The pH scale denotes a substance's acidity and basicity, and your hair has a natural pH that you can disturb with improper hair care. There are many reasons behind the imbalance of pH levels. However, you can reverse these adverse effects and restore the hair's pH.
When picking a hair care product, apart from looking out for organic and vegan ingredients, people tend to overlook a critical element. And that is, where does the product stand on the pH scale?
First, let’s break down what a pH level means. A ‘pH scale’ indicates the acidity level of a particular element. Zero to six on the scale indicates a decreasing level of acidity, 7 marks neutral, while 8 to 14 represents an increasing level of alkalinity. Natural hair is slightly acidic, ranging between 4.5 and 5.5 on the scale, while the scalp’s range is approximately 5.5.
Typically, when the pH of hair moves towards the alkaline side, the result is hair damage. The common outcome is compromised hair health. For instance, hair breaks easily and becomes prone to frizz. At a more alkaline point on the scale, bacteria and naturally-occurring oil might also cause dandruff. So, maintaining the hair pH level becomes important.
It’s important to note then, that excessive use of hot styling tools, chemical-laden hair care products, and treatments such as bleaching and colouring can easily throw off your hair’s pH balance. If the shampoo pH level is too alkaline, it is likely to cause the cuticles to open up and on the other hand, if the shampoo pH leans towards the acidic side more than required, you run the risk of the cuticles contracting.
A lesser-detected cause of an imbalanced pH level is hard water. With a pH of 8.5 or higher, hard water can also disbalance the natural pH of hair. Habits such as over-washing hair, being in air conditioning for long hours, and exposure to pollution, dust and grime contribute to a disturbed hair pH as well.
pH balanced hair does look stronger, with a smooth and shiny finish and there are certain measures you can take to revert to a healthy pH balance. Read hair cleansing and styling product labels that indicate their pH level before adding them to your cart. A safe method to avoid such a problem would be to use a pH balanced shampoo. A pro tip: if your shampoo has a pH higher than 5.5, balance it with a conditioner with low pH.
If your hair feels weak and dry from overuse of acidic products, deep condition hair regularly to restore moisture. A pH level of 4 to 7 works well for straight hair, while a level of 4 to 5.5 is suitable for curls.
The next time you feel your hair is off-balance, the first step should be to check how it fares on the pH scale. And then, browse through iluvia’s range of luxury haircare products, which are designed to help you maintain your hair’s pH level and leave you with gleaming, soft hair.
Its Intensive Hair Care Serum stands at a pH of 4.5 to 5, its Squalene Restorative Conditioner at 3.5 to 4.5, while its Hard Water Shampoo has a pH of 5.4 to 5.6. With these pH balanced products, you’ll never have to worry again.