Friday, December 10, 2010
Your Hair's PH Balance: Acidic or Alkaline?
Hello Lovely Naturals,
This blog was inspired by both Dr. Don Colbert and Kim Love from luvnaturals.com. About two years ago I was introduced to having healthy PH levels by reading Dr. Don Colbert's book "The Seven Pillars of Health", and recently I came across Kim Love and her vlog about your hairs PH Balance. So I decided to share with you all what I've learn thus far. So lets get started.......
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. pH is a medical term that describes the balance of your system and it refers to the condition of metabolic changes. It technically stands for “potential for hydrogen ion concentration.” Your body’s natural pH balance can be affected by the types of food you eat. For example, a woman’s body should maintain a pH balance that averages to 6.5 (but no more than 7.5). Drinking purified water will neutralize your pH balance.
Just like your body and skin, your hair’s pH balance is affected by numerous factors, particularly the products you use. Understanding your hair’s pH level is important for proper hair care. If you want to learn how to restore your hair’s natural pH level, its really quite a simple process once you understand your hair. The natural oil that our hair secretes is a natural oil called sebum. Sebum maintains the moisture and balance in our hair. The hairs natural pH balance is between 4.5 and 5.5 scale. But what is most important is that we understand how to measure our hair’s level of Alkaline or Acid. The scale is from 0 (strongly Acidic) to 14 (Strongly Alkaline). Having a level of 7 represents neutrality.
Because your hair is primarily protein, it tends to be very strong. Chemical processes, however can weaken your hair causing it to break off.
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.
Your hair consists of three parts. The outmost layer is the cuticle and inside of that is the cortex. The medulla is the central, most internal portion of the hair shaft that contains excess cells and air. When your hair is damaged, the scales on the cuticle stand out and break off. This exposes the cortex which makes your hair feel harder. The cortex is what gives your hair its strength and its elasticity.
Melanin is on the inner section of your cortex. Melanin is what gives you your original hair color. That is why when coloring your hair, the hair colorant must penetrate the cortex in order to change the color of your hair.
Hair colorants are usually more alkaline. Alkaline means that the product has a pH level of 7 or over and it is a non-acidic product. The cuticle opens up when an alkaline substance is applied to it. This is what allows hair colorant to penetrate the cortex. There, it reacts with the hairs pigmentation to produce the color change.
Most shampoos are also made to be neutral or at times, slightly acidic. The high pH will allow the shampoo to easily clear off any oils or dirt that have formed on the hair and scalp. Neutral shampoos may be recommended for people who have sensitive scalps. In the same manner, hair conditioner is acidic or carries a high pH, because it causes the keratin on the hair strand surface to be flattened out instead of bristly, thus causing hair to be smooth and soft.
So, now that we know that alkalis will open the cuticle, and acids will flatten it, we can decide on which types of products we want or do not want to use on our hair. Naturally, we’ll not want to do anything that causes damage, so we’ll avoid the extremes one way or another.
Well there you ave it! A little of what I know about Hair PH Levels! Want to learn more???? I recommend Dr. Colberts "The seven Pillars of Health". That book as well as his others are Amazing! Thanks for your support! God Bless!