Highlighting Hair during the first Trimester — The Bump
June 2014 Moms

Highlighting Hair during the first Trimester

I made an appt for a cut and highlight this friday. I'm 8 wks. My hair is just so long right now, and my greys are driving me crazy. I'm planning on having her balayage my hair, which is the technique where they paint the bleach on your hair in skinny stripes near the scalp and then more as she goes down to their ends of your hair. Then they separate the sections with plastic wrap (instead of foils), which keeps it moist as it develops. I got it done this way the last time and looooved it. But that was June, and I'm feeling the need for a freshen up. But I definitely don't want to put my baby at risk.

My first preganancy, I was just so paranoid about everything, and now I feel I was unnecessarily precautious to the degree I was taking it... I mean I took every precaution imaginable. I didn't paint my nails, I didn't drink anything with caffeine. Nothing. I was totally bland.

This pregnancy, I'm drinking my dang coffee (I did cut back, but I still have it every day), and I want to get my hair done. I was drinking beer the weekend before I got my BFP and I was on Z-pac for a mystery "virus" in September (which I now know was probably baby. I got the same "cold" before I knew I was pregnant with my first). I would have been worried sick last time around. This time, I know I don't need to worry.

My question is to the people who have been pregnant before -- did you process your hair in your first trimester? Or to the group -- do you know someone who processed their hair in their 1st trimester? Did everything turn out ok? From what I m reading, the concern is for chemicals being absorbed through the scalp, or inhaled. I'm reading highlights are probably ok since they don't touch the scalp, but why risk it? Has anyone heard of birth defects related to hair highlighting?

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Baby GIRL born June 12

Re: Highlighting Hair during the first Trimester

  • I'm a stylist and I say you're fine, especially since the product isn't directly on your scalp. I use an ammonia free product all over mine now. The ammonia on your scalp would be your biggest worry.

    PS: love balayage!
  • I would say it's fine, it doesn't touch your scalp. 


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  • I get the highlights through a cap. I don't know If it is any better but I feel as it isn't touching the scalp. I think your fine.
    <3 Married the Love of my Life Louie 3.17.12
    <3 Our precious baby girl Anya 4.18.13
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  • Hmmm......I just highlighted my hair last Monday.  So I guess you can tell what my opinion is!

    OB said it was fine last pregnancy, so I wouldn't be worried if I were you.  Enjoy and relax!
    BFP #1 - January 2010...m/c at 12 weeks 
    BFP #2 - December 2011, little lady #1 born August 2012
    BFP #3 - August 2013....m/c at 5 weeks 
    BFP #4 - October 2013....little lady #2 born June 2014

  • I have an appointment on Saturday - actually, to have my balayage freshened up, too.  I think since most of the hair dye is at the ends and not the scalp, we should be OK.

    I was kind of wondering if my hairdresser will think I'm a lunatic if I wear a surgical mask or something.  I'm not worried about inhaling the fumes as much as I'm worried the smells in there will make me sick!


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  • Oh man.

    After posting I thought  would call the Dr's office to just 'make sure'.

    They told me to go in the first trimester, I can go and have them dye my hair but not touch the scalp.  And no coloring in the 2nd or 3rd trimester.

    This is the worst.


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  • Whaaa? I thought it would be safer in the 2nd & 3rd trimesters! My stylist said she researched it (her sister just had a baby) & as long as the dye doesn't touch your scalp, it's totally safe.

  • CrysW08 said:
    Whaaa? I thought it would be safer in the 2nd & 3rd trimesters! My stylist said she researched it (her sister just had a baby) & as long as the dye doesn't touch your scalp, it's totally safe.

    That's what I thought, too.

    I don't know.  I am sure it is fine, obviously plenty of women dye their hair, but now I probably won't. 


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  • My doctor had no issue with me getting highlights at any time.
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  • I will definitely be continuing my highlights because I don't want to be sporting the white trash blonde hair/dark roots look when I give birth, haha.

  • I bleached my hair in first tri last time, and I'm dying it red next week. :)

    Due June 6th, 2014

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  • I am going to let my stylist know I am pregnant, but plan to continue with highlights.
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  • As long as your not drinking the hair dye then I think you're fine :)
  • I got highlights and will continue to.  I told my stylist I'm PG (obvi, bc she knows my entire life) so she was extra careful to avoid contact with the scalp.

    There were no surprises with the color.
  • According to my OB there is actually no evidence that hair dye of any kind is dangerous -- unless possibly if you work in a salon where you're inhaling it all day every day and they have bad ventilation.

    Even if it gets on your scalp, the amount of material that would actually be absorbed through your skin is like 0.000000000001%.

    People need to stop being so freaking paranoid. You're pregnant, not dying.


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  • I asked my OB and he said coloring my hair was fine. I got all over color Saturday, and it definitely touched my scalp. I'm not going to worry about it as I only color my hair every 5 months or so and I got the ok from my doctor.
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  • Thanks for all the input, I really appreciate it!

    I am not coloring I am highlighting, and as someone mentioned, balayage puts more colors at the ends than at the roots. Hopefully the toner will react ok with pregnancy hormones. 

    I will tell my stylist I am pregnant so she can be extra careful. But I feel so much better having heard others highlighted in their 1st trimester and had beautiful babies! 
    Friday would have been my 19th day of work straight. I wear a uniform to work and have to have my hair up every day. I am sooo looking forward to taking day 19 off instead of going to work and getting my hair done! 
    image  image
    Baby GIRL born June 12
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