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Bleaching Hair While Pregnant: to Do or Not to Do

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The honest answer is probably

It is probably perfectly safe to dye or bleach your hair while you are pregnant. 

I have not colored my hair in over a decade, so the question of whether bleaching my hair while pregnant never came up for me. 

But many questions did, and one theme I noticed among them all was that we sure do like to hold on to our old wives’ tales when it comes to soon-to-be mothers. 

“No alcohol during pregnancy” was a big one for me. I have never been a big drinker, but I like to have a glass of red wine with dinner or a beer with a burger. 

My husband is from Mexico, where the wisdom says that wine is good for the heart and beer for breastmilk, so his culture has no such shame game as we do here in the states. 

What is funny is that a lot of our “wisdom” about what women can or cannot do during pregnancy relies on faulty logic or mishandled/misread studies. 

The only study done on alcohol in pregnancy was conducted over 50 years ago, and it studied abusively alcoholic pregnant women and the effects of binge drinking on pregnancy. 

Hardly a glass of wine at dinner. Likewise goes the conventional knowledge on hair color during pregnancy.  

Table of Contents:  

  • It Is Probably Safe to Bleach Hair While Pregnant
  • 5 Tips for Coloring or Bleaching Hair While Pregnant
  • How to Care for Colored Hair While Pregnant
  • Products to Support Chemically Treated Hair and Scalp

It Is Probably Safe to Bleach Hair While Pregnant

According to several OB/Gyns in surveys, coloring or bleaching hair is likely perfectly safe. Hair dyes and even bleaches do not contain the toxins and carcinogens they once were, and indeed, even if they were, you would probably be fine. 

The amount of chemical toxin that would break through your scalp and into your bloodstream, making its way to your fetus and causing it harm, is so minuscule as to not be worth the worry. 

blonde pregnant women, bleaching hair while pregnant

Goodness knows pregnant women do not need another reason to worry. The problem, and the reason we say “probably safe,” is that no one is going to do a study on a bunch of pregnant women. 

Scientists are not going to round women up, have them dye their hair monthly during pregnancy, and then test the babies for damage once born. 

So, we’re stuck with “probably.” 

The truth is, it is a personal decision. After researching my questions, I came to my own conclusions, and I made the decision that felt right to me. 

I drank the beer with the burger and the wine with the pasta. I did avoid the sushi and the soft cheese, however. 

5 Tips for Coloring or Bleaching Hair While Pregnant

  1. Highlights! 

The big concern with coloring or bleaching hair during pregnancy is not with your hair but with your scalp. 

As long as you do not apply anything to your scalp, nothing is potentially absorbed by your skin and into your bloodstream. 

So, if you want to play with hair color with absolutely not even the possibility of concern, get highlights! 

  1. Wait Until Your Second Trimester 

Anytime you introduce new chemicals to your body during pregnancy, it is a good idea to wait until the second trimester. 

This way, you make sure your fetus has passed its early developmental stages and is established in your uterus; the lower the potential risk, the lower your worries.  

  1. Henna and Other Natural Dyes 

The hair dye market is flush with alternatives to the commonly used coloring agents. You can find dyes that use all-natural ingredients like vegetables and henna. 

These products pose zero potential risk, so you can explore the range of color options available to you. 

Of course, this advice will not help those of you interested in bleaching, but if you are intent on playing with hair color risk-free, all-natural is the way to go.  

  1. Longer Intervals 

Another tip for hair color or bleaching hair while pregnant is to wait for longer intervals in between coloring. 

If you bleach and you have dark roots, you can play around with root blurring, where you intentionally allow your roots to grow into your lighter hair color.  

  1. Open Windows and Doors 

Last but certainly not least, always be sure anytime you are in a room full of chemicals that the room is well ventilated. 

Sit closer to the open door; even ask your stylist to crack all the windows. That way, you will ensure you are not inhaling any nasty fumes either. 

How to Care for Colored Hair While Pregnant

If you are one of the 75% of pregnant women who dye their hair during pregnancy, it will be helpful to know you also want to care for your hair a bit differently. 

Remember, your hair during pregnancy will be much thicker because it does not fall out as fast. (Thanks, hormones.) 

Thus, you will want to ensure when you shampoo and condition that you take more time and pay more attention to getting your new abundance. 

With colored hair, it is beneficial to use a shampoo with toner, especially if you are waiting for longer intervals in between color sessions. 

In terms of conditioning, treat yourself to extra moisturizing products to relieve any itchy or dry scalp issues you may have due to those lovely hormones. 

You can also apply hair oil to your scalp for added protection from dryness, both from the hormones and from the chemicals in the dye. You can find all-natural options to care for your colored hair below. 

Products to Support Chemically Treated Hair and Scalp

Avocado and Coconut Oil Conditioner 

Extra nourishing and moisturizing, this conditioner is dry scalp goals! And for my pregnant ladies with treated hair, you are going to want all the support you can get.  

Coconut & Avocado Natural Hair Conditioner

Argan Hair Oil 

For extra help with dry scalp and itchiness, hair oil is a helpful addition to your shelf. Argan is my favorite of all time when it comes to the luxurious feeling and delicious smelling oil for skin and hair.  

Click the links above, check out the product details, and browse the rest of the site to see what else you might like. 

Explore the WOW website for more natural hair care products

Shanna Mendez

Shanna Mathews Mendez is a freelance writer and blogger on topics related to self-care, naturopathy, female empowerment, and motherhood. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and children, where she enjoys traveling, being active outdoors, and studying herbalism and plant-based remedies in her free time. Drawing on her graduate degree in comparative literature and her own life experiences, she is currently writing her first book. She can be found online at her website thewordywitch.com

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Author: Shanna Mendez

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Shanna Mendez

Shanna Mathews Mendez is a freelance writer and blogger on topics related to self-care, naturopathy, female empowerment, and motherhood. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and children, where she enjoys traveling, being active outdoors, and studying herbalism and plant-based remedies in her free time. Drawing on her graduate degree in comparative literature and her own life experiences, she is currently writing her first book. She can be found online at her website thewordywitch.com
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