Janelle Evans of Teen Mom 2 is not stranger to being criticized for her parenting skills — for everything from posing in racy photo shoots to ignoring her son and smoking marijuana. And now there’s a new complaint to add to the pregnant 24-year-old mom-of-two’s list: She got her hair dyed while pregnant, which many believe is a no-no.
“Aren’t you supposed to refrain from chemicals during pregnancy?” noted one apparently concerned follower on Instagram, where Evans posted photos of her hair on Wednesday with a caption thanking her stylist for “hooking me up with some easy low lights and a baby trim! Forever slaying my hair.” Other followers chimed in with, “I thought you couldn’t dye your hair during pregnancy,” “You shouldn’t but it’s not gonna kill you,” and “You’re not supposed to if you do it like at home in your bathroom.” The post has more than 17,500 likes.
Many other commenters jumped to Evans’ defense and complimented her on her “pretty,” “stunning,” and “gorgeous” new mane. Some had some serious back-and-forth by what the reality-show star could have meant by her use of the hash tag “natural hair” (the consensus seemed to be that it was her actual hair, and not extensions). Others added their opinions that Evans’s decision to have her hair dyed while seven months pregnant with Ensley Jolie Eason, due on Jan. 28.
“To clear it up I’m a stylist and you should refrain from color in your first trimester. After that it is recommended to use the organics color line but not necessary as long as it’s professional hair color,” noted one. Others said, “I’m a hairstylist as well and chemicals don’t [go] deep into your scalp, it’s completely fine to color your hair while pregnant!” as well as “They say there isn’t enough chemicals to really harm a baby,” “I’m eight months pregnant and my doctor says it’s perfectly okay to get your hair colored… What professionals use to color hair now is a lot safer than what it used to be,” and “I highlighted my hair during my pregnancy and my daughter is just fine. There [are] no studies that link to harming baby.”
So what do actual medical professionals say? That dyeing your hair while pregnant is perfectly safe, although you might want to wait until the second trimester.
“Although fairly limited, most research indicates the chemicals found in both semi-permanent and permanent dyes are not highly toxic and are safe to use during pregnancy,” notes the American Pregnancy Association on its website. “In addition, only small amounts of hair dye may be absorbed by the skin, leaving little that would be able to reach the fetus. As such, this small amount is not considered harmful to the fetus. The same is considered true while breastfeeding.” Something else to consider, the APA adds, is that “pregnancy, in itself, can naturally change the hair’s texture. Pregnancy may also cause your hair to react differently to perming or coloring. If this is the case, you may want to wait until after pregnancy to treat your hair.”
Still, the chemicals found in dye are not completely without risk — although it’s largely cosmetologists, who breathe in fumes all day, who need to exercise the most caution. “One study indicates a greater risk for miscarriage in women who apply large numbers of bleaches and permanent hair dyes, work more than 40 hours per week, and/or work in salons that offer nail sculpturing services,” the APA points out. “Proper working conditions, such as wearing protective gloves, not eating or drinking in the work area, and making sure your work area is well-ventilated are also important to limit exposure to hair treatment chemicals. Overall, hair treatments are generally considered safe to use during pregnancy. However, you may also consider getting highlights or using pure vegetable dyes. Regardless, your safest option is to wait at least until after the first trimester, if not until after pregnancy.”
Seems like Evans is in the clear!