Last update June 11, 2022

Hair Dyes

Low Risk

Possibly safe. Probably compatible. Mild risk possible. Follow up recommended. Read the Comment.

Hair Dyes are widely used products by many cultures and civilizations (Gavazzoni 2015, Patel 2013, Benaiges 2007). Natural components, of lower risk (NHS 2013), are: Henna, Saffron, Chamomile and nut among others (MurciaSalud 2013). Synthetic components are: aniline and other benzene derivatives, heavy metals like lead. (Benaiges 2007)

Some of their components can be absorbed and reach the mother's plasma and the breast milk. (Yin 2012)

In last decade, a bulky amount of products in use have been withdrawn from the market since they were considered to be toxic for the organism (Benaiges 2007). Controversy still exist on the safety of existing products, while some authorities consider them to be safe (Gavazzoni 2015, NHS 2013, OTIS 2010, Chua 2008), some studies have found an association between its use during pregnancy and breastfeeding and certain types of leukemia or germ cell tumors in childhood. (Couto 2013, Chen 2006)

A relationship has been found between their regular use and certain types of cancer in women who use them personally or as hairdressers (Zhang 2020, Dianatinasab 2017, Takkouche 2009, Sanjosé 2020, Benavente 2005). There is an increased risk of bladder cancer among hairdressers (Harling 2010), but not among users. (Turati 2014)

While breastfeeding, it is recommended a limited use, to follow advice appearing with the product, a shower after dye to keep clean the breast area and wearing short hair to minimize absorption of potentially toxic products.

Mothers working at hair dressing facilities should observed all preventive measures, wearing gloves, working-time restriction, etc. (MurciaSalud 2013, Chua 2008). They can be genotoxic for these workers. (Galiotte 2008)

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

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  1. Zhang Y, Birmann BM, Han J, Giovannucci EL, Speizer FE, Stampfer MJ, Rosner BA, Schernhammer ES. Personal use of permanent hair dyes and cancer risk and mortality in US women: prospective cohort study. BMJ. 2020 Sep 2;370:m2942. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  2. Dianatinasab M, Fararouei M, Mohammadianpanah M, Zare-Bandamiri M, Rezaianzadeh A. Hair Coloring, Stress, and Smoking Increase the Risk of Breast Cancer: A Case-Control Study. Clin Breast Cancer. 2017 Abstract
  3. Gavazzoni Dias MF. Hair cosmetics: an overview. Int J Trichology. 2015 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  4. Turati F, Pelucchi C, Galeone C, Decarli A, La Vecchia C. Personal hair dye use and bladder cancer: a meta-analysis. Ann Epidemiol. 2014 Feb;24(2):151-9. Abstract
  5. Couto AC, Ferreira JD, Rosa AC, Pombo-de-Oliveira MS, Koifman S; Brazilian Collaborative Study Group of Infant Acute Leukemia. Pregnancy, maternal exposure to hair dyes and hair straightening cosmetics, and early age leukemia. Chem Biol Interact. 2013 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  6. MurciaSalud-Preevid. ¿En el embarazo se pueden utilizar tintes para el pelo?. Banco de preguntas. 2013 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  7. Patel D, Narayana S, Krishnaswamy B. Trends in use of hair dye: a cross-sectional study. Int J Trichology. 2013 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  8. NHS Is it safe to use hair dye when I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?. Choices. 2013 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  9. Yin J, Wang H, Zhang J, Zhou N, Gao F, Wu Y, Xiang J, Shao B. The occurrence of synthetic musks in human breast milk in Sichuan, China. Chemosphere. 2012 Abstract
  10. OTIS. Hair Treatments and Pregnancy (and Breastfeeding). 2010 Full text (in our servers)
  11. Harling M, Schablon A, Schedlbauer G, Dulon M, Nienhaus A. Bladder cancer among hairdressers: a meta-analysis. Occup Environ Med. 2010 May;67(5):351-8. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  12. Takkouche B, Regueira-Méndez C, Montes-Martínez A. Risk of cancer among hairdressers and related workers: a meta-analysis. Int J Epidemiol. 2009 Dec;38(6):1512-31. Abstract
  13. Chua-Gocheco A, Bozzo P, Einarson A. Safety of hair products during pregnancy: personal use and occupational exposure. Can Fam Physician. 2008 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  14. Galiotte MP, Kohler P, Mussi G, Gattás GJ. Assessment of occupational genotoxic risk among Brazilian hairdressers. Ann Occup Hyg. 2008 Abstract
  15. Benaiges A. Tintes de cabello. Evolución histórica y situación actual. Offarm. 2007 Full text (in our servers)
  16. de Sanjosé S, Benavente Y, Nieters A, Foretova L, Maynadié M, Cocco PL, Staines A, Vornanen M, Boffetta P, Becker N, Alvaro T, Brennan P. Association between personal use of hair dyes and lymphoid neoplasms in Europe. Am J Epidemiol. 2006 Jul 1;164(1):47-55. Epub 2006 May 26. Abstract
  17. Chen Z, Robison L, Giller R, Krailo M, Davis M, Davies S, Shu XO. Environmental exposure to residential pesticides, chemicals, dusts, fumes, and metals, and risk of childhood germ cell tumors. Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2006 Abstract
  18. Benavente Y, Garcia N, Domingo-Domenech E, Alvaro T, Font R, Zhang Y, de Sanjose S. Regular use of hair dyes and risk of lymphoma in Spain. Int J Epidemiol. 2005 Oct;34(5):1118-22. Epub 2005 May 24. Abstract

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