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Posts Tagged ‘henna’

You’ve just found out you are preggers, but your roots are showing. Is it safe to touch them up? Will it hurt the baby? I know that when I was pregnant this was one of my worries since I was a natural brunette sporting bleach-blonde hair.   

Though there has been minimal scientific research on the subject, this is a frequently asked question. We all know that most hair treatments do involve chemicals and dyes.


Types of hair treatments include:

  • Coloring – this includes temporary, semi-permanent and permanent dyes.
  • Curling – permanent waves are created by placing two solutions on the hair – first the waving/curling solution then a neutralizer/fixer.
  • Bleaching – involves the use of hydrogen peroxide
  • Relaxers – are also known as hair straighteners and involve a variety of chemicals.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), “Hair dyes are probably safe to use during pregnancy because so little dye is absorbed through the skin.” This minimal amount is not thought to be enough to make health problems for your baby. There is more concern over the fumes created while processing your hair. It is for this reason that you must use caution. It is recommended by most that you do not treat your hair with anything during your first trimester (when there is a higher risk of problems).

Also semi-permanent dyes or a highlighting process may be considered safer for pregnant women. With highlights, the dye is enclosed in foil and won’t be absorbed into the skin. You can also choose vegetable dyes such as henna that are considered a safer option.

The following safety tips should be followed when chemically treating your hair during pregnancy:

  • Wait until the second trimester for hair dye, bleaching, permanents or straightening.
  • Treat hair in a well-ventilated area (possibly wear a mask).
  • Don’t leave the chemicals on your head any longer than necessary.
  • Rinse your scalp thoroughly with water after treatment.
  • Wear gloves when applying chemicals.
  • Carefully follow product directions.
  • Do a patch test for allergic reactions before completing the process
  • Never dye or bleach eyebrows or eyelashes. This could cause swelling or increase risk of infection in the eye area.

What about hair treatments while I breastfeed?
It is unlikely that any chemicals would enter the breast milk because so little is absorbed through the skin.

Of course, no one knows for sure the safety of treating your hair during pregnancy. It comes down to what you feel comfortable with. This is just one of many decisions you must make when being a parent. Many moms-to-be choose to go “au-natural” while growing their little-one inside. I chose to bleach my hair beginning my second trimester, but did not bleach directly to my scalp, and always did it in a well-ventilated area. My daughter is extremely healthy. However, I did find that after my baby was born my chemistry changed making it difficult to get the yellow out without over-processing. In the end I decided I looked better as a brunette with highlights.

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