks Of Hair Coloring
If you you rather not take any risk at all for you and your baby here are some good measures to take during the pregnancy process:
- Consider waiting till the second trimester to chemically treat your hair
- Make sure the treatment is done in a well ventilated area
- Do not leave any chemicals on your hair longer than what is recommended by the manufacturer.
- Take care to make sure your scalp is throughly cleansed after and chemical treatment
- Do a test patch for allergic reactions before a full process
Also keep in mind, that during pregnancy you body changes significantly. Hormones increase and can change the natural texture of your hair. Pregnancy can also make your hair react differently than what it normally would to the same perming and coloring you once did before. The health of your unborn baby is always number one. Regardless chemical process are safe during pregnancy. If you still have doubts keeping you up at night, it is totally understandable to consider waiting after the first trimester, or after pregnancy.