Can I dye my hair if I’m pregnant?

Highlights? Waxing? Gel nails? Midwife Sonya Brear discusses which beauty treatments are safe while pregnant.

4 min read 100%

Can I dye my hair if I’m pregnant?

Highlights? Waxing? Gel nails? Midwife Sonya Brear discusses which beauty treatments are safe while pregnant.

4 min read 100%

Dying your hair when you’re pregnant

Does pregnancy put a stop to your trips to the salon? Midwife, Sonya Brear explains what beauty treatments are safe to have, and the ones you’ll need to cancel (for now). Sonya has worked in the NHS for 23 years, 20 of those as a midwife.

Can I dye my hair if I’m pregnant?

Hair dye is not thought to be bad for your baby, though you may opt for highlights instead, as they don’t touch the scalp. Some women decide to stop dyeing their hair in pregnancy to avoid contact with unnecessary chemicals. If you’re concerned, wait till after the first trimester (12 weeks) to be safe, do a strand test, wear gloves and apply in a well-ventilated room. Have the dye on for the minimum time and rinse well.

Can I dye my hair if I’m breastfeeding?

It’s fine to colour your hair while breastfeeding and the chemicals will not pass into your milk. Use the same principles as if you were pregnant.

Is henna colourant safe while pregnant?

A good quality, natural henna with no added chemicals is safe for use on the hair and skin in pregnancy. If your henna comes mixed with essential oils, check that these are pregnancy-safe. Always do a patch test. Avoid black henna, which can cause allergies and dermatitis.

What other beauty treatments can I have while pregnant?

Can I still get a bikini wax?

Waxing is safe but be aware that your skin may be more sensitive in pregnancy, due to increased hormones and blood flow, so it may hurt more! Pregnancy hormones also mean more hair growth in places you don’t want it. At a beautician’s, make sure they use new wax to avoid infections. Hair removal creams are fine, though the smell may make you nauseous. Always remember to do a patch test.

Can I use fake tan in pregnancy?

Yes and no! A lotion or mousse is fine, though do a patch test and check you like the smell. Avoid spray tans, as there’s no data to say it’s safe to breathe the spray. Sunbeds should be avoided, as UV light can break down folate, prolonged use can increase risk of skin cancer, skin in pregnancy is more prone to pigmentation and you may develop darker patches. You should avoid overheating in pregnancy, which is bad for you and your baby.

Can I still get a massage?

Yes. Always ask for a pregnancy-trained masseur who knows how to position you to relieve pressure on your bump. Massage techniques can also help relieve the pains of contractions in labour, so make sure your birth partner knows what to do!

Is it safe to have a manicure during pregnancy?

Yes and no! A standard manicure is fine, though the fumes may make you feel sick, so make sure the room is well ventilated. Gel nails are not advised because methyl methacrylate monomer (MMA) has been linked to birth defects. To remove gel, use cotton wool soaked in acetone rather than putting your hands in a bowl of it and wash your hands thoroughly.

Laser hair removal is safe if you are planning to conceive but not if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Hold off booking after the baby has arrived until you have had one normal cycle. Although there is no proven effect on your baby, your hair growth and hormone levels will be different, and there’s a higher chance of issues with pigmentation.
Amanda Hirst, laser therapist
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