Moisture Basics: pH Problems

Hey folks,  Audrey here!

Ready for Part 3?  We’ve talked about water hardness here, now as promised, here’s the second water problem we run into that can lead to dryness– problems with pH!

In case you forgot, the series is 4 videos all together. Here’s Part I of the series, and I’ll link to others as I post them.  Enjoy!

In Part III of “Moisture Basics: Water Problems” we cover pH and how it affects the moisturization process. We answer questions like:

“What is pH?”
“Why does pH matter for my hair?
“How do I use pH to order and arrange my hair products?”

Our hair happily exists at a pH of 4 to 5.5, but it comes in contact with products and elements that can affect its pH.  Even pure water, which has a neutral pH (of 7), is alkaline compared to our hair.  Since the pH scale is logarithmic, even small changes matter.  (Each step up is a 10x increase in alkalinity.  Each step down is a 10x increase in acidity. )

Our hair responds to high pHs (over 6-7) by swelling and opening up.  It responds to lower pHs by contracting and tightening.  When products are formulated around our hair’s normal pH (4-5.5 ish), our hair responds with greater sheen, better curl definition and minimal tangling and dryness.  But when our hair is confronted with higher pHs (especially chemical treatments which need to increase the pH environment to do their work for us), we experience greater tangling, a duller appearance, less curl definition and a weaker strand overall.  So pH matters!

Even the order in which you use your products can have an effect. It’s always best to work down in pH prominence– meaning you work from higher pHs down to lower pHs on wash day or whenever you are working on your hair. =)

Hope this helps!!

– Audrey

In the next part of this series, we will cover temperature problems and what you need to look out for!


  1. Wow, great tips! It’s so important for this kind of information to be disseminated, as black hair requires some unique care. It’s also very interesting how this hair texture intrigues some people… This article is about the white fascination with black hair in America. There’s also an event coming up

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