beauty · Pregnancy · What's saving my life

14 weeks pregnant: what’s saving my life right now

Naturtint 9N Honey Blonde hair dyeWhere is the time going? I can’t believe that I’m 14 weeks pregnant (actually 15 weeks tomorrow).

Here’s what I’ve learned:

  • At 14 weeks, you have a definite bump – and it has now crossed over into pregnancy not just fat in the eyes of the world. A man gave up his seat for me – without being asked! – on Monday.
  • I may be past the first trimester, but exhaustion is still a thing. We had friends staying Friday to Wednesday, went to bed later than usual each night, ate out lots, went to a show and sang karaoke. I was roadkill by the time they left. Must – slow – down.
  • Spicy food does not agree with me any longer. I went to one of the East End’s legendary Lahore grills earlier this week. It was so delicious that I broke all the rules and really did eat for two. And then I paid for it in the 48 hours after. I even had to take a day off work as it was so bad – not helped by checking the Food Standards Authority ratings to find the curry house had just one star for hygiene…
  • The lovely Eleanor Jasmin’s post on how she prepared for birth has got me thinking about the birth I want (yes, even though it’s still nearly six months away!) I hadn’t encountered hypno-birthing before, so I think I need to do some reading and try to understand my birth options.
  • More immediately, a friend asked if I’d thought about a maternity pillow yet. More things I need! Pregnancy does open up a whole new set of shopping opportunities, doesn’t it? The maternity pillows I’ve seen so far look dreamy – or they would if it wasn’t 30 degrees in London at the moment.
  • In more shopping news, my lovely missus – the savvy shopper – is ramping up the price comparisons on a new car for me, and the buggy we want. There are a surprising number of similarities between buying a car and a buggy – both very technical!
  • Listening to other mums’ experiences really helps – I’ve found a couple of new-to-me podcasts that are focused on pregnancy, birth and parenting, and am listening obsessively. My new favourites are Made by Mammas and Mum Talk. I am keeping a running note on my phone of things they talk about that I want to explore.

What’s saving my life this week? There is only one answer: Naturtint 9N Honey Blonde from Holland and Barrett.

I am naturally dark blonde with ashy undertones, which I hate. So for the past 20-odd years I’ve dyed my hair, topping it up with golden tones. When I started out, as a student, there was no way I could afford salon colour, so I just grew used to boxed self-dye jobs – and over the years I honed my technique til I could do it on autopilot.

I was loyal to Clairol’s Nice n’Easy 8G Honey Blonde for years. But then a chance recommendation from the brilliant Sali Hughes led to me to the wizards of ESalon. You send them some photos and your aspirations for your hair colour, and they send you your own bespoke dye in the post. And even better, it’s a subscription service so it always arrives just as the mousey roots start to get you down.

My last hair dye was the day before frozen embryo transfer, back in May. When I knew I was pregnant, I suspended my ESalon subscription til 2019, and started to contemplate life with roots.

Three months later, I had two inches of dark blonde roots to cover daily, with the help of Back2Blonde and Baptiste’s Brilliant Blonde dry shampoo. My hair turned into an immovable helmet, sprayed solid, so as to hold the camouflage.

I’d been reading about safe hair dyes throughout my pregnancy – and was reassured that the NHS deems it safe. But I was determined to make it to my second trimester without succumbing.

With 14 weeks safely under my (expanding) belt, this week I finally popped in to Holland & Barrett for their super-safe no nasties Naturtint permanent dye. I was just hoping for good enough – something to cover my roots and see me through til after the birth.

9N looked like the one for me, and the contents of the box were reassuringly familiar when I opened it. It smelled inoffensive, and felt fine on my scalp.

The end result was a gorgeous baby blonde with golden threads, not too light, with no visible roots and high shine. I was delighted!

So: there you have it. A pregnancy-safe hair dye with no nasties that gives as good a result as a mainstream and high end home brands.

What did you do about your hair when pregnant? Did you just dye as usual, or change your routine?

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