Can You Bleach Your Hair While Pregnant? Risks, Precautions And Alternatives You Need To Know!

Get set to unravel the impact of bleaching while pregnant!

Written by Nitha Girija Vallabhan

On Sep 25, 2023 – 10 minutes read

Can You Bleach Your Hair While Pregnant Exploring The Risks, Precautions And Alternatives You Need To Know

Hello ladies! Excited about the baby bump? Pregnancy is that special time when you tend to have endless questions about every little thing. From deciding what to eat and drink to the nursery décor, making a choice seems to take forever. So, what about your hair? Is it possible to bleach those locks or experiment with bold hues while you are expecting them? Curious about maintaining your hair’s color during pregnancy? Many ask, ‘Can I bleach my hair while pregnant?’ We’ve got answers for you.

As pregnancy continues to mold your body, your hair too undergoes visible changes, triggering a desire to give your hair a fresh look. But then doubts may begin creeping in – ‘Can I bleach my hair while pregnant?’ If this is one lingering issue you can relate to, rest assured, because all your queries will be answered today. Join us as we set off on a journey through pregnancy and hair care, discussing what is okay and what is not and how to rock those fabulous locks without compromising the well-being of your unborn baby. 

When Can I Bleach My Hair While Pregnant – A Trimester-Wise Look

Most women ask this question during pregnancy – ‘Can I bleach my hair blonde while pregnant?’ Well, the answer is not exactly as straightforward as you may expect. So, let us break down the question trimester by trimester and then find out the sweet spot when it is least risky to get your hair bleached. 

When Can I Bleach My Hair While Pregnant

👉 Can I Bleach My Hair While Pregnant And In The First Trimester? 

As you may already be aware, the first trimester is that crucial time when your baby is developing its organs. Since ammonia, peroxide, and other chemicals in hair bleach can be harmful, it is best to proceed with caution during this stage. 

👉 Can I Bleach My Hair While Pregnant And In The Second Trimester? 

This is the Goldilocks zone, considered the safest period to bleach your hair while pregnant. Your baby’s organs will be formed by this stage and the risk of possible harm is at its lowest. However, it would be a good idea to take these precautions:

  • Choose products that are free of ammonia and low in peroxide.
  • To eliminate the risk of inhaling chemical fumes, bleach your hair in well-ventilated spaces.
  • Before applying bleach, conduct a patch test to check for allergic reactions. 

👉Can I bleach my hair while pregnant and in the third trimester? 

As you enter the third trimester, there is another factor to consider – your comfort in sitting still for a considerable time to get your hair bleached. Plus hormonal fluctuations tend to affect the end results of hair treatments. If you have a major hair transformation planned, consider postponing it until after delivery. 

Ingredients In Hair Color Products – How Safe Are They?

Pregnant or not, women are always tempted by the thought of hair transformation. Dyeing black hair involves extra processes. Black hair has more melanin than lighter hair, giving it that rich color we love. This richness makes black hair unique and beautiful. To dye black hair pink, crimson, or blue, bleach it first and then apply your desired color. However, while you are pregnant, it is crucial to prioritize safety. This is why most women wonder ‘Can I bleach my hair while pregnant?’ To answer this question, let us take a quick look at the common ingredients in hair color products and how safe these ingredients are:


This is the main villain among hair color ingredients that opens up cuticles of hair to let the color seep in. However, this pungent-smelling, powerful chemical can be harsh on your hair(1). Your sense of smell can be acute during pregnancy and the smell of ammonia can be rather overwhelming. It is best to steer clear of it and choose ammonia-free products instead. 


In case you are wondering ‘Can I bleach my hair blonde while pregnant’ due you your allergic issues, these are two ingredients to watch out for. Chemicals like PPD (para-phenylenediamine) and PTD (para-toluenediamine) are included in hair color products due to their ability to create vibrant, long-lasting colors. But there is a catch – these chemicals are powerful allergens that can trigger skin irritations. 


This is a common ingredient in hair color products that acts as a stabilizer to make the color last longer. While it has not been connected to pregnancy complications, why take a risk during pregnancy? If you manage to find a resorcinol-free hair color, go for it instead. 


Usually present as hydrogen peroxide in hair color products, this ingredient has a crucial role in the process of hair coloring. It lightens the natural color of your hair, making your hair more receptive to the new hue. Although peroxide does not generally cause safety issues, some people may be allergic to it. If you are pregnant and unable to find a peroxide-free product for your hair, do a patch test before applying it to your hair. 

As of now, there is no conclusive evidence that the ingredients in hair color products cause risks for pregnant women and babies. But exercising caution would still be a good idea. Go for ammonia-free, resorcinol-free, and low PPD/PTD products when you need to bleach hair while pregnant. 

Precautions To Take While Bleaching Hair During Pregnancy

Well, if you really want to take that leap and bleach your hair while pregnant, make sure you take the necessary precautions. This way you can stop worrying about the safety aspect while asking yourself ‘Can I bleach my hair while pregnant?’  

Here are some precautions to keep in mind:

Precautions To Take While Bleaching Hair During Pregnancy

✔️ Listen To What Your Healthcare Provider Has To Say: During a sensitive time such as pregnancy, it makes sense to seek the opinion of your healthcare provider before applying that bleach mixture to your hair. Based on your medical history and specific trimester, they will provide personalized and reliable advice regarding all things pregnancy-related. 

✔️ Choose A Well-Ventilated Area: Once your healthcare provider gives a ‘go ahead’, you need to find a well-ventilated area. This is where you will be seated during the bleaching process. Open the windows and switch on the fan for improved air circulation. Good airflow effectively drives out the chemical fumes in bleach, reducing your exposure. 

✔️ Pick Ammonia-Free Products: Considering how harsh ammonia can be on your hair and scalp, do yourself a favor during pregnancy and choose ammonia-free hair color products that will not cause skin irritation. 

✔️ Conduct A Patch Test: Even if you have used the same product before, do perform a patch test before bleaching your hair while pregnant. Apply a tiny amount of the bleach on your inner arm and observe it for 24-48 hours. If nothing unusual happens, the product is fine for use. But if you notice redness, itching or irritation, abort the mission at once. 

Avoid The Scalp And Limit Exposure Time: Apply the bleach mixture a little away from the scalp to minimize contact allergies. Follow the usage instructions on the product and do not leave the bleach on your hair for longer than the recommended time. Rinse thoroughly to eliminate all traces of bleach on the hair.

✔️ Use Gloves: This is a great way to prevent the chemicals in the bleach from finding their way into your bloodstream through the skin. 

Minimize Touch-Ups: It is best to keep your hair touch-ups during pregnancy to a minimum. The fewer times you are exposed to those chemical concoctions, the better. Consider a low-maintenance hairstyle that do not demand frequent touch-ups. 

✔️ Pamper Your Locks: Hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy can make your hair frizzy and prone to damage. Invest in quality hair hydrating products to keep your hair nourished after the bleaching procedure.

Potential Risks Of Bleaching Hair While Pregnant

Hair dying is always an exciting experience But Without the right precautions, things can get ugly, especially the bleaching part for dark hair. The reason why women ask themselves ‘Can I bleach my hair blonde while pregnant’ is due to the risks involved in the procedure and the fear that the chemicals may be harmful for the unborn baby (2). To make an informed decision, you need to be aware of these risks that include:

  • Chemical Exposure:

Bleaching your hair usually means exposing yourself to strong chemicals such as ammonia and hydrogen peroxide. These chemicals can enter the bloodstream if they come into contact with your scalp or skin. This is not good new during pregnancy. 

  • Allergic Reactions:

Pregnancy-related hormonal changes can make your skin highly sensitive to the ingredients in bleaching products and trigger allergic reactions such as itchiness, redness, or swelling. 

  • Inhalation Of Chemical Fumes:

In poorly ventilated spaces, the fumes from bleach can make you feel dizzy and potentially expose your growing baby to harmful chemicals. 

Alternative Methods To Lighten Hair Naturally During Pregnancy

Imagine you have a question ‘Can I bleach my hair while pregnant’, and I told you ‘Yes, absolutely’! Won’t that be amazing? All you need to do is explore some natural ways of coloring your hair. In addition to safeguarding you and your little one from chemical components, natural bleaching techniques also nourish and strengthen your hair. Here are some natural hair-lightening techniques you could try during pregnancy:

Alternative Methods To Lighten Hair Naturally During Pregnancy

1. Lemon juice For Lighter Locks:

Did you know that lemon juice acts as a natural bleach? Mix a few tablespoons of lemon juice with water and spray the mix on your hair to experience the gentle bleaching effect of citric acid on your hair.

2. Try Sea Salt Spray:

This is another super-easy technique to naturally lighten your hair. Mix sea salt with water and spray it on damp hair. Sea salt has a way of gradually lightening hair. 

3. Highlight With Henna:

Since times immemorial, henna has been used as a natural dye to create vivid highlights on hair. In case you are using henna powder, do not forget to perform a patch test.

4. The Magic Of Apple Cider Vinegar:

You already know the exciting health benefits of apple cider vinegar. Now try diluting apple cider vinegar with water and use this mix to rinse your hair. The acidic content in vinegar keeps your scalp squeaky clean while lightening your hair over time (3). 

Let’s Sum Up

Wishing to look your best during pregnancy is totally natural. If you are planning a hair transformation but are plagued by questions like ‘Can I bleach my hair while pregnant’, remember that the second trimester can be an ideal time for that bleaching session. 

Make sure that safety is always your top priority. Choose ammonia-free products with low peroxide content. Conduct a patch test and ensure that the salon is adequately ventilated. To be on the safe side, why not try some of the natural hair-lightening tips we have discussed? And if you still have your doubts, do not hesitate to get in touch with your healthcare professional to make an informed decision. 

A happy, healthy pregnancy can give you a glow and confidence, making you look ethereal. Focus on your health and the well-being of your baby for now and seek expert opinion before allowing any kind of chemicals near you. You got this, ladies!


How Often Can You Color Your Hair While Pregnant?

Although it is generally considered safe to color your hair during pregnancy, health experts recommend waiting until the second trimester. It is also advisable to refrain from frequent coloring. 

How To Make Dyed Hair Last Longer During Pregnancy?

You can make dyed hair last longer during your journey of pregnancy by using sulfate-free shampoo, washing with cold water and keeping heat styling sessions to a minimum.

What Is The Best Hair Dye For Pregnant People?

Pregnant individuals are recommended to use ammonia-free dyes that do not feature harsh chemicals. A healthcare professional can point you in the right direction and recommend specific products. 

Can Dyeing Hair While Pregnant Cause Birth Defects?

Although dyeing hair during pregnancy is unlikely to cause birth defects, it is recommended that you exercise caution and opt safe products. 

Is It Safe To Dye Hair While Breastfeeding?

It is usually considered safe to dye hair while breastfeeding. This is because only negligible quantities of the dye seeps in through the scalp. To be absolutely sure, dye your hair in properly ventilated areas and keep skin contact with the dye to a minimum.

  1. Dias, Maria Fernanda Reis Gavazzoni, et al. "Hair straightening and hair dyes: facts and controversies." Hair and Scalp Treatments: A Practical Guide (2020): 285-290.
  2. Ooka, Tadao, et al. "Association between Maternal Exposure to Chemicals during Pregnancy and the Risk of Foetal Death: The Japan Environment and Children’s Study." International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18.22 (2021): 11748.
  3. Barve, Kalyani, and Apurva Dighe. The Chemistry and Applications of Sustainable Natural Hair Products. Springer International Publishing, 2016.

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Nitha Girija

Nitha is a writer and a go-to source for the latest in beauty and fashion. An ardent advocate for inclusive beauty, she is continuously inspiring women to create an authentic self-image.

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