Hair Treatments and Pregnancy

This sheet talks about the risks that exposure to hair treatments can have during pregnancy. With each pregnancy, all women have a 3% to 5% chance of having a baby with a birth defect. This information should not take the place of medical care and advice from your health care provider.

What are the different types of hair treatments?

Hair treatments include hair coloring, hair curling (permanents), hair bleaching, and
hair straightening (relaxers) agents. Hair coloring procedures are divided into several groups determined by the length of time the color stays in the hair. These categories include temporary dyes, semi-permanent dyes, and permanent dyes.

Permanent dyes have received the most attention, and they include a variety of chemicals. Hair curling or permanent waves are produced by placing two solutions in the hair. The first solution is a waving fluid and the second is a fixation or neutralization solution. Hair bleaching involves the use of hydrogen
peroxide, and hair straighteners or hair relaxers involve a variety of chemicals.

The amount of an exposure, the timing during the pregnancy and frequency of use may
be important factors when thinking about hair treatments in pregnancy. Since many different chemicals are used and manufacturers frequently change formulations, these general guidelines are offered based upon small doses, animal data and limited data in pregnant women. Cosmetic products are frequently used, but are not generally evaluated for effects on pregnancy.

Do I absorb hair coloring/dye through my skin?

Low levels of hair dye can be absorbed through the skin after application, and the dye is excreted into the urine. This minimal amount is not thought to be enough to cause a problem for the baby.

I have my hair straightened every two months. Can I continue this into pregnancy?

A study in humans examined the use of hair straighteners during pregnancy. The use of
these products was not found to increase the chance of low birth weight or preterm delivery. The study did not address the chance of other abnormal outcomes (such as birth defects). Again, it is likely that only a small amount of hair straightening products are actually absorbed into your system, so the developing baby would only be exposed to small amounts.

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Precursors of oxidative hair dyes in hair colouring formulations

Analytical chemical control of chemical substances
and chemical preparations

The EU Cosmetic Directive regulates the contents of precursors of
oxidative hair dyes and colorants in hair care formulations. In the
present study, 18 hair colouring formulations and 4 henna products
were analysed for the content of 19 precursors of hair dyes to check
their compliance with the Cosmetic Directive. The henna products
were also analysed for the content of Lawsone. Furthermore, the
henna products and two single-component hair dyeing formulations
were analysed for the contents of some permitted orange, red and
yellow colorants.

Toluene-2,5-diamine was present in 16/18 of hair colouring formulations,
resorcinol in 15/18 products, 2-methylresorcinol in 6/18 products,
4-chlororesorcinol in 4/18 products, 2,7-naphthalenediol in
3/18 products, 4-aminophenol in 6/18 products, and 2-aminophenol
was present in 1/18 of the products. Three of the hair colouring formulations
were found to contain 3-aminophenol and one of the products
contained 2-amino-3-hydroxypyridine. However, the identification
and determination of 3-aminophenol and 2-amino-3-
hydroxypyridine in five of the products labelled for the contents of
these substances could not be performed, because of the overlap of
the chromatographic peaks of these two compounds, when analysed
by the HPLC method used in the present study. All four henna products
and the two single-component hair colouring formulations did
not contain any of the target precursors of hair dyes or target colorants.
Only one of the four henna products contained Lawsone. 1,4-
phenylenediamine was not present in any of the investigated products.

The contents of precursors of hair dyes in the investigated products
were in compliance with the Cosmetic Directive.
Present work has been performed as technical support to the Danish
Environmental Protection Agency.

Hair Dye Powder

Scientifically referred to as Lawsonia Inermis, Botanicals have been used for thousands of years
as a natural hair coloring and conditioning aid, and we offer the same guarantee offered by
nature over the centuries… none 1 other than Alive hair dye is 100% pure, premium botanicals
and the best that money can buy.
A perennial shrub native to North Africa and Australia is naturalized and cultivated in the tropics
of America, and Egypt. The species is sometimes classified as Lawsonia alba Lam. Reaching a
height of up to 6 meters, the plants has fragrant white or rose-red flowers.
The reported life zone of henna is 19 to 27 degrees centigrade with an annual precipitation of
0.2 to 4.2 meters and soil pH of 4.3 to 7.5. Henna is planted today primarily as an ornament
hedge but is probably best known for its dried, ground leaves traditionally used to produce color
fast orange, red and brown dyes. Dried, powdered leaves of henna contain about 0.5 to 1.5
percent lawsone, the chief constituent responsible for the dyeing properties of the plant. Henna
also contains mannite, tannic acid, mucilage, garlic acid and naphtaquinone. The leaves of
henna have been used in Asia since antiquity as a hair dye.
In the west and the middle Ease, henna is used in hair shampoos, dyes, conditioners. Henna
dye products are mixed with indigo or other plant material to obtain a greater colour range.
As a medicinal plant, henna has been used for astringent, anti-hemorrhagic, intestinal antineoplastic,
cardio-inhibitory, hypertensive and sedative effects. It has also been used as a folk
remedy against amoebiasis, headache, jaundice and leprosy.
Henna extracts show antibacterial, antifungal and ultraviolet light screening activity. The flowers
possess a pleasant aroma and crude perfumes are produced in some major growing areas by
preparing a suspension of comminuted flowers in vegetable oil.

Keeping clean
Wear the gloves. Apply cream to your skin along the hairline, ears and neck. This will help keep
mixture from colouring these areas.
Remember, never use metal during preparation or application. Place hair dye powder in a glass
ceramic or plastic bowl. For short hair use 1-2 oz, more for longer hair.
Start with 1 bottle of hair dye solution, bring it to a boil in a nonmetal container. While stirring
with a wooden or plastic spoon, gradually pour the boiling water into the bowl of hair dye powder.
Add solution until the mixture is creaming yet sandy. There may be water leftover some crops of
this product are grittier than others, the mixture should not be too thick or too runny. It should
slowly slide off of the plastic or wooden spoon used for mixing.
Let mixture set 2-3 minutes to thicken and stabilize. Add more solution if mixture becomes too
thick. Let mixture cool to a workable temperature prior to applying to hair.
To apply you may wish to use an all-plastic paintbrush or a plastic squeeze bottle. Divide the
hair into sections, using a plastic or wooden comb plastic clips or string. Do not use any metal
objects to hold the hair in place. Begin applying mixture to hair, starting at the top of the head,
coating all strands from roots outward. Cover hair with shower cap.
Add heat if desire. Heat is not absolutely necessary, but it will enhance red shades. Left the
mixture on the hair for the length of time needed (at least 1 hour) to obtain the desired colours.
Rinse out with warm water. For best results wait 48 hours before shampooing with mild

Alive Health Development Sdn. Bhd. (551619-v)
1st Floor , Bangunan WSF, 42-A, Jalan Sultan Ismail, 50250 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 603-2148 3606 / 603-2145 6339 Fax: 603-2148 3545 HP: 6012-236 2494 (Calven Yong), 6012-359 3166
Website: Email:

Hair Dye and Hair Relaxers

Hair dye is used to color your hair.Hair relaxers are used to make your
hair straight. Both hair dye and hair relaxers can hurt your skin, hair,
and eyes, especially if you are not careful.

Hair dyes

• There are different types of hair dyes used in salons and sold in stores. For example, some are permanent and cannot be washedout with shampoo. Others wash out after a number of shampoos.The number of shampoos varies, depending on the product. Check the label to see about how long you can expect these colors to last.

Other kinds of dye:

Progressive hair dyes change the color of your hair gradually. They make hair a little darker each time you use them.
Henna is made from a plant and colors hair red or reddish brown.

No matter what kind of hair dye you use, follow directions carefully.Pay attention to all “Caution” or “Warning” statements.

What problems can hair dyes cause?

Some of the problems people havehad from using hair dyes are:
• Itchy or raw skin
• Hair loss
• Swelling in the face
• Redness
• Trouble breathing
• Burning

How can I use hair dye safely?
• Follow the directions in the package. Pay attention to all “Caution” and “Warning”
• Do a patch test before using dye on your hair. Here’s how: Rub a tiny bit of the dye on the inside of your elbow or behind your ear. Leave it there for two days. If
you get a rash, don’t use the dye on your hair. You should do the
test each time you dye your hair. (Salons should also do the patch test before dyeing your hair.)
• Never dye your eyebrows or eyelashes. This can hurt your eyes. You might even go blind. FDA does not allow using hair dyes on eyelashes and eyebrows.
• Keep hair dyes out of the reach of children.
• Don’t leave the dye on longer than the directions say you should.
• Rinse your scalp well with water after dyeing.
• Wear gloves when you apply the hair dye.
• Never mix different hair dye products. This can hurt your hair
and scalp. Should I color my eyebrows or eyelashes? Never dye your eyebrows or
eyelashes. This can hurt your eyes. You might even go blind. FDA does not allow using hair dyes on eyelashes and eyebrows.OVER

Hair relaxers

Are “no-lye” hair relaxers safer?
• Any relaxer can burn your scalp if you use it the wrong way.
• Lye is something found in many hair relaxers. It helps the product work, but it can
also burn the skin.
• Relaxers without lye don’t usually bother your skin as much, but you still need to be safe and use them the right way. Tips from skin doctors and hairdressers to
help use hair relaxers safely:
• Don’t leave the relaxer on longer than the directions say you should.
• Wash it out with a neutralizing shampoo.(You can get neutralizing shampoo in most
places where you buy shampoo.)
• Use conditioner often after relaxing your hair.
• Be extra careful when you use hair relaxers on children. Keep hair relaxers out of
children’s reach. Children have been hurt playing with hair relaxers.
• It can be a good idea to get help with relaxers instead of doing it all by yourself. That way you can be surer to use the relaxer evenly and rinse it all out from places you can’t see.
• You can protect your scalp by putting petroleum jelly on the scalp before using the
• Don’t scratch your head or brush your hair before you use a relaxer.
• Remember that curling and blow drying can hurt your hair, too.

How often should I relax my hair?
• Straightening too often can damage your hair. You might want to ask your hairdresser for advice, because different products on the market have different directions. According to some hairdressers, every six to eight weeks is common, but this depends on the product.
• It also depends on your hair, such as how fast your hair grows.

Can I dye and relax my hair at the same time?
• You are more likely to damage your hair if you use both hair dye and a relaxer.
• If you do color your relaxed hair, some hairdressers say you should use a semipermanent dye. They say it will cause less damage than a permanent dye.
• Refer to product directions and talk to your hairdresser because different relaxers have different directions. Some should not be used when you have dye in your hair.

How should I report a bad reaction or a complaint about a hair dye?


Contact FDA’s Center for Food Safety and
Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) Adverse Events
Reporting System (CAERS):
• Call 1-800-FDA-1088
• Email

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