Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Hair's A Secret: Strong Enough For A Man, But pH Balance For My Hair?

When you think of pH, the first thing that may come to mind is that old Secret commercial where they claimed that their deodorant is strong enough for a man but pH balanced for a woman.  Aside from thinking deodorant, you should think HAIR!! Yep, hair!

What is pH?  pH is the "potential of hydrogen," or the measure of how acidic or basic (alkaline) a solution or substance is.  pH levels range from 0 - 14. 

There is a scale that one can use to determine how acidic or alkaline/basic a given substance is.  If the pH is measured at 7, such as in distilled water, it is neutral. If it goes above 7, like for bleaches and detergents, it is considered basic or alkaline. If the pH is measured below 7, like for vinegar and lemon juice, it is considered acidic.  The pH on the hair and scalp is usually about 4.5 - 5.

How does pH affect hair?  pH affects the health of your hair.  As such, you need to be mindful of the products that you use on your hair.  Some people may use baking soda to raise their pH level.  The use of apple cider vinegar (ACV) may help hair to be more resilient, smoother and stronger.  If using baking soda on your scalp, you need to understand that it has a high pH level (and isn't natural).

In order to clean the build-up that is on hair and scalp, shampoo has to be acidic.  Shampoos can range from a pH of 4/4.5 to around 8.5.  Permanent hair dyes contain alkaline chemicals such as ammonia and hydrogen peroxide, which can penetrate hair strands to their cores, or the cortexes. As a result, the production of melanin, which is responsible for your natural hair color is affected. Because permanent hair coloring can be highly basic and may have corrosive properties on hair, it is not always a recommended option for people who want to maintain healthy and strong tresses.  (Man I wish I knew this before I died my hair!  Next time I will try some henna...)  Perms have a pH of 11 - 14, while texturizers may be in the range of
8 - 11.

Should I care about my hair/scalp's pH level?  Yes as it helps to keep bacteria and fungi off of our scalp.

I found the following summary on a reply about pH levels of hair:

~pH 2.0: hard; smooth; not resilient; breaks easily
~pH 6.0: not as hard; smooth; very resilient; resists breaking
~pH 10.0: rough; not very resilient; tends to break easily
~pH 12.0: very rough; not resilient; tends to break very easily

As read on other sites, pH for hair is generally good at a level of 4.5 - 5.5.  Products with a pH level of 4.5 - 7 is noted to be good for our hair.

As per information that I gathered from YouTube vlogger, Kimmay:

~ACV is safe when diluted to 4 pH,
~aloe vera juice is 4 and good for a leave in conditioner or water bottle spritz,
~after wetting hair, use an acidifier within the pH range of 4 - 6 to close the cuticle (4 - 5 may be more effective), and
~the safe range for washing hair is a 4 - 7 pH (no harm done).

If you want to test the pH of products that you use, the plastic strips are better to use than the paper strips.  the pH strip can be pricey and they do very when it comes to the level of pH testing (basically, not all strips go to 14). 

Given the above and Kimmay's awesome hair growth, I may try to consider pH and my hair a bit more.  What about you?  What are your thoughts?

1 comment:

  1. THis is interesting. I have been hearing about PH and how it is important when it comes to your hair. I always wanted to try the ACV rince and wanted to start purchasing aloe vera water for my hair. I think I will be doing that in the near future after reading this. This also has me very curious about the products I use and the PH amount they possess. Feel like im about to start buying PH strips just to find out their PH amounts cause now it has me wondering about it : )


I absolutely love comments so please feel free to leave me a note. Thank you in advance for not leaving me spam, posting negative comments and/or promoting/advertising on my blog. ~Keep It Kinky!~

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...