Pregnancy And The Hair-Dye Debate

Permanent hair dye applied to the entire scalp can potentially be absorbed into the body. According to the American Medical Association, which recommends staying away from hair coloring during pregnancy, dying your hair three times while pregnant is equivalent to smoking as many as four cigarettes.

Although some doctors give their patients the green light to use hair color after the first trimester, others disagree, saying there isn't enough evidence to guarantee its safety. On the other hand, there is also no evidence saying it can lead to birth defects.

Still wary? Color-enhancing glosses are a good alternative; or stick to highlights. The highlighting process involves applying chemicals close to the roots, but they never touch the scalp. To blend away grays and roots, inquire about semi- and demi-permanent dyes, which contain very little amonia or peroxide.

To minimize exposure to salon chemicals, allow at least eight weeks between appointments, and always request the first appointment of the day.