Tips for Maintaining Healthy Hair During Pregnancy
If you’re thinking about getting pregnant, now is the time to go clean with your beauty and personal care products. Haircare products are some of the most potentially toxic in the industry, so it’s a good place to start making changes.
The truth is, we don’t yet know the safe amounts of many of the endocrine disruptors often found in conventional beauty products. Even tiny amounts can throw an adult’s hormones out of balance, let alone those of a fetus, which is still developing. Just how bad could they be? Two chemicals commonly found in “fragrance” can actually cause reproductive disorders and birth defects in young boys.
Although staying away from endocrine disruptors is crucial, pregnant women (and really, all humans) should also dodge the harsh allergens, irritants, and carcinogens that are legally allowed to be present in conventional beauty products.
The typical industry response to this is that “the dose makes the poison”—meaning these chemicals exist in such minuscule concentrations that they can’t possibly hurt human health.
But with endocrine disruptors, there is no known safe dose. Also, the “dose” for many other troublesome chemicals can add up quickly when multiple products are used several times a day. Therefore, it’s beneficial to go clean and avoid these dangerous chemicals whenever possible.
Hair Color that is Safe for Pregnant Women
Due to the paraphenylenediamine (PPD) in hair dye, it is tough for pregnant women to find a good hair color. PPD is found in permanent and semipermanent colors, so those are ruled out immediately. If you’re coloring your hair at home or in the salon, be sure to look into what exactly is in the formula.
If you’re pregnant, or know someone who is, avoid hair colors with high levels of ammonia as well as those with parabens and PPD. Also, it’s best to wait until after the first trimester to minimize exposure to harmful chemicals from both the environment and beauty products.
To ease your mind, there are certain areas that definitely aren’t worth worrying about—highlights, for example. Highlights are entirely safe since the dye doesn’t typically touch the skin or scalp. Plus, any color that’s painted on individual strands of hair, like balayage or foiling, is also perfectly safe.
However, whether they dye their hair or not, women with darker hair face difficulties with gray roots. A lot of women start to get some gray in their late twenties if it really bothers them. A demipermanent color can blend greys away without ammonia and PPD present.
If you want to stray from your natural hair color, only do so on visible parts of your hair, like the roots and around your face. Forgo this process altogether during your first trimester, though excessive dyeing is unnecessary anyway.
We’re obsessed with the at-home, temporary color from Christophe Robin because it lasts seven shampoos and looks amazing. Another great option is Hairprint, which is permanent but requires a bit more effort than Christophe Robin. Lastly, the root-obliterating temporary hair powder from Color Wow is unbelievable and will last until you wash your hair again.
Hair Relaxers, Chemical Straighteners, and Perm Treatments
Some of the chemicals used in these treatments could be harmful to you and your baby if you’re pregnant. Pregnancy can be a trying time for many women, making them more prone to morning sickness and other sensitivities. When it comes to your hair, avoid any treatments that involve harsh chemicals or strong smells. Stick with salons that are well-ventilated to minimize your exposure to potent fumes.
Safe-to-use Shampoo & Conditioner for Pregnant Women
Although you might not realize it, shampoo and conditioner can be pretty harmful. Not only do conventional versions contain a lot of fragrance and preservatives, but both of these ingredients can also disrupt your hormones.
Clean formulas don’t have either of these things (and you should use clean shower supplies too; they come into contact with a large percentage of your skin while you’re showering). Our favorites manage to be great at cleansing while also moisturizing your hair with butters, oils, and botanicals.
Products That Won’t Hurt Your Pregnancy
If you’re looking to improve the quality of your hair, avoid conventional styling products that contain harsh chemicals and fragrances. Instead, opt for clean styling products, which can make a real difference. For example, using a great brush or blow-dryer can result in shinier hair. Additionally, many women find they need less styling product overall as their hair is often thicker and more lustrous during pregnancy.
Women usually don’t put as much effort into their hair during pregnancy. If you’re pregnant and don’t want to color your hair, it will be thick and healthy regardless because you’re taking prenatal vitamins full of folic acid, which strengthens your hair.