Question about Acceptable pH of Products

Yesterday I made lots of variations of FSG that all had one thing in common:

To each yielded cup of gel, I added 1.25 cc (almost 1/4 teaspoon) of citric acid. I also added lots of other stuff (aloe, silk amino acids, xanthan, wheat germ oil, orange and lavender essential oils, germall plus and agave nectar in one of them). I tested the pH of my resulting FSG and I got either 3.0 or 3.5. I know hair's pH ranges from 4.5 to 5.5 and I know that while ACV rinses are a good thing, it is only recommended that they are done occasionally because they can be drying. My sister has described the gel (upon application) as drying but that could also be because I messed up and used 1/4 tsp epsom salts instead of the 1/8 I intended to use.

My question is: how low is too low? Should I be looking to increase the pH of my FSG back up to 4.5, or is it a good thing that it is so acidic? I've always added 1/4 tsp citric acid to 1 cup of yielded gel and I have always used it without problems but if I could get better results at a higher pH then I'd rather do that..

Please advise!!
Texture: fine-medium
Porosity: high-normal
Elasticity: normal
Experimenting with making my own products. Hair loves protein.
BUMP!
Texture: fine-medium
Porosity: high-normal
Elasticity: normal
Experimenting with making my own products. Hair loves protein.
I LOVE YOUR NEW BOB! That was off topic, but necessary. pH of 3.5 is pretty low. Low enough to have damage potential - hair is protein and imagine if you drop lemon juice in a glass of milk (curdle). It would irritate skin, too. Use less citric acid. Aloe can lower pH also, depending on how much you use and if it has has citric acid added already so watch out for cumulative effects.
FSG isn't a very buffered product - just a little citric acid drops the pH.

Edit - you use aloe fresh from the plant, don't you.
http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.com/

Last edited by IAgirl; 12-23-2011 at 12:16 PM.
This was very informative. I have a kind of unrelated question...what part of the grocery store usually has citric acid? I think i'm going to make Agirl's protein treatment soon TIA.

Sent from my SCH-I400 using CurlTalk App
2's+3a/ med density/ normal-high porosity/ fine-med texture, normal elasticity (I think!):
Wash: CJ Daily Fix/Giovanni TTTT
Conditioner: Giovanni TTT
DT/PT: CJ Rehab, SSPDT
LI: Giovanni DLI, AO Mandarin Magic- Jane Carter Scalp Nourishing Serum for dry, sensitive scalp
Stylers: AG Re:coil, Mop C Curl Cream, CCClite, Spiral Solutions FHG...Sealing w/ Coconut oil
Finishing product: JC Nourish & Shine, MD Strawberry Smoothie
http://picasaweb.google.com/11444057...eat=directlink
Grocery store... If it has a natural food section, look there (or grab a clerk and ask them). People use it in sprouting to control bacteria. CItric acid is also used in canning fruits and vegetables. But I usually only find "Fruit Fresh" which is partly citric acid and partly ascorbic acid. If you are needing to lower pH and not using citric acid to chelate minerals, Fruit Fresh is probably the easiest to get your hands on and will get the job done.
A health food store, food co-op or natural foods store would be a likelier place to find plain citric acid crystals/powder.
http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.com/
Thanks IAgirl!

Sent from my SCH-I400 using CurlTalk App
2's+3a/ med density/ normal-high porosity/ fine-med texture, normal elasticity (I think!):
Wash: CJ Daily Fix/Giovanni TTTT
Conditioner: Giovanni TTT
DT/PT: CJ Rehab, SSPDT
LI: Giovanni DLI, AO Mandarin Magic- Jane Carter Scalp Nourishing Serum for dry, sensitive scalp
Stylers: AG Re:coil, Mop C Curl Cream, CCClite, Spiral Solutions FHG...Sealing w/ Coconut oil
Finishing product: JC Nourish & Shine, MD Strawberry Smoothie
http://picasaweb.google.com/11444057...eat=directlink
I LOVE YOUR NEW BOB! That was off topic, but necessary. pH of 3.5 is pretty low. Low enough to have damage potential - hair is protein and imagine if you drop lemon juice in a glass of milk (curdle). It would irritate skin, too. Use less citric acid. Aloe can lower pH also, depending on how much you use and if it has has citric acid added already so watch out for cumulative effects.
FSG isn't a very buffered product - just a little citric acid drops the pH.

Edit - you use aloe fresh from the plant, don't you.
Originally Posted by IAgirl
Thank you IA girl!! Short hair is awesome and much MUCH easier to maintain. It's already grown out a bit and I'm ready for another haircut! I'm thinking of an inverted bob next. My hair has very loose waves at the back (nothing like the curls at the front) and so the back grows out really quickly so if the inverted bob turns out to be a flop it won't take long before the haircut fixes itself!!

I spent all of today making new batches of gel and I figured that 1/32 of a teaspoon of citric acid is enough to bring the pH of 500 ml of my formulation to the 4.5-5.5 range. That's A WHOLE LOT LESS citric acid than a used to use. I used to use 1/4 tsp per 250 ml, since that was the recommendation in almost every basic recipe I saw on the boards. But I was beginning to FEEL it drying my hair (along with the epsom which I've taken down to 1/16 tsp per cup of water I boil) and lo and behold I was getting gel with a pH of 3.0 - 3.5! Since the pH scale is algorithmic I'm hoping I would feel a significant improvement with the 4.5-5.5 pH gels I've made! (I will report more on the formulations on the recipes board)

I haven't been using aloe fresh from the plant because I was doing this (overly ambitious) experiment with processing it myself. I've been using aloe that I have extracted from the plant but then filtered, heated and held at 70C for 20 mins and preserved with Germall Plus (powder but I WISH I had gotten the liquid because the powder is so moody and difficult to work with) at 0.2%. I have been keeping that aloe (pasteurized and preserved) in the fridge and I kept samples out in test tubes to see how long it seems visually microbe free. But I think I've just killed most of the actives in the juice because it doesn't seem as moisturizing to me anymore. I'm simply going to suck it up and look into importing some 200X concentrated aloe vera powder. It appeals to me because it would be added at the cool down phase protecting the active ingredients and making it more effective in the gel (or so I hope)... I should test the pH of the juice I made but I keep forgetting to.
Texture: fine-medium
Porosity: high-normal
Elasticity: normal
Experimenting with making my own products. Hair loves protein.
This was very informative. I have a kind of unrelated question...what part of the grocery store usually has citric acid? I think i'm going to make Agirl's protein treatment soon TIA.

Sent from my SCH-I400 using CurlTalk App
Originally Posted by BLB
I went to my local co-op and they had it in a bulk container along with dozens of other grains/powders. It is white and powdery!
Coarse texture, normal-high porosity, normal elasticity (Komaza Care), very weak waves
cleanser: Redken Fresh Curls Shampoo, CJ Daily Fix

rinse out: CJ Beauticurls, CJ A&OO, CJ Smoothing

jellies/creams: Mop C, KCCC, SCE FSG
gels: CJ CQ, BRHG

Thanks asianrunner!

Sent from my SCH-I400 using CurlTalk App
2's+3a/ med density/ normal-high porosity/ fine-med texture, normal elasticity (I think!):
Wash: CJ Daily Fix/Giovanni TTTT
Conditioner: Giovanni TTT
DT/PT: CJ Rehab, SSPDT
LI: Giovanni DLI, AO Mandarin Magic- Jane Carter Scalp Nourishing Serum for dry, sensitive scalp
Stylers: AG Re:coil, Mop C Curl Cream, CCClite, Spiral Solutions FHG...Sealing w/ Coconut oil
Finishing product: JC Nourish & Shine, MD Strawberry Smoothie
http://picasaweb.google.com/11444057...eat=directlink

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