Your body goes through a bazillion changes during pregnancy. Luckily, in my experience, pregnancy keeps your locks happy and healthy — a nice perk when your back aches and your skin is freaking out. But what if you color your gray? Can you keep it up? And if you're looking to celebrate your new life with a bright platinum or a fresh ombré, what chemicals are safe to use? Here's which hair dyes you can use when pregnant, so you can stop panicking over your do.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, there hasn't been much research on hair treatments during pregnancy, but generally speaking, hair dyes aren't poisonous (you put them on your head, after all), and chemicals that come into contact with your scalp are unlikely to reach your baby in any serious quantity.
That said, if the lack of a hard scientific answer here makes you queasy, ask your doctor for their opinion. Parents recommended waiting until the second trimester to color your hair, because much of your baby's crucial development happens in those first 12 weeks, and the first trimester is a good time to be extra cautious in any case. (Also, the smell. Chemical smells really bothered me in the days when I could hardly choke down a saltine cracker.) Just to reiterate, however: science hasn't found any evidence that dyeing your hair the way you like causes any harm whatsoever, so it's also cool to just do you.
According to Parents, you can opt for a semi-permanent color, which won't contain ammonia, or highlights, which don't come into contact with your scalp — or your bloodstream. The UK's National Health Service recommended vegetable dyes, or henna, for added peace of mind.
Alexandra Zissu, co-author of The Complete Organic Pregnancy recommended a few organic hair dye brands in Good Housekeeping for moms looking to reduce their chemical load. The list included Herbatint, Light Mountain, and Rainbow Henna, which all look lovely. So try something new and organic, or keep up with your Clairol. If you still feel iffy, ask your doctor to review ingredients in your particular brand (yes, you can bring the box to the office — I did this with lots of things, so don't feel too weird), or let your gray grow out and call it silver. (For the record, I love gray.)
Pregnancy hormones are great for your hair, as Today's Parent explained, and your tresses just might surprise you with a new texture, or a fresh shine — no salon appointment required.