Coloring Hair while Pregnant or Breastfeeding

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Pregnant and need to cover a few gray hairs

May 2006

I am an older mom and pregnant with my 2nd child. I have several gray hairs just in the area of my bangs which are very noticeable and am wondering if there is anything quick and harmless that can be used to cover it up....even a temporary fix would be fine that I could use through pregnancy. I have very black hair and I've tried henna but it is so messy and hard to use and it also doesn't seem to work very well....any advice would be appreciated. I checked the archives but most people recommend highlights which I'm not sure will work for me.... anon

You may want to check with Aveda. I am not positive about how sage their dyes are for pregnancy, but I do believe they are something like 95% natural. They also have shampoos that ''stain'' your hair. A temporary thing, but you can use them daily. Again I am pretty sure they are all natural and would be fine to use while pregnant mary

A friend of mine had a similar problem and used waterproof black mascara to cover it up. She used the wand that came in the tube, ran it down several strands of hair, and them did not touch it for the rest of the day. It washed out when she shampooed her hair. Andrea

My doctor said it was perfectly safe to dye my hair during pregnancy. So I did.

Is it safe for a nursing mom to get hair dyed?

March 2004

Hi, I am a nursing mom who is considering having her hair colored. Is there any danger to dying hair while nursing? Julie

Don't know if it would be the same for hair dye, but I asked my doctor about perming my hair when I was nursing and she said I shouldn't. Cathy

When I was pregnant I asked my doctor about hair dye and nail polish. He replied, ''as long as you aren't drinking it, it's fine!'' Another pregnant friend with a different doctor asked the same question and her doctor replied, ''what color?'' I think it's even safer while nursing (unless of course you drink it). ;)

Coloring hair while pregnant?

Feb. 2002

After our son was born, I started dying my hair (because I didn't like the idea of being a new mom with so many grey hairs - oh, vanity!) I tried to keep the color the same as my natural color, but it ended up lighter. So when it grows out, the roots are noticeably darker. Now I'm pregnant again and, of course, can't continue dying my hair. Have other moms been in this situation? What have you done? Are there any safe alternatives? -- Anonymous

One alternative to going gray while pregnant is highlighting. The color does not touch the roots. My hair stylest did this for me while I was pregnant. Gwynne

I have been dyeing my hair nonstop for 15 years and was concerned about this when I was pregnant too. I researched it a lot and spoke with my ob/gyn about it. I came to the conclusion that it was safe and waiting until the second trimester to do it was smart. My doctor said that the fumes are what can be a problem and really that it could make me nauseous rather than be dangerous for the baby. She also said some women notice that the color doesn't react as it normally does on the hair. I had thought about not doing it at all but needed something to make me feel prettier (I had even just started going gray)! My hairdresser and I decided in my fifth month to do highlights rather than an allover color so it wouldn't touch my scalp, just to be even safer. But, he said he had colored dozens of pregnant women over the last 15 years who all had healthy babies. I colored a total of 3 times during my pregnancy and had a healthy little girl who came complete with a full head of bright red hair! Good luck.

I had my second child at 45 and also didn't want my grey hair showing. My OB said that coloring my hair was o.k. (I get highlights and you could ask the colorist not to have the dye touch the scalp--though I am sure none does). She said to just be in a well vented room. You might check w/ your OB if you feel comfortable trying. Kathy

I don't agree that if you're pregnant of course you can't dye your hair. I did, many of my friends did, and all our babies were & are fine. If you look closely at your scalp after the dye job, you'll see that the dye doesn't even reach all the way to the root. Personally I think that the hair dye scare is part of the male-dominated medical profession's conspiracy to enslave women (if they could tell you it was safer to be barefoot during pregnancy, they'd do that too). My advice would be to head to the hair salon, look your best, and don't worry! Blonde floozy (with healthy baby)

While I'm cheerfully turning grey w/ a baby in the house, I have read about this. The suggestion is not to use a permanent dye in the first three months (for fear of dye entering body through the scalp?). Rather, use a rinse or other less permanent color during this time. After the first trimester there shouldn't be a problem. Heather

Highlights throughout your hair can camouflage your roots and is safe during pregnancy because the dye doesn't come in contact with your scalp. If you're extra worried, AVEDA makes some vegetable-based highlights (although as a chemist, I don't really think there's a difference -- they're all compounds that change your hair color, vegetable-based or not). I got permission from my OB to have highlights done during my pregnancy. anonymous

I had the same problem...

There are several non-chemical/vegetable dyes you can use. A lot of the brands [Manic Panic, etc.] have only unnatural colors, but there are quite a few brands of henna floating about that will give you something more muted than flamingo pink. Ask at your local beauty supply store.

The main problem with these was that they don't last nearly as long as the semi-permanent stuff, and I ended up getting a short haircut because it was too much hassle to keep up. anonymous

I was informed not to dye my hair during the first trimester of my pregnancy. After that I was told that it would be okay. I used a temporary rinse as close to my own color as i could find during the first trimester and then some. I also stretched out the coloring sessions as far as i could stand it. dawn

in response to dying hair during pregnancy... i had my hair relaxed (similar chemicals) during pregnancy (my doctor said it would be ok) and there was no problem. i think it's best not to during the first 3 months. that seems to be the fragile time. anonymous