There’s much more to pH balancing and finding a clean pH balanced conditioner then most people realize. When making a hair care product it’s important to be mindful of pH. Different pH levels can have tremendous effects on both your hair as well as your skin. Unfortunately many manufacturers and people seem to overlook this important step.
Consumers tend to focus on the obvious attributes like smell or lather. In truth fragrance can be one of the most toxic components of shampoo and lather is typically a byproduct of detergents and sulfates, both of which are potentially harmful to your scalp as well as your locks.
pH are the initials for “potential of hydrogen”. pH is the measure of hydrogen ion concentrations in a given solution or substate. The scale measures pH levels and gives them a value ranging from zero to fourteen. Zero being extremely acidic (think hydrochloric acid) with fourteen being extremely alkaline (think drain cleaner). Pure water has a pH of 7 and is considered neutral. The tricky aspect of pH for hair products is that the hair thrives at a different pH then the scalp.
So, where does that all leave us and our hair needs and what is the best clean pH balanced conditioner? The scalp is obviously skin which has a ideal pH of 4.5-5.5. But the actual hair shaft has a pH of about 3.7. What do we do?? Any product applied on hair with a pH higher than 3.7 can cause an increase in the negativity of the electric network of the hair. Additionally rinsing with water will typically leave the hair with a pH of about 7 causing and increase in negative net electrical charge. That’s to say; an increase of static electricity, all creating (you guessed it) FRIZZ.
So what to we do?!? Essentially you need to decide what effect you want your product to have on the hair. If you want more volume then you may prefer the effect of a little bit higher of a pH found in some Volumizing products. The inverse is also true if you want a more smooth, static free look, then a little bit lower on the scale may suit you best. The reform line of products have settled on a balance pH of around 5 because this seems to be most beneficial to most hair types as well as the scalp.
Enjoy and Be Well.