Understanding pH Balance: How It Affects Hair Health
Should your hair be acidic or basic? The ph level of your hair can affect its health. Here's how to manage it.
The condition of your hair has a lot to do with its pH balance. Does it break easily? Is it dull, limp, or frizzy? Does it take forever to dry? Is your scalp itchy with dry, flaky spots? These are signs that its pH balance is off and leaning towards a more alkaline profile, which can lead to more damage when neglected.
Tipping The pH Scale
Understanding and maintaining your hair and scalp’s pH balance is necessary to your overall hair health. Healthy hair is more on the acidic side. Your hair and the sebum on your scalp must have a pH between 4.5 and 5.0 on a scale of 0 to 14. The lower the number, the higher the acidity, divided by the neutral pH level of 7, while the upper levels are considered alkaline or basic.
This natural acidity keeps bacteria and fungi from thriving in your hair and scalp and keeps your hair . When your hair and scalp become alkaline or basic, your hair cuticle z – the outer layer of your hair – lifts and opens, compromising its strength. It leads to dry, frizzy, and . An alkaline scalp allows bacteria and fungi to grow, making your head . Clogged and irritated hair follicles can lead to .
But don’t worry. While this delicate pH balance is easy to disrupt, you can fix it with proper care, restoring damaged hair naturally.
What Causes pH Imbalances?
Our hair and scalp, along with our face, chest, and hands, tend to be more alkaline because they are more exposed to the elements. Air pollution, antibiotic intake, change in seasons, exposure to different humidity levels, sweat, tap water, and too much sun exposure all play a role.
Age also plays a factor. Healthy newborns have relatively high pH levels all over. As babies get older, their pH levels rapidly decline.
Our grooming choices, however, influence the most drastic shift. or texture with a new dye or perm treatment is fun, but chemical processes push the hair and scalp pH to the alkaline side to change its appearance.
Or the culprit could be something that you use every day. Plenty of shampoos in the market use cleansing agents with high alkaline levels and mask it with the slippery feel of silicone, which can be damaging in itself.
Now that you can pinpoint what the culprit may be, the rebalancing process begins by undoing the damage at the first step of your regimen.
Fix It at the First Step
Restore damaged hair naturally when you shower. Note the pH level of your shampoo and go for a silicone-free shampoo.
. Silicones are suffixed with “-cone.” Once you spot it, especially when it’s high on the ingredients list – meaning it has the most concentration in the formula – skip it.
They are a common ingredient used to mimic moisturization in the hair. While they make the hair shaft feel silky-smooth right after use, they ultimately leave your already-damaged hair looking dull and limp and develop an itchy, greasy build-up on your irritated scalp.
Prevent further irritation and damage and choose a pH-neutral formula. Shampoos like Dove Botanical Silicone Free Shampoo or Sunsilk Damage Reconstruction Shampoo are silicone-free and pH-neutral, too.
Because they’re free of silicones, they both cleanse off any build-up and excess oil. Its neutral pH allows the hair cuticle and scalp to respond better to its nourishing ingredients. Dove helps repair damaged hair with a 100% botanical Pink Moroccan Rose extract, while Sunsilk coats the hair shaft with keratin, almond oil, and vitamin C.
When it comes to your hair and scalp health, your shampoo is your most-used personal care product. Too basic, too acidic, or too loaded with potentially irritating ingredients can disrupt its pH balance. Be mindful of your shampoo choice and welcome your fullest, most beautiful hair yet.