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all your period questions answered (including the embarrassing ones).

Pampering and periods: How your cycle affects beauty treatments

Should you get your hair coloured during your period? What about waxing? Do your nails know you’re menstruating? For the most part, it’s business as usual when it comes to beauty treatments, but there may be occasions when it’s an idea to note your due date before you book that appointment. Research shows changes in oestrogen levels that occur during the menstrual cycle can affect sensitivity to pain. When levels are high, the brain triggers a release of endorphins to suppress pain signals. When oestrogen is low, the brain doesn’t regulate pain quite so efficiently, making us more sensitive. Many women experience this during their period, so depending on the treatment, you might want to bear it in mind. Here’s the Dr Juuni take on our favourite pampering procedures.

The wax Could I? Yes! You can definitely get a wax on your period. If it’s a bikini wax or a full Brazilian, just use a tampon, and make sure the string is tucked in out of the way. You might want to mention it to your waxer, but you don’t have to. They’ve seen this kinda thing before, right? Should I? Because of the oestrogen/sensitivity thing (see above), it may change the experience. Waxing of any kind might be a little bit more painful, but it should still be totally manageable.

The hair do Should you get your hair washed, styled and blow dried? Absolutely. It might actually be a good choice, as hair can be oilier around this time. Plus it’s a great excuse for a head massage, a decent coffee and a bit of a chat! Should you get your hair bleached or dyed? Some people insist their hair doesn’t take the dye as well at certain times of the month, but there’s no scientific evidence to support the theory. What might be true is that general sensitivity to pain (see above) can make the process a little uncomfortable. But probably not enough to make you miss that appointment before a key event.

The mani/pedi Your nails are basically dead tissue, so hormonal changes shouldn’t trigger any changes. If you’re having acrylics, there are stories that ‘lifting’ is more of an issue around period time. What is a known fact is that your fingers and toes make be more sensitive, because the water retention that can occurs in the hands and feet during menstruation makes the skin around your nails tauter. Note that you may therefore be more susceptible to a case of the ouchies.

The perfect teeth The best time to schedule a dental clean is the week after your period. High estrogen levels before and during it can cause gum inflammation, so when your dentist sees that, she or he might suspect gum disease. So book your pro clean in for a week later. Same goes for whitening, just from a comfort POV.

The injectables There’s no medical reason to avoid Botox or fillers while on your period, but there’s evidence to suggest that you may be more prone to bruising as an after effect. If you have all the time in the world, perhaps choose a less sensitive time in your cycle.

The spray tan A ‘this might just be true’ fact is that the week leading up to your period is not the best time to get a tan. One spray tan guru interviewed for went on record saying he’d noticed how hormone levels played a part in how well the pigment develops. Some celebrity clients found their skin didn’t take the tan as well while they were on their period, or due. Just afterwards is apparently the best time if you want a tan that lasts the distance.

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