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Dyeing your hair during pregnancy: does it endanger your baby?

When it comes to the first visit to the hairdresser during pregnancy, a question often arises: Can I still dye my hair or will this endanger my unborn child?

Nothing works for you without freshly bleached roots, a shiny brown or stylish balayage. Then you get pregnant - and now what? The next time you go to the hairdresser's, the question of what to do will arise. Can you still dye, bleach or tint your hair, should you avoid hair dye or are some things possible but not everything? Dr. Johanna Janku, specialist in gynecology and obstetrics, and hairdresser Soraia da Silva Oliveira explain.

Bleaching? Better not!

"I advise against bleaching your hair completely or re-dying your roots when you're pregnant," says da Silva Oliveira. "Bleaching your hair is a very intensive treatment. If bleach gets on your scalp, it can irritate the skin and the chemicals it contains can get into your body." Even with people who are not pregnant, the hairdresser is careful not to use too high a peroxide content. "Six percent is the absolute maximum."

The alternative? "Many of my clients switch to highlights or balayage during pregnancy so that the bleach does not come into contact with the scalp - that's not a problem."

Dyeing not proven to be harmful

The hairdresser makes one thing clear right away: "To date, there is not a single piece of scientific evidence that dyeing hair poses a risk to unborn children." Many of da Silva Oliveira's customers therefore continue to dye their hair as usual. "Many hair dyes are now free of ammonia. This makes the treatment even safer and less irritating to the scalp."

The gynecologist agrees with da Silva Oliveira: "I estimate the risk of dyeing hair during pregnancy to be low. There is little reliable data on this topic. However, we do know that the composition of the chemicals is different and less aggressive than it was decades ago." There are colleagues who advise against it, but from the doctor's point of view there is nothing wrong with dyeing hair. "However, if the patient has a high need for safety, I would advise against it during pregnancy and breastfeeding as a precautionary measure."

Play it safe with tint

Do you still feel uncomfortable with continuing to dye your hair, but don't want to give it up completely? "With a tint you are on the safe side, as it only wraps around the hair and doesn't penetrate it," explains da Silva Oliveira. Henna dyes also generally do not contain any chemicals - but depending on the area where they are grown, they may contain pesticides.

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