Is hibiscus too acidic for the hair?

I want to make a hibiscus deep conditioner. When I test the pH of the hibiscus tea it's around 2-3.

Comments

  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    When you add other conditioning ingredients (cationic surfactants, humectants, fatty alcohols, etc) the pH may likely increase. Also, you can just add some alkaline ingredient (NaOH) to increase the pH to around 4. Bottom line, it's fine to use.  Whether it actually does anything is a different question.
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    Just bear in mind that the colour of hibiscus (anthocyanidins) depends on pH. At a pH closer to neutral it may shift through pink, purple, and sometimes also colourless; in the more alkaline range, it'll be blue, green, yellow...
    The colour is most stable at an acidic pH in the range you currently have. The more alkaline, the faster the colour will dissipate.
    If a strong colour is important, you may add certain metal salts (however, not just the intensity but also the shade of the colour will change).
  • NickyNicky Member
    Pharma said:
    Just bear in mind that the colour of hibiscus (anthocyanidins) depends on pH. At a pH closer to neutral it may shift through pink, purple, and sometimes also colourless; in the more alkaline range, it'll be blue, green, yellow...
    The colour is most stable at an acidic pH in the range you currently have. The more alkaline, the faster the colour will dissipate.
    If a strong colour is important, you may add certain metal salts (however, not just the intensity but also the shade of the colour will change).
    Thanks. So will it have a negative effect on the hair if I don't change the pH at all. Because the pH of hair is around 4.5-5.5?
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    You will not notice any difference in effect on hair between pH of 2-3 & pH 4-5 unless maybe you’re soaking the hair in the product for an extended amount of time.
  • NickyNicky Member
    Perry said:
    You will not notice any difference in effect on hair between pH of 2-3 & pH 4-5 unless maybe you’re soaking the hair in the product for an extended amount of time.
    Oh. Because it is a deep conditioner the product will be kept on the hair for about 30 minutes.
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    Well I still doubt you’ll notice much difference but it might be worth testing
  • Too unstable! 
    Dr. Catherine Pratt
    (B.Sc with HONS I , Ph.D Analytical/Organic Chem and Microbiology), Cosmetic Chemistry IPCS)
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