Sunday, August 17, 2014

Weekend Wonderings: Isn't this Lego set awesome? Can I lower the pH of soap? Will CP soap damage my hair?

If you want to buy the science-loving child (or adult) in your life a present, may I suggest this wonderful Lego Research Institute set with female scientists! It's sold out at the moment, so bookmark that page and keep checking back to get your set!

Note: I'm telling you about this because it's awesome, not because I have been paid or compensated in any way. I love Lego and science, so this is seven kinds of awesome!!!

In this post, adjusting pH in our products, Cabrini asks: My concerns are I made my own shampoo, which the ph balance is a 9. Will it damage my hair? I did use a citric acid it bought it down to a 7, but it changed the look of my shampoo like a creamy consistent. If I add more citric acid it become to thick and seperates and than it its at a ph5 balace. I appreciate your time, hope you can help me.

Here's the thing - soap is alkaline and has a pH about 8 to 10 because soap isn't soap if it isn't alkaline. The clouding you saw when you brought the soap down to pH 7 and pH 5, demonstrates that it's no longer going to work as soap as it's breaking down. So you can't reduce the pH of your soap below pH 8 or it won't be soap any more.

Cold process soap isn't suitable for a shampoo. CP soap is alkaline, and your hair doesn't like alkaline things. You might find your hair is tangled, hard, or crunchy after using it (before conditioner). It can lead to build up of salts on your hair. The tangliness and crunchiness is because the cuticle of your hair strand isn't laying (mostly) flat and the shingle like bits of the cuticle are interlocking with the other bits and causing tangles.

Can this cause damage to your hair? It can because too much friction between hair strands can cause damage to the cuticle. The damage can come from the build up of salts or the interlocking of the cuticles.

I know some people like CP soap for shampoo, and I'm glad it works for you, but most hair types will not like it at all.  

Related posts:
Why CP soap doesn't make a great shampoo
The hair strand: The cuticle
 "Good condition" - what does that mean?
Quick summary of damaged hair

Want to know how soap works? Check out this great post at About Chemistry on the topic!

Join me tomorrow for more fun formulating with cucumber extract!

1 comment:

Sarah said...

The lego set with female scientists is awesome! :D Definitely getting that for my niece and nephew.