How pH affects our hair

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FACTS AT A GLANCE (because who has the time to read?)

- pH measures acidity (below 7) and alkalinity (above 7)

- Our hair has a natural pH of 5.5

- It is best to use products that are as close to our hair's natural pH as possible, and below 7

- Using alkaline hair cleansing products can cause breakage and damage to the hair shaft, exposing hair to bacteria.

- You can reduce alkalinity of your hair products with a simple diluted Apple Cider Vinegar rinse

If you are as much a beauty nerd as we are, please read on to find out more! 

WHAT IS pH ANYWAY? 

Now let's take a step back into our chemistry class. pH (power of hydrogen) is the measure of acidity and alkalinity of a mixture. 

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*Photo courtesy of Pinterest
Your hair shaft consists of scale-like cuticles that protect a sensitive interior cortex. This cortex keeps moisture and natural oils within, which is what gives your hair that flexibility and shine! Maintaining a healthy pH level will help protect your hair from all those nasties (read: bacteria and fungus eww) by sealing the hair’s cuticles to retain moisture and sebum. 
Image result for hair shaft
*Photo courtesy of steemit.com
Would you like us to get specific? The scalp pH is 5.5, and the hair shaft pH is 3.67.
When you expose your hair to alkaline products( pH levels above 7), it can cause the cuticles to open up and lose its protection against the external environment - leading to breakage and split ends. If you have problems with fungi or bacteria on your scalp, it is likely that your scalp and hair are too alkali. This means that you are using a product that has a high pH above 7, and it is stripping away your naturally acidic sebum that fights bacteria.

Many common hair products and treatments fall on the alkaline spectrum. Hair dye usually falls between 8-9 and relaxers between 13-14, severely damaging the hair. 

men's black sleeveless top

 

Overall, the best pH level for hair is about 5. At this level, the hair is slightly acidic. To avoid disruption to your hair's natural balance, the optimum PH level for your hair cleansing products is between 5-7 with water being neutral at 7.  

Fear not, we have come prepared with some tips..

 FOR COLOURED HAIR

A pH-balanced shampoo can help you keep your hair dye looking fresher longer. The cells that give your hair its color reside in the cortex of your hair. When you colour dye your hair, you have to open the cuticle to get to the colour-containing cells. Once the colour has been changed, you want to close the cuticle to seal the new shades inside, keeping it vibrant and longer lasting.

FOR OILY HAIR

If you have oily hair, use 1-2 tablespoons of diluted apple cider vinegar (pH 4) to bring your hair into the normal pH range. You can put this into a spray bottle for easy application, but do remember to store it in the fridge to keep it fresh! Alternatively, you can use pure aloe vera juice! 

FOR DRY HAIR

Choose a shampoo with a lower pH (closer to 5) will help to maintain your hair's moisture and flexibility. You should also use an organic hair oil to further nourish and close up your cuticles.

Remember to always choose sulfate and silicone-free products. The build-up of these substances will gradually weigh down on your hair, weakening the shaft and causing pre-mature breakage. It can make your hair look and feel shiny right now, but it will cause more harm than good in the long run. 

 

Find out more about

Our pH-tested Solid Shampoos here

Our Organic Hair Serum here

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