Hello Lovelies and Welcome to a post about pH levels for hair and products, how different levels effects our hair. I hope you find this post useful.
I consider myself a DIY addict, I love trying new ingredients, mixing products to get the best effect for my hair.
A measure of acidity or alkalinity of water soluble substances (pH stands for ‘potential of Hydrogen’). A pH value is a number from 1 to 14, with 7 as the middle (neutral) point. Values below 7 indicate acidity which increases as the number decreases, 1 being the most acidic. The pH of a substance specifically indicates the number of positive hydrogen cations H+ and negative hydrogen cation OH- a solution contains. When the concentration of hydrogen ions is higher, a substance is considered acidic, and if the concentration of hydroxide ions is higher than the substance is alkaline or basic, ( because they are not water-based and have neither H+ nor OH- Components. for example: products such as oils and alcohols do not have a pH).
Water is not neutral simply because it is neither acidic nor alkaline, but because it is both 50 percent acidic and 50 percent alkaline, and it contains one positive and one negative ion ( H+ and -OH).
pH is a measurement of Ions in a water-based solution. Ions are charged particles that can either be positive or negative. When an ion is positive, it is known as a cation, and when negative, an ion is known as an anion.
Our hair surface is slightly negative, it responds well to a cationic conditioning agent. the basic laws of chemistry govern our hair behavior, characteristics, and appearance. therefor, our hair and products pH must be explored and regulated to maintain a healthy head of hair.
Knowing and understanding how to measure pH has great utility for the behavior of our hair products on the hair strand and also assists in predicting our hair’s response to these products.
pH function in coloring, hair straightening, and basic conditioning have been well established. pH scale ranges from 0 to 14 and the center of the scale lies the neutral pH of 7.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
pH levels and Effects
A substance is considered acidic when it has a low pH reading of 0 to 6.9. Healthy hair and skin have acid mantles with pHs in the 4 to 5.5 range. This acid mantle is more important for the skin where it acts as a barrier to viruses, bacteria and other undesirable contaminants that may try to enter the body. These contaminants are primarily alkaline, are neutralized by the body’s protective acid mantle. Therefore, maintaining the acid mantle of the products we use is very important for our hair and skin. All hair responds to pH very distinctly.
Low-pH substances affect the hair shaft by constricting the cuticles layers, causing them to lie flat and tight against one another. In this state, the inner cortex of the hair strand is thoroughly protected, because the cuticle closed tightly. Contracted cuticles allow the individual hair strands to move freely past one another, the surface better reflects light, creating sheen and shine.
What to use & How:
Substances such as lemon and apple cider vinegar fall into the acidic category. I normally use lemon juice or ACV to adjust my pH level in the product. Start with a small amount and test until you get the level you need for your hair.
The pH of 7.1 to 14 is considered basic/alkaline.
High-Ph substances cause the hair’s cuticle scales to lift and the hair shaft to swell and open, like for example when our hair is wet.
Relaxers and permanent hair colors fall firmly into the alkaline/basic category with pH reading ranging from 10 to 13.
Water is alkaline and hair is acidic, but when water ( pH of 7) interacts with the hair shaft, the cuticles lift slightly in reaction to the water’s alkaline pH. Lifted cuticles are responsible for tangly, dry looking hair that does not shine, have a sheen or hold moisture well. When the cuticle is lifted, the cortex is also exposed, and the hair becomes weaker and more vulnerable. This is why we must always seal in moisture, close/lock cuticles.
It is important that the pH of our hair be normalized, to its normal 4 to 5.5 pH level after using an alkaline product. Products that keep the hair within its low pH range of 4 to 5.5 are -ideal because the hair must maintain its acidic ph mantle to remain healthy. When the hair’s pH becomes too high or too low, it is always changed or damaged, which drastically affects the protein structure inside the cortex of our hair.
Hair damage is often imminent if the cuticles are not returned to their normal closed or tight position.
It is important to know that a pH of 4 is ten times more acidic than a pH of 5. Shampoos and conditioners play an important role in regulating the hair’s pH. Almost all shampoos and conditioner systems pH is supposed to be balanced to normalize or keep the hair’s pH within its normal, healthy acidic value.
Shampoos are to be generally formulated at mildly acidic pH 4 to 6 and conditioners tend to have even lower pHs 3.5-5. The decrease in pH of the product in the cleaning process to conditioner, helps to seal off the hair and constricts and smoothes the fiber to prevent moisture loss.
Products from the same product line or brand are formulated to work together to achieve a particular pH balance.
Thank you for stopping by, please feel free to share, like and comment.
Love & Light