3 Causes of Frizzy Hair in Men & Women | The Best Frizzy Hair Solutions [How pH Relates to Your Curly Hair and Products]
Products that are far more alkaline than hair (sodium hydroxide, ammonia, sulfates, and bleach) tend to dry out your hair. Hair dyes, perms, and relaxers definitely fall into this group. These types of products are a nightmare for anyone with curly hair — especially for you type 3s and 4s. You’re probably already familiar with the results of this. It’s called frizz.
Do you suffer from frizzy hair? Are you wondering why your hair is so dry? Below we will be discussing what causes frizzy hair, how to get rid of frizzy hair and how the pH of your curly hair products affects the amount of moisture that your hair retains.
So what is frizzy hair? Frizzy hair is hair that sticks out and does not align with the main body of the hair causing a fuzzy and messy texture. The three main causes of frizz are genetics, humidity, and hair damage.
If you have curly hair like we do, we all know how challenging it can be to manage it as our curly hair is more prone to dryness and frizz than any other hair type.
Frizzy hair is prevalent in both men and women. When it comes down to genetics there is only so much that you can do because, well, those are your genes and you should wear them proudly (pun intended). However, below we will provide you with life changing tips on how to minimize the frizziness of your naturally frizzy hair.
One of the few things that causes frizziness that you may have little control over is your environment. In places where there are high levels of humidity, us curly head folks have a much greater risk of suffering from frizz. Frizziness occurs in humid places where the humid air has much higher numbers of water molecules than your hair, causing water molecules to enter into our hair strands and attach to the fibers inside. When this happens your hair begins to look messy, dry, and uneven.
The best way to fight humidity is to apply a natural oil on your hair strands that will keep moisture away. We recommend using Caribbean Secrets Cosmetics Pure Unrefined Haitian Black Castor Oil. This is one of many great frizzy hair products because it will act as a nourishing barrier between your hair and any humid environment keeping wanted moisture in and unwanted moisture out.
III. Hair Damage
Hair damage is a common reason why many people suffer from frizzy hair. Harmful ingredients in your hair products such as lye, ammonia, and sulfates can dry out your hair causing it damage that leads to frizz. When the pH of your hair products is too high or too low it will make your hair dry, brittle and unmanageable. This is why it is important to understand the pH scale and how it can affect your overall hair health.
So what is a pH Scale and how does it relate to your curly hair?
Let’s go back to middle school chemistry class....
The term pH is short for potenz hydrogen, which translates to English as “hydrogen strength.” The pH scale is an indicative measure of the amount of hydrogen ions found in your curly hair products. This is important because hydrogen ions are only found where water is present and we all know that water is the best moisturizing agent we can use for our curly hair right? Right.
Hydrogen ions either possess a positive (H+) or negative (OH-) charge.
Positively charged hydrogen ions are called cations which work best as a conditioning agent to our curly hair since the surface of our curly hair has a slightly negative charge.You know what they say, “opposites attract!” Which in this case is very true.
Negatively charged hydrogen ions are called anions which works best as a cleansing agent to our curly hair as they lift up our hair cuticles allowing dirt and oil to leave from the hair. Too much of these anions will leave your curly hair dry and brittle.
Once again, please note that hydrogen ions are only found where water is present. Therefore, ingredients such as oils and alcohols do not have a pH.
When the concentration of cations (H+) are higher than anions (OH-) the pH scale will identify your water-based curly products as acidic. On the other hand, whenever the concentration of anions are higher than the cations in your water-based products the pH scale will identify it as alkaline (basic).
The pH scale ranges from 0-14, where 7 is entirely neutral. An example of a neutral pH is pure water. Pure water is neutral because it is both 50 percent acidic and 50 percent alkaline (basic). Anything else that deviates from the neutral pH of 7 is either acidic or alkaline (basic).
The pH of your curly hair in it’s most vibrant state is typically between a 4.5-5.5 (acidic) range on the pH scale. When your hair maintains this range on the pH scale your curly hair is much more manageable, moisturized, and defined. Any deviation from this range whether too low or too high may negatively impact your curly hair making it appear to be dry and brittle, leading to various problems such as frizz, breakage, and stunted hair growth. What a nightmare!
Having the proper pH balance will also protect your curls from various unwanted bacteria and fungus, leaving your hair looking and feeling healthy.
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Acidic Products and Moisture Retention
Acidic cosmetic products possess a low pH falling within the range of 0 to 6.9 on the pH scale. Acidic substances possess a higher concentration cations which are known to constrict the hair cuticles, thus protecting the inner cortex of your hair strands and allowing moisture to easily enter into the hair shaft. As a result, your curly hair will be left more defined, manageable, strong, moisturized, and shiny .
Alkaline (Basic) Products and Moisture Loss
Alkaline (Basic) cosmetic products possess a higher pH falling within the range of 7.1 to 14. A higher, more alkaline pH balance, raises your hair cuticles and causes the hair shaft to swell and open. As a result your hair may not be able to retain moisture as well, thus leaving your curls less manageable, dull, frizzy, weaker, and more vulnerable. When alkaline products are used in your hair for a long period of time it could even lead to more severe problems such as hair loss and breakage. The raised cuticle will also expose the cortex of the hair shaft, making hair much more susceptible to damage.
Hard water (tap water), contains higher levels of calcium, magnesium, and other minerals than pure water. The minerals in hard water poses a risk to moisture loss and fizziness as it holds a pH of 8.5 and up.
How Much of a Difference Will a Single Jump on the pH Scale Make on Your Curly Hair?
It is important to note that pH ranges are logarithmic, expressing a tenfold increase in the number of hydrogen ions after each level. For example a jump up from 5 to 8 on the pH scale becomes 1000 times (10x10x10) more alkaline, while a jump down from 8 to 5 is 1000 times more acidic ! As you can see, what appears to be a small jump can drastically change the appearance and manageability of your curly hair!
So What Should I Implement in my Curly Hair Routine to Maintain an Optimal pH level?
In order to get the most out of your curly hair regimen you must use your products in a descending order. What this means is since your shampoo is used to lift up the cuticles of your hair to remove buildup of excess oils, your shampoo should have the highest pH out of all your other products. Your shampoo should be mildly acidic ranging anywhere from 4-6 on the pH scale.
However, your conditioner on the other hand should have a lower pH anywhere between 3.5-5 in order to seal off the hair and constrict your hair cuticles to prevent moisture loss.
In addition if there are any other products you use to style your hair such as gel or a styling cream, that should possess the lowest pH of them all ranging from a 3.5-5 as well.
Ok, Descending Order, Got It! Now What Ingredients Should I Stay Away From?
Stay away from products that list harsh alkaline ingredients as one of their primary ingredients such as:
Lye (Sodium Hydroxide)- (ph of 14)
Lye is found in many hair relaxers and perms. Lye has been used as a main ingredient as early as the 70's. This substance is very effective in breaking down the hair's structure and can straighten curly hair fairly quickly. However because of its high pH it can cause a number of issues if left on the hair for too long. Over-usage of lye can lead to dry, dull, frizzy hair due to over-processing. It can even lead to hair loss and scalp irritation. Lye can even cause burns, blindness and even death when consumed. For these reasons we suggest that you stay away from Lye relaxers, however if you still feel the need to use relaxers that contain sodium hydroxide then we suggest that you use a professional stylist to prevent substantial harm.
Ammonia- (pH of 11--this is extremely harsh)
Ammonia is used in hair coloring products. This ingredient is effective in hair coloring because its high pH enables it to enter the hair cuticle to deposit color. Studies have shown that usage of products that contain ammonia may damage your hair cortex making your hair rough, weak, dry, and more susceptible to frizziness.
Sulfates- (ph range of 6- 7.7 )
Sulfates are the main ingredients in many popular shampoos. The most harsh and harmful sulfate is Sodium LAURYL Sulfate which will strip the hair of its natural oils leaving your curls feeling dry and dehydrated causing frizziness and breakage.
If you need to wash your hair we recommend using a sulfate-free shampoo such as Caribbean Secrets Cosmetics Sulfate-Free Shampoo. This is a great frizzy shampoo as it will not completely strip your hair from its natural oils.
Bleach- (pH range from 8-9)
Hair bleaching is a chemical process that involves stripping your hair's natural color from its hair strands, resulting in a lighter hair pigmentation. Hair bleaching will make your hair dry, brittle, and frizzy. Bleach will also make your hair prone to damage.
Now that we have covered the top products and ingredients that causes hair damage and frizziness we must now review the best products that you can use and ingredients that you should pay close attention to that has a low pH and when used moderately can help prevent frizziness.
Great conditioners with a low pH can help fight frizziness as they keep your hair moisturized and strong. We recommend using Caribbean Secrets Cosmetics Crème (coming soon). Caribbean Secrets Cosmetics Crème is fortified with lipids, B-vitamins, and proteins that keep your hair fibers strong and moisturized.
Apply Caribbean Secrets Cosmetics Crème to your hair strands and watch it get rid of your frizzy hair in as little as 5 minutes. Rinse out with cold water. May keep in hair for as long as you desire. If you are looking to fix your frizzy hair in the morning this Crème works great as it will help you tame your frizziness throughout the day.
Although aloe vera is a humectant, its low pH it gives it the ability to shut your hair cuticles enough to lock in moisture and prevent frizziness. It acts like a physical barrier between your hair and the environment. Aloe vera is also packed with fatty acids, amino acids, and vitamins such as A, B12, C, and E. Aloe vera promotes hair strength and keeps your hair looking silky and shiny. Aloe vera works great with other ingredients such as castor oil to maximize its benefits.
A great frizzy hair home remedy is to apply aloe vera gel in your hair with Pure Unrefined Haitian Black Castor Oil overnight before going to bed and washing it off in the morning for silky, shiny, and tamed hair. The amino acids in Aloe Vera can promote strength and add shine to your hair. As a result, it helps to tame frizzy hair while still leaving your locks silky and glossy.
Citric Acid—derived from citrus fruit
Citric acid is used in shampoo formulations to lower its pH levels. As mentioned above this is important because if the products you use are far more alkaline than your hair this will cause frizziness.
Stay Sexy...and always remember, “The deeper the secret, the better the beauty.”