Haircare 101: Balancing Your Scalp’s pH Value

Haircare 101: Balancing Your Scalp’s pH Value

Let’s start with a question. Have you paid attention to the pH level of the shampoo you use daily? Or to the pH of your hair conditioner? With shampoos and conditioners regularly featured in our daily routine, it is important to understand the meaning and significance of their pH and what it does to your hair and scalp. The pH of your shampoo matters because the pH level of your hair needs to be just right for a healthy scalp.

What is pH?

pH stands for “Potential Hydrogen” and is the measure of a substance’s alkaline or acidic nature. It’s on a scale of 0-14, with 7 being neutral, less than 7 being acidic, and more than 7 being basic.

What is the normal pH of hair?

Your scalp naturally has a pH balance of 5.5, making it slightly acidic. It needs the acidic contents to ward off any bacterial and fungal infections.

The issue arises when we examine the chemical composition of hair products like shampoos and conditioners. Chemically speaking, shampoo is a cleanser; hence, it could contain harsh compounds that enable it to do some “effective cleaning”. They are detergents, soaps, and basic salts, which can make your scalp overall alkaline. But what about conditioners or hair serums or other haircare tonics we use? Do they, too, fall under this scrutiny as well? 

Turns out, most do! Most hair products contain minerals that accumulate in the scalp over time and lead to a more alkaline pH. 

What happens when your hair’s pH is alkaline?

An alkaline pH makes your cuticles swell up. This leads to less retention causing hair loss, leaving your hair prone to more breakage. 

When pH disbalance happens and your hair slides more towards the alkaline side, it becomes dry and brittle, and your scalp starts flaking, itching, developing fungal infections, and other concerns. 

What happens when your hair’s pH is acidic?

On the other hand, when excessive sebum (natural oil found in the skin and scalp) build-up in your hair, it can lead to an acidity problem. This, too, is a side effect of using excessive alkaline products. 

To restore balance, your hair naturally produces more sebum than it needs, making the scalp oilier and more acidic. It’s a vicious loop! To get clear of all the oil build-up, you would need to wash more often, thus, pushing the problem to the max. Not to forget, you would also clog your pores with mineral deposits. Acidic pH means your cuticles would shrink, learning to obstruct hair growth and thinning. 

Too acidic and too basic: They are both problems for your hair!

And so, your hair needs to be just the right pH. At iluvia, we have carefully developed solutions that keep your hair’s pH balanced.

  • Sulfate Free Shampoo: Most shampoos contain strong alkaline salts like sulfates. These salts are not just basic in nature and deteriorate the scalp’s natural pH balance, they are harmful to any hair colour or treatment you may have received. iluvia’s sulfate-free shampoo is gentle and thorough at the same time. This pH-balancing scalp care shampoo is among the best-balanced pH shampoos to pick from as its own pH is a neutral score of 5.4-5.6. Particularly beneficial for coloured or treated hair, it respects the delicate balance needed to maintain the desired colour and effect.
  • Hard water shampoo: the water you receive in your shower can sometimes carry positively charged mineral ions like calcium and magnesium, which can lead to alkaline deposits on the scalp. These ions also hurt the smoothness and strength of our cuticles. While we may be unable to clean up the water to the best effect, we can pick an effective shampoo. iluvia’s Hard Water Shampoo does that and also has a hair-friendly pH of 5.4-5.6. 

  • Squalene conditioner: Squalene is a lipid our body naturally produces, maintaining hair, skin quality and texture. It is one of the best natural conditioners, and iluvia’s Squalene Restorative Conditioner aims to help your hair get the most. Made with the goodness of Olive Squalene Oil, this conditioner has a pH balance of 3.4-4.5 and helps strengthen hair by improving elasticity. 

    Hair care is essential. However, you must start with the basics and that’s over and above your daily routine. By this, we don’t just mean evaluating your hair types, but rather delving a little deeper into pH and why it is important to have hair care products that are pH balanced. Choosing the right shampoo and conditioner that are pH balanced is the first step in that journey.