All of us are aware of the beneficial properties of lemon juice in skincare. Lemon juice is loaded with many beauty benefits as it helps to even out your skin tone, reduces dark spots, blemishes and makes your skin more youthful by boosting collagen production. The beauty benefits of lemon are attributed to the presence of bioactive chemical compounds such as Vitamin B, C, citric acid, minerals, ascorbic acid, flavonoids and mineral such as magnesium, calcium and phosphorus.
It is interesting to note that lemon is not only beneficial to skincare but it has also proved to be very useful in hair care as well. As our hair and skin are known to be slightly acidic in nature, most of the shampoos and conditioners available in the market are alkaline or neutral. Acid water rinses have proved to be beneficial for your hair as it makes your hair beautiful, shiny and silky soft. Thanks to the Citric acid which is present in abundance in lemon. Citric Acid makes the water acidic and you can easily make a water acid rinse. In this article, we are going to elucidate on the hair care benefits of Citric Acid and how you can use it at home to have a healthy, glossy and luscious hair from root to tip. So, let’s get started.
What Is Citric Acid
Citrus Acid is an organic acid which is found in all citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges, limes, grapes, tomatoes, papayas, kiwis etc which gives them the sour and tart taste. It is a colourless and odourless chemical compound which is found in almost all citrus fruits. Unlike other organic acids, Citric Acid is weakly acidic in nature with its pH level ranging between 3 and 6. Because of its acidic nature, Citric Acid is used as a food additive and as a preservative. Citric Acid is also used in many cosmetic products such as under-eye creams, serums, lip balms, moisturizing creams, soaps, hair sprays, deodorants. Medicinally, Citric Acid is used in nasal sprays, skin ointments etc.
Physical Properties Of Citric Acid
- Citric Acid is commonly known as Sour Salt because of its close resemblance to table salt.
- Citric Acid is an odourless and colourless crystalline powder which is acidic in nature.
- It is highly soluble in water.
- Due to its acidic property, Citric Acid has a wide range of uses in the food industry, cosmetic industry and in pharmaceuticals as well.
Benefits Of Citric Acid In Hair Care
Citric Acid which is also known as Salt Acid is commonly found in all citrus fruits and vegetables and is also found in our body in the form of body fluid. This organic acid which is found in fruits is loaded with beauty benefits that help to make your hair soft, silky and glossy. This white crystalline powder is equally effective as compared to any other professional hair care products and has proved to be an incredible hair care ingredient. Lets us elucidate on the beneficial properties of Citric Acid in hair care:
1. Stimulates Hair Follicles
Citric Acid is known to stimulate the hair follicles by improving blood circulation in the scalp. This powder has a warming action of the scalp and thus after application, due to the effect of heat, blood circulation is increased in the scalp, which in turn nourishes your hair follicles and stimulates it, thereby promoting the growth of hair.
2. Improves Scalp Condition
Citric Acid is also used as an exfoliator in many hair care products. It helps to remove the dead skin cells which clog the pores and promotes a healthy scalp. A healthy scalp promotes the growth of shiny beautiful hair.
3. Provides Relief From Itchy Scalp
Human hair and scalp are slightly acidic in nature and most of the hair care products are alkaline or neutral in nature. When the alkalinity increases, it damages your scalp and your hair, promoting various hair care issues. Acidic water rinse which has Citric Acid diluted with water proves to be beneficial for maintaining the acidity of your scalp and hair.
4. Exhibits Antioxidant Property
Citric Acid exhibits antioxidant properties due to which it is very effective in strengthening your hair follicles, thereby preventing breakage and thinning of hair.
5. Makes Your Hair Glossy
Citric Acid is known to remove the buildup or debris from your hair and makes your hair shiny. The esters formed from Citric Acid create a thin protective coating over the surface of your strands which prevents the loss of moisture from the strands making it look glossy and hydrated.
6. Helps In Hair Lightening
The Citric Acid acts as a natural bleaching or oxidizing agent and when exposed to sun, it speeds up the bleaching process. The hair lightening effect is more evident in blonde and light brown hair. It works by chemically reducing the melanin pigment.
7. Balances The PH Level Of Your Scalp
Citric Acid is known to balance the pH level of your scalp as the hair care products make it more alkaline. Thus, Citric Acid is used in many hair care products to reduce the pH of the hair care products and helps to make your scalp acidic, thereby regulating the pH of your scalp and improving your scalp condition.
8. Removes Excess Of Oil
Citric Acid is known to remove an excess of oil or sebum from the scalp, helps to reduce the buildup on scalp and hair, thereby promoting a healthy scalp and beautiful hair.
Because of these beneficial properties, Citric Acid is extensively used in many hair care products such as shampoos, conditioners, hair masks, scalp masks, leave-in conditioners, mousses and hair sprays which makes your hair relatively soft, smooth and shiny.
Uses Of Citric Acid
Citric Acid is known to be beneficial in everyday use. Because of its antimicrobial, antifungal, antioxidant properties, it has a wide range of applications.
1. In Cosmetic Industry
- Citric Acid is used as a natural substitute for hair conditioner. Rinsing your hair with dilute Citric Acid has a conditioning effect on your hair making it silky and glossy.
- Citric Acid is also used as a facial toner. Mix Citric Acid and water in the ratio of 1:1 and use this solution as a toner after washing your face.
- Citric Acid acts as a natural deodorant by diluting it with water in the ratio of 1:3 and fill this solution in a spray bottle.
2. In The Food Industry
- Citric Acid is used as a preservative in many canned foods to increase the shelf life.
- Citric Acid is used to add a slightly sour taste to ice creams, sodas or sorbets.
- It is used as an emulsifying agent in ice creams.
- It is used in making wine to improve its taste.
3. In Medicines
- Citric Acid is used in many skin care ointments to treat skin infections and diseases.
- It is also used in nasal sprays.
- It is used in medicines used to treat kidney stones and also used medicinally to lower the amount of acid in urine.
4. In Household Cleaners
- Citric Acid exhibits cleansing property due to which it is effectively used in dish washes, surface cleaners and detergents.
- It is also used to remove chalky deposits from kettles, boilers and evaporators.
5. As Disinfectants
- Citric Acid is very efficient in eradicating certain fungus, bacteria and viruses, it is found in some disinfectant sprays, insect sprays, hand sanitizers and wet wipes as well.
These are some of the uses of Citric Acid in our daily life. It is considered to be a universal product because of its uses and applications in various spheres of life.
Side Effects Of Citric Acid
Citric Acid is very effective in maintaining healthy skin, hair and overall health. But anything in excess can have a damaging effect and so is the case with Citric Acid as well. When taken in moderation, Citric Acid makes your hair increasingly soft, smooth, glossy, adding thickness and volume to your hair. It also maintains a healthy scalp, but an excess of Citric Acid can make your hair dry, brittle and weak, which is more prone to breakage. It strips your hair of the natural oil and makes it look dull and lifeless. Excessive use of Citric Acid in your scalp can make it dry, flaky and more prone to dandruff. Citric Acid may be very powerful for people with hypersensitive skin. In some cases, it can cause severe skin irritation and as well as eye irritation. If you experience any signs of itching or irritation, immediately discontinue its use and seek medical help.
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