How To Balance The pH Of Your Hair For A Healthy Look

Medically reviewed by Dr. Shruti Chavan
by Annie Jangam

Have you tried a zillion hair care products, salon treatments, and home remedies to get those much-coveted luscious locks, only to end up disappointed? Then, you may have to take a closer look at your hair’s pH.

The right pH of hair allows it to thrive. But pollution, harsh products, and other aggressors disturb this pH balance and cause your hair to become dry, damaged, and lackluster. Imbalanced hair pH can also cause unwanted microbial growth on the scalp. Worry not – as here we have listed certain natural methods and products that can help balance the pH of hair. Keep reading to know how you can get those gorgeous locks you have always dreamed of.

What Is The pH Of Hair?

The pH of the hair shaft is 3.67, while that of the scalp is 5.5. Optimum pH levels are crucial for the overall health of your hair. pH, or the potential of hydrogen, denotes the concentration of Hydrogen ions (H+). Thus, based on the pH, we can classify a substance as acidic (pH below 7), neutral (pH of 7), and basic or alkaline (pH above 7).

This shows our hair is acidic. In the upcoming section, we will further delve into the importance of hair pH and how you can maintain it.

Why Does The pH Of Your Hair Matter?

The optimum hair pH is acidic. An acidic hair pH regulates sebum production and microbial growth. Disturbance in the hair pH can mean loss of moisture or an imbalance in sebum production. This can lead to dry, brittle hair. Even the hair care products you use should not disrupt the natural pH balance of your hair.

  • For instance, alkaline shampoos increase the negative charge on the hair strands (1). They cause the hair cuticles to swell up and open, making hair frizzy. Such shampoos can damage the cuticles and make hair prone to breakage.
  • Similarly, an acidic pH regulates the bacterial growth on the scalp. Products with an alkaline pH can trigger microbial overgrowth and cause scalp infections, itchiness, and clog hair follicles.
  • Alkaline hair is often characterized by a dry, itchy, and flaky scalp. It disrupts the natural sebum protection mechanism and makes your hair vulnerable to infections.
  • Bleaches and hair dyes contain alkaline ingredients essential for pigment deposition. However, these also can upset the natural pH of your hair and cause cuticle damage.

pH-balanced hair care products can gently cleanse the scalp of product build-up and dead skin cells without stripping the natural moisture and oils. These can also restore the optimum hair pH and make your hair smooth, shiny, and healthy.

How To Balance The pH Of Hair Naturally

You can start by examining your hair for dryness, brittleness, or itchiness. Using acidic ingredients can help restore your hair pH. These shrink the hair fibers of the cuticles and cause them to lie flat on the hair shaft, making the hair smoother.

  • Aloe Vera Juice Rinse

Apply aloe vera gel to your hair and rinse with warm water. You may also add a few drops of coconut oil if you have dry hair. This rinse also closes the cuticles and removes frizz.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

Apple cider vinegar has a pH of 3. Hence, it is essential to dilute it with water before use. Use the diluted mixture on your hair strands to balance their pH.

  • Aloe Vera Hair Mask

You will need

  • One cup of aloe vera juice
  • 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • Water

Process

  1. Mix the ingredients thoroughly.
  1. Apply the mixture to your hair by distributing it evenly along the hair length. Divide your hair into sections for proper coverage.
  1. You can also apply this mixture to your scalp to reduce dandruff. Massage gently with your fingertips in slow, circular motions.
  1. Leave this mask on for 20 minutes.
  1. Shampoo and condition as usual. Use lukewarm water.

Apart from these natural and effective home remedies, you can also try commercially available pH-balanced products.

What Are The Best pH-Balanced Hair Products?

1. Avalon Organics Biotin B-Complex Thickening Shampoo

The Avalon Organics Biotin B-Complex Thickening Shampoo contains organic, plant-based extracts with botanical and essential oils. This pH-balanced shampoo nourishes and volumizes hair. It gently cleanses the hair and thickens it thanks to its biotin, vitamin E, and saw palmetto. This cruelty-free shampoo has no harsh preservatives such as parabens, synthetic colors, or artificial fragrances. It strengthens, softens, and conditions hair without disrupting its natural pH balance.

Pros

  • Strengthens hair
  • EWG-verified
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Synthetic color-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Phthalate-free

Cons

  • Contains alcohol

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2. Sebamed Everyday Shampoo

The Sebamed Everyday Shampoo volumizes, softens, and makes the hair healthy. It moisturizes your scalp without causing any irritation. It is formulated with a pH of 5.5 and thickens the hair. This shampoo cleanses the scalp deeply by removing any dirt, residue, or impurities. It also boosts hair shine. The gentle and paraben-free formula is dermatologist-developed, hypoallergenic, and contains no soap or alkalis. It protects and maintains the natural balance of the scalp and hair.

Pros

  • Hypoallergenic
  • Moisturizing
  • Gentle
  • Paraben-free
  • Suits all hair types
  • Suits a sensitive scalp

Cons

  • Contains sulfates

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Conclusion

Your hair pH is naturally acidic, and alkaline products can charge it with negative ions and open up the hair cuticles. Hence, go for pH-balanced products such as shampoos, leave-in conditioners, and simple homemade rinses with aloe vera juice or apple cider vinegar. These can restore your hair pH and even promote hair health.

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Annie Jangam

Annie Jangam is a Molecular Biologist with 7 years of research experience in Rice Functional Genomics and Nutrient Signalling with International Publications in Abiotic stress, Nitrogen, and G-protein signaling. She specializes in writing on Health and Wellness. She has been an avid reader since childhood and is passionate about stories that help decipher life and its meaning. She believes in Human Rights for all and that one should "love others like we love ourselves."
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