When someone mentions pH levels, I think swimming pools, the way you have to test the amount of chemicals in the water to make sure it is suitable for swimming and pool games. When I was a kid, I remember matching up the color stripes at the beginning of every summer to see if the pool pH was finally balanced so I could get my feet wet! Because pH is a term I so quickly associate with chlorinated water, it never crossed my mind to think of other places where maintaining a proper pH level might be important. Who would have thought my hair could have an off pH level? But when it comes to your hair, pH level is as important; it ensures a healthy scalp, prevents infections, promotes hair growth, and does many other nifty things to keep your hair looking full and great. Ready to learn about how aloe– that succulent plant with the gel-like interior? Yup, that’s the one!–can rebalance your hair pH levels? It is time to get your feet wet when it comes to aloe for hair loss!
What Should the pH Level of My Hair Be?
Before we dive into how aloe can correct your hair pH problem, we should establish what the normal pH level of hair is. You’ll want to know if you are right on target or miss the mark. Healthy hair has a scalp oil, also called sebum, that has a pH that falls between
- 4.5 and 5.5.
Because it is not a huge within the pH scale of 0 to 14 (o being most acidic, 14 most alkali), hair pH level can easily get away from you if you are not taking care of your hair. You want to stay within these numbers without going lower or higher–both extremes could have disastrous effects on the health or your hair!
Signs that Your Hair pH is Off
When your are having trouble with your hair, your first thought may not be to double check that pH level. So what should you be looking out for when it comes to hair pH imbalance? Unfortunately, the signs that your hair’s pH isn’t exactly where it should be are similar to many other scalp conditions and problems:
- fungus infection
- weak hair strands/breakage
- dandruff and/or flaking scalp
- itching scalp
- dry scalp
- scalp eczema
- scalp psoriasis (characterized by scaly, red patches on the scalp)
- hair loss
If any of these symptoms are the result of hair pH that has gone awry, once you readjust your levels they will clear or improve. But how exactly can you do that?
The Relationship Between Hair pH and Hair
Maintaining your natural hair pH level is important if you want to avoid hair loss. How is pH connected to hair loss? Well, the cells in your hair follicles need a certain type of environment to function; increase or decrease the normal pH of their home and they won’t do so good. They may become weak and damaged, meaning they are more liable to fall out. If your scalp’s pH changes, you are also more at risk for infections, both fungal and bacterial, which can lead to hair loss as well. Keep those pH levels where they ought to be and your hair will stay where it should: on your head.
Find the Source: The Problem Could Be in Your Shampoo Bottle
Why is your hair pH so out of whack? The problem could be in your shower: check that shampoo bottle. Your daily hair regimen–from the shampoo your start with and the hair color you add to the leave-in conditioner your spritz on at the end–is full of products with chemical additives and artificial ingredients, which can alter your hair pH is a bad way. Your hair may feel softer, fuller and healthier after using these hair care products, but the truth is that they are only superficially caring for your hair and scalp. Most have high pH levels (over the recommended 7) that are really leaving your hair vulnerable to damage. By opening up the hair cuticle, high-pH hair products leave your hair more exposed and susceptible to environmental conditions, like cold air or heat. Using chemical hair products? Chances are they are messing with your hair pH levels?
There are, however, other things that can change your hair pH level for the worse. You should check the pH level of your
- hair products
to correctly identify the source (or sources) of your hair pH imbalance! Do so by purchasing some pH test stripes and testing all of the items listed above to see which are giving your hair a problem. The good news is that, no matter the source, can put an end to all this funny business by choosing all-natural aloe products to replace or even just supplement your normal beauty products.
Aloe for Hair Loss to the Rescue!
Because aloe vera gel has a pH level in the same range as your hair should be (although slightly on the acidic side), it can help you maintain or restore pH balance to your hair. It can therefore wards off any infection or hair breakage from an off pH that could result in bald spots!
Knowing all the facts, you are left with two major choices on how to benefit from aloe:
- Swap out that chemical shampoo and conditioner for all-natural aloe products
- Keep your regular hair products, but follow up your normal routine with an aloe rinse
Aloe: How to Use a Hair Care Product with a High pH
Typically, sticking with a high-pH hair product would be frowned upon by hair care professionals, as they would shake their glistening locks at the idea of using something that may do more harm than good, disturbing the natural pH level of the hair. But, luckily, aloe gives a way to continue using them guilt-free! If you don’t want to give up your expensive shampoo and conditioner, add an aloe rinse to the end of your showing routine and you won’t have to! After you shampoo, condition and do all that other hair care jazz, take some homemade aloe juice or water and pour it over your hair. The acidity (although no more acidic than a 4) will counteract the effects of your high-pH products , mainly by helping close the cuticles. The lesson here? If you use something with a high pH, balance it out with a low pH product to bring you back to the realm of hair normality!