One of the important elements of your hair and scalp health is maintaining the natural pH level, which is most commonly found between 4 and 5. This natural acidity is important to prevent the development of fungi and bacteria on the hair and scalp as well as keeping the cuticle of your hair closed and healthy.
What many people don’t understand is that the products that we use on our hair on a daily basis can affect this pH level and could lead to various scalp and hair issues. Could your shampoo be causing more damage than the benefits it is claiming? Shampoo’s are designed in nature to remove dirt and oil from the hair and scalp. While we all want clean and non-oily hair, the naturally occurring oils on our scalp and hair are there for a reason. Sebum is an oily, waxy substance that helps to protect the scalp and hair from moisture loss, but also to maintain the pH level and remove the threat of bacteria and fungi growth.
Now it is true that there are times when some of us may have an excess sebum production leaving our hair oily. And when the hair is too oily it becomes weighed down and flat. Not a look any of us are after, but that may lead us to using a shampoo that is too aggressive in its cleaning power. If you remove too much of the sebum from the scalp and hair, then its going to leave the hair and scalp vulnerable. The change to the pH levels will be most evident on the scalp first, as the scalp will dry quicker than normal, leading to issues such as dandruff. The scalp becomes too dry and the growth of bacteria will cause dead skin to fall off in visible flakes.
With our hair the damage we are potentially causing does take longer to be seen and it can actually be rectified. An alkaline shampoo will remove the sebum on the hair shaft, but it will also open up the hair’s cuticles. When this happens, the surface area of the hair increases meaning that we are more susceptible to moisture loss. The shampoo process itself will add moisture into the hair, but that will all be lost within the first 24 hours after shampooing. The hair follicle will start to become damaged all the time that the moisture levels are below optimal. Eventually this will lead to breakage and split-ends. We can however avoid this by using a conditioner regularly to replace the lost sebum. Conditioners will close the hair cuticles and help protect the hair from damage through moisture loss.
So how do we restore the pH level of our scalp to prevent scalp issues like dandruff and psoriasis. Apple Cider Vinegar has been touted as a scalp rinse to help restore the natural acidity to the scalp, preventing the development of bacteria and fungi on the scalp. Apple Cider Vinegar will help to prevent dandruff, restore the pH of the hair and scalp and prevent long term hair damage. Simply rinse the scalp and hair with a diluted Apple Cider Vinegar mix after shampooing. Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing out and conditioning your hair afterwards.
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