Many pregnant or breastfeeding mothers have concerns about dyeing their hair. Of course, they don’t want to do anything that could harm their little one and they’re often worried about exposing their babies to toxic chemicals. For this reason, some women consider balayage while pregnant instead of dyeing all of their hair at once. But is balayage safe while pregnant or breastfeeding?
Dyeing your hair while pregnant or breastfeeding may allow chemicals to be passed to your baby, and natural dyes are limited in their effectiveness and longevity. Balayage is an alternative dyeing process that creates a long-lasting ombre effect. Unlike dying all your hair, balayage doesn’t require any chemicals to come in contact with the scalp, limiting exposure.
One of the hardest parts of being a pregnant or breastfeeding mom (other than learning to live without sleep) is navigating the maze of information about what is best for your baby what can actually harm you or your child.
Keep reading to find out what balayage is and why it is a better option for pregnant and breastfeeding women than a traditional full dye job.
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Can you get balayage while pregnant?
Being pregnant or being a new mom can really impact how you feel about yourself. For many women, something simple like getting their hair done can help them feel like themselves again. However, they also wonder if this is really safe during pregnancy.
Those who are concerned about the risks of dying their hair during pregnancy sometimes opt for balayage instead because there’s less exposure to chemicals. But is balayage really safe during pregnancy? Let’s first took a look at what balayage is.
What is balayage?
Balayage (pronounced bah-lee-ahge) is a salon technique for dyeing hair that creates a gradual color transition from the root to the ends.
It traditionally applied to a painted highlight that mimics the look of sun bleaching. However, it has now become an umbrella term to describe any application of dye or bleach that creates a gradual transition between two colors ( also known as an ombre.) Instead of setting the hair in foil, however, the hairdresser will hand paint the dye in long sweeping motions to create a natural-looking color fade.
How is it different than dyeing your hair?
Balayage is a popular technique because it creates a transition between your natural hair color and the desired shade. Because the dye never comes into direct contact with your scalp, there is no harsh line between the dyed hair and the roots. This means it doesn’t need to be touched up regularly and grows out easily.
The biggest benefit to this technique is that you avoid soaking your hair and scalp in hair dye for long periods of time. This drastically reduces the amount of any chemical fumes you inhale or absorb through your skin compared to a traditional hair dye job.
Unfortunately, it can be quite expensive to get this service at a salon. Prices range from about $70 for light coverage on a shorter haircut to as much as $250 for a full head of extra-long hair with multiple shades.
Is it safe to dye your hair during pregnancy?
If you’re not already considering balayage as an alternative, you might be wondering if it is, in fact, safe to dye your hair during pregnancy. Getting your hair dyed during pregnancy, even a full-dye job, is generally considered safe. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, “Most experts think that using hair dye during pregnancy is not toxic for your fetus.”
However, this doesn’t mean there are no risks involved. Most types of hair dye contain some kind of chemical, and although only a small amount is absorbed, that’s still something that could potentially impact your baby.
The reality is, there’s minimal risk involved in dying your hair during pregnancy, but it’s up to you to determine whether the benefits outweigh the small risk. If you are concerned about the risk of dying your hair, you can always look for a lower risk alternative, such as balayage or some natural alternatives we’ll discuss below.
Can I do balayage at home?
If you are considering balayage while pregnant but don’t want to drop so much money to do it, you might wonder if you can do it yourself at home. Balayage is best left to a professional in a salon, but I don’t blame you trying to avoid the extra expense if you can help it. Heck, diapers are expensive too!
If you are looking for the same look with a more budget-friendly price tag, you can create a similar effect by brushing your dye of choice through your hair before allowing the chemicals to set.
Just like any time you dye your hair with a baby, the biggest concern is the amount of time the chemicals need to be in your hair for the color to take. When you are dyeing your hair, there are several safety precautions that are recommended even when there is not a baby or young child in the house:
- Always wear protective gloves when dyeing your hair
- Rinse your scalp thoroughly after the dyeing process is complete
- Only dye your hair in a well-ventilated room
I also recommend picking up a hair dye that is PPD and ammonia-free to avoid the most potentially dangerous chemicals commonly found in hair dyes. This particular dye is from the beauty-capital-of-the-world South Korea and has an impressively clean ingredients list!
For the most part, being conscientious about following these best practices and keeping young lungs away from the fumes will ensure that it is safe to dye your hair with a newborn or young child. If possible, try to have someone else in the house who can watch the baby while you dye and rinse your hair, or be sure to plan your dyeing time around your baby’s nap or bedtime.
Is it safe to get balayage while pregnant?
Balayage is a safer choice for pregnant women because the dye never makes direct contact with the scalp, so no chemicals can be absorbed into the bloodstream. Plus, your hair will still look great even if you don’t have time to get it touched up every four to six weeks after giving birth!
Let’s discover exactly why balayage is a safer alternative than a full dye job.
How is balayage safer than hair dye for pregnant women?
Permanent hair dyes often use resorcinol, hydrogen peroxide, and p-phenylenediamine (PPD) to open the hair shaft and then trap the color inside of it. Although the process is generally considered safe for the fetus after the first trimester, there have also been studies that indicate there could be a correlation between dyeing your hair regularly (every 5-8 weeks) and breast cancer.
Instead of a full dye job that needs to be updated bi-monthly, the color change in balayage starts away from the root so the dye does not have a chance to soak into the scalp. This makes it much safer for you and your growing baby.
At the end of the day, it’s impossible to be 100% safe with anything. All things considered, however, balayage looks to be a very safe way to add a little color to your hair during pregnancy.
Should I wait until after the first trimester for balayage?
Women are typically advised to avoid dyeing their hair during the first trimester because it is such an important time in the development of the fetus. Since during balayage, the dye doesn’t come into direct contact with your scalp, there should be no reason to be worried about chemicals entering your bloodstream and affecting your baby while using balayage techniques.
However, there are other things to keep in mind when deciding when to make your appointment. Any dyeing process is going to be time-consuming and most salons will be using a variety of heavily scented products such as dyes, bleaches, and hair sprays. Even with proper venting, this situation could trigger a bout of morning sickness, even if the smells have never bothered you before.
Which hair dye methods or products are the best to use?
Depending on where you go to get your hair dyed, you may be able to request a natural or organic dye if you are planning on going darker. If you are looking for a reddish, less permanent effect, henna is also a good option.
Unfortunately, there are no natural or organic bleaches available that can mimic the lightening effect of a traditional bleach.
Is balayage while breastfeeding safe?
If you’re already breastfeeding or plan on waiting to dye your hair until after your little one is born, you might wonder about the impact of balayage or other hair dyes while breastfeeding.
There hasn’t been much research done on the effects of dyeing your hair while breastfeeding. However, there are a few studies on pregnant women that indicate neither permanent or semi-permanent dyes are toxic and only a small amount of dye is absorbed through the scalp. This also applies to getting a perm while breastfeeding.
Since balayage does not require the dye to make direct contact with the scalp, even those small amounts will not be absorbed and your breast milk will be completely unaffected by the process.
Safety precautions for balayage while pregnant
Like anything you choose to do while pregnant, it’s important to consider any possible risk to your little one. While dying your hair is considered safe during pregnancy, you might choose balayage while pregnant for a safer alternative.
Whether you’re choosing balayage or a full dye job, there are some precautions to take to ensure you and your baby are safe:
- Wait until the second trimester
While it is considered safe to dye your hair during pregnancy, most experts suggest waiting until at least the second trimester. The risk of miscarriage is greatest during the first trimester.
- Consider highlights, balayage, or another alternative
Instead of choosing a full dye job, consider highlights or balayage to keep the amount of exposure down.
- Look for a natural hair dye
Although this isn’t always an option, consider trying out a natural or plant-based hair dye that doesn’t have the same risk of chemical exposure.
While you may not be able to find a safe alternative in every situation, there are some pregnancy-safe options for coloring your hair.
Pregnancy-safe hair dye alternatives
If you’re looking for a safe way to color or dye your hair during pregnancy, consider one of these alternatives:
- Lemon juice
While it’s certainly not going to be as effective as bleach, you can use lemon juice as a way to lighten your hair.
- Vegetable dyes
If you’re looking for a darker color, you can use vegetables dyes, such as henna, for a more natural approach.
- Color-depositing conditioner
Color-depositing condition can be another alternative for dying your hair. It can add a subtle color without the potential risk of hair dye.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is it OK to get your hair highlighted during pregnancy?
While there are chemicals in hair dye and bleach, highlighting your hair is considered a safer alternative. When you highlight instead of a full dye job, it limits the exposure to chemicals.
Can you get a Balayage in first trimester?
While most experts recommend waiting until the second trimester or later to dye your hair, balayage doesn’t lead to chemicals coming into contact with the scalp directly, so there is minimal to balayage during the first trimester.
Is it safe to do Balayage while breastfeeding?
There is limited research on the impact of hair dye while breastfeeding, but studies that have been done pregnant women showed that very little dye was absorbed through the scalp, which likely means it’s safe for breastfeeding women.
Can hairdressers do hair while pregnant?
If you’re pregnant and work as a hairdresser, you might wonder if it’s safe for your baby. There is a risk involved due to the sheer amount of exposure to certain chemicals. How great the risk is will depend on how many hours you work.
If you’re considering balayage while pregnant, you might be wondering if it’s safe for you and your growing baby. While even a full dye job is considered safe, there is limited research on how it may impact pregnant women. If you’re concerned about the risk of dying your hair while pregnant, there are natural alternatives or you can wait until you give birth to get your hair done.