Is Dying Hair While Pregnant Safe?

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Some pregnancy dangers are obvious (hello, smoking). But, what about dying hair while pregnant? Does that baby growing in your belly render you unable to dye your roots, or limit you from switching up your hair color all together? We checked in with Anna Barbieri, MD, an ob-gyn and professor at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, for the real deal.

Is dying hair while pregnant safe?

There has only been limited research on the use of hair dye during pregnancy, says Dr. Barbieri; however, the findings suggest that there are probably no adverse affects on a fetus. To err on the side of caution, she tells her patients that it’s okay to dye their hair while pregnant — so long as they do so later in the pregnancy and consider using a chemical-free option.

When is it okay to dye your hair while pregnant?

After the first trimester. “Although the small amount that penetrates the skin makes it unlikely that there would be harm, we advise pregnant patients to wait until after the first trimester to dye their hair,” says Dr. Barbieri. After that, she says to make sure you are dying your hair in a well-ventilated area and don’t exceed the directed application time.

What are some chemical-free alternatives to hair dye?

If you don’t want to forego dying altogether, Dr. Barbieri suggests trying vegetable-based dyes (like henna) over synthetic or permanent ones. Alternately, think about getting highlights instead; the dye won’t be near the roots, so it won’t get into the bloodstream. Or, if you choose to get your hair dyed normally at the salon, tell the stylist you are pregnant, and ask her to avoid directly applying the dye to your scalp.

Still worried? Talk to your healthcare provider for additional advice, or skip the dye and go natural for the next nine months. Remember, you’ve still got the “pregnancy glow” to keep you looking good!

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