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Is it safe to color your hair during pregnancy? Actually, is it safe to color your hair at anytime? If you are health conscious then these questions may have crossed your mind at some point. I find as we begin to detoxify our bodies from the inside, sooner or later we start to think about what is going on our outsides as well.  Coloring your hair, especially while pregnant, is a big decision, but I’m sure after reading this post you will make the best decision for you and your lifestyle. 🙂

Not that I would know anything about his topic…my hair is completely natural. 🙂 (major sarcasm happening, Ha!)

As I am writing this blog today, I am a licensed hairdresser of 10 years, and a passionate health influencer. Even though I am passionate about living a healthy lifestyle, I am not going to tell you to to dye your hair with beet juice! Give me a break, I’m far from being that granola! Trust me, I am the last person to try and take your beauty and HAIR products out of your hands.

There are a couple things you don’t take away from me. That would be my hair dye and my teasing brush.

I will literally fight you.

Not only is beauty my business, but it’s also my passion. Because beauty is business, I have contemplated long and hard with the decision to use or not to use particular hair dyes. I have researched many hair color brands before I came to the conclusion below. (By the way, my hair site is HERE!)

Lets move along to the hot topic…

We have all heard differences of opinion on whether hair color is safe during pregnancy. The common consensus is to “wait until the second trimester.” For some people that may be best.

Here is the most common wording found on mainstream pregnancy websites:

“Although fairly limited, most research indicates the chemicals found in both semi-permanent and permanent dyes are not highly toxic and are safe to use during pregnancy. In addition, only small amounts of hair dye may be absorbed by the skin, leaving little that would be able to reach the fetus.

I’m going to have to disagree with this.

Then again, I don’t believe much on mainstream websites. Mainstream websites also say that dairy milk is healthy for you. Ha! (And we all know that’s a sack of lies!)

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Most women during pregnancy want to get their insides as healthy as possible. That means cutting back or eliminating processed foods, drinking more water, getting the correct nutrients, and possibly partaking in a pregnancy yoga.

Ok ladies, now what about the outside? Let’s not forget that our skin is our largest organ. Anything we put on our skin absorbs into the bloodstream. Guess who is receiving everything from your bloodstream? Your sweet little baby!

If we are cleaning up the inside, lets clean up the outside too.

As for me, my diet during pregnancy isn’t 100% perfect, but its pretty darn good! Same goes for my beauty routine. It’s not 100% perfect, but it’s quite good. With that being said, you are probably wondering what the heck I color my hair with. Don’t worry, I will get to that in a moment! 🙂

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Let me tell ya about the crappy stuff in regular hair color…

Most standard hair color products contain lead, coal tar dyes, heavy metals, parabens, plastics, ammonia, resorcinol, and PPD’s to name a few.

(Let’s not forget that they are probably tested on animals too. Yep, that cute little beagle puppy you have as a pet, he’s being tested on in a lab by big corporations who don’t give a shit. Beagles are one of the #1 animals tested on in labs)

So what are PPD’s?

PPD is short for para-phenylenediamine. To make it easy, I describe it as a very intense color pigment. It is used as a dye for dark color shades and is made from coal tar, a petroleum-derived chemical that includes benzene, naphthalene, phenols, aniline, and other chemicals. PPD is also used as a wood preservative. Best to not have this in  contact with your skin. Research states PPD combined with Hydrogene Peroxide is very toxic and may lead to cancer. (Which almost all haircolor uses PPD + Peroxide to formulate!)

What are Parabens?

Parabens are synthetic preservatives. Studies have shown that paragons mimic estrogens which may interfere with the functioning of our own natural hormones.

What are Phthalates?

Phthalates are synthetic compounds that studies have shown to may disrupt hormones and can interfere with fetal development in an even more severe way than parabens.

What is Resorcinol?

Resorcinol is a toxic dye that may cause scalp irritation, and is an allergen affecting the endocrine system.

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Not all the news is bad! 🙂 Luckily there are some companies stepping up the bar and removing these bad chemicals from hair dye!

There are also other hair coloring techniques that you can do as opposed to having the color applied directly to your scalp. A great way to blend grown out color is to have balayage highlights or hair painting. (pictured on my client below) This way not matter what you are using, the product doesn’t touch the scalp. 🙂 #noFail

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Personally, for use on myself and my clients, I use a brand of hair color called Organic Colour Systems. (No, this is not an ad for the brand). I came across OCS earlier this year, and have been SUPER pleased with the results. My clients love it too.

A brand like Organic Colour Systems is free of:

Ammonia

Parabens

Pthalates

Plastics

Gluten

GMO’s

Resorcinol

Sodium Lauryl Sulfates

And formulated with:

95% naturally derived ingredients

60% certified organic ingredients

the lowest possible PPD (0.6%-2%)

skin & hair conditioning oils like coconut and grape seed oil

**You can find an Organic Colour Systems salon on their website.

Heads up;

Just because your stylist says their color line is ammonia-free doesn’t mean it’s free of all the other bad stuff! Ask to see the brand packing and information. Always read your labels!

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My recommendations for coloring hair during pregnancy would be as follows:

  1. The no fail idea is to not color your hair at all.

  2. If you would still like to color your hair, find a non-toxic brand.

  3. If you do not feel comfortable switching to a new brand, then have your current brand applied in an off-the-scalp technique to avoid the chemicals being absorbed into your bloodstream. (balayage, hair painting, or foiling)

  4. Unless you are working with an off-the scalp color technique, wait until the second trimester.

  5. You can use a 100% natural dye such as Henna at anytime.

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Pictured above, my client, Jess, is a new mommy who has never colored her hair! We added some colorful extensions to her locks to give her a fun, summer look without any damage or harmful chemicals.

There are actually many options available. So just find the one that suits you best!

Want to color your hair at home?

Kudos to you for being brave! Good news, there are natural hair color brands available in health stores.

Buyer beware, and please read your labels! Words such as “natural” are often used to sway consumers into purchasing a product. Sometimes “natural” may only refer to their range of natural-looking colors, not that the product is actually natural.

Blog post coming up next week on my top choices for healthy hair dyes you can use at home.

Last but not least, another option is 100% pure Henna dye, but that is for red/gold tones only. 🙂 Again, please make sure you are not using a chemical based henna. Some henna companies are sneaky these days.

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I hope this post helped to educate you on your options for healthy hair coloring. As you know, I found out I was pregnant at the 3 month mark, so of course, I had been coloring my hair during the first trimester. I am so thankful that I had already been using Organic Colour Systems on my hair, so at least I decreased the amount of chemicals entering my body.

Whether or not you are on the path to a healthy lifestyle, there is no better time to start making new healthy choices today! Starting today, you can be one step closer to a healthier and happier momma and baby.

**Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, so any medical advice including hair coloring while pregnant should be discussed with your doctor beforehand. 🙂

Please leave your comments or hair questions below!

11 comments

  1. Hi! Congratulations on your pregnancy. You look beautiful, BTW! 🙂 I was curious, have you tried the organic line with blondes? How do you feel about the results? Thank you.

    1. HI Suzie! Thank you!

      Yes, I have. It works great. I actually just used blonde on my mom’s hair again yesterday 🙂 She loves the brand and the results! We color her hair, which is 75% gray, to a very light honey blonde. 🙂

      XOXO!

  2. Hey Ashley! I hope you are well <3
    I was wondering if you had the blog post up about the healthy hair dyes you can use at home? I've been considering dyeing my 2+yr old dreads 🤔😊

    Thank you for all of your inspiration!

    1. This line has a bright pink called “No Limits.” You can only get vivid tones with semi-permanent colors. Hope you enjoy this brand! XOXO!

    1. This line has a bright pink called “No Limits.” You can only get vivid tones with semi-permanent colors. Hope you enjoy this brand! XOXO!

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