There is more to haircolor than picking a shade. The concept of acidity and alkalinity is essential when it comes to haircolor and hair strength. Redken Artist George Garcia explains why acidic haircolor specifically is essential to your best hair.
Why Is Acidity and pH Level Important For My Hair?
Put simply, without triggering flashbacks of your torturous high school chemistry class, pH is a scale used to measure how acidic or alkaline a substance is. It runs from zero to 14; zero through six is considered the acidic side of the spectrum, eight to 14 alkaline, with 7 being neutral. pH level—combined with protein and moisture—ultimately determine your hair’s health, strength, length, shape, and color. Not to mention that a more alkaline state can also affect the bacteria and oil (which we all have) on the scalp, and potentially cause dandruff.
What pH Level Should My Hair Be?
Hair is at its healthiest when it has a pH of 4.5-5.5, notes Garcia, and is in a slightly acidic state. The bad news is that many of the things we do to our hair—chemical processes like bleaching and even shampooing—change its pH, making it more alkaline and potentially causing damage. The good news? The entire Redken brand is rooted in balancing the pH of your hair and keeping it strong and healthy; it’s been a part of Redken's DNA since it was founded in the 1960s. All Redken shampoos are pH balanced, while the conditioners are slightly acidic, a uniquely developed combo that keeps hair in that pH sweet spot.
What Is Acidic Hair Color?
“Acidic hair color gently brings the hair back to a neutral pH, and also helps the cuticle lay smoothly again,” Garcia explains. All of the Redken Shades EQ gloss and cream hair color shades are acidic. With an extensive range of options, they’re not only ideal for achieving any customized color, they also provide conditioning and shine-enhancing benefits; think of it as hair color that acts like conditioner.
Why Should I Be Asking for Acidic Hair Color?
It’s especially important to ask for acidic liquid demi-permanent hair color after a lightening service, such as highlights or balayage, since lightening the hair puts it in an alkaline state, with a pH of 10 or 11. “This abrades the hair cuticle, strips the melanin, and breaks down the disulfide bonds that give hair its backbone and structure,” Garcia says. The easiest way to remember to ask for acidic hair color? Ask for Redken Shades EQ.
Following a lightening service with an acidic liquid demi-permanent gloss or toner (i.e. Redken Shades EQ) helps to repair and condition the hair since it closes and smooths the cuticle. Not to mention that a closed hair cuticle also makes for incredible light reflection and hair shine.
What Is The Healthiest Way To Color My Hair?
Whether you're looking to try a new hair color trend or color your hair for the first time, it's important to see a professional hair colorist that will maintain the health and integrity of your hair throughout the hair color process. The Redken color mantra divides hair into three different zones which ensure that alkaline and acidic hair color are deposited on the optimal areas. This helps the hair to stay at a healthy pH level. Zone one is the root area, zone two is the mid-lengths, and zone three is the ends. Redken's philosophy? Professional Redken hair colorists only apply alkaline hair color on zone one and use acidic hair color on the other two zones in order to maximize color results while minimizing stress on the hair.
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