Hilary Duff is pregnant and has blue hair. So, naturally, people on the internet have opinions about it.
On Saturday, the singer and actress posted several photos of herself with baby-blue waves, including a photo of the dyeing process.
“The minute I got home from New York I needed a change,” she wrote in the caption. She lives in Los Angeles, but was filming the show “Younger” in New York until recently.
Duff, who is eight months pregnant, specified that the blue hair doesn’t mean she’s having a boy.
“We still don’t know who’s occupying my apartment,” she wrote, “but it’s getting the eviction notice soon-ish.” In a video, she added, “I gotta have fun somehow. So, she’s blue for a while.”
Duff is expecting her second child with husband Matthew Koma. They have a two-year-old daughter, Banks, and Duff also has an eight-year-old son, Luca, with her ex-husband Mike Comrie.
Many Instagram commenters immediately told her she shouldn’t have dyed her hair given her pregnancy, saying that the dye could get to the baby through the placenta or through her skin.
The truth, like many things related to pregnancy, is a little more complicated.
Under most circumstances, dyeing your hair isn’t thought to affect your growing baby, obstetrician and gynecologist Yvonne Butler Tobah explained to the Mayo Clinic. The chemicals in hair dye aren’t dangerously toxic, and the body only absorbs a small amount of them.
But there are times when the chemicals will be absorbed more than usual — like if the skin on your scalp is irritated, infected or broken. In those cases, it’s theoretically possible that the chemicals could harm the baby, but it’s hard to know if that will actually happen.
One reason there’s so much confusion about the potential harm of colouring hair during pregnancy is that like many other areas of pregnancy, there’s a significant lack of research about it.
People who do colour their hair during pregnancy are advised to wait until the second trimester and to take precautions to follow the manufacturer’s directions to the letter and avoid any unnecessary contact between the dye and the skin — by wearing gloves, and rinsing the scalp thoroughly when the process is over. Also, someone with long hair can minimize risk by getting highlights, where the dye just touches their hair, and not the skin on their scalp.
Duff’s baby, whatever its sex, is due next month.