Is it Safe to Color Your Hair During Pregnancy?

The question on whether it’s safe to color your hair during pregnancy or while breastfeeding comes up often, especially when it’s time to touch up your summer highlights. The short answer is…yes!

We consulted with expert hairstylist Beverly Hale of Frederick’s Hairdesign (on Sycamore Dairy Rd), who is a past recipient of The Fayetteville Observer’s People’s Choice Award and Greatest Around Fayetteville Award. She has been answering this question for years with her pregnant and breastfeeding clients.

Beverly Hale (on right)

Beverly Hale (on right)

The background around this question originated when chemical hair treatments contained harmful metallic dye compounds. These chemicals posed a health risk to both mother and baby. Although the semi-permanent and permanent hair dyes currently available on the market no longer contain these harmful chemicals, many doctors are still recommending waiting until the second or third trimester to chemically treat hair.

Recent research finds that there is little risk of hair treatment chemicals being absorbed into the bloodstream through the scalp, which limits the risk of exposure to the fetus.  If you’re still not sure you want to use color treatments, you can further reduce your chances of absorbing chemicals into your bloodstream by choosing to highlight your hair versus an all over hair dye treatment. Ask your hairstylist to highlight strands of your hair starting away from the roots to avoid contact with your scalp.  

What many women don’t know is that hair can also change during pregnancy due to the hormonal changes. It is possible that hair treatments take differently from what you’re used to while you are pregnant. Hair texture can also change during and after pregnancy. What may come to a shock for some who are 3-6 months postpartum is the sudden hair shedding that can occur. Although there isn’t much that can be done to prevent these changes, keep taking your prenatal vitamins and your hormones should eventually regulate again.

If you’re still unsure about hair treatments, feel free to consult your medical provider. If you’re ready to get that hair makeover, then go for it and rock your new ‘do!


Contact Us today to learn about our birth and postpartum support services.