Hair Chemicals and Pregnancy

Every once in a while, I get a note in my inbox. An inquiry for help. I love getting emails like this. I'm always open and willing to help someone else whenever I can. I thought I would put the topic out there and find out what your thoughts are.


I have a question. Is it OK to dye your hair while pregnant? As you know, I get my hair highlighted with bleach and sometimes they put another color in too. I am not pregnant, but I want to prepare myself for pregnancy. I have done a little bit of research online and it seems that some people think it's totally fine and others think it's harmful. Some say it depends on what stage of the pregnancy etc... I want to do anything and everything I can for the health and safety of my future baby so I was thinking of not highlighting my hair starting 3 months before pregnancy and then not doing it through the whole thing. I like the way I look with highlighted hair better, but I am willing to sacrifice if it would be in the best interest of my baby.


this is a very conflicted subject, and many have different opinions. I know for a fact that some doctors have said it's fine, and some say it's not. During my pregnancy, I was like you. I wanted to avoid anything that could potentially cause harm or bother my baby. I didn't drink caffeine and I stayed away from aspartame. I didn't take Tylenol either. I figured I was better safe than sorry. I didn't color my hair. I didn't color my hair, but I did continue to color my client's hair until my 3rd trimester. I probably wouldn't have, but we needed the extra money. When I asked my doctor about coloring my client's hair, he said something that I thought was really smart. He said he was more concerned about the chemicals having direct contact with the skin more so than inhaling the fumes. So I wore gloves and was really careful about not letting the color touch my skin. When you color your hair, it's really likely that the chemicals are in direct contact with your skin. The head is the main and strongest opening to the body. That's why I didn't put color on mine while I was pregnant. (Seriously, in my pictures at the hospital I have roots all the way to my ears.) Personally, I think bleach is different than pigment. It dries up fairly quickly after being applied. Color doesn't. I think you would be safe to highlight your hair during your "trying" period, and maybe even during your pregnancy. I know there are a lot of ladies that have colored their hair during pregnancy and everything has been just fine, but I completely understand your desire to do everything you possibly can to look out for the health of your baby. You're already a great mom, by thinking of your baby first.

Did you color your hair while pregnant? Any other stylists out there that continued to perform color while pregnant?

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Lindsey said...

I did both. I had my hair colored and I also did color on clients. While doing my clients hair I always wear gloves anyway so that was not ever an issue. You just need to make sure the area is well ventilated just in case! I have been told that having your own hair colored/highlighted during pregnancy is okay. I have heard to try to avoid getting your hair colored during the first trimester because that is the stage when the fetus is starting to develop and outward factors are generally more cause for concern. Everyone has a different opinion so I suggest doing what you feel best about! :)

Little Lovables said...

I'm a stylist as well. Not only is color potentially hazardous if the chemicals are seeped into the scalp is a factor, but for cosmetic reasons, but hormones as well as prenatal vitamins can change how the color turns out. So, the color may not turn out as planned.

So, when I am pregnant, if i want to color my hair, I put it in foils, no skin contact. Or, for those who have lots of regrowth, do an end color to balance the color as much as possible, or do a few focal higlights/lowlights to at least make a small blend of the colors.

But, I was so sick when pregnant, I could do very little coloring on my client's hair. The smell would make me have to run to the bathroom and be sick, the customers probably didn't like that so much!

See Mom Smile said...

Yes I have colored my hair while pregnant. And all my kids have all their fingers and toes. But that's just me.

Sarah loves it all said...

I totally forgot about the fact that the color takes different when your pregnant. Sometimes it doesn't even take at all. Good point Little Lovables!

Kellie said...

to each his own i guess...but i colored my hair while i was pregnant. my stylist didn't think it was too hazardous to my babies health.

carissa @ lowercase letters said...

i colored my hair with my first pregnancy (my doc said highlights were okay)... but i did always feel a bit nervous about it. now with this 2nd pregnancy i haven't but it's only because it's too expensive - especially since i'll have 2 kids in diapers! but, sometimes i think i should've done every possible thing in my ability to maintain the health of my baby. so i think i regret doing it.

meredith* said...

I'm like the worst mom ever! in one week (i was like 34 weeks preggo) i dyed my hair like four times because i went platinum, didn't like it, and had to gradually get back to brown-ish. my baby is perfect but could've done without all the chemicals for sure. :)

Serene is my name, not my life! said...

Yup, dyed my hair with preggo. I just waited until AFTER the first trimester.

Heather @ Gerber Days said...

I didn't color my hair during pregnancy, for the same reasons you didn't. Better safe than sorry. I still did hair while pregnant, and just made sure it didn't come in contact with my skin. I did hate being around all the chemicals though, and secretly wanted to wear a mask, haha. I might look a little paranoid if I did that!

I think it's such a personal thing... but I would rather not risk it.

Crystal said...

I tried to not color my hair for as long as possible, until I finally looked like I was wearing a brown hat over my blonde hair. I am sometimes a do-it-myself gal, but while pregnant I let someone else do the work.

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Amber said...

hi sarah I found your blog through meet virginia! I too am a hairdresser and a mommy. I agree with your post. I colored all my clients during my whole pregnancy. I also colored my hair but only using foils, because hair as you know is not alive, only keratin, so it doesn't absorb into your body the way your scalp may. I have also colored clients all over while they were pregnant and nobody ever had issues. Good luck to your questioner!
p.s.I have a fun beauty blog, love for you to check it out!