Most of us expect to use a neutralizing shampoo with a chemical process. The neutralizing myth has many facets so let’s start with why hair and scalp would need neutralization. We do not realize how important pH plays in our daily lives. pH indicates poor or good health in the body and the same goes for our scalp and hair. It’s important to know your body’s pH, you can prevent most diseases by controlling your body’s pH. From 0 to 6.5 on the pH scale is Acid. Alkaline is from 7.5 to 14 on the pH scale. Chemists that formulate cosmetic and hair preparations use the same pH scale to determine a formula’s potency and strength. For example, most neutralizing shampoos are acid and they fall in the 4.0 to 5.5 on the pH scale. This is needed to counter the high pH of a chemical service such as relaxing.
Relaxers are usually 13.0 to 14.0 on the pH scale. What most African American women don’t understand is that a shampoo’s pH only dilutes the pH of the relaxer temporarily. True neutralization of any substance is total destruction of its chemical action. Destroying hydroxide or peroxide while diluting pH should happen simultaneously. Hair care professionals are taught that these shampoos could actually stop the action of hydroxide, peroxide and other harsh chemicals. Yet it has never been scientifically proven.
Our research shows us that while the pH of chemical processes were momentarily diluted, the pH begins to rise minutes or even hours later. Leaving a feverish and inflammatory effect within the follicles and on the scalp. That’s why most clients that get a chemical service feel tightness to the scalp when laying down the night of their touch up. It usually wears off within the next few days. Most professionals could achieve great conditioning skills if they understood the power of pH and how to manipulate its function. Most hair loss and scalp conditions can be cured and prevented. There are certain ingredient combinations that destroy hydroxide as well as peroxide, however they must be intentionally formulated in order for a shampoo to be a true neutralizing shampoo.
NOTE: lemon juice and vinegar will not work. The use of vinegar will create an acidic pH. It is too acidic and will burn and further dehydrate the scalp and hair. Unfortunately, the marketing of neutralizing shampoos is just myth.