Pregnancy & Hair Relaxers
Women are often overcautious when it comes to avoiding exposure to certain chemicals during pregnancy. One type of product that many curly-haired women fear using is hair relaxers because they contain caustic chemicals that make contact with the scalp.
Hair relaxers come in formulations containing lye (sodium hydroxide) or alternately guanidine hydroxide. They alter the structure of hair by permanently flattening kinks and curls.
In the past, warnings that pregnant women shouldn’t use relaxers was based on beliefs that the chemicals could be absorbed through the scalp, passed through the blood stream and filtered through the placenta to the baby.
Effects on Pregnancy
There is no scientific proof that hair chemicals including relaxers and dyes are harmful to you or your fetus during pregnancy. To be safe, some medical professionals may tell you to avoid them until you’re clear of the first trimester.
Due to hormonal fluctuations hair texture often changes during pregnancy. It may become more or less coarse. Relaxers may be less effective than they were in the past, or may damage delicate hair by melting it.
Reasons to Avoid Relaxers
Increased blood flow causes your scalp to be extremely sensitive to chemicals. Your scalp may be more likely to form rashes and scabs. Also, strong relaxer scents may make you dizzy or nauseous during pregnancy.