Is It Safe to Dye Your Hair While Pregnant? Unpacking the Facts.

Pregnancy brings about many changes, not just physically but also in the routines that we follow. One question that often comes up is, “Is it safe to dye your hair while pregnant?” This article aims to unpack the facts surrounding hair treatments and the associated risks during pregnancy, with a focus on hair dye.

Hair Dye and Pregnancy: What’s the Connection?

Hair dye is a common cosmetic product used by many individuals worldwide for self-expression or covering up grays. Hair dyes work by opening up the hair shaft and inserting color. Most hair dyes, including permanent dyes, contain chemical substances that contribute to their effectiveness. However, the interaction of these chemicals with the body, particularly during pregnancy, raises valid concerns.

Pregnant women may react differently to hair treatments given the hormonal changes they undergo. Notably, skin conditions can alter during pregnancy, which may influence how the skin absorbs hair dye chemicals.

Understanding the Chemicals in Hair Dye

Understanding the Chemicals in Hair Dye

Chemicals found in hair dye include paraphenylenediamine (PPD), which can cause allergic reactions and highly toxic substances such as ammonia and peroxide. The body can absorb these chemicals through the scalp during the hair dyeing process. Wearing gloves during application and dyeing in a well-ventilated room can minimize exposure.

How to choose a hair dye if you’re pregnant?

How to choose a hair dye if you're pregnant?

Choosing your hair dye carefully is always important, but it becomes even more critical during pregnancy. Hair dyes contain various chemicals, some of which have the potential to be absorbed through the scalp. While the risk is generally low, the consequences may be higher during pregnancy due to the potential impact on the developing fetus. Pregnant individuals may also experience changes in their skin and hair due to fluctuating hormones, meaning they could react differently to hair dye than they did before pregnancy. Allergic reactions and heightened skin sensitivity are just a couple of concerns, making the choice of hair dye during this sensitive period all the more crucial.

The importance of purchasing your hair dye from a reliable and reputable cosmetic store cannot be overstated, especially during pregnancy. Stores like Cosmetic World, known for selling professional permanent hair dyes, are an excellent choice when buying hair dye. These stores tend to stock products that have undergone rigorous testing for safety and efficacy, assuring you that the products meet high-quality standards. Professional-grade hair dyes often contain fewer harsh chemicals, making them a safer option, particularly for those who are pregnant. So, whether you’re changing your hair color or covering up grays during pregnancy, always opt for trusted retailers who prioritize both quality and safety.

What Do Studies Say?

What Do Studies Say?

Most research, including peer-reviewed studies, has shown that only a minimal amount of hair dye chemicals are absorbed by the skin. The National Institutes of Health and the National Health Service (NHS) suggest that using hair dye during pregnancy is generally considered safe, particularly after the first trimester.

However, content from high-quality sources like the Cleveland Clinic and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, urges pregnant people to be extra cautious. Given the limited data, they recommend that individuals in their first trimester avoid dyeing their hair to err on the side of safety. The same precautions should be taken when using bleach or other harsh hair treatments.

Potential Risks and Safer Alternatives

Despite being generally considered safe, some potential risks associated with dyeing hair while pregnant include allergic reactions and contact dermatitis, particularly for those with sensitive skin conditions. A patch test is always advised before applying any hair dye, but it becomes even more critical during pregnancy.

For those who prefer safer alternatives, root touch-up sprays, semi-permanent color, or single-process color treatment, where dye is painted directly onto the hair without touching the scalp, might be a better choice.

Natural hair color treatments such as henna are also popular, but they aren’t necessarily safer. They can still cause allergic reactions, and the quality and ingredients can vary greatly.

How to Use Hair Dye Safely During Pregnancy

If you choose to dye your hair while pregnant, here are some tips to ensure the safest possible experience:

  • Wait until the second trimester to dye your hair.
  • Opt for semi-permanent dyes, which contain fewer chemicals and do not penetrate the hair follicles as deeply.
  • Perform a patch test to check for any allergic reactions.
  • Wear gloves and a long-sleeved shirt to minimize skin contact.
  • Apply the dye in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling fumes.
  • Keep the dye on your hair only as long as necessary and rinse your scalp thoroughly afterward.
  • Try highlighting, streaking, or frosting, which involve minimal contact with the scalp.
  • Avoid box dye. Instead, consider visiting a salon that uses only high-quality sources for hair dye.

What hair dye to pick?

What hair dye to pick?

When pregnant, choosing a hair dye that minimizes exposure to potentially harmful chemicals is of the utmost importance. Key substances to avoid include Ammonia, Paraphenylenediamine (PPD), Resorcinol, and Petroleum, which are often found in traditional hair dyes. Ammonia is known for its pungent smell and can irritate the respiratory system, while PPD and Resorcinol are known potential allergens. Petroleum, on the other hand, is a non-renewable resource and is best avoided for environmental reasons.

A perfect example of a safe hair dye that adheres to these guidelines is Tocco Magico Freelux. This professional-grade hair dye is specifically formulated without the use of Ammonia, PPD, Resorcinol, and Petroleum, making it a more natural and safer choice for pregnant individuals. Instead, it uses less harsh and more naturally-derived ingredients that still provide vibrant, long-lasting color. When making hair dye decisions during pregnancy, it’s vital to prioritize products like Tocco Magico Freelux that have been designed with health and safety in mind. They may be a bit more expensive, but the peace of mind they provide is priceless.


The decision to get your hair dyed during pregnancy is a personal one and should involve an assessment of the potential risks. For a pregnant person, their well-being and that of their developing baby come first. While the risk associated with hair dye and pregnancy seems to be low, one should not hesitate to consult a healthcare provider before proceeding.

Regardless of your due date, self-expression is still possible during pregnancy, albeit with some additional considerations. Remember, the same love and attention you extend to your baby should also be extended to yourself.


  1. National Health Service (NHS). (2021). Is it safe to use hair dye when I’m pregnant or breastfeeding? Retrieved from the NHS website.
  2. Cleveland Clinic. (2021). Is it Safe to Dye Your Hair During Pregnancy? Retrieved from the Cleveland Clinic website.
  3. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2022). Hair Treatment During Pregnancy. Retrieved from the ACOG website.
  4. National Institutes of Health. (2004). Toxicity and human health risk of hair dyes. Retrieved from the NIH website.

Disclaimer: Always consult a healthcare professional or doctor before making any decisions related to health or changes in established care routines.

Huynh Nguyen

Huynh Nguyen is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Huynh joined USTimeToday in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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