Don’t let your tresses suffer just because you have a baby on board.

Photo: Waiting for the dye to develop. Inside the giant colour catalogue.

Pregnancy beauty is one of life’s greatest ironies – you have to say goodbye to salicylic acid when you have acne that would rival someone who just hit puberty, spray tans are considered risky when you’re a permit shade of “nausea green” and colouring your hair is a controversial move when all you want to do is find something that makes you look and feel just that little bit better.

While experts have varying opinions of hair dye and pregnancy, the essential issue is that hair products can contain known or suspected carcinogens which can be harmful with a baby on board.

To combat this, experts recommend going for highlights or dying techniques that don’t sit on your scalp too long and penetrate the skin. It’s also recommended that you look for brands that contain no ammonia, no peroxide and no PPD.

Easier said than done, right? But, let’s face it, the average punter probably doesn’t even really know the brand of dye the hairdresser is using, let alone the ingredient list.

Which is why finding on “Natural Choice Colours” on the Queen Street Beauty and Hair salon’s menu was a real win when, at 11 weeks pregnant, my hair needed some desperate TLC.

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The down low is that this organic all-natural hair dye comes from Italy. Fancy, non? It’s 100 per cent ammonia free and the first hair colour without chemicals or artificial fragrances. It’s nickel and iodine free and odourless, as well, which helps minimise the risk of skin allergies. Translation: it’s formulated to safeguard the health of you, your hair and your bun in the oven.

Once arriving in the salon I was given a giant catalogue of hair shades – just because it’s organic doesn’t mean there is a lack of colour on offer. The choice was actually overwhelming. I went for a semi-permanent light golden shade of brown on my roots (bye, bye greys) and then two other lighter brown shades that John Colantuono, art director and owner of Queen Street Beauty and Hair John painted using his “paint by palette” technique onto my hair for a natural balayage look. John explained that he loves working with this particular dye because in his experience the colour comes out brighter and shinier.

“I’ve found it offers 100 per cent coverage and longer lasting shine and tone. I also find the colour is always spot on to what we wanted, you get a true level of colour.” So what you see in said giant catalogue, you get.

When I asked if a lot of clients choose this option, he said it was definitely gaining popularity and he had one client the day before switch to it, trying out a cool blonde, and she was blown away with the results.

Same, same but different

Regular dye-hards will find the process all a bit confusing. You actually get your hair washed before you put the dye in. John explains this is because the shampoo eliminates substances and silicones which will be present from styling products and the conditioner applied before colouring balances the scalps PH and restores optimal hydration level to the scalp and hair. “It’s like a pre-treatment for porosity to add extra shine and even tone to the result of the colour.”

Next twist is that you don’t actually need a shampoo at the end because the dye is so nourishing and free of nasties. “After the colour process, the dye when emulsified with water becomes a shampoo and there is no need to wash the hair again. There are also no harsh chemicals in the colour,” says John.

And you know those treatments hairdressers often like to upsell you on? No need for them, either. “The organic colour incorporates a hair treatment which contains aloe vera, shea butter and tea tree oil,” explains John. “The hair will appear shiny and healthy, less frizzy after the colour therapy. It’s like treating the hair at the same time.” Win, win.

John applied the semi-permanent on my roots then “painted” on the highlights all at once – this was a great timesaver for me as normally I have to have the semi-permanent done first then the highlights separately. He wrapped my hair in cling wrap and let it work its magic.

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The great thing about the salon is that it also offers beauty treatments so while my hair was transforming, I got a mani and pedi – using all-natural nail brand Faby.

While Colantuono said the colour was going to be shiner and pigmented, I didn’t quite believe it – but when I saw the results, I was pleasantly surprised. The best bit? the colour got better about two weeks later and so far I haven’t spotted any greys.

Eliza (right) with her fresh new colour.

While it’s important to always be aware of what you’re exposing your body to, this sense is heightened when you’re pregnant, so to be able to get great hair with complete piece of mind is pretty damn incredible.

October 20, 20162:23pm

beauty | body+soul

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