Hair dye & highlights during pregnancy: What you need to know

Pregnancy is both an exciting and scary time. When you find out you are pregnant, one of the first things you do is take stock of your lifestyle and think about whether you need to make changes based on your condition. One area you need to consider is colouring hair when pregnant.

While this once was always a big no, advances in the beauty industry have made it easier to change your hairstyle and look during pregnancy. Before you pull out the dye, it’s vital to ensure you have done your research and are confident that you are looking after you and your bub if hair colouring when pregnant.

Can you dye your hair while pregnant?

The simple answer to the question ‘can you dye our hair when pregnant?’ is yes. Most experts agree that colouring hair when pregnant up to three to four times is probably safe.

It is believed that hair dye will not contact your skin long enough to do any damage or cause harm.

However, you should always speak to your doctor if you are intending on colouring your hair when pregnant.

If you have been given the all-clear to colour, whether you plan to go to the salon or your bathroom, there are some things you and your hairdresser can do to reduce risks and provide you with peace of mind.

How to reduce risks

Though you may not be ready to tell the world, your hairdresser should be one of the first people you let in on your secret so you can talk over any concerns you have about colouring your hair when pregnant.

Things you may want to bring up with your hairdresser, apart from asking the question, ‘is colouring your hair safe when pregnant?’, include:

• Product: What products does your hairdresser recommend? Does your hairdresser offer hair colouring that is low in ammonia ? What chemicals are in the product? Do the products specifically mention testing for hair colouring when pregnant?

• Hairdresser. Is your hairdresser experienced in colouring hair when pregnant? What do they do differently? Will they do a test first to confirm there is no adverse reaction? Will they wear gloves? Can they dedicate their time to you to ensure that the dye is only on for the minimum time? Are there safer options to consider (for example, foils)?

• Salon experience. Is there plenty of ventilation in the salon? Can you sit near an open door or window to minimise the chance of breathing in the chemicals? Can you speak to other customers who had their hair coloured when pregnant?

If you are considering the do-it-yourself approach to hair colouring, there are some additional questions to consider when thinking about if you can dye your hair while pregnant:

• Do you have a safe area at home? Is it well ventilated, with flowing fresh air?

• Have you thoroughly researched the products to ensure they do not contain any harsh chemicals?

• What type of colour are you applying? Semi-Permanent colours do not contain bleach and are the safest option to colouring.

• Have you read and understood the questions? It’s essential to make sure you read the instructions and follow them carefully to reduce any risks.

3 tips for colouring your hair when pregnant

When you are pregnant, you may find that your hair grows faster than usual. That may mean that you want to get into the salon quicker than expected. Here are three tips to getting the best of colouring hair when pregnant.

1. Wait until the second trimester

Many experts recommend waiting until after the first trimester before dying your hair. The first 12 weeks of your pregnancy are a critical time for the baby, with organs, muscles, limbs and the brain starting to develop.

Even though you are only likely to absorb minimal chemicals from colouring your hair when pregnant, it’s always better to take the safe option where possible.

2. Opt for the safest services

Talk to your hairdresser about what options are the safest during pregnancy. Can you opt for single-process colour, or have the dye applied to the hair only, without touching the scalp?

Would it be better to use a different type of colouring technique like balayage, which only lightens and tones the ends of your hair?

3. Use a gentle colour

Be sure to discuss the products your hairdresser will use to colour your hair.

See if there is an option to choose a colour with an ammonia-free base. Remember that some so-called “natural” products contain just as many chemicals as their traditional counterparts, so be sure to thoroughly research the products.


Feeling good about yourself while you’re expecting is essential, and your hair is a part of that. Before you take the plunge, do your research, talk to your doctor and discuss your concerns with your hairdresser.

At the Lux Hair Lounge Salon, our stylists have experience in colouring hair during pregnancy and can answer your questions to help ease your concerns.

Asking questions before deciding to colour your hair will reduce worry and give you the confidence to get gorgeous hair safely for you and your baby.