Hair dyes are used to color hair completely or highlight certain portions to stand out from the base color. The dye comes in various colors from the naturals of black, brown and blond to exotic colors including neon green or hot pink. Many studies have been conducted on the risks of hair dye to infants in the womb and children.
Hair dyes have the possibility of causing an allergic reaction in some individuals, adults and children alike. Many times, the reaction is small and minor, similar to a contact reaction with items such as nickel or poison ivy. All experts recommend individuals test the dye on a small portion of hair to check for a reaction before coloring their entire head. In a study conducted in October 2006 by Sosted, Johansen, Andersen and Menne, it was discovered that eight children had skin reactions to the chemicals in hair dye. The study determined that re-evaluation of the hair dye risks should be considered.
Studies have been conducted to examine if hair dye is linked to cancer at all. An August 2003 review of over 80 studies stated that there was no cause between hair dye and cancer, even over long time use.
Proctor & Gamble Beauty & Grooms recommends that children should avoid dying or bleaching their hair at all, for safe measures since they may be more susceptible to negative effects.
Hair dye use while pregnant is controversial, as many opinions vary from one expert to another. The general consensus is that it is safe to color hair during pregnancy as long as the room is well ventilated. If worried, women should wait until at least 12 weeks into the pregnancy to dye their hair to reduce risks of miscarriage and birth defects.