In chemistry, pH( short for potential hydrogen) is the measure of how acidic or alkaline a liquid substance is. The more hydrogen ions in a substance the more acidic it is. The fewer hydrogen ions in a substance, the more alkaline it is (balancephforlife.com)
What is the pH scale?
The pH scale is a reference point for acidic, neutral, and basic substances. The scale goes from 0 to 14. On the scale, from 0 to 7 is acidic, 7 is neutral, and 7 to 14 is alkaline( or basic). The scale is logarithmic in that each level on the scale is 10 times more basic or acidic than the adjacent level on the scale (elmhurst.edu) For example, a pH of 8 is 10 times more basic than a pH of 7 and a pH of 3 is 100 times more acidic than a pH of 5.
How does pH affect the body?
pH is important in the body because it helps regulate a lot of our body's biochemical functions. It can speed up or slow down the rate of enzyme activity. BiomedX states that, in addition to the previous statement, the more alkaline a substance (7-14), the more electrical resistance the solution has. The opposite is true for acidic substances.
How does pH affect the hair?
Salonweb.com states the normal pH of hair is about 4.5 to 5.5. Based on what I mentioned about pH and the scale, this means that the hair must be wet to have a pH at all and when it is wet, the hair prefers to be more acidic.
How can pH help my hair?
Keeping your hair in it's acidic state will help to lower the cuticle layer and keep it shut. When the cuticle layer is closed, it can be better protection to the cortex. A raised cuticle is just asking for damage. Salonweb.com also states that ," One of the most beneficial treatments hair can have is to be acidified" and suggests using products with a pH of 3.0-3.5.
What can having a low pH do for my hair?
Salonweb.com also states, far better than I could have, that having a low pH on a the hair can the following things (taken directly from site):
Why is it important to test the pH of my products?
Knowing the pH of your hair products will help you avoid damaging your hair by subjecting it to various pH levels. Too acidic it could dissolve the hair and too basic could keep the cuticle open and risk damage to the cortex.
How have you benefited from learning about pH?
I test all of my products and all of my leave-in mixes. Before, when I didn't use pH balanced products, my hair didn't feel as moisturized. Now that I check the pH and make sure my products (especially my leave-in) have a low pH, my hair not only tangles less easily and is more pliable, but it retains moisture for much longer. Making sure my leave-in moisturizer was pH balance was the best thing I have ever done for my hair moisture wise. If you would like to know the recipe for my pH balanced mix, click on this link: Leave-In Moisturizer Mix Recipe
How do I test the pH of my products?
Just buy some pH strips ranging from 0 to 14 and follow the directions on the packaging. It's that easy.
Where can I buy pH strips?
They can be found at health food stores or online. Amazon sells some here for a reasonable price. Note, the price can be higher or lower depending on where you buy them and the range of the strips. I would suggest sticking to 0-14; it encompasses everything.
- Diagram of pH scale(Picture).(2011,June). Retreived from Environmental Canada: http://www.ec.gc.ca/Publications/F5EE4082-323A-45A3-9E77-1129CD2359A1/A-Primer-on-Fresh-Water-Questions-and-Answers.pdf