You probably first heard the word pH in your science class and how it can help measure acidity and basicity of liquid. However, pH levels' impact on scalp health has reached the haircare community and they have examined how it can make or break your overall hair health. Our scalp and hair need to be maintained at their natural pH level to keep your head of hair shiny and nourished.
Find out what hair pH is normal and the importance of maintaining your hair and scalp’s pH balance.
- What Is Hair pH
- Why Balanced Hair pH Is Important
- How To Know If Your Hair’s pH is Off
- How to Balance Your Hair & Scalp’s pH Naturally
Your Potential of Hydrogen (pH) determines how acidic and alkaline your hair and scalp are. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14 and is used to measure how healthy your hair and scalp are. A pH of 3.5- 4 for the hair and 5.5 for the scalp are considered normal and healthy. Anything above normal is alkaline and below normal is considered acidic.
Why Balanced Hair pH Is Important
Your hair is naturally slightly acidic and keeping it balanced is important to prevent different hair problems such as dandruff, hair frizz, and breakage from arising. Here are 3 reasons why keeping your pH balance will do wonders for your overall hair and scalp health.
Reasons #1: Prevent Bacteria & Dandruff
Your pH barrier helps fight off bacteria and fungus that may lead to dandruff and itchy scalp. If the hair’s pH is in a more alkaline state, an overproduction of oil and cultivation of bacteria may occur leading to itchy and flaky scalp that can cause discomfort.
Reason #2: Keep Hair Shiny, Soft, & Moisturized
The cuticle is the outmost layer of the hair and is responsible for protecting the hair from damage. A normal pH level helps seal the cuticle and keep the hair moisturized by locking in natural oils and preventing hair breakage. This will in turn leave your hair soft, shiny, and moisturized.
Reason #3: Aids in Proper Hair Growth
A sudden disruption of your pH levels from hair dying, bleaching, or other chemical treatments can throw off your pH balance and result to dry and brittle hair strands that can lead to slow and stunted hair growth. A normal pH will keep your hair and scalp at its best health, aiding in normal hair growth.
How To Know If Your Hair’s pH is Off
An off balanced hair and scalp pH means it’s too alkaline or too acidic. An imbalance may cause your hair to become dry and frizzy, leaving it looking dull and lifeless. But how can you tell if your hair’s pH is off? Here are some signs to look out for:
- Your hair is too dry or too oily
- Your hair is frizzy and static
- You’re developing dandruff and scaly scalp
- Your hair breaks off easily
- You have high porosity hair
- Your hair lacks elasticity
There are different factors why your hair pH is imbalanced. One common cause is the hair products you are using. Some products can make your hair too alkaline or too acidic causing the sudden disruption of your natural pH. To find out if your trusted products are at the normal pH level, check the labels of the bottle or perform a test using a home test kit. You can then make adjustments to your haircare routine based on this.
How to Balance Your Hair & Scalp’s pH Naturally
#1 Try a natural hair rinse
Hair rinse has different hair benefits. Aside from adding volume and shine, certain hair rinses can also help strengthen the hair shaft, unclogged hair follicles, boost hair growth, and balance oil and pH levels.
Here are some natural hair rinses you can easily make and try at home:
Aloe Vera Rinse
- Aloe Vera plant or Aloe Vera Juice (don’t use juice with added sweeteners)
- Jar or container
How To Use It:
If using aloe vera juice, mix ½ cup aloe vera juice to ½ cup of water and pour it on your hair and scalp. Let it sit for 15 minutes before you wash it off.
If you are using an aloe vera plant, cut about ¼ slice and peel the green layers. Add 2 cups of water into blender and mix it with the cutout aloe vera. Pour it on your hair and scalp and let it sit for 15 minutes before you wash it off.
Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse
- 1 part Apple Cider Vinegar
- 5 parts of water
How To Use It:
Mix 1 part ACV with 5 parts water and pour on your hair and scalp. Let it sit for 15 minutes and wash off. Avoid using pure ACV since this has a 2-3 pH level making it acidic. If you have a highly alkaline hair pH, use this rinse to lower it down to normal. Make sure to dilute it with water and don’t overuse it!
Watch this TikTok from @deecastle how to make a homemade ACV hair rinse:
@deecastle @deecastle #ITriedItIPrimedIt #acvrinse #acvforhair #acvbenefits #healthyhairjourney #hairgrowth #scalpcleanse #scalphealth #scalpcare #shinyhair #hairregrowthjourney #haircareroutine2022 #healthyhair2022 #hairtok2022 #hairregrowthtips ♬ Protect Nicki Minaj - Demin
How to use homemade ACV hair rinse:
@deecastle @deecastle #acvrinse #acvforhair #acvbenefits #healthyhairjourney #hairgrowth #scalpcleanse #scalphealth #scalpcare #shinyhair #hairregrowthjourney #silkyhair #healthyhair2022 #hairtok2022 #haircareroutine2022 #hairvideos #hairblog ♬ sonido original - Roliitasnay🔥
Recommended product: Pure Biology ACV shampoo & conditioner set
#2 Use a pH balancing shampoo and conditioner
Another fast and effective way to regulate your hair’s pH is to use shampoo and conditioners designed to balance your pH levels. You can check the labels or perform a pH test at home using a home strip test. Ideally, it should have a pH level lower than 3 and higher than 5.5
#3 Eat a balanced diet
What you eat and your diet may also play a role in disrupting your hair’s pH. Too much alkaline rich food such as fruits, legumes, tofu, and vegetables might affect your hair’s pH. Try balancing your diet by incorporating a mixture of acidic foods such as meat, poultry, and eggs.
The hair’s pH level can become too acidic or too alkaline. The disruption of the pH balance can cause different hair and scalp problems. The normal hair pH should be within the 3.5- 4 for range and 5.5 range for the scalp for it to function properly and keep your hair healthy.