Let’s talk a little science before we jump in to the “how to” process in balancing the pH of your natural hair. This way you’ll understand what exactly is going on with your hair, and why it may be behaving the way it is (or misbehaving depending on your POV).
pH stands for Potential Of Hydrogen. All that means is how acidic or alkaline something is. Our hair has a pH of about 4.5- 5.5 which means it is slightly acidic. Different hair issues mean the pH of your hair is not where it is supposed to be. And this happens based off the type of products or the water you are using to wash or take care of your hair.
How To Balance The pH Of Your Natural Hair
Now that we’ve gotten the science stuff out of the way lets talk hair. There are a few minor things you can do to balance the pH of your natural hair and get it into tip top healthy shape.
1. Examine Your Regimen: First you need to figure out what in your regimen is sending the pH of your natural hair into a frenzy. If your hair’s pH is not where it should be it will be very difficult to retain moisture. With dry hair as a major issue for many women with natural hair, pay attention to what it is that could be causing this. Things from the environment, to the water used to rinse your hair can be detrimental. Most of the time it is something minor that causes the pH to fall out of whack. pH balancing products can help bring your pH levels back to the 4.5-5.5 level. They will also help the cuticle of your hair lie flat therefore building healthier hair that appears smoother and shinier.
2. Invest in pH balancing products: Most shampoos and conditioners (not all) are slightly acidic to help bring back the pH levels of your hair back down where they belong. Many times however we use alkaline products in our hair care regimen (usually unknowingly) that raise the pH of our hair so high, that we have to invest specifically in pH balancing products. People who use baking soda, castille soap, or bentonite clay are adding large amounts of alkaline into their hair/scalp. That is why it is so important to balance that process out with an acidic counterpart like Apple Cider Vinegar or Lemon.
3. Use natural Acids: Water has a pH number of 7 because it is neutral. While it may seem like no big deal, water will raise your hair’s pH to neutral. Using a natural acid like Aloe Vera Gel or Apple Cider Vinegar after you rinse with water, will help bring the pH level back down to where it should be. You can do this in a few different ways. You can use ACV to rinse your hair instead of water or you can add it to a spritz bottle to serve as a part of your leave in conditioner treatment. The vinegar smell will go away so you don’t have to worry about walking around smelling like vinegar.
Having the pH of your natural hair be too acidic or too basic will cause damage to your hair. You will be dealing with brittle high porosity hair that will become super hard to manage. Always use acidic and alkaline products in accordance with one another or use pH balancing products instead. Don’t fear we’ve got a list of pH balancing products coming up so you can choose what will be most beneficial to your natural hair.