Is it OK to use hair dye during pregnancy?

Answers from Roger W. Harms, M.D.

When you use hair dye or other hair products, a small amount can penetrate your skin. Generally, however, the chemicals aren't thought to pose harm to a developing baby.

While a 2005 study suggested an association between the use of hair dye during pregnancy and the development of the childhood cancer neuroblastoma, other studies haven't reached the same conclusion. Most researchers say it's unlikely that maternal use of hair products before or during pregnancy would increase the risk of childhood tumors.

If you choose to dye your hair during pregnancy, consider these general safety precautions from the Food and Drug Administration:

  • Follow package directions carefully.
  • Wear gloves when applying hair dye.
  • Leave the dye on your hair no longer than directed.
  • Rinse your scalp thoroughly after using hair dye.

If you're concerned about the use of hair dye during pregnancy, consult your health care provider or consider postponing any chemical hair treatments.

Jul. 24, 2014