If you’ve noticed your hair looking about as limp as you feel right before your period, then you are not alone. Along with being responsible for all those joys such as bloating and sore boobs, your fluctuating hormones are to blame. Just before your period starts, oestrogen and progesterone levels drop, triggering your sebaceous glands to secrete more sebum – the oily substance that lubricates your skin. Too much sebum can result in clogged pores and monthly breakouts. But not only does this affect your complexion, it will up the oil present in your scalp, too. Some people might not even notice this happening (lucky them), but if you are battling oily hair at the best of times, it can signal disastrous hair days ahead.
There’s an old wives’ tale that you shouldn’t wash your hair while you have your period. No one is quite sure where this comes from, but it might hark back to the days when communal bathing was the go, and it was a privacy issue. Needless to say it has absolutely no foundation in truth. Or put simply, it’s bonkers. In fact for many women, this is the time you most want to crack open the shampoo. Make sure to rub your hair gently when you wash so as not to over stimulate the scalp. Use a product specifically formulated for oily hair, and rinse thoroughly. Use conditioner on the ends of your hair only. Oh, and wash your brushes and combs regularly.
If you don’t have time to wash and go every morning though, that’s understandable. And that’s where dry shampoo comes in – it’s a godsend for keeping the greasies at bay. A spritz or two will dry out excess oil and give your hair a cleaner, fresher and fuller appearance. (You can see some of our favourite dry shampoos over at Adore Beauty.) Many dry shampoos are naturally fragranced, so your hair will smell as good as it looks.
If you’re suffering from excessively oily skin and hair, and it gets worse between ovulation and menstruation, it might be time to talk to the professionals. Treatments that regulate hormones, such as the contraceptive pill, can help bad hair days along with other side effects. If this is an option for you, your GP will be able to help.