Myth 10: Neutralizing Shampoos

Posted on: February 9th, 2012 by Errol Crockett 2 Comments
Neutralizing Shampoo

Proper Neutralization

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 a neutralizing shampoo.

We don’t realize how important a balanced pH plays in our daily lives; pH indicates poor or good health in the body and the same goes for our scalp and hair.

Ask Cookie, from Cookies Hair Skin & Nails in Bloomfield, NJ.

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.

Research proves that most neutralizing shampoo only dilute pH momentarily.

Our best 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 usually a myth, because the pH levels in most relaxers cannot be eradicated; because, they are much too aggressive.

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2 Responses

  1. C. B. says:

    So, what exactly is the real and permanent fix then- to neutralize hair?

    • Errol Crockett says:

      If you’re working with processing products, like relaxers or softeners, try to find products that operate in the “therapeutic” pH range. Our Enzyme No Lye Relaxer is at 11.5 – 11.8. Our Alkaline Mineral Softener is at 11. These ranges can be included in some natural environments, ie. lakes streams, natural salts etc. (Consult Trenton University research on soda ash)

      Most relaxers can reach A Ph OF 14. It is very difficult to formulate a neutralizing shampoo that can handle this level of pH. In our labs, we have found that market neutralizing shampoos only dilute pH levels this high (13.8 – 14).

      The short answer to your question would be, to try and use formulations with a pH that can be more easily controlled.

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