How Your Hair Changes During Your Menstrual Cycle

hair menstrual cycle

 

It's no secret we women love our hair care products. That's why it should be no surprise that experts project the hair care market to hit over $200 billion by the year 2025. 

Yet, understanding why and how your hair changes due to your menstrual cycle can make shopping for the right hair care products a nightmare. Which shampoo should you buy if your hair is greasy one day and dry the next?

Learning about the hormonal changes that underlie the transformation your hair undergoes during your cycle can help. And that's why we're bringing you this guide. 

Ready to learn more about how the four menstrual phases impact your mane? Then you better keep reading because this one's for you!

Hair Changes During Your Period

The first phase of your menstrual cycle occurs when you start your period. Here are the hormonal changes you'll experience during the first menstrual phase, the effects they can have on your hair, and what you can do about it. 

Estrogen At All-Time Lows 

Estrogen levels drop during your period. In fact, estrogen levels are at an all-time low in the first few days of your period. They'll slowly start to rise in the last few days of your period.

Without estrogen, your hair won't be as manageable as it usually is, and it may lose some of its luster. Using an oil-free leave-in conditioner may help.  

Iron Falling

You lose a lot of blood during your period. While this is a necessary part of your menstrual cycle, losing blood also leads to some negative side effects like loss of iron. The heavier your period, the more iron you lose.

Iron deficiencies during your period are associated with hair loss. Go extra easy on your hair during your period to avoid exacerbating the problem. 

Androgen At All-Time Highs 

Androgens are more commonly known as male hormones. Yet, women's bodies produce small amounts of androgens like testosterone and progesterone, too. And testosterone levels are at their highest during your period.

High testosterone is known to increase oil production in your scalp. It may be helpful to switch to an oily hair formula shampoo during your period. Or use your regular products and just wash your hair more frequently than normal. 

Pro-Inflammatories Rising

Pro-inflammatory compounds like prostaglandins are higher during your period than at any other time in your cycle. Among other things, prostaglandins are responsible for your menstrual cramps.

When it comes to your hair, these pro-inflammatories also cause scalp sensitivity. Avoid any painful hair treatments during your period to avoid further discomfort. 

Hair Changes the Week After Your Period

As your body recovers from your period, the hormonal balance starts to change. Check out the following tips for managing your hair in the last few days of and the week following your period.

Estrogen Rising

After your period, estrogen levels start to increase from their all-time low. Since less estrogen leads to a dull and unmanageable mane, the opposite is also true.

That's why your hair will be shiny and bouncy the last few days of and the week following your period. Managing your hair when estrogen is rising is easy. Follow your regular hair care routine and enjoy your beautiful hair!

Androgen Falling 

While estrogen levels are rising, androgens like testosterone take a dip in the days following your period. That's good news for your oily hair. At the same time, a lack of testosterone increases dryness to potentially damaging levels.

Avoid heat products and consider switching to a dandruff shampoo during the week after your period. Another great idea is to use a satin pillowcase to protect your hair and reduce frizz. 

Hair Changes During Ovulation

Ovulation is the menstrual phase in which your body prepares to shed an egg. Hormones during this phase encourage dewy skin, lustrous hair, and other changes to make us more attractive to potential mates.

Keep reading for the hair change you can expect as your hormones reach the perfect balance during ovulation. 

Estrogen At All-Time Highs

During ovulation, estrogen levels peak to an all-time high. This also leads to an increase in luteinizing hormone (LH), which causes a slight increase in oiliness.

The good news is LH leads to shine instead of greasiness like testosterone. Still, it's a good idea to avoid adding any additional oils or oil-based products to your hair during this phase of your cycle. 

Androgen At All-Time Lows

When estrogen is at its all-time high during ovulation, androgens fall to their lowest levels yet. 

Specifically, testosterone dips to minimal levels while you're ovulating. This will decrease the greasiness in your hair. But the added LH will keep your hair from becoming overly dry. 

Hair Changes the Week Before Your Period

After having the best hair days of the month, your body begins to undergo the hormonal changes necessary to initiate your period. 

Estrogen Falling

To prepare your body for your period, estrogen levels drop sharply. Add an extra conditioning treatment into your routine. But avoid over-conditioning because remember: androgens rising will up your hair's oil production.

Androgens Rising

While estrogen sharply declines, androgens get boosted. Testosterone and fellow androgen progesterone levels increase in the week preceding your period. 

These hormones are to blame for your pre-period greasy hair and breakouts. To combat these issues, wash your hair more frequently or use oily hair formula products the week before your period. 

How to Deal With Hormonal Hair Changes

Your body's hormones fluctuate during your menstrual cycle. Among other things, these hormonal changes affect your hair. Keep this guide handy the next time you're wondering how your menstrual phases lead to hair changes. 

Are you searching for products to add to your menstrual cycle hair care kit? TurbieTwist has you covered. Browse our hair towels, shower caps, and more to find the perfect products to get rid of that period hair once and for all!


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