There is more to hair colour than picking a shade. The concept of acidity and alkalinity is essential when it comes to hair colour and hair strength. Redken Artist George Garcia explains why acidic haircolour 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 colour. 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 COLOUR?
“Acidic hair colour 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 colour shades are acidic. With an extensive range of options, they’re not only ideal for achieving any customised colour, they also provide conditioning and shine-enhancing benefits; think of it as hair colour that acts like conditioner.
WHY SHOULD I BE ASKING FOR ACIDIC HAIR COLOUR?
It’s especially important to ask for acidic liquid demi-permanent hair colour 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 colour? 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 COLOUR MY HAIR?
Whether you're looking to try a new hair colour trend or colour your hair for the first time, it's important to see a professional hair colourist that will maintain the health and integrity of your hair throughout the hair colour process. The Redken colour mantra divides hair into three different zones which ensure that alkaline and acidic hair colour 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 colourists only apply alkaline hair colour on zone one and use acidic hair colour on the other two zones in order to maximise colour results while minimising stress on the hair.
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