Are you confused about coloring your hair during pregnancy? Are you scared that all those toxic chemicals in the hair color will negatively affect your baby? Your concerns are valid. Your baby’s health is your priority, and you certainly wouldn’t want to take any risks during this special time. Here are some myths and realities about the use of hair dyes and their effects on your body if you are a mom-to-be.
Hair Color During Pregnancy – Is It Safe?
Usually coloring is a safe activity, but when you are pregnant, there is a drop in your immunity levels.
- According to research, a negligible amount of color gets absorbed through the pores of your skin.
- Your body is capable of dealing with the toxic elements. However, there is a risk of breathing harmful fumes and they can affect growth of your baby.
- Some of the permanent colors use ammonia as the primary agent which is a toxic substance.
- Also, it is highly volatile and there are fair chances of inhaling it.
[ Read: Hair Rebonding During Pregnancy ]
What Do Experts Say?
Experts suggest that semi-permanent dyes are relatively much safer to use while you are pregnant.
- Limiting the usage could be another effective way of reducing risk.
- Going through the formula mentioned on the wrapper is critically important.
- It is a common observation that manufacturers keep frequent changes in the ingredients to remain competitive in the market.
- While the additional ingredients might have been added for betterment, hair coloring for pregnant women can be harmful.
Earlier research indicated a clear correlation between coal-tar based hair dyes and the harmful effects on your body. They were carcinogenic and also affected development of babies. However, the use of coal-tar in hair dyes was restricted later and manufacturers replaced it with safer alternatives.
Alternative Methods For Coloring Hair:
If you insist on coloring your hair, you could consider some alternate methods. Don’t be fooled, these methods are just as effective and don’t have any side effects on the body. You can also consider coloring your hair at the right time in your pregnancy.
Wait Until The Second Trimester:
If you can’t do without coloring your hair, the ideal time to get it done is the second trimester. As the first three months of pregnancy are crucial, the baby in your womb grows rapidly, with major organs, muscles, hair follicles all developing at that time. Though there is no scientific evidence of the chemicals in hair dye penetrating the body, but the side effects can take on milder manifestations. To prevent any complications or risks, avoid coloring your hair during the first trimester.
Use Vegetable Dyes:
Vegetable hair dyes are the safest way to color your crowning glory. Vegetable hair dyes don’t contain all those harsh chemicals that ruin your hair and can cause health complications. Unlike chemical colors with no fumes, vegetable dyes won’t make you feel nauseatic or ill.
Ladies, if you are keen on coloring your tresses, consider using henna (mehndi). Henna is a natural hair color and along with vegetable dye, it is the safest option for coloring your hair. Henna is completely natural and does not contain any potentially carcinogenic or toxic chemicals. Henna will not harm the little one in your womb. If you are skeptical about using powdered henna (which might contain some chemicals), use henna leaves. They are non-toxic and completely safe to use.
How To Apply Henna:
- Soak henna leaves in water in an iron pan.
- Leave them overnight.
- In the morning, grind this mixture in a food processor.
- Now take a hair brush and apply the mixture evenly on your hair.
- For the best results, add other ingredients like used tea leaves or egg extract.
Go For Mild Colors:
If you are coloring your hair, consider using ammonia-free colors. Ammonia can have detrimental effects on your eyes and lead to other complications. So, avoid using ammonia-based colors. Semi- permanent colors are another safe bet for your hair, as they do not have any toxic or potentially carcinogenic chemicals than chemical based dyes.
These options will help you solve your dilemma of to color or not to color you hair. Use chemical-free options so that you don’t face the slightest risk of inhaling or coming into contact with potentially harmful chemicals.
A Few Precautions:
Here are few precautions while coloring hair during pregnancy:
- Though research does not confirm the presence of toxic elements in popular brands of semi-permanent or permanent hair colors, you should minimize its use.
- Read the instruction carefully before applying.
- Use only good quality colors and don’t go for the cheaper brands.
- It is important that you wear gloves during the activity.
- Apply color directly on strands instead of on your scalp. This way, the color can’t reach your blood circulation system. Perform a strand test before applying hair color.
- Do not apply it on your eyelashes or eyebrow. It may cause infection or swelling.
- Do not leave the color on for a long time, and apply it in an open area with proper air circulation.
- Rinse your scalp thoroughly to avoid absorbance of the color.
- Never drink or eat anything while coloring the hair. There are high risks of color getting into your body.
- Usually there is a change in the quality of hair during pregnancy. They become frizzy and absorb less color. Hence, you may have to repeat the application frequently.
- Seek medical advice before the application.
Very frequent hair color in pregnancy may be harmful, but the intermittent use with adequate precautions can be safe. Consulting the physician beforehand would be a good move. If possible, take their recommendation for a safe color and use it during pregnancy. Doing the activity in a properly ventilated area with exposure for the minimum time avoids long-term effects. Good quality colors have the least toxic substances, so the risk is relatively less.
Make sure you follow all the safety instructions once you decide to color your hair during pregnancy. Be careful and be safe.
Have more tips for hair color during pregnancy? Please share them with us.
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