Does olive oil with its pH help with scalp dermatitis? | The Olive Oil Source
 

Does olive oil with its pH help with scalp dermatitis?

From: 
Jane
Question: 

Have logged onto your site at the suggestion from my hairdresser to utilize olive oil to aid in the repair of scalp dermatitis. I'm extremely sensitive to a range of hair care products (most obviously anything chemical, but also including some organic products).

I'm just wondering about the ph of olive oil - if it's level is beneficial to both the scalp/skin and the hair itself. My hairdresser tends to think that while it may be beneficial to the scalp, the ph level may be too high for the hair shaft, causing it to dry it out.....?

Source: 
Dr. Deane
Answer: 

Lately, many skin and hair care products are showing up with olive oil or olive extracts.

Human skin and scalp is naturally a salty, oily and slightly acid environment to discourage harmful bacteria and parasites. The acidic conditions of the skin are created by secretions

from sweat glands, skin oil, and the breakdown of fatty acids by beneficial bacteria. The proteins in the skin are more tolerant of acid than base. You can squeeze the acetic acid in lemon juice on your hand with no dire effect, an equivalent base such as drain cleaner will make your skin dissolve with a slippery feeling.

pH: refers to the hydrogen ion concentration in a water solution. Olive oil and other oils are not water soluble so their acidity cannot be measured in terms of pH. Their acid content is usually measured in percent free acidity. Vegetable oils are weak acids when measured in this way. Better oils have a low acidity while lower quality oils will be more acidic. Extra virgin olive oil must have less than .8% free fatty acid but some have less than .1% Don't get confused, a lower number means less acid as opposed to pH where a lower number means more acid. Refined oils with little flavor sometimes have had their acidity lowered through chemical manipulation. Olive oil should not harm your hair shafts; it has been used on human skin and scalp for thousands of years.

By the way, all organic products, including olive oil and our own bodies, are made completely of chemicals.

Date: 
Wednesday, June 1, 2005

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