Hair Care Tips What Are The Effects Of Using A Shampoo With High PH? By Marilyn Atkins Posted on July 30, 2023 0 Hey there! Have you ever wondered what using a shampoo with high pH can do to your hair? Well, you’re in luck because this article is all about exploring the effects of using a shampoo with high pH. We’ll delve into how it can affect the health and appearance of your hair, and what steps you can take to mitigate any potential damage. So, if you’re curious to know more, keep reading! Curious about whether using a shampoo with high pH can lead to dryness, damage, or even hair loss? Well, wonder no more! In this article, we will dive deep into the subject and cover all the possible effects that using a shampoo with high pH can have on your precious locks. We’ll also provide you with some useful tips on how to maintain a healthy hair pH balance and keep your mane looking beautiful and vibrant. So, if you’re interested in ensuring the best care for your hair, this article has got you covered! Stay tuned to learn more! Introduction Have you ever wondered why some shampoos leave your hair feeling dry, brittle, or unmanageable? The answer may lie in the pH level of the shampoo. pH, or potential hydrogen, is a measurement of the acidity or alkalinity of a substance. In the world of hair care, understanding the pH of your shampoo is crucial for maintaining healthy, vibrant hair. This article will delve into the effects of using a shampoo with high pH, shedding light on the potential damage it can cause to your hair, scalp, and even the environment. Understanding Shampoo pH Definition of pH pH is measured on a scale of 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is considered neutral, while anything below 7 is acidic, and anything above 7 is alkaline or basic. The ideal pH for hair and scalp health is slightly acidic, around 4.5 to 5.5. This acidity helps to keep the hair cuticle smooth and closed, allowing for moisture retention and protection against environmental damage. Importance of pH in Hair Care Maintaining the proper pH balance of your hair and scalp is essential for overall hair health. When the pH is out of balance, it can lead to a variety of issues including dryness, breakage, and an irritated scalp. Using a shampoo with a high pH disrupts the natural pH of the hair and scalp, leading to a host of negative effects. Effects of High pH Shampoos on Hair Damage to the Cuticle The hair cuticle is the outermost layer of the hair shaft. It acts as a protective barrier, shielding the inner layers of the hair from damage. When the pH of a shampoo is too high, it causes the hair cuticle to open up, making it more susceptible to damage. This can result in rough, frizzy hair that is prone to breakage and split ends. Loss of Moisture One of the primary functions of the hair cuticle is to retain moisture. When the cuticle is damaged due to high pH shampoos, it loses its ability to hold onto moisture. As a result, the hair becomes dry and brittle, leading to a lack of shine and overall dull appearance. Frizz and Tangling When the hair cuticle is damaged, it becomes rough and uneven. This causes the hair strands to tangle easily, leading to frustrating tangles and knots. Additionally, the raised cuticle allows moisture from the air to enter the hair shaft, causing the hair to swell and become frizzy. Color Fading If you dye your hair or have a vibrant hair color, using a high pH shampoo can cause the color to fade more quickly. The alkaline nature of the shampoo can open the hair cuticle, allowing the color molecules to be released and washed out. This can result in dull, faded hair color that requires more frequent touch-ups. Impact on Scalp Health Dryness and Flakiness The pH of the scalp is naturally slightly acidic, which helps to maintain a healthy balance of natural oils and prevent dryness. When a high pH shampoo is used, it disrupts this delicate balance and can strip the scalp of its natural oils. This leads to dryness, flakiness, and even dandruff. Potential Irritation Using a high pH shampoo can also cause irritation and sensitivity on the scalp. The alkaline nature of the shampoo can disrupt the pH levels of the skin, leading to itching, redness, and discomfort. This is especially true for individuals with sensitive skin or preexisting scalp conditions. Imbalance of Sebum Production The sebaceous glands on the scalp produce sebum, which is a natural oil that helps to moisturize the hair and scalp. When the pH balance is disrupted by high pH shampoos, it can lead to overproduction or underproduction of sebum. This can result in an oily scalp or dry scalp, both of which can contribute to hair and scalp issues. Negative Effects on Hair Texture Limp and Lifeless Hair Using a high pH shampoo can leave your hair feeling limp and lifeless. The alkaline nature of the shampoo disrupts the hair’s natural moisture balance, leading to flat, lackluster hair. Additionally, the roughened cuticle can make the hair appear dull and lacking in volume. Decreased Elasticity Healthy hair has a certain amount of elasticity, allowing it to stretch and bounce back without breaking. When the pH balance is thrown off by high pH shampoos, the hair becomes more susceptible to breakage and lacks the necessary elasticity. This can lead to increased hair loss and difficulty in achieving desired hairstyles. Difficulty in Styling Using a high pH shampoo can make styling your hair more challenging. The roughened cuticle and lack of moisture make the hair more resistant to styling products and techniques. Hair may not hold a curl or style as well, making it frustrating to achieve the desired look. Collateral Damage to the Environment Toxic Chemical Runoff High pH shampoos often contain harsh chemicals and surfactants that can be harmful to the environment. When these shampoos are washed down the drain, they enter waterways and contribute to toxic chemical runoff. This can have a detrimental impact on aquatic life and the overall health of ecosystems. Harm to Aquatic Life The high pH shampoo residue that enters waterways can harm aquatic life. It can disrupt the pH balance of the water and make it inhospitable for fish and other organisms. Additionally, the chemicals present in these shampoos can accumulate in the environment, leading to long-term damage to aquatic ecosystems. The Link to Hair Growth Stunted Hair Growth Using a high pH shampoo over time can stunt hair growth. The damage caused to the hair cuticle and scalp can lead to hair breakage and reduced hair density. It’s important to maintain a proper pH balance to promote healthy hair growth and minimize hair loss. Weakened Hair Follicles The hair follicles are responsible for producing new hair growth. When the pH of the scalp is disrupted by high pH shampoos, the hair follicles can become weakened and less efficient at producing healthy hair. This can lead to thinning hair and increased hair fall. Choosing the Right pH Balanced Shampoo Understanding Ideal pH Levels To maintain healthy hair and scalp, it is crucial to choose a shampoo with a pH level that is close to the natural pH of the hair and scalp. Look for shampoos with a pH between 4.5 and 5.5, as this range is considered ideal for maintaining the integrity of the hair and scalp. Reading Product Labels When shopping for shampoo, take the time to read the product labels. Look for keywords such as “pH balanced” or “acidic formula.” Avoid shampoos that contain harsh surfactants like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) or ammonium lauryl sulfate (ALS), as these can contribute to a higher pH level and potential damage. Alternatives to High pH Shampoos Natural and Organic Shampoos Natural and organic shampoos are often formulated with ingredients that help maintain a healthy pH balance. These shampoos typically contain natural surfactants like coconut oil or aloe vera, which are gentler on the hair and scalp. Look for shampoos that are free from sulfates, parabens, and artificial fragrances. Sulfate-Free Shampoos Sulfates are often found in high pH shampoos and can strip the hair and scalp of their natural oils. Opt for sulfate-free shampoos, which are milder and help maintain the natural pH balance of the hair and scalp. These shampoos are less likely to cause damage and are suitable for all hair types. Conclusion Using a shampoo with a high pH can have detrimental effects on your hair, scalp, and the environment. It is important to choose a shampoo that is pH balanced to maintain the health and integrity of your hair. By understanding the negative effects of high pH shampoos and making informed choices when it comes to hair care products, you can ensure that your hair remains healthy, vibrant, and free from damage caused by high pH levels.