Hair Colouring or Perming during Breastfeeding – Is it Safe?

If you are wondering if hair dye for breastfeeding moms is safe for the health of the baby, then you are not alone. With processes like hair colouring or perming that heavily use chemicals, it is natural to wonder if these chemicals will find a way into the system of your baby. After nine months of pregnancy, where every move and thought is only centred around the health of your developing baby, you might be in the mood for some ‘me time’. Spending a day at the salon to pamper yourself is one of the best ways to relax and rejuvenate. However, some salon procedures for getting your hair dyed or permed may not be safe for you yet, particularly if you are breastfeeding.

Can You Colour, Dye, or Perm Your Hair while Breastfeeding?

If you are wondering if you can colour your hair while breastfeeding, here is what you need to know. While most breastfeeding mothers stay away from any chemical products, there isn’t any proof to suggest that hair colouring or getting a perm can have any negative effect on your baby. The chemicals used in these processes are mild and cannot be absorbed through the hair follicle. However, getting any hair treatment is entirely up to your discretion. There are plenty of mothers and doctors who will tell you to stay away from these procedures. But you are the only one who alone should take this judgement, keeping in mind the studies and facts in front of you.

Can Chemicals in Hair Treatments Cause Harm to Breastfeeding Moms?

There are certain chemicals that are used in hair treatments such as for hair dyeing and perming, which when applied to the skin, can be absorbed into the bloodstream. However, the absorption levels are low and the occurrence of these chemicals in these treatments is at low levels. But if you want to stay safe, then make sure that the chemicals used in the treatments do not come into contact with your scalp.

Hair Colouring

Side Effects of Hair Dye or Hair Perming on Breastfed Babies

There can be some side effects of the chemicals used in hair dyeing or perming on babies.

  • Some of the older and cheaper dyes use ammonia for hair colouring. The fumes of ammonia if inhaled by the mother can be extremely harmful to her. An easy solution is to use dyes that do not contain ammonia. Thankfully, most companies now make ammonia-free dyes.
  • Most of the treatments will leave a strong smell on your hair which your baby might not like or he may find it too strong. These smells might prevent you from being able to nurse your baby.

Alternative Methods Nursing Mothers Can Consider

Your doctor may dissuade you from getting any hair treatment but you must not lose heart. There are many alternate processes that are chemical free, hence are safe to use on your hair without fear of any side effects on you or your baby. Post pregnancy, your hair might require much-needed love and care and while these alternative hair treatments might not give what you desired for, they will still help you feel relaxed.

1. Vegetable Dyes

One of the major complaints of breastfeeding women is the appearance of grey hair soon after giving birth, hence they wish to dye their hair. Since chemical dyes are not safe, you can always choose natural vegetable dyes. Dyes like henna will hide your grey hair, make your roots healthy while giving your hair shine and bounce. You can boost the colour and depth of henna by adding beetroot juice and coffee decoction.

2. Highlights

Instead of hair dyeing or perming, you can get only highlights for your hair. The dye then will be restricted to only small parts of your hair and the exposure to chemicals will be drastically reduced. This option is stylish and in trend too.

3. Temporary Treatments

Another great idea is to choose treatments that are temporary and hence do not require any chemicals. So instead of getting a perm, you can just use a curler to set your hair the way you want. The same trick can be applied to straightening your hair. This way, you can also change your style according to your mood and occasion. This option requires less upkeep and will still ensure a great and relaxing spa day for you.

Precautions to Take While Colouring or Perming Hair for Breastfeeding Moms

Since the chemicals have little chance of being absorbed by the hair itself, you can pay attention solely to your scalp. Make sure that your scalp is healthy and does not have any cuts or infections. Also, do not use products without doing an allergy test on yourself.

If you want to get your hair coloured while breastfeeding, it is recommended that you consult a doctor first. Frequent hair colouring or hair perming should be avoided and should be done when it is absolutely necessary. If you do colour your hair during this time, follow your doctor’s instructions.