How To Maintain pH Of Scalp And Beat Hair Fall

How To Maintain pH Of Scalp And Beat Hair Fall

Any given medium that you may lay your hands on, has a hydrogen ionic potential aka pH, that includes our scalp and hair too. Therefore, it becomes paramount to maintain the ideal pH of both scalp and hair to ensure their optimal health. However, most of the over-the-counter hair care products may alter or disturb the scalp and hair pH leading to a compromised hair and scalp environment that may pave the way to hair health issues and hair damage. That’s why it's recommended to invest in pH Balanced Shampoo and other hair care products that are sensibly formulated with respect to the pH to maintain optimal hair health.

Let’s First Understand What pH Is.

pH or Hydrogen ionic Potential or Power of Hydrogen of any given medium indicates its alkaline, acidic, or neutral nature. The medium rich in Proton or H+ ion is determined to be acidic, the medium rich in OH− ion is determined to be alkaline, and those with the equilibrium of both these ions are determined to be neutral. Only pure water has a neutral pH.

The measure of pH is done by a pH scale that ranges from 0 to 14.

  • 0 to 6 = Acidic
  • 7 = Neutral
  • 7 to 14 = Alkaline

What Is The Ideal/Natural pH Of Scalp And Hair?

Like everything, our scalp and hair strands have a pH too. The optimal pH for the scalp is 5.5 and for the hair fibers, it is 3.67. Now, you may wonder, how something as basic as pH could lead to hair damage, if pH is disturbed. Well! To answer that, let’s dig into the science behind it. When you wash your hair with a shampoo that is not pH balanced and lies on the more alkaline side of the pH scale, it causes an increase in the negative charge on the hair strands and that contributes to the net negative charge on the hair strands which in turn increases the friction among hair strands leading to the tangling of hair strands and consequently resulting into frizziness, which over the repeated course of time, results into the hair cuticle damage leading to a weakened hair that are prone to breakage and eventually all of this cumulatively turns into an increased incidence of hair fall.

The scalp pH is 5.5 and the scalp is composed of hair roots that have the interplay of various enzymes, hormones, and growth factors that regulate the hair growth cycle, pH is the most basic yet the most prominent factor that influences the regulation of all the above biomolecules and compounds that participate in hair cycle regulation, therefore, to ensure a healthy hair growth cycle, it is important to maintain an optimal scalp pH of 5.5. Swapping the ordinary shampoo to a pH-Balanced Shampoo does sound like a good idea as it will help maintain the very major component of scalp health i.e.; pH.

How To Check If Your Shampoo Is pH-balanced Or Not?

A simple litmus test will help you determine the pH of your hair care products. You can dip one of the litmus strips in pure water as a control, and the other in the shampoo you wish to examine the pH of. 

Now compare both of them side by side for a relative determination of pH.

  • Litmus paper turns red = Acidic pH
  • Litmus paper unchanged = Neutral
  • Litmus paper turns blue = Alkaline

A pH-balanced shampoo for hair ideally should turn red as the ideal pH of the scalp lies in the acidic range of 5.5.

How Can A pH-balanced Shampoo Help?

  • pH-balanced shampoos minimize the loss of water molecules from the hair cuticles as they fall into the slightly acidic range on the pH scale. Dry, curly, and frizzy hair types are more prone to dryness therefore it becomes significant for them to be diligent while choosing their shampoo. Alkaline pH interferes with the structural integrity of the hair as they loosen the forces holding the hair together by influencing the H-bonds of the keratin molecules. pH-balanced shampoo further helps with maintaining the acidic pH of the hair required for optimal hair health by ensuring its structural integrity.
  • Colored/Treated hair is more prone to damage and using a shampoo that is not formulated with a pH balancing formula would accelerate the slippage of hair color deposited on the hair strands leading to faster loss of hair color, and in treated hair, the slippage of silicone molecules laced on the hair cuticles reduces the retention of hair treatment compounds. pH-balanced shampoos help in minimizing and preventing such events.
  • pH-balanced shampoo does not strip away the natural oils from the scalp therefore it prevents scalp dryness and maintains a healthy scalp environment ensuring optimal hair health and hair growth cycle.
  • High porosity hair is prone to losing water molecules from its hair strands which may lead to dry, frizzy, and thereby weakened hair strands, that are prone to breakage and fall. pH-balanced shampoo helps with the maintenance of the water levels in the hair strands and thereby supports hair health.

What Is Hair Porosity

Hair porosity pertains to the ability of hair strands to hold water molecules.

Hair porosity is largely of 3 major types

Hair porosity is largely of 3 major types

Low Porosity Hair:
Low porosity hair absorbs hair products with difficulty as the absorption rate in low porosity hair is low. But at the same time, they have impressive water retention ability.

Medium Porosity Hair: Medium porosity hair has a moderate absorption rate and retains moisture easily thereby they don’t experience much dryness and frizziness.

High Porosity Hair: High porosity hair have trouble retaining the water molecules and therefore experience accelerated water loss that gives rise to dry and frizzy hair. They are the most to benefit from a pH-balanced shampoo.

The bottom line, for the optimal hair and scalp health, is to stick to the hair care products that are formulated sensibly keeping in consideration the natural pH of your hair and scalp. Including a pH-balanced Natural Hair Oil and hair serum along with other hair care products helps in preserving and maintaining hair health and prevents hair fall and damage.

Also Read- What is pH and Why is it Important in Skin & Hair?

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