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Hair Dye and Breastfeeding

Hair Dye and Breastfeeding

Can you dye your hair while breastfeeding your baby? Find out if there is any harmful correlation between hair dye and breastfeeding in this article.
Ashwini Kulkarni Sule
Many women are dissuaded from getting hair and beauty treatments done during pregnancy and initial days of childbirth. Toxic fumes erupting from chemicals and hair dyes is the major concern. While there is not much of evidence regarding how hair dyeing affects fetuses or breastfed infants, women often choose to play it safe by waiting until their baby is old enough to be weaned. However, there is no need for you to sacrifice your desire to look good as studies have revealed that women can safely dye their hair anytime after the 12th week of pregnancy. Dyeing your hair and breastfeeding also possibly do not have any detrimental correlation. Let's understand this better by reading ahead.
Is It safe to Use Hair Dye while Breastfeeding?
Hair dyes are known to contain some of the strongest and most toxic chemicals. Most hair dyes are ammonia based, which in itself is a hazardous chemical. Inhaling such toxic fumes may not be good for an expectant mother as well as the fetus. These fumes may cause serious developmental issues in fetuses that are less than 12 weeks old. However, many women wrongly assume that chemicals through bloodstream are what cause all the problems to mother and baby. This is the reason why they may refrain from getting their hair dyed while they are breastfeeding their babies. One must understand that the amount of chemicals entering the bloodstream of a mother through scalp is not significant enough to pose any threat to the fetus or a breastfed baby. There is no possibility that your baby could get these chemicals in her body through breast milk.
Precautions to be Taken while Dyeing Hair
Although, there is no harm in dyeing your hair while you are pregnant (over 12 weeks) or breastfeeding, taking certain precautions may provide maximum safety to you and your baby. As mentioned above, the chemicals entering the bloodstream through scalp are not sufficient enough to cause a problem to you or your baby. However, if the scalp has cracks or if the skin is broken, your chances of introducing higher amount of chemicals into the bloodstream increase manifold. Hence, it is a must that you ensure that your scalp is in a healthy condition before coloring your hair. Applying chemicals on an unhealthy scalp also makes you susceptible to various allergies and infections, which can be detrimental for your breastfed baby.
Another reason why breastfeeding mothers should think twice before getting their hair dyed is due to change in texture of their hair. Hormonal changes during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding may change the nature and texture of the hair. This may make them to respond differently to a hair color. Meaning, your hair dye may not give you the same result as it did during your pre-pregnancy days. Hence, it only makes sense to wait until your hair resume their natural texture. Another factor worth considering is that, the stage of breastfeeding is often characterized by heavy hair loss. Hence, it may not be a good idea to subject such hair to chemical treatment.
However, the biggest problem with coloring of hair and breastfeeding is, your baby may not like the smell of chemicals on your hair, hence she might simply refuse to latch on. Also, one must always keep the baby safely away while you are dyeing your hair. If you're dyeing at home, make sure the room is airy and well ventilated, so that the fumes do not linger in the room, for your baby to inhale. You can also opt for natural hair dyes, which are a safe alternative.
If possible you can wait to get chemical hair treatments done until your baby is nutritionally independent. However, if you think that a new hair color could boost your confidence by improving your appearance, you may as well go ahead and get it done. After all, you sure have a right to make yourself happy after accomplishing the biggest task in the world!