Hair dye

Hair dye – Pregnancy Q&A

Connie L. Agnew

(?) Is it safe for me to continue dyeing my hair while pregnant? I have heard conflicting information.

Yes. In years past, doctors often recommended that pregnant women avoid dyeing their hair. But I’m pleased to tell you that most products used today to achieve temporary, semi-permanent and permanent hair color are considered safe for use by pregnant women. The Organization of Teratology Information Services, which studies substances that can cause birth defects, states, “In animal studies, at doses 100 times higher than what would normally be used in human application, no significant changes were seen in fetal development.” But keep in mind that pregnancy hormones may change the texture of your hair, causing it to respond differently to coloring ingredients. So while it may be perfectly safe to dye your hair, you may not get the precise color you’ve come to expect.


DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION FOR DR. AGNEW? Connie L. Agnew, M.D., is director of maternal-fetal medicine at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif. She also operates a private practice in obstetrics and gynecology at St. John’s and at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. The mother of four children ages 8 to 15, Agnew is a co-author of TWINS! Pregnancy, Birth and the First Year of Life (Harper Collins. 1997). To submit a question for consideration, write to: Pregnancy Q&A, Fit Pregnancy, 21100 Erwin St., Woodland Hills, CA 91367; send an e-mail to; or fax your questions to 818-992-6895. Keep in mind that her responses are not intended to replace advice from your doctor.

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