Questions related to using hair chemicals during pregnancy are common. Most treatments involve dyes and chemicals which women are unsure if they are safe.
Different types of hair chemical treatments include:
- Bleaching – This treatment contains hydrogen peroxide.
- Coloring – This includes temporary, permanent, and semi-permanent.
- Relaxers – These are also known as perms as available in various strengths. They contain either no lye (potassium, lithium, or guanidine hydroxide). Or lye (sodium hydroxide). Both are used to permanently straighten the hair.
- Curling – Permanent waves are created by using two solutions on the hair. The first of these is a waving solution, and the second is a solution for neutralization/fixation.
Are Chemical Treatments and Hair Dyes Safe During Pregnancy?
Permanent hair dyes in high doses have been known to cause birth defects in rats. Although fairly limited, most research show that only small amounts of hair dye may be absorbed by the skin. This would indicate that little would be able to reach the fetus.
Due to lack of significant studies to verify that these chemicals are completely safe, many doctors recommend avoiding hair dyes during pregnancy. This is highly advisable during the delicate first trimester.
There are safer alternatives to regular hair dyes during pregnancy. You may want to consider having highlights put in your hair instead. Highlights are only placed on strands of your hair and does not (it shouldn’t) touch the scalp. This type of hair treatment decreases the risk of chemicals seeping deep into your scalp and pores.
Precautions To Take When Chemically Treating Your Hair
If not done properly, chemical treatments can cause great trauma to your scalp and induce hair loss. During pregnancy, your body is undergoing many changes. For these reasons, I firmly believe chemical treatments should be done by skilled professionals who understand the importance of scalp protection.
Having said that, if you’re eager to do it yourself, please take precaution such as:
- Wear gloves when applying treatment.
- Never bleach or dye your eyelashes or eyebrows.
- Make sure the treatment is done in a well-ventilated area.
- Do a patch test for allergic reactions before completing the process.
- Apply a scalp base protection before perm or relaxer application.
- Rinse your hair throughly with water after treatment.
- Do not leave the chemicals on your hair any longer than indicated by the directions.
- Consider waiting until the second trimester to treat your hair.
Remember, your body is experiencing many wonderful changes during pregnancy. This includes naturally changing your hair’s texture. Also, your hair may react differently to coloring or perming while pregnant. If so, you may want to wait wait until after pregnancy to chemically treat your hair.
Generally, hair treatments are mostly consider safe to use during pregnancy. But, you may want to think about using pure vegetable dyes or getting highlights. Regardless, err on the side of caution and wait at least until after the first trimester, if not until after pregnancy.
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