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Your Beauty Routine and Breastfeeding: What You Need to Know

Hair stylist drying client's hair at a beauty salon.

As the holidays approach, you might be looking forward to getting family photos or dressing up for holiday parties and family gatherings. But before you sit down in the chair at the salon, there are some considerations about your beauty routine and breastfeeding or pregnancy.

Hair removal

Perhaps you’re thinking ahead to a vacation on the beach and considering laser hair removal. I’ve talked before about laser hair removal while breastfeeding. (I’ve also shared information about summer skincare and breastfeeding.)

If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, you should always give pause before using any creams or topicals. That includes any depilatories. The makers of Nair™ hair remover say that pregnant women can use Nair products when following all directions and warnings.

It’s always a good idea to consult your physician when using new products in your beauty routine while breastfeeding or during pregnancy.

Hair dyes and treatments

One of the most commonly-asked questions women ask when pregnant and breastfeeding is, “Can I dye my hair?”

Generally speaking, the answer is probably. Hair dyes do not enter the bloodstream, so long as your scalp is not broken. But, small amounts of dye can be absorbed into the body. Little is actually known about the effects of hair dye when it comes to breastfeeding or pregnancy, so many professionals recommend waiting.

If you really want to color or treat your hair as part of your beauty routine while breastfeeding, consider a vegetable-based dye. And, always be sure to do treatments in a well-ventilated area.

The same goes for chemical straightening, perms, and other chemical products.

Nail salons

Again, visiting a nail salon as part of your beauty routine when breastfeeding or pregnant is a gray zone. I’ve been unable to locate “real” research studies on this topic. Hence, with no solid evidence for or against. I’m hesitant to give a yay or a nay. The OSHA gives some general information.

There are many chemicals in the majority of nail products, including formaldehyde. These chemicals can be absorbed during manicures and pedicures. And, I’d be concerned about the fumes from these chemicals. 

Formaldehyde has been associated with fertility problems and miscarriage. That raises some red flags for me.

I’d be especially concerned if you were working several hours a day in a nail salon while pregnant or breastfeeding. Especially as related to formaldehyde, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have summarized the effects of regular or prolong exposure to formaldehyde.

Waiting until after pregnancy and breastfeeding is obviously the best idea. However, there are less toxic and even non-toxic products available. And, some salons cater to clean products.

If you have a baby at home, you know that they tend to put everything in their mouth! A baby could easily ingest chipping nail polish.

There are an increasing number of cleaner nail polishes hitting the market, so if painting your nails is part of your beauty routine while breastfeeding or pregnant, your options are improving!


If getting a facial is part of your holiday beauty routine while breastfeeding or pregnant, consider the products used first. Skin can be more sensitive because of hormonal changes. Getting a facial is completely safe during pregnancy, but it’s important to consider the products and type of facial.

What’s your beauty routine while breastfeeding or pregnant? Have you found alternatives or do you put off treatments? Share your tips in the comments below!

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