Expert Advice

Is it safe to colour your hair when pregnant?

Experts have generally advised waiting until after the first trimester before colouring your hair. Is this still the case? Three experts weigh in…

By Fiona Wright

Founder and director of Natural Fertility Management, Francesa Naish suggests skipping colour until after the first twelve weeks.

"Steer clear of hair dyes in the first trimester so there's no chance of chemicals being absorbed into the bloodstream and crossing the placenta," she says.

"If a non-natural hair colouring product is going to be used, streaks or foils are preferred as they don't make contact with the scalp and won't be absorbed into the skin."

Meanwhile leading celebrity hair stylist, Anthony Nader says hair dye is safe during pregnancy.

"This myth is not backed by statistics! The little research available suggests that it is, in fact, safe. The chemicals found in hair dye are not considered highly toxic, and are therefore deemed safe to use. Only an extremely small amount of hair dye could be absorbed by the scalp, let alone it reaching the bloodstream or making it to the foetus."

Some experts believe waiting until your second trimester is the safest option. *(Image: Getty Images)*
Some experts believe waiting until your second trimester is the safest option. (Image: Getty Images)

For women who still want to avoid hair dye during pregnancy, Anthony says there are other options.

"They may have highlights, or freehand painting of the hair, which avoids dye touching the scalp entirely. This is the perfect solution for those blondes who still want to maintain their golden locks while pregnant, and keep their minds at ease."

"The other option is temporary colours, which could be a coloured shampoo or mousse, which is very low in ammonia and alcohol. For those women who are still feeling tentative about it, wait until your second trimester to have your hair done, as your bub's organ development is now complete."

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Travis Gavin-Lefèvre, a stylist from Australia's leading hair agency, Edwards and Co, also believes hair dye during pregnancy is safe but recommends chatting to a medical professional if you want further peace of mind.

"Most research indicates the chemicals found in both semi-permanent and permanent dyes are not highly toxic and are safe to use during pregnancy.

In addition, only small amounts of hair dye may be absorbed by the skin, leaving little that would be able to reach the foetus. I would always recommend my clients to speak with their GP first to get their recommendation."

Travis also suggests chatting to your hairdresser for best colouring options.

"There are many pure vegetable dyes that are all natural with no chemicals at all which are completely safe to use and choosing foil highlights so there are no chemicals going directly onto the scalp."

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