Is it safe to dye my hair in pregnancy?

Hair dyes have been around for many years now and there doesn't appear to be any evidence to prove that there are any links to birth defects. However, there is no research to prove they are safe either.

Hormone changes may mean that dyes don't necessarily affect your hair in the same way, so the results may not be what you expect, either.

Women's skin tends to be more sensitive during pregnancy and the hair dye can irritate your skin.
To reduce the chance of this:

  • Follow the instructions carefully
  • Do a patch skin test 24 hours before the planned treatment even if you have used the product before or are going to a hairdresser
  • Have someone else do the treatment for you to limit the exposure to the chemicals (if you have to do it yourself, wear gloves)
  • Always ensure you are in a well ventilated room
  • Don't leave the product on for any longer than is recommended in the instructions.

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  1. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, Antenatal care: routine care for the healthy pregnant woman, clinical guideline 62, London NICE, 2008
  2. Macdonald S, Magill-Cuerden J, Mayes’ midwifery, fourteenth edition, Edinburgh Bailliere Tindall Elsevier, 2012
  3. Philippat C et al, Prenatal exposure to environmental phenols: concentrations in amniotic fluid and variability in urinary concentrations during pregnancy, Environmental Health Perspectives 2013; 121(10): 1225–31
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