I am going to get my hair cut and colored tomorrow. This is a very good thing because my hair is currently hanging limply around my face, doing nothing more for my appearance than a dish rag draped over my head. Really.
But it raises an interesting question. Can I spice up my boringness with some highlights? You’re probably thinking “Uhhh…yes of course. Please do.” But then, you don’t know my approach to maintaining my hair styles. We could call it…lackadaisical to say the least. Here’s how it goes. I cut my hair and color it. At the same time. It takes about 2-3 hours, because I apparently have a lot of hair and I think my stylist is a little slow. Slow cutting hair, not slow-intelligence-wise. So I sit through all of this, and she does a great job, and I come out looking better. BUT in order to maintain this “looking better” appearance, I would need to return sometime in, oh I don’t know, 6-8 weeks? Instead I would say I go back every 4-6 months. My poor hairdresser thought I had abandoned her the first few times. Now she just knows I’m lazy.
Annnnyhow, because of this laziness and aversion to sitting and doing nothing for 2-3 hours, I probably won’t be getting my hair redone for quite some time. What that means is, I could potentially be pregnant next time I need to touch up my hair. Because of that, I may want to go easy on the highlights and not create some technicolored mess that will be growing out with awesome roots. Right?
Ok, first let me say, after reading blogs and forums about people who are trying so hard to get pregnant and who struggle so much I feel very conceited, arrogant, and cocky to just assume I will be pregnant 4-6 months from now. I mean, will it really just happen that easily? I have no idea….
I have found myself posing a lot of these bizarre questions to myself lately. For example, I need new blue jeans. But I don’t desperately need new blue jeans. So should I buy them? I mean, really…if in 4-6, 6-8, 8-12 months I may not fit into them? What stupid things to think about. But I am thinking about it. I guess it goes back to the whole “being on the precipice” thing. The view up here makes you realize that a whole lot of shit may be about to change. But its weird. Because you don't want to assume that change will happen. It almost feels like jinxing yourself to plan for it. But me being me, I don't really know how not to plan for things.
Soooo back to the highlights (important stuff here). I never knew anything about the fact that “you can’t dye your hair while pregnant” thing. Now that could be due to the fact that I am completely clueless about a lot of things but especially clueless about pregnancy. But it could also be due to the fact that there is nothing wrong at all with highlighting your hair while pregnant but women like to overthink every damn thing and be super-duper organic and healthy and aware for their babies.
So I did a little research. AmericanPregnancyAssociation.org, which sounds important but could be just a good domain name, says “hair dyes are probably safe to use during pregnancy because so little dye is absorbed through the skin. However, it is still important to be cautious, therefore many health care providers recommend that pregnant women not use permanent hair dyes during the first three months.” Great. That tells me nothing. Basically, the risk is negligible, but likely does exist, so don’t poison your baby during the first trimester.
Babycenter.com (I’m sure they are very scientific) says basically the same thing, we’re not sure…but be careful…especially in the beginning. They also say, “It's important for women to feel good about themselves during pregnancy. Whether coloring your hair will make you feel good or cause you to worry needlessly for nine months is something to think about.” So they also threw in some stuff about the fact that, hey, you are still a woman and you should feel good about yourself. Okay.
So being someone who obtained a doctorate in philosophy, I decided maybe I should do some actual research, outside of just a simple google search. So I searched Google Scholar ;)
I found one study in the journal of Cancer Causes & Control (cheerful title) that did a very unscientifically-designed, correlational phone survey in which they asked women if they dyed their hair and whether their kids had cancer. Sad. They found an Odds Ratio of 1.6 that women who dyed their hair have an increased chance of having their children develop cancer. Unfortunately I don’t really remember how to interpret Odds Ratios (although I know it was a big part of Multivariate Statistics…please don’t tell my dissertation advisor!), but the authors interpret the OR as “moderately increased risk.” Based on their phone survey. Moving on.
I found a study in Food & Cosmetics Toxicology (scary title) in which poor, helpful little rat mommies were injected with hair dye. Nice. On day 18 of pregnancy (what is that in human years? 2nd trimester?), it was found that the baby rats exposed to hair dye had “A low incidence of exencephaly and prosoposchisis and a high incidence of skeletal malformations” if they were exposed on day 8 (I don’t know…first trimester?). Soooo yeah. My second glass of wine tonight has obliterated my ability to understand that. But it sounds like if you inject the hair dye into your blood stream, that’s not good for your baby.
One more. From the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health. White rabbits (Baby Albert, anyone?) were exposed to topical use of hair dye (I wonder if they were Autumn Redheads or Brilliant Brunettes?). The results showed? Basically nothing at all. “In the percutaneous toxicity study there was no evidence of compound‐induced systemic effects.” Basically they found that there were no effects of topical application of hair dye to pregnant bunnies. Except of course, multi-colored bunnies ☺
Ok. So what do I conclude? I think I’ll ask my hair dresser.