For a long time pH has been associated with skincare products. It looks like it might be moving to hair products as way of preventing alopecia and developing fine silky strands, at least in Korea anyway. Right now scalp pH is the next big Korean beauty obsession and what’s big in Korea today often trends everywhere else soon after.

Scalp pH: A quick chemistry lesson

pH stands for potential hydrogen and is a measure of relative acidity or alkalinity which most of us probably remember from our chemistry lessons at school. The scale ranges from 0 to 14 with 7 being the neutral point. Anything below 7 is an acid and everything above is an alkaline. That doesn’t mean the ideal PH for your scalp is 7 though as the ideal pH for skin is a steady 5.5 whilst hair strands thrive at 3.67.

However, it’s not the same for everyone. If you’ve got a dry scalp then it’s most likely that your hair and scalp are too alkaline so a product with a pH of 6 or 7 is probably most appropriate. Alternatively, if you have curly hair then it’s likely that you need something that returns your hair to more acidic levels. Straight hair benefits most from pH balanced products.

Don’t panic. It’ll probably be OK

What does all this mean? Well it’s probably best not to worry about it too much. pH is an important consideration in manufacturing hair care products but in most cases it will already have been factored in by the product developers at the formulation stage.

All of these products can be found on the shelves now and will normally clearly state what hair type is most suitable. A quality manufacturer will have ensured you only have to read the description on the label and match it to your hair and scalp type without having be overly concerned about the pH.

And the good news is that no proven link has yet been found between scalp pH and hair loss.