Mother and Baby

Can I dye my hair while pregnant?

Section: Wellness
can you dye your hair when pregnant

If you’re pregnant, you’re probably getting a lot of conflicting beauty advice.

If you're known for spending the majority of your Saturdays in your local salon and haven't seen your natural hair colour since you were 15 years old, you may be itching to know if you can still dye your tresses now that you are expecting. 

Here’s our advice on whether you can still colour your hair during pregnancy.

Can I dye my hair when pregnant?

There is a lot of controversy around whether colouring your hair is safe during pregnancy. According to the NHS, 'the chemicals in permanent and semi-permanent hair dyes are not highly toxic. Most research, although limited, shows it's safe to colour your hair while pregnant.' 

Little research has been done into the potential harm caused by dying your hair while pregnant and the risk of danger is very low. The amount of chemicals used during the dying process is typically a lot lower than needed to cause any damage. 

Michaeljohn’s technical colourist Amie Wilson suggests avoiding it for the first three months, if you’re concerned. Then consult a professional colourist instead of using home colourants.

‘Because of hormonal changes, you can become allergic to the chemicals in the colour, even when you may not have been previously,’ says Amie. ‘While a reaction is rare, it’s important to do a patch test on your wrist every time you colour and wait at least 48 hours before colouring.’

If dark or grey roots are bothering you before the 12-week mark, Amie suggests parting your hair in a zigzag and having lighter pieces painted through the ends. ‘This way, the colour won’t touch your scalp,’ Amie says. ‘Or use a root touch-up stick.’

If you do prefer to use a home dye kit, always be sure to do it safely by wearing gloves, leaving the dye on for the minimum amount of time, opening all windows to make sure the space is well ventilated and rinsing your scalp well afterwards. 

What about if I'm breastfeeding?

Again, there has been very little research done into the use of hair dye while breastfeeding, however, it's thought to be safe as very few chemicals if any pass through to your bloodstream and into your breastmilk. 

According to the NHS, 'In the past, many women have used hair treatments while breastfeeding with no known negative results.'

How can I disguise my roots without dying my hair?

John Frieda Root Blur is another good solution. Brush the colour on to your roots and blow-dry. The effects last for up to three washes. It's also a steal at only £9. A lot cheaper than your full head of highlights, that's for sure. 

If all else fails... ombre 

If you're really worried about using chemicals or products on your scalp (hey, it's a mother-to-be's perogative), then you can always go down the messy-bun route. Or why not rock an ombre a la Drew Barrymore? We're sure you'll agree, the Hollywood actress looks phenomenal.


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  • Author: Aimee Jakes Aimee Jakes
  • Job Title: Shopping and Community Editor

Aimee is the Shopping and Community Editor at Bauer Media where she works on fitness, fashion and beauty content across a number of titles such as heat, Closer and Grazia.

Her hobbies include truffle mac and cheese, Class Pass and relentlessly checking (and scolding!) the weather app.

Other contributors

Lorna White - Digital Writer

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