There are some beauty routines that we’re told may be unsafe for pregnant people, like dyeing hair — but is there hair dye that’s safe for pregnant people? We’ll dive into that in a sec. From the moment you see those two lines on that positive pregnancy test, your mind starts racing as you imagine all of the ways your life is about to change. In the short-term, you might be thinking about all of the dos and don’ts of pregnancy—like, can you still enjoy your morning cup of coffee, continue with your exercise routine and get your hair colored? The good news is that most practitioners will say yes to all three with some guidance of course and limitations of course. And if you’re interested in learning more about pregnancy-safe shampoos, pregnancy-safe face wash, and pregnancy-safe sunscreen, we’re got ya covered there as well.
Is it safe for pregnant women to dye their hair?
When it comes to dying your hair, the American Pregnancy Association states on their website that most of the research that is available in regards to using hair dyes and treatment chemicals during pregnancy indicate that they are not highly toxic and generally safe for use while pregnant and breastfeeding. That’s why most hair stylists will tell you that, so long as you’re using foils and aren’t placing the hair dye directly onto your scalp, that you don’t have anything to worry about during pregnancy. However, this is not always the case for the kind of hair dyes you use at home.
“Most people do not realize that your scalp is just another term for the skin on your head, and what you put on your skin can actually be absorbed and potentially pose some level of risk to your internal health,” says trichologist and hairstylist Kerry E. Yates, the CEO of Colour Collective. “Some hair dyes contain ingredients that can be dangerous for you and your baby.”
The issue with DIY color, according to Holly Dear, hair artist and owner of House of Dear Salon and House of Dear Hair Care Collection, is that you just grab something in a box, you don’t really know what’s in there. The ingredients in hair dyes that she recommends avoiding when pregnant are ethanolamine, aminophenols, and phenylenediamine. “PEGs can also be recognized by our body as estrogen which can cause enormous fluctuation in our estrogen levels which are already fluctuating,” she adds.
To be safe, both experts recommend consulting with your primary care physician or OB/GYN before using any at-home hair dye to ensure that it does not pose any risk to your pregnancy.
With their thumbs up, here are the brands that hair experts say are ideal for pregnant clients.
Best Pregnancy-Safe Hair Dye
This plant-based hair color contains oleic acid, which is rich in omega-9 fatty acids that is derived from olives, and Meadowfoam Seed Oil to add softness and shine. It is free of ingredients that could pose harm to you or your unborn baby, including ammonia, SLS, parabens, artificial fragrance and heavy metals. It’s also vegan and cruelty-free. One kit is usually enough for shoulder-length hair, but if your hair is longer than that, you may want to purchase two kits.
The plant-based alternative that hairstylist Ghanima Abdul recommends for those looking to darken or add highlights is henna, which is found in this hair color by Matrix Biolage. “You can buy henna premixed with indigo, red clay, and other ingredients that change the traditional orange of henna into really beautiful hair dyes,” she says. This line offers 20 shades and each formula contains only 10 ingredients (and some less!).
Yates recommends this line of DIY hair color, which is free of ammonia, parabens, resorcinol, PPD, phthalates, gluten, SLS and titanium dioxide. It’s made from ingredients that are restorative for your hair and also not harmful, including keratin, argan oil and ginseng root extract. It’s also a steal in terms of price since it comes with 7 pieces including a cream color, conditioning activator, gloves, cap, barrier cream, cleansing wipe and a color-protecting shampoo and conditioner.
Although not a true hair dye, this product can be used to extend the life of your hair color, which can come in handy especially during your first trimester when you might be the most hesitant to use an actual hair dye. It’s available in nine different shades and formulated with 100 percent vegan ingredients. It’s also free of sulphates and parabens and has rave reviews on Amazon.
If you’re looking to go or stay red during your pregnancy, you can’t go wrong with this natural line of permanent hair color, which is specially catered to this shade of hair color. It’s certified organic, cruelty-free and formulated with a henna powder that gives your hair a vibrant refresh without endangering it with nasty chemicals such as ammonia, peroxide, heavy metals or SLS.
With 20 different shades of color to choose from, any mom-to-be can find the hue they’re looking for with this brand of natural hair dye. It contains 95 percent naturally derived ingredients and is free of ammonia, parabens, DEA, silicones and propylene glycol. It’s also dermatologist-tested, so you shouldn’t have to worry about any unpleasant skin reactions.
Hally is the first ammonia-free foam hair color and is pregnancy-safe, making it popular among expecting mamas. Since it is a foaming dye, it takes the mess and stress out of at-home coloring. The Color Cloud dye is a demi-permanent dye infused with natural, nourishing extracts that lock in color for 4-6 weeks, making it perfect for commitment-phobes. Get it in natural blonde and brunette shades as well as fun hues in pink, purple, and blue.
Check out other beauty must-haves that get the mom stamp of approval here.