SPECIAL OFFER: - Limited Time Only!
(The ad below will not display on your printed page)

Say YES to your FREE SUBSCRIPTION today! Simply fill in the form below and click "Subscribe". You'll receive American Baby® magazine ABSOLUTELY FREE! (U.S. requests only)


First Name:

Last Name:





Mother's Birth State: 
Is this your first child?
Due date or child's birthdate:
Your first FREE issue of American Baby® Magazine packed with great tips and expert advice will arrive within 4 to 6 weeks. In the meantime, your e-mail address is required to access your account and member benefits online, but rest assured that we will not share your e-mail address with anyone. Free subscription is subject to publisher's qualifications. Publisher bases number of issues served on birth and due dates provided. Click here to view our privacy policy.

Pregnancy and Hair Coloring Safety

Hair Dye and Nail Polish During Pregnancy: Safe or Not?
Hair Dye and Nail Polish During Pregnancy: Safe or Not?

Before you embark on a trip to the salon, always talk to your obstetrician about any color treatment you might be planning. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn't done any conclusive studies on the effects of hair color chemicals on a developing fetus, but it's better to play it safe.

Doug MacIntosh, colorist at Minardi Salon in New York City, suggests that once you've decided to continue coloring your hair throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding, you have an in-depth consultation with a colorist about what the best option is for you.

Before you color, heed these tips:

1. Wait out the first trimester. Most doctors and colorists recommend not doing chemical processes during the first three months of pregnancy for both safety reasons and your potential sensitivity to the chemical fumes. Also, hair may change during pregnancy. Some people get more gray hair, others find that their hair's texture changes dramatically. After the first trimester you'll have a better idea what you're dealing with.

2. Avoid processes that involve scalp contact. All the experts agree that any color process should avoid touching the skin and scalp to prevent absorption of chemicals into the bloodstream. This means no single-process color, which is harsher and comes into contact with hair roots.

3. Try temporary color. Here's the ultimate no-commitment option -- a hair mascara wand or a hair pencil. The results only last until your next shampoo, and they're nontoxic.

4. Opt for highlights. This process involves painting sections of the hair with permanent color (which contains peroxide and ammonia) but not allowing the solution to touch the scalp or skin.

5. Don't be duped by vegetable dye. There's no such thing as vegetable dye that's safe against the scalp during pregnancy.

6. Pare down your hair color expectations. Coming into the salon every four weeks for root touch-ups or a single process just isn't realistic. Talk with your stylist about taking your hair maintenance down a notch.

All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your won health or the health of others.