Fans are attacking Jinger Duggar for allegedly dyeing her hair while pregnant — is it really so bad?
The 24-year-old Counting On star and sixth oldest child of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar‘s 19 children, posted an Instagram photo Tuesday of her and husband Jeremy Vuolo — who are expecting a baby girl any day now — along with her big brother, John David, and his girlfriend, Abbie Grace.
Jinger’s chestnut hair appeared highlighted with blond streaks, a small detail that riled up attentive fans. “How can you safely dye hair while pregnant?” wrote one person. “I guess I’ve always heard the dangers of the chemicals are an absolute no during pregnancy.”
Someone else added, “Love your hair Jinger! I wasn’t allowed to color mine when I was pregnant. I was told it could harm the baby. Things must have changed since then.”
“I’m a licensed cosmetologist and coloring is fine,” countered one person. “We do recommend holding off the bleach till done with pregnancy, but it’s really to each his own!” Another wrote, “The colored parts in her hair don’t reach to the roots, so I’m pretty sure there’s no problem with it.”
Some women admitted to maintaining their beauty routines throughout pregnancy, writing, “I colored mine in both pregnancies. I waited first 3 months and couldn’t stand the gray. My doctor never said anything. My kids are now 26 & 27 and perfect in every way.”
According to the American Pregnancy Association, hair dye is probably safe. “Although fairly limited, most research indicates the chemicals found in both semi-permanent and permanent dyes are not highly toxic and are safe to use during pregnancy,” per the website. “In addition, only small amounts of hair dye may be absorbed by the skin, leaving little that would be able to reach the fetus. As such, this small amount is not considered harmful to the fetus.”
Tami Rowen, an ob-gyn at the University of California, San Francisco, tells Yahoo Lifestyle, “At 38 weeks, a baby is fully grown and there is likely very little risk [to using hair dye]. The riskiest time in any pregnancy is during the first 12 weeks (week five through eight is when most organs are forming), so if women are concerned they can always wait until the second trimester.”
Jinger’s lightened hair appears to be balayage, a highlighting treatment that involves hand-painting color for a natural effect and one that’s seemingly safer, per the American Pregnancy Association, because the dye does not touch the scalp and absorb into the bloodstream.
For fans concerned about whether Jinger will continue dyeing her hair if she chooses to breastfeed, there’s this: “The same is considered true while breastfeeding. Although no data is available on women receiving hair treatments while breastfeeding, it is known that little of the chemicals would actually be absorbed into the bloodstream. Therefore, the chance of them entering the milk and posing a risk to an infant would be unlikely.”
The Duggar family is famous for their strict “Independent Baptist” lifestyle, which requires female members to dress conservatively, even at the beach and the gym. However, when it comes to hair — what the family calls their “glory” — they keep it long and styled, although the rules on hair dye are less clear. Per the book Growing Up Duggar, reports E! News, “Our hairstyle is our choice and we choose longer hair based on our understanding of 1 Corinthians 11:14-15.”