Thinking of undergoing a major hair makeover? Perhaps you just need to touch up your regular colour, or fancy subtly switching up your shade? Either way, whenever you’re planning on dying your hair, there’s a certain time of the month that you might be better off avoiding.
A number of industry experts have recently agreed that dying your hair when you’re on your period can actually make for a much less comfortable and more irritating experience, leaving you with a sorer scalp than usual.
It’s all to do with your sensitivity to pain, which heightens around the time of your period (hello, cramps and migraines).
Sophia Hilton, founder of Not Another Salon, told Metro: ‘Ask any hairdresser in the works and they will tell you that time if the month is a factor. We know purely by experience of watching clients twitch in our chair.’
And it’s no just anecdotal evidence – it’s backed by studies, like the University of Michigan research from 2003 that highlighted how changes in women’s oestrogen levels can affect their reactions to pain.
‘The study shows that high oestrogen levels can lead the brain’s natural painkiller system to respond by releasing endorphins which suppress the pain signals to the brain,’ Dr Alex Eskander, Consultant Gynaecologist at The Gynae Centre, told the paper.
‘When oestrogen was low, this same painkiller system didn’t control the pain nearly as effectively, resulting in a higher sensitivity to pain.’
According to Debbie Digby, expert hair colourist and CEO of Passion4Hair the same symptoms can affect you at other stages of life as well.
‘This can also be experienced by menopausal women when their hormone levels drop,’ she explains to you.co.uk. ‘Women report tingling sensations whilst the colour service is processing on their scalp which can vary from mild to really uncomfortable and almost unbearable.’
The best way to avoid this is of course, to book your appointment when your hormones are less varied, but when that’s not possible? ‘There are preparations that can be used to alleviate this uncomfortable experience, for example Eufora have a pre-chemical service treatment called Colour Prep Spray,’ she adds.
‘It’s a pH balanced prep spray designed to reduce irritation caused by free-radicals. It contains witch hazel to sooth irritation and natural oils for hydration. Sens.us also have a product called Scalp Relief Oil which the hairdresser can use to prepare the hydrolipidic layer of the scalp, creating a film that protects the scalp during treatment.’
Either way, ‘informing your hairdresser that you are feeling a little “sensitive” or “hormonal” is a good idea, and will allow them to make some adjustments to your treatment for a more comfortable experience.’