Is it safe to use hair dye when pregnant? How the Duchess of Sussex has stayed grey-free during pregnancy

How has the Duchess of Sussex stayed grey hair free during pregnancy? [Photo: Getty]

Last year, the Duchess of Sussex made headlines for appearing at an event rocking a single grey hair. 

In recent months, however, no matter the style Meghan has been sporting (her default is usually the messy bun), there has been no sign of silver hair.

But this has lead some to speculate on just how the Duchess is covering up the grey during her pregnancy.

That’s because for years there has been some debate about the safety of women using hair dye while pregnant.

According to the NHS the chemicals in permanent and semi-permanent hair dyes are not highly toxic. And most research, although limited, shows it is safe to colour your hair while pregnant. 

“But some of the chemicals used in hair dye can be harmful in very large doses,” explains Dede Efueye, Midwife at Private Midwives.

“Generally, the doses used in hair dye are very unlikely to do any harm to women and their unborn babies, according to research. That said, women should use them cautiously and always take care to ensure that if they’re dying their hair by themselves, they wear gloves, do it in a well-ventilated area and do not exceed the maximum stated times.” 

Dede says some women may choose to wait until the end of the first trimester to dye their hair to reduce any risk of such chemicals affecting their pregnancy.

“They may also want to try vegetable dye alternatives such as henna,” she adds.

Aside from the safety aspects of not dying your hair while pregnant, Ana Gomes, Senior Hair Stylist at Blush + Blow says there’s another reason expectant mothers, like Meghan Markle, might want to avoid the hair dye.

“Colouring hair is not advised during the first trimester of pregnancy because the body reacts in a completely different way,” she says.

“Some expectant mothers will not notice a difference but I have had one client where the colour completely washed out at the backwash and made absolutely no difference to their roots.”

As an extra precaution Ana suggests that expectant mothers get a letter from their doctor stating they are good to get their hair coloured.

“I would personally advise to avoid colour altogether just because of a possible reaction, however if a client is adamant that they want to colour their hair I would go for either a natural hair colour or an ammonia free hair colour. These types of hair colours contain less chemicals and are less likely to cause and adverse reaction,” she adds.

“I would personally advise to avoid colour altogether just because of a possible reaction, however if a client is adamant that they want to colour their hair I would go for either a natural hair colour or an ammonia free hair colour. These types of hair colours contain less chemicals and are less likely to cause and adverse reaction,” she adds.

Last year the Duchess of Sussex won praise for showing off her grey hair [Photo: Getty

So if you don’t want to use dye how do other mums-to-be cover the grey?

“If, for any reason, you cannot colour your hair or decide not to throughout your pregnancy, some colour brands have developed washable sprays, dry shampoos or mascaras that you can apply directly to your grey area to hide those unwanted greys temporarily,” explains Kirsten Maine, from Live True London. 

“These products are made of different types of minerals and they will dissolve as soon as you wash your hair. A little hairdresser’s trick, it also works with normal mascara if you can get the shade to match!”

Ana is also a fan of on-the-go cover-up products

“There are several Roots coverup products that can be purchased at Boots or Superdrug,” she says.

“Colour wow is the most amazing product that, if applied correctly, can last up to 3 days. There is also a L’oreal Spray can that can be applied directly onto wet hair but it takes a bit of time to apply. Although this product would only wash off at your next wash my only concern is that it can leave the roots a little dry.

“Colour hair sticks are a great quick on the go fix but only last for the day and can leave hair feeling a little greasy. Clients must find the best suited option depending on how much time they have to spend on their hair.”

The hair experts also believe the Duchess may have used subtle styling tricks to hide any stray white strands and they have some suggestions for similar grey-covering techniques.

“In terms of styles, avoid sleek look like pony tail, French braids, straight blow dries as those specific styles will show your greys more,” Kirsten suggests.

“If you want to hide your greys, we advise you to have frequent blow dries, the more style you put into your hair, the easier it will be to hide the greys.”

Volume will also help. “Curls and bouncy finishes, zigzag parting, anything that will help the eyes not to focus on a specific area of your hair,” she adds.

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for non-stop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day. For Twitter updates, follow @YahooStyleUK.

Read more from Yahoo Style UK:

The Duchess of Cambridge’s top maternity style moments

Did Camilla Parker Bowles just borrow Meghan Markle’s handbag?

Why more women than ever are turning grey under 40 and how you can embrace it