hair PH

Daily Wisdom: Avoid Hard Water Showers

Athletes need the right pH for strong, shiny hair.

Every athlete knows that education is a crucial part of performance. Sport and exercise research, insight from top trainers, science, and technology help you to better understand your body so you can craft a healthier lifestyle, workouts, and recovery plan.

In our daily news series, experts address some of the latest fitness research, nutrition, and health stories.

TODAY'S TOPIC: HOW TO KEEP HAIR HEALTHY IN THE SHOWER

THE SCIENCE

According to Vogue, L.A.-based celebrity hairstylist and colorist Lorri Goddard avoids "hard" water when rinsing clients' hair in her new salon, Loft 647. Instead, she advocates for electrically-ionized, pH-neutral Kangen Beauty Water. (The pH scale measures the amount of hydrogen atoms in water, which determines how acidic or alkaline it is on a scale from 0 to 14, respectively, with 7 being neutral). Water is considered hard when it has a pH of 7.6 or higher. And science seems to back the notion that neutral water keeps hair healthiest: A study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that hard water may damage the scalp and cause hair to become more fragile and dull. 

EXPERT INSIGHT

“The pH of the scalp and hair is slightly acidic at about 5.4," says says David Kingsley, Ph.D., a hair and scalp specialist based in New York City. "Hard water contains minerals that are slightly alkaline, which can leave residue that decreases the strength of hair threads, resulting in weak and lackluster hair," he explains. “For the scalp, slightly acidic water would help loosen dandruff and scaly skin for easier rinsing,” he adds.


 

THE BOTTOM LINE

Test the pH of your water with an at-home kit and add a filter to your shower if needed. To improve the texture and luminosity of the hair, Kingsley suggests acidic rinses which counteract high pH water, like Klorane’s Vinegar Shine Rinse With Chamomile, which also help “smooth down the cuticles for shinier hair.”