Hair and pH – part2

Erick Carter

Erick Carter

by Erick Carter

Permanent hair colors are usually alkaline-based and a higher pH is needed to reach the cortex layer of the hair to change its color. The higher pH (which can be 9-11 on the pH scale) is used to lift the cuticle layer of the hair in order to penetrate the cortex. The catalyst used to achieve this higher pH is usually ammonia (ammoniafree colors use another product, Monoethanolamine, but the same high pH is achieved) which is helped out by an activator, peroxide*. This is why after a color service your hair can feel fuller because the cuticle layer is inflated by the pH. Cheaper  volumizing shampoos have a higher pH to inflate the cuticle creating temporary volume: this sneaky trick hurts the cuticle by exposing the cortical layer of the hair, causing irreversible damage.

The only cure is a pair of scissors.

red hairPreviously colored hair has already been exposed to this higher level of pH and so it is logical not to use the higher pH of permanent hair color to refresh the ends.

We will discuss next month different ways to refresh faded ends while avoiding over exposer to high pH.

*Peroxide in hair color is used to deliver
oxygen, pH of 20 volume peroxide six
percent peroxide and 94 percent water,
is about 4.9.

For questions or comments contact me at or call Salon Zenergy, 239.777.2380.

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