A: Ions are a part of the basics of the chemistry used in most cosmetology practices. You can’t really understand pH without discussing
ions. An ion is an atom or molecule that carries an electrical charge. Ionization is the separation of a substance into ions. The ions
created in this process have opposite electrical charges. Ions with negative charges are Anions, while those that have a positive electrical charge are Cations.
In pure water, some of the water molecules naturally ionize into hydrogen ions and hydroxide
ions. The pH scale measures those ions. The hydrogen ion is acidic, while the hydroxide ion is alkaline. The pH scale measures the
balance of alkaline and acid ions in any substance containing water.
You will also have heard a lot of information about “ion producing” appliances such as flat irons
and hair dryers. The ionic hair dryers use the ion principles to dry hair more quickly and with less heat and “puffiness” by generating
a field to ionize the moisture in the hair and disperse the water more quickly. Similar principles apply with the ionic flat iron
appliances which use ion generation to maximize the effectiveness of the appliance without added heat. The result is smoother, shinier hair.