Is it safe to get a hair relaxer during pregnancy?

The relaxer that you use on your kinky or curly hair is usually a strong alkali or ammonium thioglycolate. It helps straighten the hair by artificially relaxing the strong curls in the hair. The relaxing process is called lanthionization and is done by applying the relaxer on the base of the hair shaft. It is then allowed to stay on the hair for an interval during which it loosens the curls by altering the natural texture of the hair. Altering of the natural texture automatically means that it eats away some of the protein in the hair shaft, in order to modify the texture. With so many chemicals involved and modifications happening to your natural hair, is it safe to get a hair relaxer during pregnancy? We answer the question here.

Fumes and Chemicals

The most important thing is that, the hair relaxer is made out of harmful chemicals. While there has been no solid proof saying that a relaxer can cause damage to you when you are pregnant, there is no way of being absolutely sure that it does not.

hair relaxer

The relaxer is applied on the roots of the hair and there is all the possibility that it can enter your system from the hair follicles. Not just that, the fumes from the treatment can induce nausea and make you feel irritable. There are many hair-dressers who would refuse to do the treatment to you since they themselves cannot think of using all those chemicals on you. The sodium hydroxide in the relaxer can be extremely caustic and can cause severe irritation.

Hormonal Issue

When you are pregnant, your body is acting all awry and your normal processes and reactions go out of the window. So to expect your hair to react the same way to a perm as before would not be correct. You might end up losing hair or because of the hormonal imbalance, you may not get the desired effect from the treatment.

Hair relaxers are known to increase the risk of Uterine Leiomyomata since the relaxers can enter the blood stream from the lesions that can be caused during their use.

Also, the Phthalates in the product when absorbed by the body can cause your estrogen levels to go all askew. At a time when you are already dealing with hormonal imbalance, you do not really want to increase it further by relaxing your hair.


If you are wary about using hair relaxers during pregnancy, you can choose to weave natural extensions or wear braids through your pregnancy. You can also consider using botanical relaxers a couple of times during the pregnancy. You can even try going natural during this period.

If you still feel that there is unnecessary hoopla around the use of relaxers during pregnancy and want to go ahead and do it, then do wait until your first trimester to do so. This is the time when the fetus is developing rapidly and you do not want to risk any kind of chemical exposure then.

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Aparna Anand

After a stint in an MNC in Bangalore, Aparna has now started doing what she loves the most- writing. Travelling and cooking come a close second and third. She lives in Mumbai with her husband.

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