Monday, July 22, 2013

My pH experiment

I have been doing a lot of research about pH and relaxed hair and I think it is something I have left out of my regimen. My focus has been on moisture and protein balance and while this is important, I think pH balance is also essential.

From now on I am going to try and balance the two. I will invest in test strips and figure out the pH of my staple products. From my online research, products that are usually in the ideal range for hair tend to contain citric acid.

My Nexxus conditioner which I love has citric acid. Most of my moisturisers do not contain any citric acid. Of all my leave-ins, only my Elasta QP Mango Butter leave in and my Garnier Anti Breakage contain any citric acid.

 I bought a bottle of Herbal Essences Touchably Smooth Split End Protector and it contains citric acid. According to the MSDS sheet, it has a pH of 4.5-6.0. I am attempting to use this as my moisturiser for the week to see how my hair responds to it. I used it tonight and I must admit I love it! I actually love how my hair feels. I left my hair out today and it is not dry, my strands feel so smooth. I guess my cuticles are probably laying flat.

This is just a quick post as I am trying to document how my hair feels this week to determine whether acid is the way to go. I definitely need to buy pH strips so that I am more scientific in my approach. However, for now, I am going with how my hair feels and it currently feels amazingly soft and well moisturised.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Do you pay any attention to the pH of products?

The pH of products has never been of particular concern to me except for relaxer day. I know that relaxers are very alkaline products and that neutralising shampoo is extremely important to bring your hair back to its ideal pH.

I relaxed my hair two weeks ago and I neutralised as usual. The following week I washed my hair using my Nexxus Shampoo and deep conditioned with the Nexxus Humectress conditioner. I was feeling lazy so I airdried my hair. I forgot to apply leave ins and was not happy with how my hair felt. So the next day I washed it again but this time I didn't have my shampoo on hand and used what I had in the bathroom which was my ORS Professional Neutralising Shampoo. I followed up with my regular conditioner and when I roller set my hair, it felt as if I had relaxed my hair that day. That fresh relaxer look usually disappears for me after that first wash. My hair also kept that look for the entire week. My hair felt moisturised for days after my wash. 

For my 2nd week post relaxer wash, I decided to also shampoo with the Neutralising Shampoo.  I airdried my hair this time and then flat ironed. Again, my hair felt like I had relaxed on that day. The experience got me thinking about why a neutralising shampoo would have such an effect on my hair and the only answer I could come up with is that it has to be something about the pH.

I was inspired to start researching about pH. I found that hair should have a pH of 4.5 and 5.5. Products that keep our hair in that range are therefore best for our hair. According to the Science of Black Hair, we should work down in acidity, ending with the most acidic products as this seals our cuticle and makes our hair smoother. I know understand why some girls do a ACV rinse and it has a pH of about 4 when it is diluted.

According to the Science of Black Hair we should be using a shampoo, a conditioner and a moisturiser that are all pH balanced.  

This is something I am going to be looking more into. Do any of you ladies pay attention to the pH of your products?

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Oh my hair

So earlier this year my goal was to grow out all of my hair to the same length. Everything was going well until I decided to try ponytail flexi rod sets overnight. I parted my hair down the middle and did two ponytails at the middle of my head and used flexi rods so I could get curls in the morning. I did this for a week and then when deep conditioning during the weekend, I realised the ends of the front section of my hair had broken off.

I am tempted to cut off some of my hair to try and even the look but then  I realised I have been cutting my hair consistently since July 2011-no wonder my hair has not gone past APL. I was focused on growing out and cutting off damage, then I stopped texlaxing my hair 70% and began doing it 50% and I cut off the straighter ends. I cut off about 6 inches this year alone! 

I am thinking of just letting my hair be, let it do its own thing. No more flexi rod sets, at least not overnight and no more cuts. I think it might be best to just let my hair grow until December and then decide what to do with my hair. I will be on my hair journey for 5 years come 2014 and it's time to see some definite changes in length.