Can you Dye Your Hair While Pregnant

A hair coloring session may have been a regular affair with you till the time you conceived. However, whether you are allowed to dye your hair during pregnancy, is a different matter entirely, be it at home or at a salon. There are a number of things to know about and consider.

Can You Dye Your Hair While Pregnant

Is it safe to dye your hair while pregnant: Studies and research

research says that dying your hair while pregnant may be bad. It states that babies born to women using hair dye a month prior conception and all through pregnancy are at a risk of suffering from neuroblastoma (a kind of cancer affecting the nervous system).

It also mentioned temporary hair dyes to be more harmful than the permanent ones, though this seems to be a little surprising as the former does not enter beyond the hair shaft, while the latter has always been linked to cancer formation [8].

However, according to OTIS (Organization of Teratology Information Specialists), studies conducted on pregnant animals showed that the chemicals contained in permanent and semi-permanent dyes are nontoxic, not harming the fetus since only a little amount of it gets absorbed into the skin. It also shows no changes in human pregnancies as a result of dying hair [1, 2].

Women who work as cosmetologists may be at a greater risk because of the long duration and adverse working condition. One study highlighted high miscarriage chances for women applying an increased amount of bleach and dye, as well as for those working for over 40 hours every week [2].


Can you get your hair colored while pregnant

Due to the contradictory findings, there is no way yet to come to a concrete conclusion. As a result, many prefer to go for natural hair colors during this time.

Hair dying might still affect your pregnancy if you do not take proper precautions. It is safe to have a word with your doctor, who would tell you the pros and cons associated with coloring your hair, as well as the proper time to do it.

Avoid dyes containing ammonia, as they may be toxic for you, while they may also harm the fetus [4, 9].

Hair dye and pregnancy: When is it okay and when is it not

Early pregnancy (First trimester): The initial 12 weeks is the most crucial stage as the baby’s major organs begin to develop around this time. The slightest complication may pose a great threat to the unborn baby. Hence it is best to refrain from dying your hair at this time [1, 4].

Late pregnancy (Second and third trimester): If you still want to go ahead, this is a suitable time for hair coloring as your baby is much more mature now. Make sure you have received a positive nod from your doctor [2].

Safety and precautions for coloring your hair during pregnancy


  • Opt for frosting or highlighting instead of coloring your full hair so that your scalp does not have to come in contact with the chemicals [1, 11].
  • Choose an airy and well-ventilated place [1].
  • Read the instructions given on the package properly.
  • Go through a patch test to check for allergic reactions or try with a strand first to see if your hair adjusts to the dye well.
  • Wear protective latex gloves, if you are home-dying your hair, to prevent harmful chemicals from entering into your skin [3, 8].
  • Rinse your scalp thoroughly after applying the dye.


  • Leave the dye for a duration longer than what is mentioned on the package [2].
  • Dye your eyelashes and eyebrows as it can result in swelling and infection in the region around the eyes [2].

What kind of hair colors are safe during pregnancy


Ammonia free hair dyes like Olia, as well as natural ones such as vegetable dye and henna, are considered among the list of pregnancy-friendly hair colors as they are devoid of harmful chemicals. Check the package well prior to purchasing them since even the natural ones might have synthetic chemicals [1, 8].

The brown henna is believed to be better than the black one since the latter has para-phenylenediamine, a dye more likely to cause allergic reactions [10]

Can you dye your hair while breastfeeding

Like pregnancy, there is lack of sufficient information regarding the effects of hair color during breastfeeding. But, according to experts only a scanty amount of the chemicals may reach the bloodstream, hence chances of it reaching the milk are negligible [1]. Moreover, women using dyes when nursing have not reported any adverse effects [3].

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