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Is it safe to dye your hair while pregnant?

(40 Posts)
Chanelno5 Sat 10-Nov-01 18:38:14

Yes, I know this sounds a strange question to ask, but a friend of mine has just found out that she is 5 weeks pregnant and wanted to know if it is ok to keep bleaching her hair. I really haven't got a clue and the thought never crossed my mind when I was pregnant as I didn't dye mine. But now I come to think about it, it is quite a good question to ask, as potentially the chemicals could enter the bloodstream through the scalp and reach the unborn baby. Any thoughts/suggestions/ideas on this one gratefully received.

Joe1 Sat 10-Nov-01 18:55:09

Chanelno5, I did hear that you were not supposed to dye your hair with anything while pregnant. I cant remember where or whether I read it but it gave me a bit of a worry because I had just dyed my hair with a packet colour for our wedding.

Chanelno5 Sat 10-Nov-01 19:56:13

Joe1 - I take it you were pregnant at the time? Have you had your baby now? If so, I hope everything is ok?

Joe1 Sat 10-Nov-01 20:06:26

Chanelno5, yes I was pregnant and ds is just fine and a 14 month old professional house wrecker :). Thanks.

Chanelno5 Sat 10-Nov-01 20:25:28

Very pleased to hear it! (All 3 of mine are professional house wreckers aswell!)

Pamina Sat 10-Nov-01 20:54:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Chanelno5 Sun 11-Nov-01 07:39:37

Thanks Pamina!:)

Winnie Sun 11-Nov-01 09:53:54

Sorry to put a dampner on things but I would just like to mention that I didn't dye my hair throughout my pregnancy as I was advised not to. As ones hair seems to change in pregnancy one cannot necessarily expect the same results one would have prepregnancy. After over nine months of hair regrowth I was quite desperate to cover my roots and had my hair dyed quite soon after the birth of our baby. The result: clumps of my hair fell out!!! This had never happened before but I am convinced it is because my hair had changed in pregnancy. I may of course be completely wrong but I just thought I'd mention it.

Puffin Sun 11-Nov-01 10:34:24

I remember asking my hairdresser about highlights when I was first pregnant and he said definately not as it could be very damaging, to both me and babe I think. A definate impact on your hair condition anyway, and not a positive one in alot of cases. Why don't you suggest your friend rings her hairdresser for advice.

Batters Sun 11-Nov-01 10:54:33

Chanelno5, the advice I received from a book and a midwife was that it was fine.....Why don't you phone NHS Direct, as it seems from this thread that we have all received different advice?

Chanelno5 Sun 11-Nov-01 13:05:20

Thanks for all your comments - I think I might give NHS direct a ring, even if they don't know they might beable to point me in the direction of someone who does - good idea, Batters! Winnie - I don't think that your hair falling out was to do with it being dyed as this too happened after the birth of all 3 of mine and I didn't dye my hair either before, during or after (have to admit I do now though!). I have since read (though I can't pinpoint where) that apparently the pregnancy hormones stop you shedding hair as you normally do, so after the birth of the baby, when all of the pregnancy hormones are out of your system, all of these extra hairs start to fall out. As you normally lose about 200 hairs a day (or there abouts), it can be quite alarming when all of the hairs start to fall out in one go - remember, there's 9 month's worth! Mine too fell out in big clumps (particularly around the front and temples) and I was really worried. I've since found out that it is entirely normal, but having said that, it doesn't happen to everyone and it doesn't happen after each pregnancy in the same woman - so I guess we were just two of the unlucky ones!

Expatkat Sun 11-Nov-01 15:03:41

I asked my obstetrician about dying my hair while I was pregnant. He said there's no evidence that it harms the baby at all, it's all only in theory--and even in theory, the only time it might possibly harm the baby would be in the first trimester, but even then probably not. In addition to my doctor's reassurance, I got some from my hairdresser, who told me that pregnant women dye their hair all the time. I dyed my hair twice while pregnant, once very early on, before I realized I was pregnant, and then again near the end (I couldn't stand all the white hairs!)and now have an apparently very healthy two-year-old.

Jasper Sun 11-Nov-01 22:57:24

Hi , couldn't resist joining this discussion! I dye my hair every eight weeks or so, and did through both pregnancies. My hair reacted the same as when I am not pregnant, I kept my dignity ( Im really going grey!) and both babies were born with the right number of fingers and toes.

Marina Mon 12-Nov-01 09:01:33

Sad old hippy chimes in that if you are anxious there is the Daniel Field chain of organic hairdressers, and if you have got over your morning sickness (it has a very intense, earthy smell) henna gives hair good conditioning and lovely copper/auburn highlights.

Slug Mon 12-Nov-01 10:56:29

I used henna all through my pregnancy with no ill effects. The risk is only theoritical and quite frankly, my self esteem needed the boost.

Tigermoth1 Mon 12-Nov-01 12:46:22

I think the risk, if any, greatly depends on whether your hair dye has bleach or ammonia in it. If the instructions say you have to mix different liquids together, then you can bet your bottom dollar one of the liquids contains bleach or ammonia. As far as I'm aware, all semi-permanent and permanent dye processes include this mixing element.

The reason it can be dangerous is as follows (according to a lengthy conversation I had with my hairdresser): The bleach/ammonia makes your hair more porous so it accepts the colour better. Unfortunately, this also means the chemicals can more easily enter your bloodstream, so IF they are harmful to your or your baby, you are more at risk.

I have seen recent newspaper reports saying research has shown that women who regularly dye their hair using bleach or ammonia are more likely to develop a certain form of cancer - I think it was bowel cancer. This was why I questioned my haridresser so closely.

If you look at the packaging on boxes of hair colourant - permanent and semi - you will often see the message 'contains no bleach'. This is, I am told, not strictly true. One of the 'mixer' bottles always has some bleach-like substance in it, in order for the colour to 'take'.

My hairdresser was well aware of the research and said so were many in her profession. I asked her if there was any way of dying hair permanently, at home or with a salon treatment, without running this risk. She said not, unless you use vegetable dyes, but they are not so permanent. Don't know if this includes henna, though.

Hope this helps, and doesn't cause panic!

Janz Mon 12-Nov-01 13:52:53

I remember reading somewhere that even if there is a theoretical risk (and even if there is, it is theoretically very low!), the risk would be through skin contact. As your hair is "dead", the risk would only come into play when dye made contact with your scalp. So if you get your hair highlighted with either a cap (uncomfortable though they are!) or foils, there is no contact with your scalp.

I also remember reading in "Best Friend's Guide to Pregnacy", the story of one woman who took the view that they baby was going to be far more damaged by her mother having a nervous breakdown or divorce (or something along those lines) which would occur if she didn't cover up her roots!

Anyway, I had my hair highlighted (using the logic in my FIRST paragraph!) while I was pregnant, with no apparent ill-effects.

Smew Mon 12-Nov-01 16:36:41

I had my hair dyed whilst pregnant. I asked my hairdreser, who does nothing but colour hair, what she thought. She said she carried on colouring hair all through her pregnancies with no ill effect. She did say that pregnancy may affect the way the hair takes highlights and that the chemicals can explode on the hair (although I can't think why). I took the Best Friends' Guide approach. It took me 6 months to get back to the hairdressers after the baby was born and I'm sure that my increasingly brown hair was very bad for my flagging morale. Happily un-brown again now!

Chanelno5 Sun 25-Nov-01 10:06:30

Just a quick update on this thread. I was at the hairdressers yesterday and read in the Redken Celebrity Hair magazine in a section called something like The 10 most FAQ about colouring that according to medical opinion, it is safe to dye your hair at any stage in pregnancy. The only thing is that sometimes the pregnancy hormones can make your skin more sensitve, so they recommended a patch test first, even if it is your usual hair day. So, dye away, girls!!

Thanks for all your helpful comments.

Chanelno5 Sun 25-Nov-01 10:08:50

Excuse my typing mistakes, that should read 'usual hair dye' not 'hair day', see you can tell that I don't check what I've typed before I post it!

CobainsAngel Thu 07-Oct-10 21:32:42

Ooh, a lot of yes and nos in this discussion...
I hope you can dye your hair! I've got black hair with pink tips and pink at the front! I needed to dye my hair, and I've got a dye I was going to do, but then I found out I'm pregnant! So I stuck synthetic dreads in my hair to disguise the miscoloured hair, lol! Ooh, well there's hats if all else fails ;D

Violet5 Fri 08-Oct-10 12:20:21

I have 5 children (soon to be 6) and really black hair that i have always dyed blonde (since 18). Usually i've just done it myself at home and had some highlights done at the hairdressers occasionally too. I'd asked my GP in my first pregnancy and she said she couldn't find any evidence of it doing any harm.
So i have done my hair as normal throughout all my pregnancies with no harmful side affects to my babies or children smile

narmada Fri 08-Oct-10 13:01:15

Go and get your hair dyed. No evidence it causes harm. You will feel better in yourself.

There is a lot of IMHO nonsense spoken about harmful substances in pregnancy - often when there is absolutely no scientific evidence to indicate a risk at all.

inbetweener Fri 08-Oct-10 14:51:07

Wow this thread was started in 2001 !!!!!!!

Anyway, I bloody well hope you can dye your hair becuase I have some serioud grey at the roots and I am not walking a bout like that for nine months !! I have to dye my hair every six - eight weeks !!!!!!!!!!!

snowmummy Fri 08-Oct-10 16:20:20

Both my midwife and hairdresser said it was fine. The only risks are that the dye may not take as normal and, because your skin changes, you may have a reaction to the dye, so have a patch test. I have dyed mine this pregnancy.

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