Is Hair Dye Safe During Pregnancy?
Many women worry about what kind of chemicals they’re being exposed to when dyeing their hair.
The main question on their mind of course is simply, is hair dye safe during pregnancy? Yes, in general coloring your hair is regarded as safe during pregnancy.
However, there are a few things you need to know before using it: First of all make sure that the product doesn’t contain any ingredients on our list below. Secondly, be sure your scalp and skin are healthy and in good condition before dying it.
According to Yvonne Butler Tobah, M.D in this Mayo Clinic article, ‘Your skin only absorbs a limited amount of hair dye and other hair grooming and styling products.
“However, if your skin is infected or irritated, or if there is a break in your skin, you may absorb more of the chemicals in hair dye than usual.”
Disclaimer: Babies for Beginners does not offer medical advice. Ask your health care provider for guidance if you’re concerned about the safety of your hair products and hair dye during pregnancy.
What Trimester is Safe for Hair Color?
While it’s generally safe to color your hair while pregnant, some doctors do recommend waiting until the second or third trimester as an added precaution.
What Hair Dye Can I Use When Pregnant?
The American Pregnancy Association recommends that for those concerned about hair dye chemicals, to look for safer alternatives such as having highlights put in your hair instead of a root touchup or a root-to-tip color change. As they explain, this decreases any risk as the dye is only placed on strands of your hair and does not touch the scalp and thus the skin doesn’t absorb the chemicals into the bloodstream. Another alternative they recommend is pure vegetable dyes including henna. (Source).
Not all hennas are created equally, so if you’re interested in using henna, I urge you to check out this post about the safety of henna and how to know if a particular dye is a good henna product or not. However, henna is just one of many natural dyes you can choose from, which is good news if you’re planning on going this route and want some options.
What is Natural Hair Dye?
Natural hair dyes are dyes made from natural ingredients and are typically plant-based. They can be made from all kinds of plants to achieve different results. A few common examples are:
- henna plants to give a reddish or orange tint;
- indigo for blacks and blues;
- walnut shells for browns and blacks;
- rhubarb leaves in combination with other natural sources like beetroot juice to produce red shades of hair; and
- other natural sources.
Natural hair dyes are typically gentler on the scalp than chemical-based dyes, but they may not last as long or produce a very strong color when compared to some of their synthetic counterparts.
Hair Dye Ingredients to Avoid When Pregnant
If you decide to go with a traditional hair color product, here are some chemicals to be wary of and avoid if you can:
- Phenylenediamines (PPD): PPD is very widely used in permanent hair colorants and is needed for most shades, but it will not always be present in lighter shaded products. PPD can cause allergic reactions ranging from mild skin irritation to more severe allergic contact dermatitis. (Source).
- Parabens: Parabens are a group of preservatives that have been used in cosmetics and personal care products since the 1950s. Parabens have long been linked to endocrine disruption (disruption of the regular hormone function of the body) and breast cancer when used in many products over time.
- Formaldehyde: Formaldehydes are used as a preservative in some hair dyes, but it is not always present or listed on the label of products that contain them.
- Aminophenol: Aminophenol is a coal tar dye that can cause allergic reactions ranging from mild skin irritation to more severe dermatitis.
- Phthalates: Phthalates are used to make plastics flexible and to lubricate cosmetics and are known endocrine disruptors. It’s important to note here that phthalates are not always clearly labeled on product packaging, and for this reason, consumers should research them online or directly with the manufacturer. “Phthalate-free” labeling is becoming more common as a result of consumer concern.
Can Pregnancy Hormones Affect Hair Coloring?
When choosing your hair product, keep in mind it may not come out the way you’re used to. This is because pregnancy hormones can affect the way your hair responds to color.
Some women find their natural color is more intense during pregnancy, while others notice a change in hue or tone of existing highlights and lowlights (especially if they were blonde before).
The 3 Best (And Safest) Hair Dyes to Use During Pregnancy
With all of that in mind, we’ve scoured the web and come up with five hair dye products that are safe and effective for pregnancy.
These products are of course for use at home. Once COVID-19 is a memory, you may wish to consult a professional colorist to be safe, but here are our top picks:
1. Colora Natural Henna Hair Coloring Powder
Colora Henna has been around for ages, and for good reason, it works well and comes in a ton of colors. It can be used for dramatic results, or subtle color changes to achieve more flattering tones.
This henna contains 100% natural ingredients which will not damage your hair or scalp, and it’s a cruelty-free product with no harmful chemicals or metallic salts.
2. Herb Speedy Colour Cream
Herb Speedy Color is specially created to save time and leave you with gorgeous, long-lasting hair color. This cream uses plant-based substitutes and colors that are gentle yet effective. It’s free of PPDs, amines, ammonia, or other harsh chemicals that can irritate your scalp.
Each application should last you up to 25 washes – so there’s no worrying about having to touch up as often! It’s a win for anyone who doesn’t have tons of time on their hands, ya know like a busy mom!
3. Manic Panic Semi-Permanent Hair Dye
Manic Panic Semi-Permanent hair dye is perfect for those of us who want color-rich, temporary results. The colors are vivid and bright with a glossy finish. They come in shades such as Purple Haze and the reds called Ruby Red Slippers that even pop against darker skin tones.
This dye works on all hair types because it sits on the exterior surface of hair strands instead of going into them. Manic Panic is ammonia-free and doesn’t contain parabens, ammonia, resorcinol, PPD, phthalates, or gluten.
In conclusion, dying your hair while pregnant is safe when you follow some simple guidelines and use the right products.