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Is it safe to highlight your hair when you’re pregnant?
Q: Is it safe for me to have my hair highlighted during the first trimester— or at any point in my pregnancy?
A: Chemicals you place on your hair or rub into your skin can be absorbed, entering your bloodstream and eventually reaching your growing baby. There have not been a lot of studies of the effects of hair dyes on fetal development, so we need to rely on common sense rather than hard data. Most of the dye absorption occurs via your skin. If highlighting your hair does not allow much dye to contact your scalp, your dye absorption will be quite minimal. To be ultra-cautious I advise waiting until the second trimester (when organ development is complete) to highlight. Be sure to wear gloves if you’re doing this yourself, and work in a well-ventilated room. For more information on hair dyes, refer to a column I wrote on the topic for this website.