Is it Safe to Color Your Hair While Breastfeeding?

Whether you decided to let your color go natural during pregnancy or kept up with a version of your usual hair color regimen, you may want to reevaluate your decision once your baby's born, if you're a breastfeeding mom. Though your actions don't have the immediate impact on your baby's development during breastfeeding that they do during pregnancy, most moms still worry about how their habits can affect their babies.

What You Should Know

There's not much research into the effects of hair color use during pregnancy or breastfeeding, but coloring your hair when you're breastfeeding is probably safe because the chemicals used to color your hair don't enter your milk supply, explains Jennifer Peddlesen, a pharmacist and lactation consultant in Calgary, in "Today's Parent" magazine.

Chemical Considerations

Coloring your hair when you're breastfeeding is safe because the chemicals used for hair color and highlights aren't absorbed by your scalp, explains Heather Jacobson, a licensed cosmetologist from Asheville, North Carolina. The biggest problem a nursing mom is likely to run into after getting her hair colored is the lingering smell, which your baby may not like.

If You're Still Nervous

If you're worried about using hair color while breastfeeding, consider opting for highlights that are painted on individual strands of hair without touching your scalp or temporary color instead of single-process color.

The Happiness Factor

Being a new mom can be an exhausting experience, and dealing with your post-pregnancy body can be emotionally challenging, especially during those first weeks when you're in recovery mode. If you're in the habit of coloring your hair, scheduling a touch-up appointment can help boost your spirits and self esteem.

Something to Consider

If you're in the habit of getting monthly color touch-ups, you may want to talk with your stylist about ways to simplify your style now that you're a mom, says Doug MacIntosh, colorist at Minardi Salon in New York City, in "Parents" magazine. No, you don't have to chop off your hair to get the dreaded "mom cut," but you may want to add lowlights or adjust your color to be lower maintenance as you adjust to having a new baby.

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