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LEARNING CORNER

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Busting The Myth: Is Hair Treatment Bad For Breastfeeding Or Pregnant Women?

The tender maternal years can drive women crazy! But that doesn’t mean you need to compromise your fashion and grooming

But many women feel conflicted over treating their hair during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

For years now, mothers-to-be and early mothers have seemingly been approaching experts (in respective fields) for advice. And, what drives them to think twice before treating their hair? Their sensitive conditions, of course!

Both maternal conditions deem women to ditch usual routines. But, these surely can’t keep us from asking the golden question: “How bad is hair treatment for breastfeeding or pregnant women?”

Or, “Is it after all just a myth that sprung out from paranoia intensified by the pressure of such conditions?”

If so, then it deserves to be busted!

Join us on this reflective journey, and let’s altogether find out the answer to the golden question…

Tricky Thought: What Types of Hair Treatment are Available in the First Place?

  • Hair Relax

This process straightens the hair long-term as an end goal. In order to do so, it requires both lye and no-lye solutions. Lye, which is basically sodium hydroxide, slightly affects the skin. The no-lye solution (consisting of lithium and potassium) on the other hand, bears a stronger scent. But, these factors still fail to pin down both solutions as toxic materials.                

  • Hair Coloring

Hair coloring involves the process of breaking down the keratin and protein structure in the hair through a temporary, permanent or partially-permanent dye product. And, only the low-quality dyes bear the “toxic” tag. And if you have got keratin treatment you should use sulfate free shampoo for your colored hair

  • Hair Bleaching

Like coloring, this process also alters the hair color to a lighter shade. It uses lighter hydrogen peroxide to do the work.

  • Hair Curling

Proving to be the safest routine among the four, hair curling also involves semi-permanent, permanent or temporary waving/fixating solutions to achieve the effect. Sometimes, it does not involve any solutions at all. Others merely use curlers in place of applications. 

Finally, the Golden Question: Is Hair Treatment Bad for Breastfeeding or Pregnant Women?

Are you ready to bust the myth?

The answer, mi amiga, is more complex than you expect.

For a straight fact, however: it’s not actually bad! Studies confirm that all these hair-treating chemicals (both permanent and temporary) do not easily absorb into the skin. 

And, even if it does, it sure won’t come to a point of harming the fetus in the womb or, the baby in hand. That scenario—whoever imagined it—is straight-out absurd!

However, if you perhaps refocus the question to how these affect the skin, then the tone of the hair treatment is generally safe would definitely darken. 

Meaning, we cannot really tell if all hair treatment chemicals are safe to the skin/scalp. 

The absolute answer to that question is sought through layers of factors—chemical concentration, presence of organic extracts, the skin’s response to the solution, etc.

If you feel concerned about hair treatment as a whole, then you should have already been concerned beforehand, regardless of being pregnant or not. 

The skin/scalp. That is the main issue here, not being pregnant or lactating. 

Fortunately, high-quality organic hair treatment brands are readily available in the market today. They might appear in small numbers, but they’re certainly distinct. 

Another method for eliminating risks brought by chemical-to-skin-contact is the highlighting technique. This involves isolating portions of the hair to be colored. In this way, you can prevent direct chemical contact on your skin. 

Now, if you’re still concerned over hair treatment during pregnancy/lactation, then you’d better heartily consult your physician for eventual peace of mind. 

To sum it up: it’s not bad to treat hair during pregnancy or lactation. However, it’s not always safe on the skin. 

Some Precautions to Remember when Chemically Treating Hair:

The chemicals found in hair treatment solutions do not have the capacity to cause internal damage. According to research, a disconnect lies between hair treatment chemicals and pregnancy.

However, you’d still be surprised to find out that very little research is done on hair treatment and pregnancy. And, that could raise a potential issue. 

In a ratio of 1-in-100, the possibility of harm solidly looms. Perhaps, the infliction may not be caused by the chemicals per se, but the skin’s reaction to the chemicals (still not internal damage). 

You see, irritations in the skin, if left untreated, develops into an infection. Once infection occurs, the body’s immunity decreases (due to antibodies resisting). 

Now, suppose you find yourself, under an unfortunate circumstance, on the more crucial first trimester of your pregnancy, chances are that you’d experience complications. 

But again, it’s a 1-in-100 chance. 

Here are precautions to counter all that:

  • Make it a habit to consult your doctor (not just any experts).
  • Look for special packages for pregnant women (if there are)

  • Make it a habit to read instructions and product descriptions.
  • If you’re unsure of the chemical concentration in the product you’re using, don’t apply it until you’ve reached the 2-3rd trimester of your pregnancy. 
  • Go for the highlighting technique
  • Buy the organic and best-reviewed hair treatment product. 
  • Do a skin test before application. 
  • Know your skin type. 

(Know more about hair treatments during pregnancy here: https://americanpregnancy.org/is-it-safe/hair-treatments-during-pregnancy/.)

Conclusion

So, there we have it! The old myth has been busted, or not.

As I said earlier, the answer is more complex than expected.

Why?

Because of the morale of hair treatment for breastfeeding or pregnant women is strongly intuitively-driven. Only you, in your hands, can, therefore, can make the effort an absolutely safe and successful one!

The tender maternal years can, and will truly drive you crazy. But, I’m telling you: keep calm, know your skin, and choose your hair treatment product wisely.

What do you think of this discussion? Any more myths you’d like to share and debunk?

Share with us your thoughts.

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