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Hair Dye And The Dangers Of Bleaching Hair During Pregnancy

Medically reviewed by Jobelle Ann Dela Cruz Bigalbal, MD · General Practitioner

Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Jul 19, 2023

    Hair Dye And The Dangers Of Bleaching Hair During Pregnancy

    Many pregnant women want to look their best, and one thing that gives them that extra boost of confidence is making some changes to their appearance. One of the most common changes would be having their hair bleached or dyed. But the thing is, pregnant women are often concerned about the safety of their babies. Is hair dye safe? Is inhaling hair bleach when pregnant safe? What are the risks? Learn all you need to know about coloring your hair and its effect on your pregnancy.

    Is It Safe To Use Hair Dye or Bleach During Pregnancy?

    There are various hair treatments such as coloring, curling, bleaching, and relaxing, all of which would involve chemicals. There is no getting around it: Chemicals are present in most commercially available hair dyes.

    According to health experts, there is not enough research done with regard to the effects on a fetus when a mother bleaches her hair. With that said, experts remain uncertain about the safety of the fetus. This is why most doctors advise pregnant women to avoid or postpone their trip to the hair salon.

    In addition, some doctors suggest that the only time it would be safe for pregnant women to have their hair bleached or dyed is after the first trimester or after they have delivered their baby.

    The majority of health experts believe that this is the best course of action since little is known about the safety of hair dyes in pregnancy. There is simply a limited number of studies available.

    On the other hand, there are doctors who claim that the chemicals present in hair bleach/dye do not fully make their way inside the body. Theoretically, the human skin only absorbs a small amount of hair dye and other hair products used in treatments.

    For the same reason, they suggest refraining from bleaching hair if the skin is irritated, infected, or if there are signs of breakage in the skin. Any damage in the skin would make it easier for the chemicals to make their way inside the body.

    Safety Tips When Coloring Hair

    If pregnant women would still want to push through with bleaching their hair, then they must ensure to follow the safety precautions administered by the FDA.

    • Wear a face mask and do it in a well-ventilated area
    • Carefully follow the instructions printed on the box of the hair dye. It is common for hair dye products to have a separate set of instructions for pregnant women.
    • Always wear the gloves provided inside the box.
    • Do not leave the hair dye on your head for more than what is instructed in the box.
    • Thoroughly rinse the hair dye from your head.

    Never be afraid to approach any health expert and ask for help in regards to using hair dye during pregnancy.

    Risks of Having Hair Bleached/Dyed During Pregnancy

    There are no risks discovered yet pertaining to pregnant women bleaching or dyeing their hair. Pregnant women may have their doubts when they breastfeed after having their hair dyed, but it is still safe for them to continue breastfeeding.

    Breathing in any fumes from bleach can be harmful. That is why inhaling hair bleach during pregnancy may not be good for pregnant women. The best way to avoid inhaling hair bleach fumes is to color your hair in a well-ventilated room.

    Most of the health risks involved with hair dye or bleach involve allergic reactions. If a pregnant woman shows signs of being allergic to hair dye after doing a patch test, then they must discontinue using it. Even after delivery, they should refrain from using hair dye that they are allergic to.

    Alternatives to Bleaching/Dyeing Hair

    There are many alternatives to bleaching/dyeing hair. One such alternative is using henna. Because henna is a type of dye that comes from a plant, it is free from harmful chemicals.

    Another tip for bleaching/dyeing hair would be having only the tips of the hair dyed. This way, pregnant women don’t have to worry since the dye does not make direct contact with the scalp.

    Key Takeaway

    There is nothing wrong with pregnant women wanting to look and feel good by having their hair dyed. Should they choose to color their hair while pregnant, they should make sure to take basic safety precautions, and to not bleach or dye hair if they are allergic. The bottom line is there is much we do not know about the health risks of hair dyes. If pregnant women want to stay on the safe side, then it is better to wait after the first trimester or until they have delivered their baby to have their hair dyed.

    Learn more about Pregnancy here.


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Jobelle Ann Dela Cruz Bigalbal, MD

    General Practitioner

    Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Jul 19, 2023

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