Cosmetology & Ions

Water molecule
Q: What do ions have to do with cosmetology?
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.
See also:
The pH level of water in a hair salon
The difference between ionic and tourmaline hair straighteners
What is the best choice, an ionic or a ceramic hair dryer?