herbal apothecary 

Aloe Vera and Your Hair's PH Level

Aloe Vera and Your Hair's PH Level

September 12, 2016

What is my hair's pH level?

When it comes to your hair, pH level is very important; it ensures a healthy scalp and promotes hair growth. A normal and healthy pH level of hair is 4.5 - 5.0. It’s important that the products you use are pH balanced so your hair can maintain a normal pH love.

Why Aloe Vera?

Aloe Vera has a pH level in the same range as your hair (although slightly on the acidic side), it can help you maintain or restore pH balance to your hair. It can, therefore, ward off any hair breakage from an off pH that could result in breakage and bald spots. Rich in protein lectin, amino acids, iron, calcium and potassium, aloe vera has a natural pH level of 4.5-5.5 — and having a neutralized pH level in your scalp enhances cellular regeneration which is key to keeping your locks flowing nice and long. Because aloe is anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial, it also has amazing healing properties that help restore the scalp to its natural, flake-free condition

Why your hair PH is out of Whack?

They are two things that can leave your hair's pH balance out of whack and cause hair damage:

1. Shampoos are actually for your scalp and not hair. Shampoos are meant to reduce the oiliness of scalps and to a lesser extent hair strands (kinky curly hair is usually not that oily and that why shampoos tend to dry our scalp). So, instead of excessively shampooing your hair, you could rather opt for a co-wash or a mud wash using natural clays (my favorite is Bentonite Clay) these will be much gentler on your hair strands.

2. Your daily hair regimen that includes leave-in conditioner, daily moisturizers, and daily spritzes 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.

The most common symptom of a pH imbalance in hair is dry dull frizzy hair, it means your cuticles are open which implies that it is too alkaline. The root cause is usually the frequency and type of shampoo that you use - over and above stripping away your hair's natural oils, some shampoos are just too alkaline.

How can you fix a pH balance problem?

To figure out what product is causing your hair pH imbalance purchase some pH test strips and test your hair products to see which are giving your hair a problem. Pour your liquid product into a glass, stick the test strip into the glass for the amount of time the strip directions indicate. Remove the strip and compare it to the diagram listed on the box to find the pH of the product. I suggest that you discontinue the use of any product outside of the 4 to 7 pH range.The good news is that no matter the source, you can put an end to this by implementing Aloe Vera into your hair regime.

How to use Aloe Vera to balance your pH

I use Aloe Vera two ways to regain pH to my hair.

1. Bentonite Clay Hair Mask - incredibly powerful, possessing a negative charge (anionic). This makes it an ideal clay for cleansing and detoxifying, as it has the ability to remove positively charged (cationic) conditioners and products that can build up on the hair and scalp. It is also said to have the ability to draw out toxins, heavy metals, chemicals, and impurities. It helps cleanse and lift impurities from the hair, aiding in conditioning, shine, softness, and definition. Instead of using water or ACV substitute Aloe Vera Water. Bentonite Clay has a pH of 8.0 - 9.0 so it is important to mix with Aloe Vera juice or water (pH 4.5 to 5.5) or ACV (pH 3 to 5) and when it is mixed with bentonite clay, the pH will be neutralized. I have included a line to my bentonite clay mask for maximum hydration and ph balance.

2. Aloe Vera Leave in Conditioner - With a pH range of around 4.5, the acidity of aloe vera is what works for curly hair ladies. It aids in closing the hair cuticle. This causes your hair to be smoother, minimizes frizz, and gives your strands more definition and shine.

I love to make my own Aloe Vera Water below is listed how using garden fresh Aloe Vera

1. Cut a leaf from your aloe vera plant (don’t worry, the leaf will grow back!)

Aloe vera Plant

2. Slice the leaf down the middle with a sharp knife.


Aloe Vera

3. Get your scoop on! Scoop out the clear stuff (that would be your aloe vera gel). Be sure to avoid gathering any yellow part of the plant, which can be found just below the rind. 4. Get at least 2 tablespoons worth of aloe vera gel. If you do get some of the rind like I did (LOL) just remove and keep the clear jelly!

Aloe Vera

 

5. Combine your 2 tablespoons of aloe gel with 1 cup of water in a blender. Blend until smooth.

Aloe Vera Water

 

6. Or you can just skip every one of those steps and head to your local grocery store and purchase Aloe Vera Water. However, I find the fresh Aloe out of my garden gives my hair more of a slip.

Aloe Vera Water

DIY Aloe Vera Leave In Conditioner

4 oz. - Aloe Vera Water

2oz. - Rose Water

1oz. - glycerin

1 oz - sweet almond oil

10 drops of lavender essential oil

 

Mix these ingredients together. Keep your leave-in refrigerated. Gently mist your hair with this aloe vera juice on your tresses each morning. This will help keep your hair refreshed and moisturized. The combination of these ingredients is super effective for sealing cuticles and treating itchy scalp conditions, especially while rocking a protective hair style. Don't forget to seal with, at the very least, olive oil.

FYI, If you don’t want to give up your expensive shampoo and conditioner, add an Aloe rinse to the end of your hair routine. After you shampoo, condition and do all that other hair care jazz, take some 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. If you use something with a high pH, balance it out with a low pH product to bring you back to the realm of your hair pH of 4.5 - 5.0

For an easy reference, I have listed a pH chart as a reference:

Acidic:

Aloe Vera: 6
Apple Cider Vinegar: 2-3
Arrowroot: 6.5
Apples: 3-4
Bananas: 5
Honey: 4
Yogurt: 4

Must be added with an Acidic or followed up with an Acidic Rinse


Bentonite Clay: 9-10
Rhassoul Clay: 7

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