Hair Coloring during Pregnancy
There is a great deal of controversy about coloring or perming hair during pregnancy. Most experts advise expectant women not to undergo any chemical processes that may undermine their own or their baby's health, especially during the first trimester. As a result, most stylists recommend that clients seek out their OB-GYN's advice before undergoing any chemical hair procedures.
There are natural, vegetable-based dyes that can be used as a substitute to synthetic chemicals. Pure henna, which comes in a variety of colors, is a classic example—but be wary. Many products that claim to be "all natural" may contain the same chemicals that are found in brand name permanent hair dyes, so be sure to check out all the ingredients prior to use.
To Perm or Not to Perm?
Pregnant women's forums abound with moms-to-be expressing concerns about perming their hair. One mom sums it up saying, "I hear that hair responds unpredictably under the influence of pregnancy hormones; a perm might not take at all, or might result in an unflattering frizz instead of bouncy waves." In addition to this concern, the chemical solutions used in perms are absorbed through the scalp into the bloodstream, and raise questions for many moms-to-be about the safety of their use during pregnancy.
The jury is still out on whether or not perming your hair during pregnancy can harm your unborn baby, but one thing many doctors do agree on is this: Wait until after your first trimester before undergoing any chemical hair treatment.
If you decide to take the risk of perming your hair after the first trimester, be sure to ask your salon if they can do a test first on a strip of your hair to see if the perm will "take" before you pay to have your whole head in curls.
Choosing Haircare Products for Moms-to-Be
Sometimes all that your hair may need is a little pick-me-up; switching shampoo or conditioner during your pregnancy may be the key. Today, there are even companies, mainstream and those found at health food stores and co-ops, that cater to expectant women or offer special lines of popular products modified to better suit moms-to-be.