Your hair possesses many properties. Factors such as color, appearance, texture, and healthiness of hair can be affected by these physiological properties. Here is a concept that you should try to understand when using products to treat and care for your hair. This is known as pH, which defines how acidic or how alkaline a substance is. pH is measured across various solutions in the body, such as on your blood, your stomach acids, and even the oils and sweat produced by your scalp. With this in mind, you can already surmise that pH can also affect the overall health of your hair.
What is the pH scale? This is the basis that helps determine how acidic or basic a chemical solution is. If the pH is measured at 7, such as in distilled water, you can expect it to be neutral. If it goes above 7, like for bleaches and detergents, it is considered basic or alkaline. If the pH is measured below 7, like for vinegar and lemon juice, it is now acidic.
Normally, most areas of the body like the scalp, skin surface, and the stomach contains acidic substances. The pH on the hair and scalp, to be more specific, is about 5. as said before, pH affects the health of the hair, which is why the pH of products used on hair can also have significant effects on your tresses.
Speaking of hair care, the most common product people can’t do without is shampoo. This has a slightly acidic pH, but more close to neutral for gentle shampoos. Shampoo has to have a lower pH to be able to clear off the scum and excess oils on the scalp and hair. A neutral shampoo is often used for babies or people with sensitive scalp and hair, to prevent irritation. Conditioners are also acidic, so that they can cause the surface of hair strands to flatten out and be smooth instead of bristly like roof shingles, as how hair strand surfaces would normally look when you have a bad hair day.
When you go for a perm, on the other hand, the chemicals used on hair are more basic, or have a pH above 7. This creates specific types of chemical bonds on the surfaces of hair strands, causing them to curl up. pH is also an important factor in other hair treatment products such as hair dyes or hair colors.