WHAT IS pH?
Potential of Hydrogen, or pH, is the measurement of how acidic or alkali a substance is. A scale between 0 and 14 is used. Anything between 0 and 6.9 is acidic, 7 is neutral, and anything between 7.1 and 14 is alkaline.
WHAT IS THE pH OF HUMAN HAIR?
Human hair and sebum (scalp oil), has a pH balance of between 4.5 and 5.5.
WHY IS THE pH OF HAIR SO LOW?
Human hair is natural acidic. This natural hair acidity prevents fungi and bacteria in the hair and scalp. The natural pH of hair also keeps the cuticle closed and healthy.
DOES IT MATTER IF I USE PRODUCTS THAT ARE TOO ACIDIC OR ALKALINE?
If you we were to go out and purchase a container of pH strips to test our arsenal of hair products, we would find that many products disrupt the pH of our hair. If a products is too alkaline it will cause the hair cuticle to open, and a product that is too acidic cause the cuticle to contract.
ASSESSING YOUR OWN HAIR
- Is your hair relaxed or permanently dyed? If so, your hair was first treated with a highly alkali (raises cuticle) substance and then "neutralized" with a highly acidic (flattens cuticle) substance.
- If you have curly hair (like me), then your cuticle is already partially open. It is especially important for people with curly hair to return their hair to a slightly acidic pH level, since the open cuticle prevents natural acidic sebum from traveling down the entire hair shaft in order to keep the hair at a pH level between 4.5 and 5.5.
- If you have problems with fungi or bacteria on your scalp, it is likely that your scalp and hair are too alkali. It has been stripped of it's natural acidic sebum that fights the fungus among us.
- If you have straight hair, you should use hair-care products that are pH balanced, but may not need to apply extra products because the sebum moves through your hair, creating a natural pH balance.
IS THERE A NATURAL ACIDIC I CAN USE TO pH BALANCE MY HAIR?
Yes! Aloe Vera Juice is a natural acidic (pH 4) that will balance alkali hair. Just pour the juice into a spray bottle and mist over your hair. This will help close the cuticle and prevent frizz. Do not rinse the aloe vera juice out since water has a pH of 7 and will undo the work of the aloe vera juice.
Wow! I will definitely be paying closer attention to the pH of my hair products. I think a trip to my local chemist is in order for some pH strips.
Will you be testing the pH of your hair products? Let us know and leave a comment below.