The term 'pH level' is thrown around a lot in today's society. We hear about the pH levels of household cleaners, the pH level of a fish tank, the pH level of baking soda.... But what about your hair? Did you know that your hair has a natural pH level, as well? Did you also know that this pH level is affected by the hair care products you use everyday? I sure didn't!
The Importance of the pH Level
As many people will know, the pH level tells you how acidic or basic something is. For example, battery acid has a pH level of 1 and is VERY acidic. Bleach, on the other hand, has a pH level of 13 and is VERY Basic. A pH level of 7 is Neutral and includes things like blood and water. Your hair and skin are covered with a very thin fluid mixture of oil, salt and water called the mantle, which is naturally slightly acidic. The typical pH balance of hair is around 4.5-5.0.
So, what does this mean in regards to hair care products? The closer the pH level of your shampoo/conditioner/styling product is to the natural pH level of your hair, the more healthy and beneficial it is to your hair. Using a product that causes the pH level of your hair to drop can make it very basic can cause your hair to look dry, frizzy and become very brittle and easy to break. This is why using cleansers, such as baking soda (pH of 9) or even just water alone (pH of 7), can be very damaging to your hair with repeated washes.
What is the solution?
A common solution for balancing out the pH of baking soda is coupling it with apple cider vinegar, a natural base. However, often times these ingredients don't perfectly balance each other or are unevenly mixed, resulting in some hair being treated with overly basic materials, while other hair being treated with acidic materials. You can read more about our verdict on the 'No Poo' method in this recent article.
Instead, we recommend choosing hair care products that match the natural pH level of your hair. All Morrocco Method shampoos, for example, have a balanced pH level of 4-5. Balanced shampoos also protect your hair's natural oils, known as sebum, rather than stripping it away, as is often the case with synthetic products. Choosing the right hair care products that match your hair's natural pH ensures the continued health of your hair's mantle and gives your strands a healthy environment to grow healthy, strong and beautiful!