Hair Straightening Options During Pregnancy
Simply put, being pregnant often means staying on high alert. From avoiding certain types of foods to keeping an eye on medicine you might otherwise take, there are many things to watch out for during pregnancy. Unfortunately, hair straightening treatments should be on the “beware” list as well.
If you routinely have your hair chemically straightened at the salon, it may be wise to consult your doctor before booking your next appointment. Most physicians will tell you to avoid it altogether or during the first trimester at least. There’s a chance that harsh chemicals used in straightening serums like keratin, for example, may be absorbed through your scalp during treatments and passed along to your growing baby. While keratin is a protein that is found naturally in your hair, its mixture with formaldehyde makes for a toxic combination. After application, the mixture fills in the gaps in each hair shaft, which the stylist “seals” with a very hot flat iron.
At this high temperature, liquid formaldehyde converts to gas vapors. If that doesn’t frighten you enough, there’s this: formaldehyde has been known to cause irritation of the skin, eyes, nose and lungs, as well as dizziness. Even short-term exposure can cause asthma-like symptoms, while long-term exposure can cause permanent central nervous system damage and ongoing pulmonary problems.
Dermatologist Nia Terezakis, MD, a clinical professor at Tulane University, writes, “We truly don’t know if anything is absorbed internally, but you have many pores that are deep on the scalp, and there’s always a potential, especially if the scalp is irritated. The fewer chemicals, the better.”
But what happens if you’ve grown accustomed to the look of straight hair and can’t live without it for nine months? Luckily, there are a few options:
Organic Hair Straightening
Try searching for a hair salon that offers organic products. For example, (while they may still suggest you wait three months before the procedure), stylists at Le Salon NY, the only exclusively organic hair salon in New York City, perform keratin straightening treatments with 100% certified organic products and no damaging toxic chemicals. Their KeraGreen exclusive formula contains natural and organic active components of essential amino acids, proteins, minerals and citric acid extracts.
Blow Dry Bars
Though it may not last as long as a keratin treatment (days versus months), visiting a blow dry bar (like Dry Bar, for example) is a fun way to treat yourself during pregnancy. A little pampering goes a long way, and a wash, dry and style is the perfect way to keep your hair looking healthy, straight and sleek.
How about just doing it yourself? Keeping a flat iron at home is the easiest way to smooth out your hair, and convenient, too.
At the end of the day, whether you’ve got stick straight or tightly curled tresses, healthy, chemical-free hair is best for you and your baby.
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