Suffering From Dry Hair And Frizz? Here Is Why

Have you done everything in the book to make sure your hair is moisturized, but you still suffer from dry hair and dandruff? Is your crown shedding even though you have no known medical condition? The cause of this problem could be on your dinner plate.

An acidic or basic (alkaline) state in the body could lead to various health problems related to hair such as dry, brittle, frizzy, or dull hair. Curls can even become straighten which is why your curls may be poor. Both states are often created by the food we consume on a daily basis. It is important you keep the pH of your hair products and diet in safe pH ranges to prevent the blood from becoming too acidic or alkaline.

What Is pH?

Potential hydrogen or pH is a scale used for ranking the acidity or alkalinity of aqueous solutions. The value of pH range from 0 to 14, with 0 being the most acidic and 14 being the most alkaline. When the blood is too acidic or alkaline, various health problems and even life-threatening conditions can occur.

The pH's Effect On Hair

When it come to the health of our hair, acid can be beneficial while an alkaline environment can be detrimental. Surprised especially because of the akaline diet hype? I bet you are. Naturally our crown is mildly acidic due to a layer called the mantle. The mantle has a pH ranging from 4.5 to 5.0. This layer of the hair is vital as it balances out moisture and protect the hair from harmful bacteria. Without it, our crown would be exposed to dangerous substances.

Because our crown is mildly acidic, this mean it can endure mildly acidic hair products and foods. Mildly acidic products hardens the outer layer of the hair, promote shine and color, and most importantly, flattens the cuticles.

An alkaline environment can affect our cuticles by lifting it. The cuticles are important as it determines how our hair shine, gloss, lay, and curl. When cuticles are lifted, moisture is lost. This is why our crown is naturally frizzy, rough, and less glossy. However, high alkalinity is dangerous as it can add more frizz, dryness, and dullness to the crown. This is why slightly acidic products are recommended to help keep afro hair frizz and dry free.

Apart from that, alkaline products can also straighten the crown which may be the reason why your crown lack curl definition. This is why hair-straightening products such as perm creme are alkaline. Its alkalinity lifts the hair cuticle and break the disulfide bonds that makes our crown curly and kinky. Extremely alkaline solutions can also destroy keratin and collagen, the structural proteins that make our crown strong. So, if your crown is brittle or weak, an alkaline state is responsible for the fragility.

The thing that makes me cringe about the new Alkaline Diet movement is the notion that foods with an acidic pH are bad; this is not true. The general pH of foods does not determine whether or not the food will create an acidic or alkaline state once metabolized. For example, if you examine this Food pH Chart formed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), you would see that most fruits and vegetables are acidic. Does it mean we should abandon fruits and vegetables which have been scientifically proven to be healthy? No. Although they are acidic in its natural state, once metabolized some fruits and vegetables will become alkaline. How is this so? Well the alkalinity or acidity of foods is measured along the Potential Renal Acid Load Scale (PRALS)

This scale determines how acidic food and drinks will make your body fluids. Foods (most fruits and vegetables) that have a negative PRAL score are considered alkaline, and foods (processed, sugary foods, grains, animal products, and dairy) with a positive score are considered acidic. So, the trick is to cut down on foods that become alkaline once metabolized to prevent body fluids from becoming too alkaline.  


To all of the alkaline dieters out there, this post may bring heart breaks and frowns, but it is important you know the cons of an alkaline state in relation to the hair. The good news is that you do not have to give up the alkaline diet, just know that some of the foods that are acidic on the general pH scale become alkaline once metabolized. For hair products a safe pH should range from 4.5 to 7 on the general pH scale. You can determine the pH of hair products using test strips. However, most hair products have the pH written on the side of the label that details ingredients and application directions. 

To conclude, keeping the cuticles closed and flat is essential for healthy hair. Hence, we must use slightly acidic hair products on our crown, and consume less of the foods with a positive PRAL score to keep the pH of the internal body balanced. Questions? Comment below or email us Follow us on Facebook.


Reference: Dias, Maria Fernanda Reis Gavazzoni, AndrĂ©ia Munck De Almeida, Patricia Makino Rezende Cecato, Andre Ricardo Adriano, and Janine Pichler. "The Shampoo PH Can Affect the Hair: Myth or Reality?" International Journal of Trichology. Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd, 2014.

Remer, Thomas, PhD, and Friedrich Manz, MD. "Potential Renal Acid Load Of Foods And Its Influence on Urine pH." Perspectives In Practice: Journal Of The American Dietetics Association (n.d.): 791-97. Direct-MS. Web.

Credibility: This post was written by Onyinyechi who holds a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics and Nutrition.


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