hair treatments during pregnancyHitting the salon for a wash, cut and style during pregnancy is the perfect way to feel more beautiful, but not all beauty treatments are safe for pregnant women. Blow-outs may sound like nothing more than an intense session of hair drying and straightening, but chemicals used to keep your hair straight and smooth for days may contain dangerous ingredients not tested on pregnant women.

What is a Blow-Out?

A blow-out is a drying technique used to style and smooth hair. The effect takes from 30 to 45 minutes, on average, and the results last two to five days. Curling and flat irons may be used with the blow dryer to create the desired effect.

In addition to hair styling hardware, salons use hair products including serums, shampoos, conditioners and other styling products, to create the smooth, sleek look. It is not the blow-out that can be harmful to a pregnant woman, it is the styling products. Few new styling products have been tested on pregnant women and even fewer give suggestions about safety of use during pregnancy. One major blow-out styling product company was recognized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after multiple complaints of health issues after blow-out styling treatments.

The Brazilian Blow-Out Scandal

The Environmental Working Group and FDA investigated Brazilian Blow-Out hair products in late 2010. Reports released in early 2011 claimed formaldehyde was found in Brazilian Blow-Out products. Reports of trouble breathing, itchy eyes, hair loss and hives were all reported.

Brazilian Blow-Out did change the serum formula to create a new formaldehyde-free product, but the old formula is still available. The Material Safety Data Sheet for the original formula clearly lists the product as a possible carcinogenic that releases formaldehyde when used.

Salon Blow-Outs: Safe?

While chemical-free blow-outs are completely safe for pregnant women, the use of styling products during a blow-out is a potential issue for pregnancy safety. Not all styling products are safe for use during pregnancy, and few product tests have been completed to relieve safety concerns. Before making your blow-out appointment, ask the salon for the names of all styling products used during the treatment. Research each product to see if any of the companies have completed safety testing. Chances are you won’t find any hair-styling products used in blow-outs that expressly state they are safe. Most companies simply state the hair styling products have not been tested on pregnant women and are thus not safe for use during pregnancy.