In my recent personal experience I've looked through the ingredients list of my favorite conditioner lines: Pantene Beautiful Lengths & Breakage Defense, (and a few other names that piqued my interest), and have been frustrated to find that sodium hydroxide is on the list.
Now those of you who either know me or have read my blog, know that my hair is 100% natural and I've left the path of creamy crack for good. So its no wonder why I'd be upset to find the active ingredient in relaxers... in my conditioner! WTH??
Needless to say, I've dropped those conditioners like bad habits and steer clear of them like the outbreak monkey. Because I've figured since sodium hydroxide (lye) is such a strong chemical that I've refused to put on my hair intentionally to "relax" it; why would I want a diluted form of it disguised in a conditioner on my hair either? Plus I would imagine that though it would leave my hair soft for the moment, it'll dry out and damage it in the long run... and that defeats the whole purpose of a conditioner, doesn't it?
I've decided to look around to find out why sodium hydroxide is in our conditioners (and some lotions) or at least if anyone else had the same concerns as I.
Tightly Curly has similar concerns: "Also, new conditioners are coming out, and some of these have ingredients like sodium hydroxide in them (just to balance the pH, I'm sure, but that makes me uncomfortable)."
All Experts also: "The SH is actually a diluted form of lye (that's what sodium hydroxide is) and it's the same chemical used in hair relaxers. It's there to make the hair feel soft. But after repeated use, it can be VERY drying, and actually counter-productive."
La Vida Dulce Beauty explains: "Sodium hydroxide is the chemical formula for lye, and you can't make soap without it. Sodium hydroxide is a very safe soapmaking agent when used correctly, and in the right proportion to your other ingredients. In fact, if you measure the correct proportion of sodium hydroxide to your soapmaking oils, no trace of lye whatsoever should be found in the finished product. For the record, we scrutinize our measurements extensively to ensure your safety. This is the saponifiying process of soap.
Comment on another blog: "seriously...the sodium hydroxide is used as a preservative and is found in lots of other cosmetics such as eucerin calming creme which got rid of my son's eczema. if you,ve had any chemistry, you'd know that sodium hydoxide mixed with other compounds create an entirely different compond and a salt...bottom line the sodium hydroxide in this is not a relaxer."
Based on my findings, I guess its safe to use my conditioners... but I will be doing so sparingly being that I still believe it could cause damage with prolonged use.
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A year's difference. Can't wait 'til this December.
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