Google
 
Web forums.longhaircommunity.com

View Full Version : Can I pH balance my soap myself?


rainkitty
June 26th, 2006, 10:25 AM
I use Dr. Bronner's castile soap; it gives me much better results, both as body wash and shampoo, than sulfates did. I'm wondering, though, how alkali it is. Anybody ever pH test their soap?

I'm wondering whether I can pH balance my soap (and maybe conditioner) myself, perhaps by adding something such as ACV. I'm interested in getting these products to be not alkali. If I understand correctly, the cleansing action of soap comes from its dual hydrophobic/hydrophilic nature, and not from its pH; therefore, pH balancing should just make it more gentle and less likely to irritate my skin or make my hair cuticle swell and cause damage. Is this right? Am I nuts?

I was also thinking that if I used aspirin (salicylic acid) to modify the pH, it might give me some of the benefits of a very mild aspirin mask. Both that and ACV rinses have done great things for me.

Suggestions? Comments? TIA!
Cheers,
RK

eucalyptus
June 26th, 2006, 10:53 AM
Uh, I'm pretty sure that using an ACV rinse afterwards will have the same balancing effect as putting the vinegar in the soap. I don't think it would hurt to try, though.

rainkitty
June 26th, 2006, 11:05 AM
*nod* I understand that about restoring my acid balance. I'm wondering whether balancing the soap itself would potentially lead to less damage to the hair strands _while washing_. I have a mental image of opening up my hair shafts and then massaging, and I just have to wonder whether it's causing damage. I like the "clean" feeling that gentle soap gives me, so I want to get it with a minimum of damage.
Thanks!
RK

5of10
June 26th, 2006, 11:14 AM
I use Dr. Bronner's castile soap; it gives me much better results, both as body wash and shampoo, than sulfates did. I'm wondering, though, how alkali it is. Anybody ever pH test their soap?
Cheers,RK

I have read that castile soap has a ph of 9.
Chagrin Valley soap and shampoo bars have a ph of 8 to 9.
Other bar soaps generally have a ph of 10 to 10.5.
Baby shampoo has a ph of 7.4.

Just thought I'd throw that last one in there. Good luck experimenting!

HerbalAnnie
June 26th, 2006, 11:39 AM
Oh, boy, fun question! I have Bronner's baby castille and peppermint castille. A ph strip dipped into either regiesters ph7. Essential oils have their own ph, so the eo's of soap that you use may very well alter the ph slightly, however Bronner claims all soaps are "ph balanced". When I make shampoo, acidic eo's will make a watery formula and alkaline eo's will turn it to gel. To regulate the ph, I use citric acid or lemon eo, or baking soda. So you should be able to use either to adjust the ph whichever direction you want to go. Some test strips will ensure that you don't go to far either direction.

Dr. Bronner says this about using his soap as shampoo:
For shampoo, wet hair and scalp very thoroughly, squirt some soap into hands and work into a lather. Wash hair, then rinse well. Because soap can be drying for most hair types, using it as a shampoo is not one of our formal recommendations. Nevertheless, many people are fond of using it as such. People with short and/or curly hair seem to have the best luck using it for shampoo. Those of us with fine, straight hair sometimes feel it is difficult to rinse well. A dilute vinegar rinse is the best way to remove any residue.

Flaxen
June 26th, 2006, 11:55 AM
Your best plan is to do the adjusting after shampooing, as was mentioned above. If you were to lower the pH of the castile by adding ACV to it, you could diminish its cleaning power. The higher the pH, the better something cleans. If your Dr. Bronner's is 7.0 like HerbalAnnie's, that's neutral and perfectly gentle for your hair. :smile:

rainkitty
June 26th, 2006, 02:39 PM
When I make shampoo, acidic eo's will make a watery formula and alkaline eo's will turn it to gel. To regulate the ph, I use citric acid or lemon eo, or baking soda.

Thank you for all the responses, especially HerbalAnnie's long detailed one! HerbalAnnie, when you say you "make shampoo", do you mean make your own soap, or make your own flavor by adding EO to Dr. Bronner's? I do add EOs, usually lavender, rosemary, and sweet birch. Since my soap occasionally gets little solid bits, I'll go out on a limb and guess that those are somewhat alkaline and responsible for the clotting. I shake it up and use it anyway. So maybe some ACV would help with the funny clotting, too?

I'm not going to stop doing ACV rinses anytime soon, just curious about this now. LHC is turning me into something of a home chemist!

Cheers,
RK