Pregnancy & Hair Dyes

Pregnancy and hair dye safety is an important topic, but answers are difficult to pinpoint.

Is it safe to use Henna whilst pregnant ?

Some pregnant mothers like to get their bellies hennaed during pregnancy.

If you’re a pregnant mother wanting to henna your hair, you’re probably sensitive to smells and plants, so patch test and strand test !

Secondly, you need to figure out if you think henna and indigo are safe to use during pregnancy. We consider them safer than any chemical hair dye. However, the organisation Foresight seems to suggest that even vegetable hair dyes should be avoided in pregnancy.


pregnancy and hair dye safety- it's all about making your own informed choice; pregnant mum in black track pants and beige top standing outside in autumn sunshine,and surrounded by autumn leaves on the green grass
pregnancy and hair dye safety- it’s all about making your own informed choice

pregnancy and hair dyes, picture of pregnant mother sitting in a field of flowers

Pregnancy & Hair Dye Safety

Just Mommies on pregnancy and hair dyes : Hair Dyes & Pregnancy.

The Foresight Approach.

This is what the organisation Foresight said some years back about pregnancy and hair dye safety :


Unfortunately, Foresight is unable to accept for mineral analysis hair samples that have been treated with permanent dyes or perming solution.

Dyes that are intended to “stay put” contain materials that actually penetrate the hair shaft. They can in some cases add minerals such as lead (black dyes), manganese (brown dyes) and copper (red dyes). In other cases they can result in some of the minor trace minerals, which lie mainly in the outer casing of the hair, being lost, and also zinc.

As we do the analysis on your hair for such crucial reasons, it is essential that it is really accurate. for this reason, we have to ask you to get us a sample that is completely free from dye. If your hair has been dyed very recently, it may take about 6-8 weeks to grow out about 1“ at the nape of the neck that is not contaminated.

For the long term, we have very recently learned from the London Hazards Centre that permanent dyes can enter the bloodstream from the scalp, and can be found in the urine 40 minutes after the hair is dyed. Recent research has linked them to bladder cancer; over 4,000 women a year are known to suffer from balder cancer, and 1,600 deaths are caused by it, with a high number of hair-dressers being included in these.

Because the dye enters the blood, we advise people very strongly to avoid hair dyes while the ova is ripening, and during pregnancy and breast-feeding. It is really only sensible to keep from all avoidable causes of cancer once you are a mother – and obviously, if you decide not to dye, it will be doing your hair-dresser a good turn too!

The wash-in/wash-out dyes appear at the moment to be less suspect, but we have insufficient research on them to be able to give total reassurance. We will try and give further updates in forthcoming Foresight newsletters.

Foresight Association
April, 2004

Permanent hair dyes have a number of noxious substances. Dye applied to hair is absorbed through the scalp and can be found in the urine in 40 minutes.

Problems Caused
Dyes therefore enter the bloodstream and are eliminated via the kidneys.

1,600 hair-dressers a year in the UK are diagnosed with bladder cancer, thought to be directly due to handling hair dyes.

Some of the substances have been linked by research to bladder cancer.”


Is henna safe ?