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Coco Austin’s cute nursing cover serves a dual purpose at hair salon

Coco Austin is notorious for doing something so many of us do when our baby is first born: taking snap after snap to document the whirlwind of new motherhood. Austin’s latest mom-and-baby picture, though, isn’t one that she took. Her husband Ice T got a perfect candid shot of his wife multitasking like a boss while she gets her hair done in the salon.

In the picture, posted to Facebook, Austin’s got one leg propped up and a phone in one hand while she supports her nursing baby with the other. She’s sporting one of those super stylish granny bonnets while her color sets and little Chanel is nestled under a cute nursing cover while her mom takes care of business.

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The topics of when moms should nurse, where they should nurse and when they should use a cover to protect the eyes of innocent bystanders never fails to generate a debate, despite the fact that the answer is usually pretty simple. Those answers, of course, are whenever they need to, wherever they choose and in instances in which they feel like it.

Except, of course, when Baby needs a little protection too, like at the hair salon. Looks like Austin, for all of the scrutiny and criticism that she’s had to endure since her daughter was born a few months ago, already has that covered — literally!

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The issue of babies and salons is already a sort of contentious one, and a lot of moms end up unsure of whether or not it’s appropriate or even safe to bring an infant to the stylist’s. First, there’s the issue of social conscientiousness. A lot of women go to the salon not just to update their look, but also to relax and sometimes, they leave their kids at home for that very purpose. So it can be hard to suss out the etiquette on that sometimes. We doubt that’s much of an issue for Austin, since she’s Coco Austin, but that still leaves another question on the table: When is it safe to bring a baby to a hair salon?

There are hot tools everywhere, people walking around, hair on the floor (hey, that stuff is slippery!) and of course, chemicals abound.

Lots of salons will use dyes with ammonia and other chemicals in them, and that leaves moms to wonder if they’re hazardous for young babies. Throw breastfeeding into the mix and it becomes more complex. Just how much of the harsh chemicals is your little one exposed to, and how can you minimize the risk if you are in desperate need of doing something for yourself and you have to have your infant in tow?

The answer is a little hard to tease out. The bad news is that there’s just a lot we don’t know about how certain chemicals definitively impact a mother’s milk supply and how a baby will react to those chemicals. It’s like many medications. There’s no ethical way to test for certainties, so a lot of moms will forego things like a cut-and-color or certain medications just to play it safe.

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The good news is that the general consensus among health professionals is similar to that of hair dye and pregnancy. Only an extremely small amount seems to be passed from Mom to Baby in the process and is therefore generally considered to be OK.

Another concern for moms, though, is whether or not the fumes from heavy-duty hair color chemicals like ammonia and formaldehyde will harm a really young baby. That question is a little tougher to answer, but a good rule of thumb is that if those fumes make you queasy or make it hard to breathe, it’s better to skip it or head for a natural alternative, like an ammonia-free or vegetable-based dye.

That’s almost certainly what Austin did. At Blu Salon in New Jersey where this picture was taken, the high-end pampering spot uses an alternative coloring system that’s way less harsh. According to their site:

“Blu Salon carries the exclusive Organic Color Systems line to our eco-conscience (sic) clients or those guests with sensitive skin types. True innovation has arrived with this new, state-of-the-art service that gives superior results with no ammonia or excessive chemicals. Made with certified organic ingredients, this is nature’s solution to harsh peroxide-based color services of yesteryear.”

The only thing left to do after that is cover up. Nope, not to avoid a scandal, but because you really don’t want any stray drips landing on Baby’s sensitive skin. A bonus: Many moms swear by those hair dryers. The gentle hum is a known sleep-inducer for babies, especially the ones who have warm bellies full of Mom’s milk!

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