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Pregnancy hair care Q&A with George Papanikolas

George Papanikolas is a Joico celebrity stylist and colorist at the Andy Lecompte Salon in L.A., where he works with stars such as Britney Spears and Sarah Michelle Gellar. We asked him for the professional scoop on some hairy mom-to-be questions. P&N: Is it safe for a pregnant woman to color her hair? GP: While...

George Papanikolas is a Joico celebrity stylist and colorist at the Andy Lecompte Salon in L.A., where he works with stars such as Britney Spears and Sarah Michelle Gellar. We asked him for the professional scoop on some hairy mom-to-be questions.
GeorgePapanikolasP&N: Is it safe for a pregnant woman to color her hair?
GP: While there is no proof that it is absolutely safe to color your hair during pregnancy, there is also no evidence that it is dangerous. I usually recommend waiting until after the first trimester, and then going to a professional who will know the gentlest products to use while you’re pregnant.
P&N: Which types of hair dye are OK to use during pregnancy?
GP: Use a vegetable dye or semi-permanent color—these dyes are not as harsh as permanent hair color as they have no ammonia and little peroxide. Be aware that these only work with colors that are near the same tone as yours or darker. Another alternative is to just highlight the hair; this is totally safe because there is no contact with your scalp.
P&N: Why do hair tone and texture sometimes change during pregnancy?
GP: Hormonal changes in the body during pregnancy can cause dramatic changes in the hair. Usually you see it become thicker and fuller, with more body than usual, but I’ve also seen clients with hair that becomes more brittle, straight, curly or dry.
P&N: How can a mom-to-be successfully manage these changes?
GP: The best way to cope is to use products that address the issues you experience during pregnancy. If your hair is dry or brittle or has too much body, use a hydrating conditioner. If your hair looks limp and greasy, try a volumizing shampoo. It may take some experimenting!
P&N: When will her hair go back to normal?
GP: Usually the mother’s hair will go back to normal two to three months after the birth of the baby, but sometimes the change in texture is permanent.