When you use hair dye, a small amount of the dye can penetrate your skin. Generally, however, the dye isn't thought to pose harm to a developing baby.
A 2005 study suggested an association between hair dye and pregnancy and the childhood cancer neuroblastoma — but other studies on the use of hair dye before and during pregnancy 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 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.
Aug. 20, 2011
- Hair treatments and pregnancy. Organization of Teratology Information Specialists. http://www.otispregnancy.org/files/hairtreatments.pdf. Accessed May 20, 2011.
- Hair dye and hair relaxers. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/byaudience/forwomen/ucm118527.htm. Accessed May 20, 2011.
- Ostrom QT. Current state of our knowledge on brain tumor epidemiology. Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports. 2011;11:329.
- Rollison DA, et al. Personal hair dye use and cancer: A systematic literature review and evaluation of exposure assessment in studies published since 1992. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health. 2006;9:413.
- McCall EE. Maternal hair dye use and risk of neuroblastoma in offspring. Cancer Causes and Control. 2005;16:743.
- Connelly JM, et al. Environmental risk factors for brain tumors. Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports. 2007;7:208.