Can You Bleach Hair While Pregnant?

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Taking Precautions with Bleaching During Pregnancy

  • Hair bleach contains hydrogen peroxide, which can be absorbed into the skin. Most of the chemicals used in hair products, like bleach, are usually not evaluated for the effects it could have on pregnancy. According to the American Pregnancy Association, little information is available on its effects on pregnancy as a result.

    Women across the country bleach, highlight and dye their hair. So, when they get pregnant, the question of whether this is safe during pregnancy can become a serious issue.

    However, while bleaching chemicals can be absorbed into the skin during pregnancy, only a small amount is absorbed. Usually, not enough of that chemical is absorbed to be harmful to the baby when a woman is pregnant, but pregnant women should still talk to their doctors about other options and safety issues.

    One of the main concerns with bleaching hair during pregnancy is the fumes. Breathing fumes in while bleaching the hair can be harmful to the baby.

Bleaching Safety Tips During Pregnancy

  • When a woman is pregnant, she should wait until after the first trimester to bleach her hair. The first trimester is critical for the baby's development and these fumes and chemicals could cause the most damage during this point of the pregnancy. During the second trimester, the baby is at less risk.

    In addition, regardless of if the woman is bleaching her hair herself or having it done professionally, she should have it done in a well-ventilated area, and leave the bleach on the hair for the shortest amount of time possible. It is also recommended that pregnant women use gloves when bleaching hair themselves to prevent absorption of the chemicals into the skin.

Which Dyes are safe during Pregnancy?

  • Highlighting, semi-permanent dyes and vegetable dyes are considered to be safer alternatives to bleaching hair.

    Pregnant women who bleach their hair at home, rather than in a salon, should look for hair coloring products that have the least number of chemicals. Products like semi-permanent dye contain less ammonia or peroxide and harmful chemicals. These products can blend in well with permanently dyed hair. Color-enhancing shampoos can also keep old color from fading and becoming dull.

    Highlighting is generally the best and safest option to color the hair during pregnancy, because the chemicals don't touch the skin since they are applied about one-half to one-inch away from the roots of the scalp.

    Hair mascara, which can be found in drugstores, are also a great way to touch-up roots when pregnant.

    There are also natural ways to color the hair that don't use any chemicals, such as beet juice and carrot juice for red hair, lemon juice and chamomile tea for blond hair, and strong black coffee on brunette hair.

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