Women's Healthcare Topics

Hair Treatment in Pregnancy including Perms & Color Treatment

Reviewed by James Brann, M.D.

Hair Treatments During Pregnancy

Many women shy away from hair treatments, perms, colors during pregnancy. Fortunately you don't have to forgo your beauty regimen completely during pregnancy.

In fact certain hair treatments or other indulgences may leave you feeling better about yourself and your pregnant appearance!

Is Hair Coloring Safe During Pregnancy?

Learn about your hair treatments while pregnant.

Most women enjoy some form of hair beauty regimen prior to pregnancy. You probably have highlights, color or may even have a perm. Many women approach hair treatments with caution during pregnancy. Doctors are split on this issue. Some agree that it is perfectly safe to color hair while pregnant, while others suggest pregnant women approach their hair color with caution.

Here's the skinny on hair color. What you put on your scalp is absorbed into your body. Medical experts are hesitant to claim that hair color is 100% safe because some of the chemicals are absorbed into the bloodstream. That said, few studies have linked fetal development problems with hair coloring during pregnancy. Your best bet? You can hold off coloring your hair until after the first trimester, when all of your baby's organs are developing and forming. By doing so you dramatically decrease the risk of something negative happening to your baby resulting from hair coloring.

An even safer bet? Opt for chemical free products or try highlighting instead of full on coloring while pregnant. Highlighting uses a technique that brushes hair color onto strands of hair rather than paints color onto the scalp.

As a result much less color is likely to be absorbed into your body. Many home coloring products have limited chemicals in them, especially temporary hair colors. You can always opt for one of these products after your first trimester to improve the safety of coloring. You can also buy over the counter hair highlighting kits if you are in the mood to try something new. Most hair highlights last for up to eight weeks at a time.

Some women find that their hair reacts differently to coloring products during pregnancy. This is largely due to the high levels of hormones raging through the body during pregnancy. Higher than normal hormone levels can cause your hair to take color faster than it normally would. Because of this it is important you keep tabs on your color while processing and frequently check your hair to make sure you get the color you want. You may find you need to rinse hair color a bit sooner than you might if you weren't pregnant. Pregnancy is definitely time where you might want to consider a test strand before coating your hair in a single color.

Learn about straightening your Hair during pregnancy.

Perming or Straightening Hair During Pregnancy

Perming or straightening your hair during pregnancy may carry a little more risk. Most hairdressers do not recommend perming or straightening hair during pregnancy. The problem here is not so much the chemicals as it is the hormones raging through your body during pregnancy.

Pregnancy hormones can change the way your body reacts to the chemical agents used in perms or relaxers. So, instead of coming away with a head full of luscious curls, you could walk away from a perm with kinky frizz. The same can happen if you try to straighten your hair. Your best bet is to avoid perming or straightening while pregnant. Coloring is a much simpler method for changing your hair during pregnancy. You can even combine a great new color with a great new cut to keep you feeling fresh and new during pregnancy!


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