Mayo Clinic Health Library

Question

Hair dye and pregnancy: A concern?

Is it OK to use hair dye during pregnancy?

Updated: 08-20-2011

Answer

When you use hair dye, a small amount of the dye can penetrate your skin. Generally, however, the dye isn't thought to pose harm to a developing baby.

A 2005 study suggested an association between hair dye and pregnancy and the childhood cancer neuroblastoma — but other studies on the use of hair dye before and during pregnancy haven't reached the same conclusion. Most researchers say it's unlikely that maternal use of hair products before or during pregnancy would increase the risk of childhood tumors.

If you choose to dye your hair during pregnancy, consider these precautions from the Food and Drug Administration:

  • Follow package directions carefully.
  • Wear gloves when applying hair dye.
  • Leave the dye on your hair no longer than directed.
  • Rinse your scalp thoroughly after using hair dye.

If you're concerned about the use of hair dye during pregnancy, consult your health care provider or consider postponing any chemical hair treatments.

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