pH Balance in Hair Products
The pH scale was first developed in 1909 by the scientist Soren Peder Lauritz Sorensen. The system allows us to compare our body chemistry to the chemical makeup of our environment. In order to comprehend hair chemistry, it is important to first understand the pH scale and how it relates to our bodies. The pH scale is a measure of the amount of hydrogen ions that are found in a substance. The scale ranges from 1-14, which 7 being a neutral substance, such as pure water, and the two chemical extremes being either acidic (0 – 6.9) or alkaline (7.1-14).
Healthy curly hair should have a pH balance of approximately 4.5 – 5.5, making it slightly acidic. There are many factors that can negatively affect the pH balance of your hair, such as using chemical relaxers, harsh shampoos and styling products and thermal styling aides like flat irons. When hair is properly pH balanced, the cuticle remains closed which means it does not frizz. It also increases the shine and strength of your hair. However, a higher pH balance will raise the cuticle, causing tangles, dullness and frizz. The raised cuticle will also expose the cortex of the hair shaft, making hair much more susceptible to damage.
Learning to keep the hair cuticle closed will make an enormous difference in your hair's strength and appearance. By nature, curly hair cuticles tend to remain in an open state, as the spiral pattern of a curl makes it extremely difficult for the cuticles to lie flat. Since these open cuticles are what cause frizzy hair, it is particularly important for curly heads to be aware of the pH levels of the products they use. The first step in creating and maintaining healthy hair is balancing the pH levels by using products with a low pH balance to restore the hair’s ideal balance. Curly Hair Solutions™ products are formulated specifically for curly hair, as they are designed to correct mild to severe frizzy conditions. All of our conditioners have a pH balance of 3.5-4, and our shampoos all have a pH balance of 4.5 – 5.5.