From horribly painful zits to cravings, cramping, fatigue and mood swings, your period is, in fact, a full-body experience. And the culprit? Hormones!
Most of us have made our peace with this monthly distress by now. But guess what? As if having to deal with all of the above wasn’t enough, your menstrual cycle can also mess with your hair. While our skin is the most reactive to hormonal changes during our period, our hair is greatly affected by it too.
And so, here are the top three ways your period affects strands, and tips on how to overcome them.
1. Your hair is oilier than usual
Hormones tend to fluctuate a lot more than normal when you're on your period, producing more testosterone that increases the secretion of sebum that can make hair look sticky, oily and greasy.
Tip: You're going to be tempted to wash your hair every day of your period, however, it isn’t the best game plan as daily washes will strip hair of its natural oils. Instead, invest in a good dry shampoo that will help absorb the excess oil and make your hair feel fresher between washes.
2. Your scalp is more sensitive
Your hormones control everything when you are on your period. And your scalp is no exception! When your cycle starts, you produce hormones that increase pain sensitivity, which causes your scalp to become tender and sensitive to everything as well.
Tip: Avoid pulling and tugging at your hair when you’re combing it. Instead, opt for a wide-toothed comb and be kind to your hair.
3. You shed more hair
Your estrogen levels are at their lowest when your period first starts. And as they dip, the level of iron in your body drops too, causing you to lose more hair than what’s normal. In fact, in some cases, heavy bleeding triggers hair loss and thinning.
Tip: Consult your doctor to check if you need an iron supplement during your period and opt-out of hairstyles like braiding that pull your hair tightly, to avoid further hair loss.
The final takeaway? There is a definite correlation between the 28-day cycle and the way your tresses treat you. And the best thing you can do for your hair during this time is to keep calm and stop obsessing over them!