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.
July 24, 2014
See more Expert Answers
- Hair treatments and pregnancy. Organization of Teratology Information Specialists. http://www.mothertobaby.org/files/hairtreatments.pdf. Accessed April 24, 2014.
- Hair dye and hair relaxers. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/byaudience/forwomen/ucm118527.htm. Accessed April 24, 2014.
- Ostrom QT. Current state of our knowledge on brain tumor epidemiology. Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports. 2011;11:329.
- Lockwood CJ, et al. Initial prenatal assessment and first trimester prenatal care. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 24, 2014.
- 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.