Ever wonder why professional hair dressers encourage you to use professional hair care products? Most people think that it’s a matter of wanting to sell more of their own products- and while that may be true, the real reason they do it is because they know that quality ingredients means quality results. The really fascinating thing though is how they know that the hair care products you get from the salon are second to none- and has to do with good old fashioned chemistry.
Now before you start having nightmares about high school chemistry class, don’t worry. This is going to be pretty painless. The first thing to talk about is something called the pH scale.
Essentially this scale ranges from 0.0 to 14.0. Each number on the scale represents the amount potential hydrogen ions that is in the substance. The lower the number on the scale, the more hydrogen ions it has, or the more acidic it is. The higher the number, the less hydrogen and the more alkaline it is.
For example, pure water has a pH of seven- which is pretty much dead center in the scale. This means that water is neutral- it has the same potential to be acidic versus alkaline. Contrasting that, soda pop is pretty acidic at approximately 2-4 pH, while ammonia has a pH of about 11.
So what the heck does this have to do with hair? And why is it important to the hair industry? The pH scale is essential to making sure that the shampoo you use is the right balance for what you hair and skin needs.
Most people don’t know this, but your skin and hair are actually slightly acidic, which means if the shampoo is also a little bit acidic, it is more in line with what you body and hair needs. If the shampoo has a higher pH- say 7.0 to 14, the harsher it is on your hair, stripping away most of the nutrients and moisture that helps to give you that shine and healthy glow that you love.
Professional hair care products- the ones you find in quality salons- are designed from the beginning to help you maintain the delicate chemical balance that your hair needs to be healthy. And as you know, healthy hair means hair that is stronger, more manageable, and beautiful.
But how do you choose the right hair care product when there are so many out there? That’s where your hair stylist can really help. They know through experience and training that an acid-balanced shampoo product is essential to prevent excessive dryness or damage during the cleansing process.
So that leads us to the big question-
Why should we use professional products?
What is the difference between Salon appropriated products for professional use only and over the counter department store products?
In a word, guidelines. The Consumers Unions Chemists consider the difference between 5 pH and 8 pH is too insignificant to warrant concern to the affect of the hair and scalp, given limited time of single application.
So these large companies that do mass production of hair products, also mass produce chemical household products, alkaline dish soaps, laundry detergents, and diapers etc.
However the products that are sold exclusively in a hair salon are formulated with your hair in mind, so they are more exacting in their quality. Professional Manufacturers of hair products pride themselves on it. They even have staff chemists working hard to make sure the pH levels are exactly what they need to be. After all, which would you rather put in your hair- something that is specifically pH balanced for hair to help it maintain ideal health and vibrancy, or something that has gotten the same attention as a laundry detergent? Add to that the fact that many salon exclusive products are formulated to be environmentally friendly as well and are not tested on animals, the advantages start to add up quickly.
We strive to keep hair healthy. Choosing the right products not only strengthen hair, but will aid in continued enhancement of luster and flexibility, which is necessary in maintaining body and resilience as natural and healthy environment as possible.
I hope I’ve given you a better understanding of the chemistry of shampoos and professional products.
What shampoo do YOU use and why?