Simply put, pH measures how acidic or alkaline a product or substance is on a pH scale that ranges from 0 to 14. If something measures closer to 0 on the pH scale, it’s acidic and numbers closer to 14 are more alkaline or basic. So, what does that mean for your skin and your hair? It turns out, a lot.
Let’s think about your skin first. Your skin is your body’s largest organ and acts as a protective barrier between your body and the outside world. Just like we perform better when conditions are perfect, so does our skin. To do its job well, your needs to have optimal conditions.
You and your skin like a comfortable temperature range and humidity level. But your skin is better able to do its job best when its pH is in its optimal zone. A pH level of about 5.0 to 5.8 is what’s optimal for your skin, including your scalp, and products with a pH in that range are referred to as pH balanced. It may seem strange, but the pH of healthy skin is more on the acidic side. This acidity enables your skin to better fight harmful microbes and damaging free radicals that might speed up the aging process.
Image via Healthline.com
When the products you use on your skin are too acidic or too alkaline, your skin doesn’t like it and will make that known by reacting in different ways. Washing with soap, for example, which often has a pH of 9-10, which is outside that optimal range for your skin, will leave your skin feeling dry and itchy.
When it comes to your hair, pH levels of hair care products like shampoo and conditioner can affect how your hair looks and feels. Dry brittle hair, for example, can often be the result of using shampoo that isn’t pH balanced. A pH level of about 3.7 to 5.5 is what’s typically optimal for your hair, and for your scalp, it’s again between 5.0 to 5.8.
Using shampoo and conditioner, including shampoo and conditioner bars, with a higher, or more alkaline pH (above 5.8) can create more friction between your hair fibers, which can lead to frizzy, brittle hair, and ultimately hair breakage. Shampoos and shampoo bars with a lower pH, i.e. in the 5.0 to 5.5 range, can help keep that from happening, giving your great hair days.
Whether you’re shopping for body wash, or for shampoo and conditioner, it’s a great idea to look for pH levels. When we created our line of solid shampoo, conditioner, and body wash bars, we made sure each one was pH balanced to ensure both your skin and hair feel and look great!