Sunday, October 9, 2011

Are you a litmus freak?

pH balance is one of those "catch phrases" that's been plaguing me for a while, but I've finally arrived at some conclusions thanks to the texts of Aubrey Hampton, creator and founder of the famous Aubrey Organics hair care line.
As we all know, pH levels open and close the hair's cuticles. Too high or too low can be bad. A lot of naturals are on the hunt for products with a pH of 7, the same as water, but I'm not and here's why.

I recently conducted a series of pH tests. Mill Creek Jojoba Farms Jojoba Treatment Shampoo is one of my faves, but it has a pH of 7. Oyin Handmade's Honeywash topped out at 8.5. Ironically, my own raw African black soap/castor oil shampoo and Tropic Isle Living's Black Castor Oil Shampoo both came in at a 9.

You might be shocked by pH level of 9, but it also happens to be the same pH level as baking soda which is widely used as a hair treatment or as a dry shampoo. And, out of everything I've tried, my hair prefers shampoos with a pH of 9.

I also tested a few conditioners. Pantene's 2-in-1 for Fine Hair ranked at a 6 while the pH level of my own handmade conditioner measured at 7. So, my own handmade conditioner restores the hair back to its natural pH level! Interesting.

Confused? Don't be. And if I were you, I wouldn't even sweat it. First of all, did you know that manufacturers add things to shampoos and conditioners that not only aren't on the ingredients list, but are also bad for your hair just so they can tell you it's pH balanced? Did you also know that pH levels can change based on the age or temperature of a product? 

I ask you to get the kinks out of your brain and think about this: Would you rather put lemon juice or hydrochloric acid on your hair? You probably said lemon juice, right? After all lemon juice does wonders for the hair while hydrochloric acid would dissolve your hair. But, if you look at the chart again, hydrochloric acid has a lower pH than lemon juice. 

Be smart ladies and gents. Lower pH is not necessarily better. And, if a high pH level makes you nervous, that's silly because water acts as a neutralizer which is why shampoo and conditioner bottles tell you to rinse the product out of your hair. Manufacturers make leave-in conditioners for a reason. 

I urge each and every one of you to stop jumping on bandwagons and do your own research instead. Don't let people tell you what to think or do. Between the library and credible sources on the Internet, free information is readily available so ignorance is no longer an excuse.

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