Hair changes during pregnancy may have an expecting women searching for a new line of hair products. During that search, many pregnant women are surprised to find out that hairspray is considered unsafe for use during pregnancy if it contains phthalates.
Phthlates have been studied by multiple research groups and some have found a link between the chemicals and increased risk of birth defects. The FDA, Food and Drug Administration, has not issued a warning for phthalates because they deem the scientific data lacking in proven human risk. Despite the FDAs unwillingness to issue such a warning, pregnant women are better off eliminating phthalate containing products for their beauty regime.
The reason for the FDAs laid back reaction to phthalates is the lack of a link between the chemicals and human risk. Animal studies, however, have shown an increased risk of birth defects. A study completed in Britain was the closest to verifying human pregnancy risk, though hairspray could not be pinpointed as the cause of the birth defects, for certain, in the study. Published in 2008, researchers found women who were exposed to hair spray on a regular basis gave birth to baby boys with malformations of the penis.
Alternatives to hairspray in pregnancy include gels and mousses. These beauty products rarely contain phthalates. In products that do contain the chemical, the phthalates are not airborne and thus cannot be breathed in, as is the case with hairspray. If gels and mousses contain phthalates, pregnant women may still wish to stay away from such beauty products for risk of absorbing the chemicals through the skin.
All-natural hair care products are available on the market without phthalates. These products are the best alternative to all traditional hairspray, gels, and mousse. Natural products may cost a bit more than other mainstream brands, but the extra money is well-spent when baby is born healthy and strong.
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