How To Test The pH of Your Shampoos and Conditioners
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We discuss the importance of choosing shampoos, conditioners and other hair products that have a pH (acidity or alkalinity) that is close to that of the natural pH of our scalp (between 5 and 6). A skin pH that is too alkaline can create problems like dandruff, bacterial infections, or fungus. A skin pH below 5 can lead to very dry skin that wrinkles very easily due to the lack of sebum. Thus, oily scalp skin and oily hair usually occur when your pH is too high, towards the alkaline values.
Here's how to conduct your own pH tests on your shampoos, conditioners and hair products. All you need is are pH strips that you can purchase from your local pharmacy or an online pharmacy.
For runny products:
1. Immerse the pH strip directly into the shampoo. The shampoo is runny enough to wet the pH strip within a few seconds.
2. Compare the color on the wet pH strip to the color chart that comes with the strips and you'll know the pH of the product you are testing. For a health, non-oily hair and scalp, you are looking for a pH value of between 5 and 6.
For thick products that don't flow easily (such as most conditioners):
1. Rub a small amount of the product onto the pH strip with your fingers.
2. Wait at least a minute for the product to penetrate and saturate the pH strip. It is important to allow enough time for a thick product to wet the pH strip completely so you'll get an accurate pH reading.
3. Match the color on the wet pH strip to the color chart that comes with the strips and you'll know the pH of the product you are testing. For a health, non-oily hair and scalp, you are looking for a pH value of betweem 5 and 6.
Walla! You now have the basic skills of doing your very own pH tests at home. It's time to keep and treasure products that have an ideal pH value of between 5 and 6 and discard those that do not.
It is not possible to walk into a pharmacy or store with pH strips in the hope of testing shampoos and conditioners on their shelves for their pH values. Most bottles of shampoos and conditioners do not provide any information about the pH value of their contents. In this case, ask the pharmacist for shampoo and conditioner samples and test the pH of these products at home. This will prevent you from purchasing a full-sized product only to find that the pH value is not within the ideal range of 5-6.