How to Balance pH in Hair Naturally
Potential of Hydrogen, or pH, is the measurement of how acidic or alkaline a substance is. It is judged on a scale between 0 and 14. Anything between 0 and 6.9 is acidic, 7 is neutral, and anything between 7.1 and 14 is alkaline. Human hair and scalp oil, sebum, has a pH balance of between 4.5 and 5.5. This natural hair acidity prevents fungi and bacteria in the hair and scalp, and keeps the cuticle closed and healthy. Many of the hair products that people use disrupt the natural pH of the hair. A substance that is too alkaline will cause the hair cuticle to open, while a substance that is too acidic will cause the cuticle to contract. This article will tell you how to balance pH in hair naturally.
Assess your current hair.There are a number of conditions that can indicate the pH of your hair. It is important to establish a general pH before you can balance it to the healthy level.
- If you have problems with flaky, itchy, dry scalp, eczema, fungi or bacteria on your scalp, it is likely that your scalp and hair are too alkali. Usually, this means that you are using a product that has a high pH above 7, and it is stripping away your naturally acidic sebum that fights bacteria. Lower pH shampoos may also cause less frizzing and breakage. This is why a shampoo with a pH of 6 or 7 should be used.
- If you have permanently dyed or relaxed hair, your hair was first treated with a highly alkali substance to expose and change the hair's cuticle, and then, it was "neutralized" with a highly acidic substance to flatten the cuticle again. This is a damaging process and slightly acidic hair products are needed to keep the hair cuticle lying flat.
- If you have curly hair, then your cuticle is already partially open. It is especially important for people with curly hair to return their hair to a slightly acidic pH level, since the open cuticle prevents natural acidic sebum to keep the entire hair at a pH level between 4.5 and 5.5.
- If you have straight hair, you should use hair-care products that are pH balanced, but may not need to apply extra products because the sebum moves through your hair, creating a natural pH balance.
Read the labels on your current hair products.If they do not say they are pH balanced for your hair, then they should be tested to see how they affect your hair. A pH between 4 to 7 works well on hair.
- Buy test strips online or from beauty supply stores. Pour your liquid product into a glass, stick the test strip into the glass for the amount of time the strip directions indicate. Remove the strip and compare it to the diagram to find the pH of the product. Discontinue the use of any product outside of the 4 to 7 pH range.
Wash your hair with pH balanced shampoos and conditioners.Rinse your hair. This will return your hair to a neutral, rather than acidic pH level. Water has a pH level of 7, so it is more alkali than your hair.
Use a natural acid to bring your hair into an acidic pH range, if your hair is naturally oily.You can pour aloe vera juice in a bottle and mist it over your hair. This will also close the cuticle and remove frizz.
- You can also use apple cider vinegar. It has a pH level of about 3. It should be diluted with water until it has a pH level of 4. Many people prefer aloe vera gel because the vinegar smell is too strong. If you rinse your hair after using the natural acid, the water will deactivate the acid.
Apply a leave-in conditioner to wet hair to return your hair to the 4.5 to 5.5 natural acidity, if your hair is naturally dry or damaged.Use a homemade leave-in conditioner composed of the following recipe.
- Pour 2 tbsp. (30 ml) of a silicone-free conditioner, 2 tbsp. (30 ml) of whole-leaf aloe vera juice and 2 tsp. (10 ml) of jojoba oil into a bowl. Mix well with a spoon and use a pH test strip to ensure the pH is not under 4.5.
- Apply the mixture to damp, washed hair. Allow it to dry and style as usual.
QuestionHow do I restore my natural ash blond color after a perm that turned my hair yellow?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry Bantu Yellow Out conditioner by Soft Sheen Carson. It will take out the yellow cast, and works on other colors too. You can get this at beauty supply shops or online. Or you can also try squeezing the lemon into your own conditioner. Shake well, then apply. Leave on for at least 10 minutes with a plastic bag covering it. If the cast is still there after a rinse, just apply more.Thanks!
QuestionHow often should I use apple cider to correct my dry and frizzy hair?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can use apple cider once or twice a week. This is the best amount to use in order to correct dry and frizzy hair.Thanks!
QuestionWhat can I do to fix how dry and damaged my hair is?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can use a hydrating shampoo. Many brands make shampoos that are specifically designed to correct broken or damaged hair, so you can pick which one you like best and try it. If you are not satisfied with the results, you can talk to a professional hair dresser to get advice on how to proceed.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I get rid of the chemical smell in my hair from coloring it?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerMake sure you rinse your hair really, really well with warm water, and then use a scented color protect shampoo and conditioner. Give it 2-3 good shampoos.Thanks!
QuestionWhat is the pH level?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerA measure of acidity or alkalinity. pH stands for potential hydrogen level, with a value of 0 to 17 (7 is neutral).Thanks!
QuestionWhat would be the pH value of a quality hair conditioner?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerShould be between 4 to 7, because our average hair pH level is 4.5 to 5.5. The conditioner needs a slightly-acidic level to close the cuticle.Thanks!
Can shampooing with high alkaline water (pH 8) cause me to lose more hair regularly?
What will clear up my severely dried scalp?
How to adjust mix oil pH?
- The leave-in conditioner will not keep for longer than a few days. Make a new batch every few days or each time you wash your hair.
- Aloe vera juice and jojoba oil can be found in a health food store. Jojoba oil has natural anti-fungal properties.
- Not all types of vinegar have the same acidity. Apple cider vinegar is less acidic than distilled white vinegar. You can use test strips to judge the acidity of household vinegars.
- 2 tsp. (10 ml) of castor or almond oil can be added to the leave-in conditioner recipe if your hair is very dry or curly.
- Lime juice and lemon juice both have a pH of 2, and they are also great pH adjusters to bring alkaline hair products into the healthy pH range.
- Do not use baking soda to soften or clean hair. It is too abrasive and alkali and will strip the cuticle of necessary oils.
Things You'll Need
pH test strips
Aloe vera juice
pH balanced shampoo
Castor or almond oil (optional)
Apple cider vinegar (optional)
Sources and Citations
In other languages:
Español: , Italiano: , Português: , Русский: , Deutsch: , Français: , Bahasa Indonesia:
Video: How to pH balance your hair products at home
How to Decide Which Piercing Is Best for You
Easy Escapes: Bermuda
The Capsule Underwear Collection Youll Find in Every Grown-Up Lingerie Drawer
Best Oscars 2014 Dresses: Some More Refinement and Brightness For a Chic Effect
How to Buy Anime Without Spending Too Much Money
How to Prevent Lymphedema
Simone Biles Says North West Can Be Her Mini-Me’ AnyDay
How To: Short Hairstyle For Fine Hair With Twisted Bangs
This Is Why You Shouldnt Set Your Pet Fish Free
How to Write a Splendid Poem
How Do Guys Really Feel About Cellulite
Tooth Decay in toddlers: Symptoms and Preventive Measures
Thai-Style Soup with Prawns, Noodles and Lemongrass Recipe