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Definition of pH Balance and Hair pH Balance

Definition: pH Balance

You hear about pH balance all the time, but what the heck does it mean anyway? Without getting too technical on you, pH, which stands for potential of hydrogen, measures the acid or alkaline levels of a solution.

The pH scale ranges from 0-14:

  • Acid 0-6.9 (coffee, lemon juice)
  • Neutral 7 (pure water)
  • Alkaline 7.1-14 (toothpaste, baking soda)

Skin has a pH of about 5.5, which is mildly acidic. Harsh chemicals (whether acid or alkaline) can strip away the skin's protective layer, or acid mantle. So stick to a gentle soap to keep your skin soft and supple, and avoid over washing in general. It can cause dry, lackluster skin.

Healthy, normal hair ranges from 4.5 to 5.5. When hair becomes too alkaline, it can look damaged and dull. Some things that can cause this are thermal styling, coloring, perming, and bleaching. The solution? Find a low pH product (around 3.0-3.5) to put your tresses back in balance. Your shiny, smooth hair will thank you.
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Join The Conversation
ilanac13 ilanac13 7 years
the first time that i learned about pH was back when i was a lifeguard and we had to learn to balance it otherwise the water would sting eyes and just be a bad time all around. i guess it's nice to know that it does relate to people since we are 'mildly acidic' :)
carhornsinapril carhornsinapril 7 years
rather than searching for a low-pH hair product, i just use a diluted lemon juice or apple cider vinegar rinse on my hair after conditioning. it's the best thing i've ever used on my curls--i go from stringy and limp to shiny and bouncy. the vinegar smell disappears after you dry.
Beauty Beauty 7 years
Hi JaimeLeah!Most products are already pH balanced for the hair, skin, and scalp. However, if you think your product is too detergent-like or isn't giving you the results you need, try a milder formula. Baby shampoos or sensitive skin products usually have a more gentle pH.
Beauty Beauty 7 years
Hi JaimeLeah! Most products are already pH balanced for the hair, skin, and scalp. However, if you think your product is too detergent-like or isn't giving you the results you need, try a milder formula. Baby shampoos or sensitive skin products usually have a more gentle pH.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 7 years
How can we find out if a product has the pH that we need besides testing every product with a pH kit?
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