Hair Dye and Pregnancy

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Hair Dye and Pregnancy
60 per cent of women colour their hair 6 to 8 times a year on average, according to The European Commission.

However many women are wary about dying their hair when they are pregnant. If you usually dye or highlight your hair and don't really fancy the idea of giving birth with nearly a year's worth of roots showing, then read on.....

During pregnancy there are all sorts of changes in the body and most mums-to-be will find that as baby grows, then so does their hair because of all those extra pregnancy hormones. This is great news except for those who dye their hair, as all that hair growth means their roots will be showing through much more quickly than usual. So is it safe to carry on colouring now that you're pregnant?

The general consensus is that most commercially-produced hair dyes should be perfectly safe during pregnancy although it must be said that many women decide to wait to dye their hair until they have passed the first trimester.Many doctors actually advise pregnant women to wait until they have passed the 12 week mark before using hair dyes, even though there is very little scientific evidence that colouring your hair in pregnancy could be dangerous for the baby. However, as the development of your baby's brain and nervous system is at its most active during the first trimester, it's not all that surprising that it is also during this time that your unborn child is at the greatest risk from outside pollutants and chemicals.

Another reason for perhaps holding off on colouring your hair when you're pregnant, is the fact that hormonal changes in the body can mean the texture and condition of your hair will be different. Let's not forget too that the smell from some hair dyes can make you feel nauseous at the best of times so if you're suffering from morning sickness ......

Hair Dyes - The Science

Hair dyes contain chemicals which, in studies, have been proved to cause some harm to animal foetuses. However, the doses used in those studies were over
young pregnant woman
100 times greater than the amount you would normally be exposed to when colouring your hair. When hair is dyed, most of the dye is absorbed by each individual hair shaft. Only when the dye touches the scalp does it enter the body. In other words, only very small traces reach your bloodstream. Add to this the fact that the chemicals found in most of todays' hair dyes have a very low toxicity, and most people would agree that they are safe to use during pregnancy.

However, Charlotte Vhotz of Green People says: "60 per cent of everything we put on our skin is absorbed. When pregnant, all the toxins we come into contact with are passed to the baby."

So who and what to believe? Taking a balanced view, if you do decide to dye your hair when you're pregnant, it's worth bearing in mind that some traces of hair dye could reach your unborn baby and the more often you colour your hair, the more often your baby will be subjected to these minute traces.

Highlights and lowlights should be ok as the colour is usually put on the hair a centimetre or so away from the scalp so the dye can't be absorbed. Another option could be to go for a semi-permanent colour. Semi-permanents don't last as long as permanents, but if you pick one that's free from harmful chemicals, like ammonia and peroxide, then colouring your hair in pregnancy should be fine.

April 2011

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