Is It Safe For You To Get A Perm While Pregnant?

Hair care becomes even more important when you're pregnant. In addition to so many other bodily changes taking place during pregnancy, your hair transforms, too. Some expectant parents report their hall falls out while they're pregnant, but many more women experience extreme growth during pregnancy (via MedlinePlus). Soon after you deliver, you also tend to lose a great amount of hair.

In addition, your hair texture can also change throughout the nine months. It may become more curly and wavy than usual but it also can end up looking straight and limp. Dr. Paradi Mirmirani, a dermatologist, tells WebMD that the diameter of hair follicles increases during pregnancy. "We don't understand the exact mechanism," explains Mirmirani. "There's a lot of thought about whether hormones during pregnancy can alter the shape of the hair follicle. The shape of the follicle dictates the shape of the hair fiber."

This abrupt change can leave people searching for a way to spruce up their hairstyle. However, not all hair treatments can be safely performed during pregnancy.

What science says about perms during pregnancy

Though perms may be a good solution to lackluster pregnancy hair, they might not be the best solution (via WebMD). Permanents contain some pretty harsh chemicals, which may have the potential to be absorbed into your skin, and a possibility of crossing through the placenta to your baby. They can also damage your hair, which is why anyone — pregnant or not — should think twice before getting a perm

On top of this, your immune system operates at a lower caliber when pregnant and you don't have the same ability to fight off infection or foreign substances. Your skin becomes more sensitive, and even if you've permed your hair before, your body may react a little differently when pregnant.

The problem is that like with so many other things in pregnancy, there aren't many studies done on perms while pregnant, simply because most pregnant people don't want to participate in studies during pregnancy (via American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists).

What to do instead of perms

Getting a perm isn't the only way to complete your look while pregnant. There are many things you can do to your hair during pregnancy that are completely safe for you and your baby.

Trying a different color is one way to achieve a new look instantly and can change the way your hair texture appears. Similar to getting a perm, the chemicals used in hair dyes may seep into the scalp and be absorbed by the body (via Mayo Clinic). Again, there are very limited studies regarding pregnant people and hair dyes.

However, unlike perms which require harsh chemicals to make the curls stick, there are many hair dyes with natural ingredients. According to Healthline, some mixtures that work include carrot juice, henna, coffee, lemon juice, and chamomile tea. While the color may not be as dramatic as chemically infused hair dyes, it will be a subtle change that is safe.

Another option is simply to use a curling wand or straightener. Pregnancy is also a great time to experiment with a new haircut. Not only will it give you an immediate boost, but you can plan ahead for when the baby comes, and opt for an easy-to-care-for style.