Perming your hair

Many women wonder if it's safe to perm, dye or use other chemical treatments on their hair when they're expecting. To date, there are no definitive answers. Studies using animals haven't identified any specific risks of birth defects or other problems. But only a few studies in humans have examined the effects of hair care chemicals or treatments on the developing fetus.

Given the lack of human studies, some health care providers advise women to put off having a perm until after the first trimester. The fetus is most vulnerable to adverse effects of exposure to chemicals and other substances during the first trimester. However, one disadvantage of perming your hair in late pregnancy is that often a great deal of hair is lost immediately after delivery, meaning you'll also lose a fairly large portion of the perm.

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