Hair Dyeing Tips for New Moms and Moms-to-Be

07/29/2011 at 10:00 AM ET
Adhemar Sburlati/Broadimage; Charley Gallay/WireImage

To dye or not to dye! When you’re a mom-to-be, it’s so hard to decide especially since there are so many conflicting reports on whether it’s truly safe for your baby. We recently chatted with Mazza BenTov (below), a colorist at the Valery Joseph Salon, to help clear up any confusion.

Lucky for us, she’s very knowledgeable about the topic — she’s a new mom to a 9-month-old. If you’re looking to highlight or completely color your tresses, make sure to check out her tips below.

Consult Your Colorist. Once you become pregnant, let your colorist know so you can discuss the safest options for all-over color or highlights. With highlights and using foils, there is a lot more room for the color to accidentally touch the scalp so ask your colorist to try balayage. It’s more precise so there’s more control over where the color is going. But if you’re still having doubts about whether coloring is safe, talk to your doctor.

Do Your Research. If you want to color at home, there are lots of at-home coloring treatments with little to no chemicals. Just do your homework. If you’re pregnant, I wouldn’t recommend all-over color unless you have permission from your doctor and are working with a professional. But if you’re a new mom, L’Oréal’s ammonia-free Healthy Look is a great option for all-over dyeing. But ultimately, it’s best to go to a colorist because over the counter coloring kits are easy to mess up.

Courtesy Valery Joseph Salon

Try Ombre Highlights. Since you’re only lightening the tips of the hair, it’s safer than most highlights. And it’s very low maintenance, especially if you have long hair. You could go for up to 4 months and not worry about it, which is a great money saver too. For the ombre look, tell your colorist to use soft balayage so it’s not a harsh color change. You want it to look subtle, yet add definition and dimension.

Go Ionic. After birth, many women lose hair and hair becomes temporarily dry and brittle because of all the hormonal changes you’re going through. To help rejuvenate your locks and keep your color rich, try an Ionic Hair Treatment. This involves flat ironing crystals into damp hair to hydrate it. It usually lasts about a month and really makes your hair shine.

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vanessa on

You can also contact and they are specially trained in giving information about exposures in pregnancy and I believe they have a fact sheet with information on dying hair in pregnacy. They are a wonderfull group!

NM on

I used to get my hair permed when I was pregnant, and there are more chemicals used during perming that hair coloring. I never sought medical advice from my doctor, and my hairdresser at that time, told me that there would be a slight chance of the chemicals not “taking” due to all of the hormonal changes going on in my body. My perms always took, and my kids were born just fine.

Shannon on

They can’t wait until after the baby is born? Why risk it?

Kate on

To each his/her own, but I would ask my doctor, not a stylist, any questions about things that might affect the health of my unborn baby.

J on

I would ask both. Stylists know what’s in their products too Kate and can give alternative suggestions to various products.

JMO on

My mother is a hairdresser and she says it’s perfectly safe for you to have your hair dyed while pregnant. She’s been a hairdresser for 35 years. It’s not like it’s something you do once a week! If your too skeptical simply don’t do it. But I’ve never known any child to have any effects from their mothers having their hair dyed!

Mary on

There’s no need to be paranoid. Highlighting and coloring during any stage of pregnancy is perfectly fine. My friend is a hair model and she colored her hair regularly (almost monthly) for shows during her entire pregnancy. Her doctor said it was completely fine because the chemical formulas used now a days (compared to 40 years ago) are so much healthier and safer.

mommytoane on

I guess I don’t understand why people want to mess with what nature gave them. But to each their own. I’m sure these ladies are being safe, which is the main thing.

Megan on

I don’t see how blonde tips + dark hair on top is a “subtle look”, but hey, whatever floats your boat…

KIM on

Heres what i dont get–IF hair coloring is unsafe durring pregnancy–why are stylists not told to stop performing coloring services to clients durring their entire pregnancy(or even part of it)—hairdressers get pregnant and do work while pregnant–none i have ever worked with took a leave nor when i was pregnant with either of my 2 daughers was i told to not touch hair color–i am a hair stylist of 25 yrs and saying we wear gloves is bullshit—most stylists dont wear color–the only time i do/did is when i worked with black hair color–that i couldnt bleach off my hands—otherwise i never wore gloves–neither did my co-workers..

also asking a hairstylist for a medical recommendation?? and actually getting one from a stylist is borderline malpractice–she has no medical training and should NOT answer the question–any good stylist should answer your question of concern with–“ask your doctor what is safe and what they recommend and let me know”…more than that–plain irresponsible!

i personally had my ahir colored durring the entire time—my choice and i am happpy with it..