My hair has been acting very weird lately. I began noticing it about two weeks ago. I was in the shower washing my hair and it felt different. Each product I applied wasn’t feeling the way it normally does on my hair; from the shampoo to the gel it just all felt very wrong. After thinking about it I figured that I just had product build up. So I opted for a shampoo that had sulfates in it. I washed my hair once because I am still rocking a TWA and it doesn’t take much shampoo to cleanse my hair. Afterwards, I DC’d with Curl Junkie’s Deep Fix Conditioner under a hooded dryer for 15 min. I then left the conditioner in my hair for about 2 more hours. I rinsed and commenced to adding my leave in, followed by my styler, and then my gel. My hair still didn’t feel right. It began to look frizzy, poofy, and just sad. It seemed like it grew worse each day. I thought I was going crazy. The curls in the front of my hair have always been looser than the rest of my hair but now they were just laying down on my forehead. This was crazy because it’s only 3 inches! I was completely baffled by this.
Each day I became more and more confused and terrified about what was occurring with my hair. I went over it again and again in my head and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. One day as I was doing my hair I kept noticing this weird smell. I began sniffing and looking around the bathroom. The smell was of spoiled fruit. I was like, “where the heck is this coming from.” I picked up a container of gel that I was applying to my hair at the time and it was the culprit! I was like, “WTF!” I’m thinking to myself, “I just purchased this, how the heck is it spoiled?” I emailed the company and they told me it must have been a fluke with the fragrance and to throw it away and they will send me a new one. As I walked to the garbage can wondering what made it go bad, I had a thought. What if this was the cause of my hair issues? The next thought I had was a memory of reading Elle’s blog post about her experience with a bad product. I immediately pulled up her blog and reread it. Yep, this could be it. I ran to my bathroom and pulled out my litmus strips. It is highly possible that the bad batch of gel I had could have changed pH levels and affected my hair. Lo and behold, the strip came out with a pH of 8. Now, I believe that for many people this may not affect their hair. However, it greatly affected MY hair. Needless to say I am having an absolute fit right now!!!
Some tidbits about pH levels…
pH is a scale used to determine the amount of acidity or alkaline properties of a solution. The pH scale runs from 0-14, with 0-6.9 being acidic and 8-14 being basic /alkaline. A pH balance of 7 is neither acidic or alkaline, it is neutral. Water falls in the neutral category. Hair has a pH balance of 4.5-5.5. pH also affects how our hair behaves or reacts to products. Products that are acidic close the cuticle of the hair sealing it while products that are alkaline lift the cuticle. As I stated earlier, the pH balance of the product that I used was 8. Based off of my research, it is safe to use products that range from 4-7 without any significant change. Although 8 is just one step up from 7, the pH scale is logarithmic. This means that this one step up from 7 to 8 is an increase of ten times more than the pH of 7. That is a significant increase. At a pH of 8 or higher the hair swells and lifts the cuticle, this causes the hair to become tangled, poofy, frizzy, and exceptionally dry.
So, my objective is to nurse my hair back to health by returning my hair to it’s normal pH balance. As of now, I’ve had a protein treatment. Next, I will deep condition my hair 2x a week and make sure I use products that are very moisturizing. Also, I will do Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) rinses 2x a week since ACV has pH of 4.0 when diluted with the proper amount of water. I’ll use 4oz of ACV and 4oz of water for my rinse. I know most people say use 1-2 teaspoons in 8oz of water or 1/3 cup in 16oz of water but that doesn’t work for me. When I tested those solutions the pH was higher than 4.0 and ACV alone has a pH of 3.0. I’ll be keeping my hair in twists and wear a twist out if have to go somewhere. I’m leaving my hair alone as much as possible!
I’ll keep you guys posted on the results,