Acidify YOUR BLACK Hair
Within several of my articles, I rant and rave about substances that can make the hair become more acidic.
I mention the pH balance of the hair. I even go as far as advising YOU to purchase pH strips at some point. WHY?
I have never felt so secure with managing my hair until I began to understand how to place my hair within the proper acidic pH range.
Styling your hair with products that are the wrong potential for hydrogen is like taking a shower and not applying lotion to your skin afterwards.
Have you ever taken a shower and waited to place lotion on your skin? Did you notice dry, ashy unsightly skin?
The skin is dry because although water is a moisturizer, it is still too alkaline to KEEP the skin soft and protected. The skin does not stay moisturized so it becomes dry, scaly, and can even break, just like hair.
You do not want to worsen the condition of your already dry hair by neglecting to place it within the correct pH.
Have you ever scratched the skin when it's dry? Have you ever scratched the skin when it is moisturized?
The difference is: when skin is dry you see an ashy mark that represents an assault on the surface of the skin. When the skin is moisturized; you see nothing--the skin has not been assaulted-there is no damage.
The appropriate acidic mositurizer functions in the same manner to protect the hair. When hair is properly moisturized it is shielded from dryness.
Hair, like skin, need an acidic atmosphere to thrive.
The acidity of sebum within the hair and skin function within the same manner. The sweat that drips from your body to moisturize and protect the skin is the same oil that drips down your scalp to help moisturize and protect the hair.
The difference, however, is that the skin immediately becomes lubricated and protected with sebum. Our coily, kinky, curly-afro-textured hair does not.
The sebum attempting to drip and make its way down the hair shaft gets stuck in-between the curves of our curls.
I have read: after showering with neutral water (pH of 7.0), it takes the body twenty minutes to regain its proper pH level (4.5-5.5).
Luckily, the skin is alive and can repair itself within a short period of time and recover from inappropriate pH levels of lotions, creams, and even water.
The hair, however, is dead and is dependent upon YOU to protect it. Unfortunately, the decisions we make regarding caring for our hair are not intuitive; they are learned.
Most hair products are not within the correct pH for black hair. Why?
Most people do not suffer from chronic dry hair. In other words, the black hair texture is a minority within the United States. Most hair product manufacturers formulate products that are appropriate for the hair texture of the majority.
Hair that does not suffer from chronic dryness can thrive without acidic hair products because sebum can easily flow down the entire hair shaft of a straight hair strand.
Have you ever dropped a ball down a straight path and observed how efficiently it flows? Now, imagine rolling that same ball down a path full of curves, twists, and knots.
Straight, less tightly curled hair is not solely dependent on a particular hair product for moisture protection.
The hair's natural oils (sebum) flow down straight hair shafts, not only more thoroughly but faster too. This provides more efficient moisture protection and less dryness.
Most hair products seem to be a neutral pH (7.0) similar to water.
Hair products with a more alkaline pH of 7.0 are not bad for the hair; they are just not the best for our drier hair type.
It is not just about wetting the hair. It is about moisturizing the hair with the best substance that will offer the most protection to the hair shaft for the longest time.
Your job is to use hair products that mimic the functionality of the body's natural moisturizer, sebum. Sebum is acidic, not alkaline.
There are some hair products that are within the proper pH for the hair, ranging from 4.5-5.5. However, you will only be able to determine the pH of hair products by using pH strips.
Using pH strips is as easy as 1.2.3.
- Place the pH strip within the contents of your hair product
- Observe the colors displaying on the pH strip
- Match the colors to determine the pH range of your hair product
Symptoms of hair that is not within the proper pH range:
- feels DRY: rough to the touch
- looks DULL: ashy, lighter in color
- appears BRITTLE: has split ends, likely to break
- behaves STUBBORNLY: does not move freely, inflexible, likely to break
Upon using hair products with the appropriate pH level of 4.5-5.5, I immediately noticed that my hair felt moisturized for days at a time.
Substances with the proper acidic pH (4.5-5.5) will cause the hair cuticle to seal closed and lock in the water/moisture that it has received.
Hair that holds moisture will remain soft and flexible longer. Soft, flexible hair is not likely to break throughout the day. You need moisture that can last until you are able to re-moisturize you hair.
If the moisturizer you place on your hair, immediately evaporates into the air; then your hair will instantly become dry and more prone to breakage.
Kimmaytube has mastered her hair: pH balance is key in her hair routine.
Here is a wonderful acidic hair recipe known as the Kimmaytube Leave In:
- 2 tablespoons of your favorite leave in conditioner
- 2 tablespoons of Aloe Vera Juice
- 2 tablespoons of Jojoba Oil
- 2 tablespoons of Castor Oil
I have tested themajority of my hair products, which representvarious product lines. After examinig numerous creams, oils, pomades, and lotions, I found maybe three that were within an appropriate pH for moisturizing and protecting black hair.
One hair product line that I am impressed with is Infusium 23's leave in conditioners. Both the Infusium 23 Color Defender and the Infusium 23 Repair and Renew leave in conditioners are within a pH of 4.5 which is perfect for the hair.
I have used both leave-in conditioners as a base for my daily moisturizer.
- 1/2 Infusium leave-in conditioner
- 1/2 water
- 1 Tablespoon of Africa's Best Oil
- Shake well with each use
I USE a 4oz Spray Bottle:
The final pH falls between a 5.0 - 5.5
Moisturizing the hair with an acidic (4.5-5.5) moisturizer will make the hair more flexible and resistent to breakage. once you truly understand how pH work on the hair you will enjoy styling yourhair much more.
If you purchase ph strips and find that most of your daily hair products fall within the wrong pH, then add an acidifier to them.
- Aloe Vera Juice (pH 3.0)
(refrigerate; no perservatives)
- Apple Cider Vinegar (3.0)
- Lemon Juice (2.0)
- Lime Juice (2.0)
Popular acidifiers used to establish an appropriate pH for hair:
Make note that the acidifiers, listed above, are extremely acidic. Our hair's sebum fall between 4.5-5.5.
You should mix your favorite moisturizers, including water, with acidifiers to bring the pH level of your hair products within the proper range.
If you are using a 4oz bottle DO NOT use more than a tablespoon of an acidic product.
Hair products that are too Alkaline, can harm the hair shaft by causing it to rise wide open. You want the cuticles of the hair to become sealed shut. Moisture will quickly leave hair with raised cuticles.
Likewise, substances that are too acidic will eat through the protective layer of the hair and damage it completely, as acid does with any substance. It is all about creating a moisture balance. Balance is key!
1mits1 on YOUTUBE explains pH balance and hair oh so eloquently: