Hair Coloring Or Perming During Breastfeeding - Is It Safe?

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There are lots of things to keep in mind while being pregnant. Not only do you have to take care of your health but that of your baby too. After all, there is a life growing inside you and everything you do, you have to consider the effect it has on that precious life. Exercise, sleep cycle, and diet are often prescribed by medical experts and are common aspects of care during this time. However, most people do not know the effects of certain external factors. For example, hair coloring. How does it affect your body and the baby? Today, we will address some of the most commonly asked questions about experimenting during pregnancy or postpartum.

The most common questions that new mothers ask when related to hair treatments are:

1. Is It Safe To Dye/Perm Hair During Breastfeeding?

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Some of you may be wondering if it’s okay to experiment with hair color and hair perm during postpartum and breastfeeding. While most mothers choose to stay away from chemicals during breastfeeding, there has been no proof that hair coloring or perming adversely affects your baby. However, it is recommended that mothers indulge in these procedures in well-ventilated areas and wash well after the dye is applied. Although these chemicals are not strong enough to seep into the bloodstream through the follicles, they might emit fumes that may cause harm if inhaled by the mother. Therefore, the safest way is to wait until your baby has weaned on to solid foods (1).

2. Are Chemicals In Hair Treatments Harmful For Breastfeeding Mothers?

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The chemicals found in hair treatments have very little chance to enter the bloodstream. However, they might emit fumes, which are harmful to the mother if inhaled. Using low-quality products increases the risk of damage to your hair and health, whether breastfeeding or not. Therefore it is best to choose high-quality products to reduce the risk of any health issues that may be imminent (2).

Side Effects Of Hair Coloring/Perming During Breastfeeding

If you are keen on treating your hair during breastfeeding, here are a few side effects that could occur:

  • Dyes of low quality have ammonia in them that emits harmful fumes. If these fumes are inhaled by the mother, it can adversely affect her health. A simple solution to this is to pick a dye that does not contain ammonia.
  • Chemical treatments, whether it is hair coloring or perming, leave a pungent smell on the hair even after the treatment is done. There are chances that your baby might be repelled by this smell while you are nursing him/her. This might in turn make it difficult for you to feed your baby.
  • Adding chemicals to your hair can damage your hair, whether or not you are breastfeeding or postpartum. During this time, your hair may react poorly to the chemicals, making it prone to further damage because of the immense changes that have occurred in your body during the pregnancy (3).

Alternate Methods To Chemically Treating Hair

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To avoid these side effects, one of the best things to do is to simply refrain from indulging in any chemical treatments. However, there are a few natural ways in which you can care for your hair without compromising on your health or that of your baby’s. You could use vegetable dyes to bring back the luscious bounce of your hair. Another way to reduce the risk of damage is to opt for highlights. This limits your hair’s exposure to chemicals and also gives you a trendy look. You could also choose no chemicals and stick to heat styling until your baby weans away from breast milk. So, instead of perms, you could use a curler and in place of hair color, you could get extensions (4).

Precautions For Breastfeeding Moms While Chemically Treating Hair

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For those of you who still opt for chemical hair treatments, ensure that precautions are taken so that it does not endanger you or your baby. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Always ensure that you’re wearing gloves if you are doing the treatments yourself.
  • Check your scalp for cuts or nicks and avoid applying the products on your scalp.
  • Before applying the product, do a patch test and read the instructions carefully.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after the procedure before touching your baby.
  • Ensure that your baby is not around while carrying out the procedure.

We hope we cleared the air with this age-old confusion. Comment below and let us know what methods you follow while coloring or perming your hair during breastfeeding.

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