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Is it safe for a pregnant woman to get a perm?
Q: My hairdresser told me I should not perm my hair during pregnancy. Is she correct?
Craig L. Bissinger, M.D.
A: The jury will be out for a long time on this issue. Most doctors discourage pregnant women from exposing themselves to any chemicals during pregnancy. The perm solution is a chemical and is placed on the scalp. Inevitably some penetrates into the bloodstream.

There are no studies on the safety of perm solutions during pregnancy, so doctors usually opt to be conservative.

When I finish explaining my feeling about perm solutions to one of my own patients, I drive home the point by offering to enroll her in a study to see if perm solution will affect her newborn. As expected, the patient smiles and respectfully declines to be in this make-believe study.