Healthy hair balance
Appearance and morphology of the hair is regarded as one of the divergent traits of human population.
The hair’s ability to retain its strength and behaviour depends on how it is maintained. One of the essential factors that contributes to hair health is its pH or Potential Hydrogen, which is measured on a scale that refers to the acidity or the alkalinity.
A pH of 0 is acidic, 7 is neutral, and 14 is alkaline. Our hair and scalp needs to have a pH of 4.5 and 5.5, which is on the acidic side.
There are many hair products available in market; however, using a herbal shampoo and conditioner is always advisable over a chemical treatment since treatments like dyes and relaxers will alter hair’s pH.
Harsh chemicals can even cause weak protein structure, dryness, brittle hair that ultimately stunts hair growth. When deciding to use a chemical treatment for your hair, always consider the product’s pH value.
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Here’s how one can maintain hair pH level:
Sustain micro environment of scalp:
Hair care products used for shampooing, cleansing, conditioning, colouring and hair straightening have different chemical constituents which contribute to the pH.
Also, the sebum content, moisture and topography of hair develops from the physiological conditions since the scalp surface provides a distinct micro environment to the microbe. Hence, maintaining a healthy pH is a crucial for the hair.
Use pH balanced products:
We tend to ignore the nitty-gritties and end up buying products which not only damage hair but also cause disturbance in the pH level.
It is important to go through the labels on products carefully before using them.
Washing hair with pH-balanced shampoos and conditioners are advisable over other products. Always rinse your hair thoroughly to attain a neutral, rather than an acidic pH level.
A product which is having pH between 4 and 7 works well on hair.
Protect hair from bacteria and fungus:
A healthy pH balance helps fight bacteria and fungus. Also, it seals your hair cuticles which keep the scalp moisture and get it going with natural oils while preventing unwanted shedding and breakage.
Drinking plenty of liquids is a great way to reinstate hair pH from the inside out, but experts believe that drinking alkaline water comes with extra benefits for the hair.
Consuming food with high concentration of fatty acids such as fish oil, flaxseed oil, chia seeds and walnuts are useful as sebaceous glands produce sebum, which is an important ingredient that protects hair from bacteria and maintains pH.
Consuming the right amount of proteins also helps hair follicles produce healthy hair while lack of proteins will lead to brittle and weak strands.
By Dr Ravi Sankar
The author is senior medical advisor and executive director at Nutrinorm Wellness
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