How Hair Dye Use During Pregnancy Harm The Baby?
Pregnancy is a miracle of life that comes with tremendous responsibility. When charged with the well-being of two lives, many women transform into prenatal gurus who, for the next 9 months, are fixated on the safe delivery of a defect-free baby. Pregnant women are mostly concerned with what might harm the baby; from consumption of certain foods to exposures to environmental hazards, pregnant women research it all. But what about cosmetics? Is it safe to wear perfume, makeup? What about hair dye …Will coloring hair during pregnancy harm the baby? The answer is a frustrating yes, no and maybe so. Currently, the research is mixed. Concerning the use of hair dye when pregnant, harm nor safety has been adequately proven, and more conclusive research needs to be done.
What does the research say?
Although pregnancy complications and birth defects have not been linked to the use of hair coloring during pregnancy, there have been correlations between hair dye use during pregnancy and development of childhood cancers. In a 2005 study, mothers who used hair dye one month before conception and during pregnancy saw an increased risk of neuroblastoma in offspring. Neuroblastoma is a form of cancer that presents with tumors in children 5 years or younger. Cancerous cells develop during embryonic or fetal stages of nerve cell genesis. The tumors appear in areas of the sympathetic nervous system that control vital functions such as heart rate, breathing, and digestion. Some neuroblastomas go away on their own, but they can also be fatal if they metastasize to other vital organ systems.
A meta-analysis in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology determined that overall findings were mixed. One of the studies reviewed showed that use of hair dye one month prior to pregnancy was correlated with a risk of germ cell tumors in boys and increase the risk of germ-cell tumors in girls who were breastfeeding. Another case-control study showed that there was no correlation between childhood cancer and hair dye use during pregnancy. Given the wide range of results and the need for more definitive research, doctors recommend abstaining from hair dye use during pregnancy to avoid the risk of cancer or any unknown fetal abnormalities. For those who are tortured just thinking about 9 months of unattractive tresses, doctors advise several precautions to limit your exposure.
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Precautionary Measures For Hair Dye Use During Pregnancy
- Avoid coloring hair during first trimester-Pregnant women are advised to take considerable caution during the first trimester of pregnancy, and especially vulnerable time, since critical organ systems are being developed.
- Opt for highlights- highlighting the hair may be a better option during pregnancy. Since the product does not come in contact with the scalp, there is little if any chance of it being absorbed into the bloodstream through the scalp.
- Protect skin during application- apply a petroleum-based cream to the scalp and wear gloves to limit exposure to skin.
- Limit application time- reduce the amount of time the dye is in your hair by 25% or try finding hair dyes that are not required to sit on the scalp for long.
- Consider natural alternatives.
Natural Hair Dye Alternatives
1. The black walnut powder adds a dark tint to hair. Steep the powder in boiling water and apply to hair. You can crush black walnut hulls. Be careful this dye is natural but potent and stains anything it touches.
2. Beet and carrot juice can be used to boost color in red heads or to transform a golden blonde to a strawberry blonde. Juice mixture should be left on for at least 60 minutes and can be applied as often as possible to achieve the desired color.
3. Henna is a plant-based semi-permanent dye that has been used for thousands of years by women in Egypt and India to dye hair and decorate the skin. Be sure to use pure henna powder and not the pre-mixed henna hair dyes that may have other chemicals. Add Indigo powder if you want a darker hue.
Since there is no hard evidence that would prohibit the use of hair dyes during pregnancy, the choice is yours. If you are truly concerned, abstain from hair dye use during pregnancy; otherwise, taking precautions such as those listed above may help to reduce potential risk.