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5 min read

How to pH balance your hair - and why!

How to pH balance your hair - and why!

Have you heard anyone talk about the pH level of your hair before? It’s been a popular topic lately, since the no-poo movement, and is actually a pretty important aspect of hair health.

We're going to briefly explain that pH is a measure of hydrogen. It determines if an environment is alkaline (basic) or acidic. A neutral environment has a rating of 7, any number higher than 7 is basic, lower is acidic.

Healthy hair normally ranges between 4.5 and 5.5, meaning it is on the acidic side. This is perfect because having natural hair oils that are acidic means they fight bacteria and fungal growth. However, if you disrupt this nicely balanced pH, you may have problems.

Dangers of unbalanced hair pH

Here are five reasons that will convince you that your hair’s pH matters.

1. Protection: As mentioned above an acidic scalp fights bacterial and fungal infections.

2. Seals cuticles: A normal pH seals your hair’s cuticles, which helps each strand of hair hold onto valuable moisture and avoid drying out and breakage.

3. Better performance: Your products work better if your scalp is healthy and the products are pH balanced for hair. More on this later.

4. Stretchy: Your hair is incredibly elastic, and this is great because then it stretches rather than breaks in many situations. But an unbalanced pH means your hair has less of its natural conditioner and it loses some of its flexibility.

5. Chemical protection: Having healthy hair with an optimal pH helps it fight off damage from chemical hair treatments.

Check your hair’s pH

If you suspect your hair is not living in the perfect pH environment, it’s time to check it out. Here is what you should be aware of.

Scalp condition: Is your scalp flaky and itchy? Do you have dry flakes or dandruff ? These are signs that you’ve slid into the alkali zone.

Chemical treatments: If your hair is dyed or relaxed, there’s a good chance it was treated with an alkali solution to get in beyond the hair’s cuticle and make some chemical changes. 

Once that was done, it was then doused with an acidic solution to “return” it to normal. Both of these treatments can cause your natural pH to go haywire.

Natural curls: Beautiful and luxurious natural curls have cuticles that are already partially open, meaning it’s leaning toward the alkali side already.

Your products: Check the products you already use on your hair to see if the pH level is listed. For regular, healthy pH hair, products in the 4 to 7 range are typically good.

If you don’t know what pH level your favorite products are, it’s time to play mad scientist again. And this is a fun experiment. 

Pick up some litmus strips. These measure pH levels and are also called test strips. Once you buy them online or at a pharmacy, dip a strip into your product and hold it in for the time specified on the litmus strip directions. Pull it out and compare it to the diagram that comes with the strips.

Rebalance your hair’s pH

If you determined that your hair is out of balance, it’s time to perk it up again with a nice pH rebalance.

Shampoo: Look for a shampoo that is pH balanced and pair that with a pH-balanced conditioner and it’s into the shower for you. 

Aloe vera: Aloe is a great, natural way to rebalance your hair. Purchase aloe in liquid form and spritz it all over your hair. You’ll not only like that it’s rebalancing it, but it reduces frizz and feels super-soft.

Apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar has a pH of about 3, which is a little strong. Dilute it with water until it hits 4 and then rinse your hair with it.

Final thoughts

People don’t talk about your hair’s pH very much, but it’s pretty important. If you’ve got a good system going and great pH, then you’re rocking it and don’t need to worry. 

If you have naturally curly hair, suffer from dry scalp or dandruff, or chemically treat your hair, you might want to pay more attention to the pH level of your favorite products. 

It’s not very difficult to get your pH back on track and can even involve a fun experiment if you want to give it a try. No matter how you decide to push your hair back into its natural 4.5 to 5.5 pH level, you’ll love the results.

At Hair La Vie, we know that your hair is an integral part of how you present yourself to the world and shape your authentic style.

Join our private Facebook Community for a safe, human-moderated space to share your Hair Journey, discover new natural beauty, and take steps towards becoming “you” with the help of an understanding, supportive community.

Join now for instant access to livestreams, discussions, and exclusive access to new products!

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    At Hair La Vie, we know that your hair is an integral part of how you present yourself to the world and shape your authentic style.

    Join our private Facebook Community for a safe, human-moderated space to share your Hair Journey, discover new natural beauty, and take steps towards becoming “you” with the help of an understanding, supportive community.

    Join now for instant access to livestreams, discussions, and exclusive access to new products!

    JOIN THE GROUP