Is It Safe To Color Your Hair During Pregnancy? June 29, 2015

Are you pregnant and do you want to pamper yourself with a grooming session that enhances your looks and lifts your spirits? Are you game to experiment with hair hues to beat the pregnancy blues? It is normal to have a number of doubts when you are pregnant, and coloring your hair is one of them!

Cosmetics are replete with toxic chemicals that lead to health complications. The various hair dyes lining up the salon shelves contain many chemicals that can pose serious health risks to the body, especially during pregnancy. However, there is no solid evidence that bans hair coloring during pregnancy. Research to link pregnancy risks with hair coloring is futile so far.

Hair Coloring During Pregnancy:

So if you are wondering if it is safe to color your hair when you are pregnant, then this post has you covered! Check out the contradictory opinions on hair coloring during pregnancy before you add that dash of color to your lustrous locks.

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Case Study One:

The Organization of Teratology Information Services (OTIS), an organization that provides information on pregnancy risks, concedes that there are not many reports of hair color leading to complications during pregnancy. These studies highlight the fact that hair dyes contain harsh chemicals, but only a negligible quantity of it permeates your scalp and enters your system. Therefore, hair coloring poses minimal threat to the growth and development of your baby (1).

However, there are many who will choose to believe another small-scale study, which speaks about the carcinogenic chemicals present in hair dye.

If you want to play it safe, you can consider experimenting with hair colors only during the second trimester of your pregnancy, when the developing baby is not as vulnerable. Coloring agents enter your body through the skin and not the hair follicle or shaft. However, if you are still nervous about the safety of your baby, you need not color your entire mane. Instead, you can opt for alternative hair coloring techniques like highlighting, painting, streaking or frosting. These processes are safer as they allow little or no contact of chemicals with your scalp.

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Case Study Two:

An independent study of 2005 suggests that dying the hair during pregnancy increases the chances of the baby developing cancer, and especially neuroblastoma. However, further research is underway to analyze the exact method of usage and chemical composition of hair dyes that may cause cancer in babies (3). Scientists all around the world feel that the use of hair dyes and other hair care products during pregnancy do not spike the growth of tumors in babies.


Although the 2005 research does highlight the carcinogenic potential of hair color, the study undertaken by OTIS negates it. Therefore, the inference is that using hair color is quite safe during pregnancy, and it poses no apparent threat for the yet-to-be-born baby. So, is it safe to color hair when pregnant? And now the answer is definitely Yes!

Natural Hair Color Options:

If you are still wary of the synthetic chemicals that the top brands of hair color contain, you can try the following natural alternatives that will help add that hint of tint to your mane:

1. Vegetable Dyes:

You can try using vegetable dyes and natural coloring agents for coloring your hair. However, check the labels before you buy any natural colors, as it may have synthetic compounds like dihydroxybenzene, p-phenylenediamine and aminophenol, that all major permanent and semi-permanent hair dyes contain (4).

2. Pure Henna:

Henna is the best hair color for pregnant women. Henna or Lawsonia inermis is the most popular natural hair dye in India. It has no side effects. The only problem with this option is that it is rather messy and has a lengthy application time. It usually gives the hair a distinct red-orange hue. Pure henna does not give instant results, so remember to check for chemical ingredients before picking up a packet from the supermarket (5).

[ Read: How Is Coconut Water Useful During Pregnancy ]

Precautions While Coloring Your Hair During Pregnancy:

We know that coloring your hair poses no risk during pregnancy. However, it is always better to exercise caution. Some general safety rules to follow when you color hair during pregnancy include:

  • Wear gloves while handling the hair dye.
  • Follow the instructions on the label strictly, regarding the application time.
  • Rinse the scalp thoroughly afterward (6).

We hope we have resolved your doubts! Why delay your makeover? Flaunt your new hair color and tell us about the compliments you received. Let us know the option you finally chose to get a new look. Comment in the box below!

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