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Can You Get Highlights While Pregnant?


During pregnancy, mothers-to-be start paying extra attention to their diet, taking vitamins and medicines, and exercising. What about beauty procedures? Can you get highlights while pregnant? Is it dangerous to color your hair during pregnancy? What do doctors say? Read on to find out.

Getting Highlights during Pregnancy: Is It Safe?

While pregnant, many women do not forget about their looks and want to look beautiful, including by coloring their hair. Is it safe? Well, there are some things you should know before booking an appointment at a hair salon.

  1. Most hair bleaches contain such a toxic substance as ammonia. While it does not get absorbed into the body through hair shafts, you can inhale it during the bleaching process. Toxic substances get into your lungs with the air you breathe in and spread to the entire body by blood vessels.
  2. During pregnancy, your body undergoes serious hormonal changes. Hormones make your skin sensitive and irritable. Sometimes even the smallest amount of hair bleach can result in a chemical burn or an allergic reaction if it gets on your scalp.
  3. Due to the hormonal changes, you may not get the color you expect. Instead of a beautiful blonde, your hair may turn yellowish or grayish. This may happen even if you use reliable products you used before. This is why it’s hard to predict how your highlights will turn out during pregnancy.

A tip. Do a test first: apply some bleach to the end of a strand and wait to see the result.

мелирование при беременности

How is Bleaching Hair Dangerous during Pregnancy?

Any hair dye contains chemical components that can cause an allergic reaction or irritation. Hair bleaches contain the following toxic components:

  • Ammonia. This chemical agent is the most harmful when breathed in. Ammonia vapor that is emitted by bleaching formulas irritates the mucous membranes of your eyes and the upper respiratory tract, even causing violent coughing and breathing difficulties. If it gets on your skin, you can get chemical burns or swelling.
  • Hydrogen peroxide. This is a strong oxidant that helps to lighten your hair. Hydrogen peroxide used for highlights often causes irritation and damage to the hair structure and makes your hair dry, brittle, and lifeless.
  • Persulfates. They are usually present in cheap hair bleaches. They can lead to dermatitis or rash. If inhaled in large quantities, they can provoke suffocation or an asthma attack.

What do Doctors Say?

So can we dye or bleach our hair while pregnant? There’s no consensus among medical specialists as far as the safety of getting highlights during pregnancy is concerned. There is no research that can prove that it’s safe or otherwise.

In general, there are two opposing points of view: some say that even getting highlights poses risks, while others believe that coloring your hair is not harmful to the fetus. So we can’t rely on any scientific data. What should we do in this case? We could, for example, go for less damaging hair coloring techniques.

Hair Coloring During Pregnancy: What Method to Choose?

If you want to get new hair color, you have to apply the dye to all the hair, while with highlights, bleach is applied only to separate strands. This is why highlights are considered a more delicate coloring technique. Besides, it does not involve dying the roots, so there’s no risk that the product will come in contact with your skin, which is the main concern for pregnant women.

Here are some other techniques that are somewhat similar to the highlights:

  • Shatush. In this method, only the ends of the hair are bleached, while the roots and most of the hair remain untouched.
  • Ombre. This technique is all about smooth transitions from dark roots to light ends. The transition starts at the chin level.

Highlights and shatush work great on any hair length.


Ombre looks best on medium and long hair.


More on this topic: Ombre Hair: Types, Examples, Tutorial

How to Make Highlights Safer during Pregnancy?

In highlights, ombre, or balayage, there’s no risk of getting the product on your scalp, but you can still inhale dangerous chemicals. Let’s see what we can do to minimize any harmful effects.

  • Put off your visit to a hairstylist till after the first trimester (weeks 1 to 13). This is the time when the baby’s organs start to form. Any interventions may disturb this process. So it’s better to avoid any potential risks during the first trimester.
  • Don’t get highlights done more than once every three months. If you don’t want your grown-out roots to stand out, make your highlights only 2-3 tones lighter than your natural hair color.
  • Do an allergy test before any hair coloring procedure. This rule applies even to trusted products.
  • Choose high-quality products from well-known brands.
  • Go to an experienced hairstylist.
  • Carefully study the composition of hair coloring products before using them. We recommend choosing ammonia-free ones. If you’re unsure, ask your hairstylist for advice. They will suggest the safest option for you.
  • Thoroughly rinse the product off your hair.
  • Wear a face mask during the procedure to avoid inhaling chemicals.
  • Make sure that the procedure is done in a well-ventilated room.

мелирование при беременности

Summing Up

Is it safe to get highlights during pregnancy? Doctors don’t prohibit it, so it’s up to you to decide. If you follow certain safety rules, you can minimize possible risks to your health and the health of your baby.

Here are the key rules.

  • Don’t dye your hair during the first trimester
  • Choose the safest coloring technique like highlights, balayage, or shatush.
  • Choose high-quality products without ammonia or other toxic components.
  • Book an appointment with an experienced hairstylist.
  • Make sure the room is well ventilated and wear a mask during the procedure.

If you still have doubts about whether you should dye your hair while pregnant, you can go for safe dying products like henna, coloring toners or balms. Remember that sometimes all you need is a flattering, trendy haircut and a great hairstyle to look stunning and feel confident.

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