Friday, January 21, 2011

Hair treatment in pregnancy

Dr. Antonio Asis
The most common question I’m asked in the first prenatal visit is, “When can I dye my hair Dr. Asis?!” (I must disclose that I did wonder, at one time, whether my going bald had something to do with my mother dying her hair when I was in her womb. Just kidding.)

The fact of the matter is that dying your hair CAN be done in pregnancy because very little dye is actually absorbed through the skin. There is currently limited evidence that hair coloring does NOT cause birth defects. However, the following precautions are recommended:
  • Color your hair AFTER the first trimester to avoid chemical exposure as this is the time your baby’s organs are developing.
  • Consider using highlights or frosting your hair.  These approaches allow you to reduce the amount of chemicals that touch your scalp, but I understand this may not get the job done the way you had hoped.
  • Use natural dyes for coloring your hair such as henna, which is considered safe in pregnancy.
  • Try “hair mascara.” I hear it can be used to touch-up your roots.
  • Select a dye with the least possible number of chemicals in it and that does NOT have ammonia or peroxide in it.  These semi-permanent dyes are considered safer than the ammonia/peroxide that permanent dyes contain.
  • Pick a coloring that stays on your scalp during application for as little time as possible.
  • Wear gloves if you’re the one coloring your hair and thoroughly rinse out the solution after the color has “set.”
  • Make sure the room in which you are having your hair colored is well ventilated. 
I hope this helps and remember what my mom told me, “Tony – you look beautiful no matter what you do to your head.”  You could say I took this to heart and I cut it close – less is more!

Antonio “Tony” Asis, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., is Board Certified by the American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology and is a member of the medical staff at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton.  He resides in Denton with his wife of sixteen years and four children who range in age from fifteen to nine.

Doctors on the medical staff are not employees or agents of the hospital. 

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