What you need to know about your hair and its pH level

ph level

There is a lot of talk about the term pH level and lately it seems like it is the fancy word to throw around. In a previous article Nutrafol wrote about the pH level of baking soda but what about your hair? Did you know that your hair has a natural pH level, as well? Did you also know that this level is affected by the hair care products you use everyday? No? But now you do! So let us talk about the…

…importance of the pH level

As you may have read before, the pH level tells you how acidic or basic something is. For example, battery acid has a pH level of 1 and is VERY acidic. Bleach, on the other hand, has a level of 13 and is VERY Basic. However a pH level of 7 is as neutral as it gets. Your hair and skin on the other hand has a pH of 4.5-5.0. And are covered with a very thin fluid mixture of oil, salt and water called the mantle, which is naturally slightly acidic.

So, what does this mean in regards to hair care products?

The closer the level of the pH of your shampoo/conditioner/styling product is to the natural pH level of your hair, the more healthy and beneficial it is. Pretty simple right? That is why, when using a product that causes the pH level of your hair to drop, your hair may look dry and frizzy. It can even become very brittle and easy to break. When you use cleansers, such as baking soda (pH of 9) or even just water alone (pH of 7), it can be very damaging to your hair with repeated washes. Especially if your hair is dry already.

ph level
Choose a product with a low pH level, to match your hair’s own pH level.

What is the solution?

One of the more common solutions for balancing out the high pH of baking soda is coupling it with apple cider vinegar. In that way you are keeping a natural base, using only natural solutions. However, often times these ingredients do not perfectly balance each other or are unevenly mixed. Which will only result in some hair being treated with either overly basic materials, or with acidic materials.
Instead, Nutrafol recommend choosing hair care products that match the natural pH level of your hair. For example, make sure to pick one that have a balanced level of 4-5. Balanced shampoos also protect your hair’s natural oils, known as sebum, rather than stripping it away. When you choose the right hair care products that match your hair’s natural pH, you ensure the continued health of your hair’s mantle. Not only does this give your strands a healthy environment to grow in, but it also keeps it strong and beautiful!

 

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