Can You Get a Perm While Pregnant?

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

  • What Does Research Tell Us About Perming And Pregnancy?
  • Is It Safe To Perm Your Hair During Pregnancy?
  • Alternatives For Hair Perming During Pregnancy To Change Your Look
  • Conclusion

What Does Research Tell Us About Perming And Pregnancy?

There are no clinical studies about how hair perming affects the fetus. Most anecdotal evidence suggests that perming your hair while pregnant does not harm the fetus. It is widely believed that your body does not absorb the chemicals used in hair perming or coloring. So, it is safe to perm your hair during pregnancy if you follow all the precautions carefully.

Hormones during pregnancy play a role in hair growth (1). Hair growth in pregnant women varies from person to person. While some experience thick hair growth, others may lose hair. There is a slight chance that these changes in hormones and hair growth may affect the results of perming your hair.

ishonest No.501 - Frizzy Hair

No.501 - Frizzy Hair

The products used in perming can cause side effects, though there is a lack of scientific data regarding this. It can trigger nausea and migraines in expecting mothers due to their increased sensitivity to smells (2). However, increased exposure to or multiple sessions with these chemical-based processes may have a negative impact on the development of the fetus. But again, there is no scientific evidence to prove the same.

It is recommended to check for allergies before perming your hair as pregnancy can trigger reactions that you did not previously experience. You can do a small patch test before you proceed with the procedure.

So, there is no scientific data claiming that perming your hair can affect your pregnancy. Does that mean you can go ahead with this hair treatment? Find out the safety concerns and risks involved in the next section.

Is It Safe To Perm Your Hair During Pregnancy?

Yes, it is generally considered safe to perm your hair during pregnancy. It is, however, recommended to avoid perming during the first three months of pregnancy. Although it is not scientifically proven, there is a small risk of the perming chemicals getting absorbed through the scalp and affecting the fetus. Thus, it is better to be cautious when you perm your hair during pregnancy. Follow all safety protocols and limit your exposure to the chemicals during the procedure.

Alternatives For Hair Perming During Pregnancy To Change Your Look

1. Get A Haircut
For strong and hydrated hair

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Your safest bet is to get a new haircut! This does not involve the use of any chemicals, so the risk to you or your baby is zero. Haircuts can transform your look and boost your confidence. Getting a low-maintenance haircut will also cut down on your styling and grooming time. This also prevents the need for perm upkeep during and after your pregnancy – giving you some much-needed breathing space and peace of mind.

2. Use Organic Dyes

Try dyeing your hair with Indigo henna. It has traditionally been used in Asia to cover grays and add rich copper-red tones to the hair. It is completely natural as it is sourced from a plant that stains the hair red when it reacts with the hair pigments. Since henna is safe, it is also used to adorn pregnant bellies as henna tattoos.

3. Color Your Hair

Hair dyes are considered safe to use during pregnancy. You will have a variety of styling options to pamper yourself. You can experiment with different colors and styles.

Most of the chemicals in the hair colors currently on the market are non- toxic. However, it is important to remember that most chemicals can be toxic and detrimental to your health at high levels. Even treatments labeled as natural or organic may not be completely safe. Also, avoid hair dyes with ammonia or hair treatments that use harsh chemicals.

ishonest No.242 - Stretch Marks

No.242 - Stretch Marks


We recommend semi-permanent dyes over permanent dyes during pregnancy. Since there is a minute chance that the chemicals may get absorbed by the scalp, avoid the roots while dyeing your hair.

Talk to your stylist and explore your options to change up your look. There are many styles you can try:

  • Ombre
  • Balayage
  • Highlights
  • Frosted tips

Although we recommend you get your hair dyed professionally, it may not always be possible when you are pregnant. You can seek help from your spouse or a friend as the process can be time-consuming and tiring. Please follow the manufacturer’s instructions. We have also listed some important safety tips to help you if you decide to color your hair at home:


Volume and structure for your hair

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Don’t let pregnancy stop you from getting the perm you want. It is generally considered safe to get a perm during pregnancy. You just have to be a little cautious and aware of the risks. If you feel uncomfortable with the idea of perming your hair, don’t worry – you can still transform your hair by cutting or coloring it, provided you use safe, organic, and non-toxic products. Avoid perming or dying in the first three months of your pregnancy. Do consult your obstetrician and stylist to explore your options because each pregnancy is unique.

Frequently Asked Questions

When can you get a perm while pregnant?

You can perm your hair after the first trimester of pregnancy. It is better to avoid harsh chemicals and relaxing agents during the first three months of pregnancy.

Can a perm during pregnancy hurt the baby?

ishonest No.312 - Prevent Acne

No.312 - Prevent Acne

No, a perm can not cause harm to the baby. There have been no reported studies or cases which suggest that perming while pregnant can hurt the fetus.

Is it harmful to color your hair while pregnant?

No, the chemicals in semi-permanent and permanent hair colors are non-toxic. The chances of your body absorbing the chemicals and reaching the fetus are also low. Since scientific data is limited and inconclusive regarding the safety of using chemical dyes during pregnancy, it is recommended to consult a licensed medical professional for advice.

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