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If you are pregnant or thinking of having a baby, you may have questions about what you should not do to your hair. Some common concerns women have is whether or not they can apply chemical treatments, such as texturizers, smoothing treatments, permanent color, or bleach, to their hair. Other people are concerned about excessive hair fall or shedding after pregnancy, and if there is anything that they can use on their hair to prevent the hair loss.

Is it safe to use permanent color on your hair while pregnant?

Research shows that applying chemicals to the hair will not affect the fetus, because the amount of chemical absorbed by the skin is a small amount. It is recommended that you ask your doctor whether or not it is safe to use any type of chemical treatment while pregnant to ensure the health of you and the baby is not compromised. When it comes to permanent color services, I recommend asking your hairstylist to use an off the scalp technique that does not require any bleach or artificial color touching the scalp; this way none of the product is absorbed into the skin. If you have to cover gray, try using a color with low or no ammonia. If you are going to color your hair at home, you can use a semi-permanent color, which only deposits color and doesn't lift. Semi- permanent color is ammonia free and blends gray hair so that it is less noticeable. It only deposits color and doesn’t lift your permanent color, making it great to darken or enhance the color of your current strands. You can try Clairol Professional Beautiful Collection Advanced Gray Solution.

Ask your hairstylist about no ammonia, demi-permanent options to cover grays and enhance your natural hair color without extreme lifting. I like using Paul Mitchell Shines XG demi- permanent color, because it does not have a strong odor and has no ammonia. It is creamy and easy to apply, unlike liquid formulas that can be messy and drip. It also covers gray hair well and gives the hair nice shine.

Can I use smoothing treatments while I am pregnant?

There is not a lot of research about smoothing treatments and the effects they have on pregnant women or the unborn child. I recommend staying away from smoothing treatments that have formaldehyde, because of the limited research. Instead, try a smoothing system like the Design Essentials STS treatment that is formaldehyde free and will not burn the eyes or skin. It is an amino acid based treatment that gently softens the hair and hardly has a smell. During pregnancy, some women are more sensitive to certain smells, and you should not take the risk being around chemicals with strong odors that may make you feel sick.

Is it ok to use Rogaine or other products with minoxidil while I am pregnant?

During pregnancy, it is not necessary to use products that help regrow hair. The high levels of estrogen help the hair to grow more than usual while pregnant. Your hair stays in the hair growth phase and sheds less while pregnant. Three months after your baby is born, you will notice excessive hair shedding, also known as diffuse hair loss. The shedding is caused by hormonal changes in your body, and the hair that is falling out is what would have shed during the nine months you were pregnant.

Minoxidil should not be used during pregnancy, because it may cause birth defects. Although it has not been tested on humans, minoxidil has been proven to cause birth defects in animals and should not be used if you are pregnant or trying to conceive.

Consider asking your doctor if there is a specific trimester where it is safe to use artificial color or other chemicals on your hair. When you receive a chemical treatment, make sure the salon or your home is well ventilated or open the window. It is important to follow the manufacture’s instructions when applying the chemical to your hair and make sure you pay attention to the processing time to prevent leaving the product on longer than instructed.

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