Hair pH and its importance

You may have learned about pH level in your high school chemistry class. A pH scale determines how acidic or alkaline something is. pH stands for potential of hydrogen. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14. 0-6 is the acidic side of the scale, and 8-14 is the alkaline side of the scale. On the pH scale, 7 stands for neutral. Generally, our skin’s pH is about 5-5.5 i.e on the acidic side, and that of water is 7.

Why is the pH level so important?

The pH level of your hair is an extremely important factor in determining your hair health. Your hair’s pH is around 3.7-4.2. Your hair will grow at its best in this stage and it will remain healthy when this pH level is maintained. This natural hair acidity prevents fungi and bacteria from growing in the hair and scalp. It also ensures that the cuticle stays closed and healthy.

Unfortunately, natural elements and our actions don’t always help maintain the pH at its ideal level. This affects our hair negatively. Our hair’s pH goes to the alkaline end, and that’s when you face all kinds of hair issues. 

Your hair products, chemical treatments, and shampoos etc. act upon your hair’s pH level. The damage will start with the outer-most layer of your hair (the cuticle) and can move to the inner layers. Your hair will be frizzy and dry, and it will feel damaged. This imbalance in pH will also potentially cause dandruff.

What can you do to maintain a good pH?

Try a good pH shampoo

Your shampoo is an important part of your hair care routine. You use it every time you wash it, so it is essential to choose a good one. More often than not, it is the shampoo that is responsible for your hair’s pH imbalance. So, you can try giving some pH focused shampoos a try.

Aloe vera

Aloe vera is a great natural remedy to balance the pH of your hair and scalp. Aloe vera gel is slightly acidic so it will help restore your hair to its ideal pH. You can either apply it directly or try mixing it with lemon.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar acts similarly. The pH level of this natural ingredient is about 3. So you have to be careful not to use it directly. Dilute it in water to bring the pH closer to 4-4.5, and then apply it to your scalp and hair.

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