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Everything You Need to Know About Your Hair’s pH Level

July 31, 2019

1 Min read

Thanks to your high school chemistry class, you can probably recall what pH is. If not, here’s a quick refresher: pH is a scale used to specify how acidic or basic a water-based solution is. So, how does that correlate to hair? Below we explore all things pH and answer your most pressing questions about how to achieve balanced hair.

What is a healthy hair pH?

First, let’s brush up on the basics. pH stands for ‘potential of Hydrogen’ and is measured on a scale from 1 to 14, with 7 being the neutral point. Values below 7 are acidic, and values above 7 are basic. An acidic solution has a high concentration of hydrogen ions, more significant than that of pure water (think lemon juice) and a basic solution has a low concentration, less than pure water (think milk of magnesia). Your hair naturally has a pH value between 4.5 to 5.5, which means that hair is acidic.

Can my diet impact my hair’s pH?

As we all know, what you put into your body is directly related to your health and will show outwardly, including through your hair. Foods like apples, berries, yogurt and vinegar are more acidic, while items like milk, cheese and poultry are more basic. It’s all about finding a healthy balance if you want bountiful, healthy strands.

How is my current routine affecting my hair’s pH?

Hair coloring, chemical treatments and other styling products can have a significant impact on your hair’s pH level. For example, relaxers, perms, hair bleach and ammonia-based hair dyes are alkaline (most basic) and can cause a considerable shift in your pH.

What can I add to my routine to improve my pH balance?

Soft, shiny and manageable hair lives in the acidic range. Keeping acidic products like natural conditioners, aloe vera and apple cider vinegar on hand can help you maintain healthy, balanced hair. But all hair is not the same, some of us whose hair has a lower pH, or that is more acidic, may need a lot of conditioning, while others with more alkaline, or basic hair, who are looking for volume and lift will benefit from shampoos with a higher pH. The good news is that when you choose customized hair products, you give your hair the ingredients it needs to strike a perfect balance.


Learn more about your hair’s unique makeup and get started with products that are custom made for you by taking your Prose consultation here.



Amber Alston is a New York-based beauty and culture writer whose work has appeared in Office Magazine, Bullett Magazine and others. A storyteller by nature, her work frames urban life, fashion, and beauty around specific histories and cultures. In addition to writing, Amber also styles and conceptualizes fashion shoots. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram.

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