Along with cramps, cravings, and breakouts, have you ever noticed that your hair seems a bit off too during your period? We’re pretty much at our emotional weakest during that time of the month, and it has to go and mess with our crowning glory too! Here are a few ways your period messes with your hair that we’re sure you never thought about before. Well, at least, you’ll be better prepared for some damage control now. Checkmate, menstruation!
1. Get Ready For The Greasies
You know that your hormonal levels change from one week to the next over the course of your monthly cycle. During PMS or the days leading up to your period (and even at the start of it) the levels of your “female” hormones – namely estrogen and progesterone - decrease. This leaves you with increased levels of testosterone, which causes sebum production to go into overdrive - which basically means super oily skin and an oily scalp. As if breakout central wasn’t enough, this can also cause greasy, flat and stringy hair. You can keep a track of whether you feel the oiliest a week before your period or in the week of your period to take action against it.
However, for some girls with dry skin or dry hair, this can actually be a blessing in disguise. All that extra oil can bring a subtle glow to their skin or some much-needed extra nourishment for their strands. You know, they say the grass is always greener on the other side.
Along with an added dose of grease, your hair and scalp is also way more sensitive around this time. Just like how waxing isn’t the smartest idea at this time because your pain threshold is lower thanks to sensitized skin, now isn’t the greatest time for a salon appointment either. Don’t schedule a blow dry or a colouring/ chemical treatment that can irritate your scalp right now.
3. Your Hair Texture Is Directly Related To Hormones
Ever wondered why your hair was different as a child? Or how it’s shedding like crazy at times, and growing fast at other times? Well, aside from stress, humidity, and chemical treatments, your hormones play a big role too. Your hair may not change from month to month, but you will certainly notice phases at some points in life. Your hair can feel dry and brittle at some points, or luscious and shiny at others – it’s all thanks to hormonal fluctuations.
Your estrogen levels are at their highest during the second half of your cycle (once you're done with your period), which is when skin and hair look significantly better for most girls. High levels of testosterone just before your period can explain those bad hair days. Basically, increased levels of estrogen means happy hair days and health, so do your bit by loading up on nuts, seeds, berries and soy. This also explains that pregnancy glow and how some women experience less frizz and more manageable hair while pregnant, while things are pretty haywire during puberty and menopause.
So what can you do to keep your locks looking fabulous all the time? Well, keep track of how your hair looks, feels and behaves in the week before and during your period to see just how Aunt Flo affects it. This will make you better prepared to intervene with bottles of dry shampoo, styling tools and products like plenty of argan oil. We think the smartest way to do this is by getting a period tracking app, which helps you know just where you are in your cycle on each day.