I’m on the pill, so I have the luxury of knowing exactly when I’ll get my period every month. This means I’m better able to anticipate the inevitable barrage of side effects and, blessedly, reassures me that I’m not just imagining them. If I’m overly sensitive, unimaginably bloated, lethargic, easily distracted, and just plain sad, I haven’t lost my mind; I’m just hormonal. Hell, I can practically predict exactly where the zits will form before they even start.
I can also count on my hair getting greasy. The rest of the month, I can usually get by with washing it every three or four days with generous dry shampoo sessions in between, but just before and during my period, my roots turn into the most bountiful oil reserve this side of Saudi Arabia. My preferred cycle-tracking app, Clue, just added a feature that enables you to keep track of your bad hair days, and lo, it’s given me some validation to back up the fact that my greasy hair is not just a biological oddity.
If you, too, have picked up on this pattern, there’s definitive proof that it isn’t just in your head—the info within the app notes that the condition of your skin and scalp changes as each area responds to the hormonal variations occurring throughout your cycle. So it’s totally valid: The hormone surge that is menstruation sends your oil production into overdrive. The very same factors that are making you (and every other woman ever) break out around your period are giving you greasy hair too. As if we didn’t have enough problems to deal with already come that time of month.
Rest assured, just because your blow-drying skills leave something to be desired doesn’t mean you’re entirely responsible for your own gnarly hair day. Blame it on your hormones—along with your mood swings and lust for chocolate, of course.