A good rule of thumb for women struggling with infertility is to behave pre-conception as you would in the early stages of pregnancy. That means a lot of people abstain from alcohol, caffeine, and certain foods when undergoing fertility treatments. When it comes to your hair, though, opting to let your grays or roots show is to some akin to leaving the house in your underwear. I had the worst of both problems – gray roots – and was appalled when I heard that coloring my hair was something else that I needed to give up when trying to conceive. Along with my questions of whether a glass of wine was ok when we were taking meds and how much caffeine was too much, I also inquired about hair coloring.
My doctor agreed with the general consensus of physicians and stylist moms that hair coloring has no ill effect. He saw no issue whatsoever with coloring hair and this came from someone who was pretty conservative in other areas – suggesting that stopping alcohol and caffeine couldn’t hurt and that if the decision was his he would abstain. He did say that should I become pregnant I may want to wait until the second trimester to re-color for no other reason but peace of mind. He truly did not think that it was an issue at all, and most research agrees. Nevertheless, better safe than sorry and why not wait until the second trimester if your sought after dream of pregnancy comes true.
General guidelines for being around chemicals (or paint) of any kind is to avoid fumes as much as possible, work or get pampered in a well-ventilated area, and if you are truly concerned about hair color choose highlights or streaks to completely avoid the unlikely dangers of full coloring. In the spirit of full disclosure – I ended up not even visiting my stylist at all during my pregnancy. Nine plus months of no hair care! I sure could have used a pick me up about halfway through to make me feel better about how I was looking but by that point I was so exhausted that the last thing I wanted to do in my spare time was spend the day getting cut and colored and then eventually was on bedrest. Add to that the fact that the pregnancy and vitamins made my hair grow so fast that it would have been impossible to keep up with. I did go back to my natural color prior to starting IVF to avoid glaring roots, and got a good cut the day of my first beta test to take my mind off of the results. I did not avoid coloring or cutting because of fear that it was harmful, I just didn’t get around to it. I honestly think that coloring is perfectly safe pre and post conception for those of you who don’t want the world to know about your grays or natural color. If you want to color then do it. If you need some me-time and pampering then new hair is a great idea. If you will be freaked out about side effects or want to err on the extreme side of caution – then avoid it during treatments and the first trimester. Looking back it is pretty funny that before I finally conceived and had my beautiful babies I was horrified by bad hair and obsessed over roots or a stray gray. Now, I’m lucky to have combed my gray-filled mop before I leave the house and a ponytail holder is my best friend. I wouldn’t have it any other way and I wish the same for you!