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Siv
July 27th, 2017, 12:26 PM
I read on science-y hair blog that you can use citric acid to chelate your hair from mineral build up. I'm no stranger to citric acid rinses and have read a bit about them on LHC but I wanted to try my hand at making a DIY chelating shampoo.

EDIT July 30th: My post below is a bit of a mess, but I got some really good advice! If anyone is interested in what I ended up doing hop down to post #11 (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=143639&p=3441848&viewfull=1#post3441848). The second half of that post (in bold) is the recipe, results, and ingredients costs :)


I really need someone math-savvy and possibly chemistry savvy to check my math and deductions here.

Science-y wrote something about mixing with conditioner rather than water, so I'm just going to substitute with shampoo.

This is what Science-y has to say about citric acid proportions in rinses and mixed with conditioners:


Citric acid powder or crystals: 1/16 teaspoon (0.3 ml) citric acid in 1 cup (230 ml) distilled water if you know your hair is okay with acidic treatments - or 1/16th to 1/8 (0.3 to 0.6 ml) teaspoon per 1 1/2 to 2 cups (350 to 475 ml) if you're not sure.

Vinegar: 1 tablespoon (15 ml) vinegar in 1 cup (230 ml) water

Lemon juice can be mixed with distilled water, lemon juice contains citric acid. Start with 1 part lemon juice and 4 parts water and use it with heat as for the citric acid rinse. You might try mixing lemon juice with conditioner if you're a conditioner-only sort of person.

SOURCE (http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.se/2016/03/hard-water-and-your-hair.html): "Hard Water and Your Hair"

I did the math here (I think, haven’t really used math since high school… lol)

The strongest citric acid powder recipe:
1/16 teaspoon to a cup would be = 1 teaspoon to a gallon

The lemon juice recipe:
20% lemon juice

I’m assuming lemon juice is suggested to be mixed in the conditioner at the same ratio as water.

So how much citric acid is there in lemon juice?


The most significant difference between lemon juice and vinegar is the type of acid. Lemon juice is on average five to six percent citric acid. Vinegar, on the other hand, is comprised of acetic acid. In terms of percentage, it depends on the vinegar. White vinegar tends to have seven percent acetic acid, which is a higher level than other vinegars.

SOURCE (http://www.chatelaine.com/in-the-kitchen/lemon-juice-or-vinegar-which-is-more-acidic/): Lemon Juice or Vinegar, Which is More Acidic

More math.

Lemon juice = 5% citric acid

I have a 500 ml conditioner

500/4=125

So add 125 ml lemon juice, right? And in lemon juice we have 5 % citric acid, which gives…

125*0.05=6.25 ml citric acid in 125 ml lemon juice

6.25 ml ≈ 1.3 teaspoons citric acid in 125 ml lemon juice

So if I wanted to add just citric acid (not lemon juice) to a conditioner, according to these proportions I'd add 6.25 ml acid to 500 ml conditioner

How much is the citric acid content in these recipes?

I’m mathing in ml because I don’t like strange foreign baking measurements.

The rinse:

0.3 ml citric acid / 230.3 ml water and citric acid ≈ 0.13 % citric acid

The conditioner

6.25 ml citric acid / 506.25 ml conditioner and citric acid ≈ 1.2% citric acid

There’s roughly 10 times as much citric acid in the conditioner mix compared to the rinse, based off of Science-y’s proportions. And since we’re talking percentages, we’re talking proportion, wouldn’t each glop of conditioner you use contain 1.2% acid? Urghhh I’m not fond of math.

So if I want 0.13 % citric acid in my conditioner bottle…

0.65 ml citric acid / 500.65 ml conditioner and citric acid ≈ 0.13 % citric acid

0.65 ml = 0.13 teaspoons

Just… no. I don’t even know. This isn’t even a fifth of a teaspoon. Fortunately, we have a measure smaller than a teaspoon in Sweden. A teaspoon is 5 ml and a “kryddmått” is 1 ml so I might just go with that. I don’t know if anyone else has an equivalent of kryddmått. I’d assume the Nordic countries do, but I honesty don’t know.

Or you know, I might just say screw it and add a teaspoon of citric acid, a teaspoon of baking soda (which is alkaline) and see what happens. Maybe they balance each other out…

Can you check my logic here? Is it sound? Did I make any glaring mathematical mistakes here??

Kyaatje
July 28th, 2017, 03:50 AM
Quick reply because I didn't read all the math (we have a problematic relationship)
I use citric acid when I make shampoo and conditioner because I want to make my hair products acidic.
I use Ph-strips to determine the value of the ph. I want the products around 4PH.
If you go more acidic it can irritate (slight to heavier irritation)
When I mix my surfactants and hydrosols to make the shampoo the initial ph is 12. With half a teaspoon I already go to 5.
So I wouldn't add citric acid to a shampoo without measuring the ph of the shampoo first and then add citric acid with small pinches until you reach a ph of around 4

Hope that helps a bit ?


edited to remove a wrong word

Siv
July 28th, 2017, 04:06 AM
Quick reply because I didn't read all the math (we have a problematic relationship)
I use citric acid when I make shampoo and conditioner because I want to make my hair products acidic.
I use Ph-strips to determine the value of the ph. I want the products around 4PH.
If you go more acidic it can irritate (slight to heavier irritation)
When I mix my surfactants and hydrosols to make the shampoo the initial ph is 12. With half a teaspoon I already go to 5.
So I wouldn't add citric acid to a shampoo without measuring the ph of the shampoo first and then add citric acid with small pinches until you reach a ph of around 4

Hope that helps a bit ?


edited to remove a wrong word

Thank you!! I know my post is a mess, plus a few hours after posting I realised my logic is a bit faulty so I think I'm going to get some of those ph-strips you mentioned. Do you think it would be a good idea to add citric acid, test the ph, then add baking soda to compensate, test the ph, etc? I think I'm going to edit the original post later for clarity once I figure out what to do!

lapushka
July 28th, 2017, 04:17 AM
You do you, of course, always. YMMV. No worries. I understand. But IMMHO a regular chelating shampoo would be less harsh than BS and all of this.

sarahthegemini
July 28th, 2017, 05:53 AM
Why not just buy a chelating shampoo?

Kyaatje
July 28th, 2017, 05:58 AM
Thank you!! I know my post is a mess, plus a few hours after posting I realised my logic is a bit faulty so I think I'm going to get some of those ph-strips you mentioned. Do you think it would be a good idea to add citric acid, test the ph, then add baking soda to compensate, test the ph, etc? I think I'm going to edit the original post later for clarity once I figure out what to do!

I honestly I'm not a fan of baking soda in combination with hair.
And I would rather test the ph, add a little sniff of citric acid, ph test again and so fort until you reach the ph you want. Once you start adding to much and compensating you will end up with a mixture that I personally wouldn't really trust. Just go slow until you reach the ph you want.

lapushka
July 28th, 2017, 06:39 AM
I honestly I'm not a fan of baking soda in combination with hair.
And I would rather test the ph, add a little sniff of citric acid, ph test again and so fort until you reach the ph you want. Once you start adding to much and compensating you will end up with a mixture that I personally wouldn't really trust. Just go slow until you reach the ph you want.

Yeah that's the thing. How much can you trust the online sources... I would stick a pH strip in the mixture for sure. :)

Chromis
July 28th, 2017, 07:11 AM
I agree that you will need to test if you do this because you can't really do this math without actually knowing the pH of the shampoo or conditioner you are using as the base. pH test kits are not expensive. ALso this mixture might not really chelate all that well, you'd be better to buy bulk EDTA. I use a citric acid/ACV rinse, myself and don't see a good upside to mixing them into shampoo or conditioner. It will change the formula around and probably cause the consistancy to change

Adding baking soda here is not needed. It is not really a chelator and is not good for removing mineral build up. (People use it to clarify.) The blog you referenced actually mentions this much later down in the comments:

It does sound like you have hard water. Depending on the actual chemistry of that hard water, you'll get a better result from vinegar or from citric acid or EDTA (the latter in chelating shampoos). If you have high "alkalinity" which you'd find as "total dissolved solids" or TDS - then vinegar rinses may work better than chelating shampoos.
Baking soda doesn't work well for mineral residue - unless you are using it as a physical abrasive to scour out a sink or bathtub.

Obsidian
July 28th, 2017, 08:07 AM
Before I bought a chelating shampoo, I would mix up 5 gallons of water with 1/4 cup vinegar. I would wet my hair with this, let it sit for 5 minutes then wash and condition like normal but only use the vinegar water for rinsing. It really seemed to help but was a bit of a pain lugging a bucket in the bathroom and having to reach around the shower curtain with a pitcher to scoop up water.
I found a huge bottle of clarifying and chelating shampoo at sally for around $11. Its the quantum clarifying shampoo and I use it quite often now.

EDIT: I just saw you are in Sweden, not sure what you have available there but I'm sure you could find a commercial clarifying shampoo. Seems like that would be a lot easier then DIY stuff.

SparrowWings
July 28th, 2017, 07:31 PM
:scissors:
The lemon juice recipe:
20% lemon juice
:scissors:
I have a 500 ml conditioner

500/4=125

So add 125 ml lemon juice, right?
:scissors:
I'm asleep on my feet here, so I didn't make it through all the numbers and text, but I did notice this. 20% would be 500/5=100ml. I'll let you sort out the resulting corrections for that section from there.

Siv
July 30th, 2017, 07:04 AM
Hi guys! Thanks so much for your help! I’m sorry for taking a few days to get back to you, I’m currently recovering from mental illness and I still have bad days sometimes, when I tend to disconnect from the rest of the world to recuperate. I hope you understand :flowers:

First I’ll try to reply! Then, onto what I finally ended up doing :)


You do you, of course, always. YMMV. No worries. I understand. But IMMHO a regular chelating shampoo would be less harsh than BS and all of this.


Why not just buy a chelating shampoo?




EDIT: I just saw you are in Sweden, not sure what you have available there but I'm sure you could find a commercial clarifying shampoo. Seems like that would be a lot easier then DIY stuff.

I have the same response for all of you – I completely understand where you’re coming from! This is a bit of a mess, isn’t it? I’ve seen that e.g. V05 has really cheap clarifying shampoos on the American market, but that’s not really a “thing” here yet. Apparently there are only two “major” areas in Sweden with hard water (of which, only one city) and unfortunately I live in one of them (and our hardness is OFF THE SCALES ridiculously hard >.<). I’d guestimate that maybe 5% (~500,000) of the population has hard water so there’s not really a big market. Clarifying shampoos are only offered by salon brands, and I’ve found only about three different clarifying and chelating shampoos, which were no less than an equivalent of $30-35 USD… Since I’m currently not working and living off temporary disability compensation, I can’t spend that sort of money. Fortunately I like DIY-ing, so it’s all good!


I honestly I'm not a fan of baking soda in combination with hair.
And I would rather test the ph, add a little sniff of citric acid, ph test again and so fort until you reach the ph you want. Once you start adding to much and compensating you will end up with a mixture that I personally wouldn't really trust. Just go slow until you reach the ph you want.


I agree that you will need to test if you do this because you can't really do this math without actually knowing the pH of the shampoo or conditioner you are using as the base. pH test kits are not expensive. ALso this mixture might not really chelate all that well, you'd be better to buy bulk EDTA. I use a citric acid/ACV rinse, myself and don't see a good upside to mixing them into shampoo or conditioner. It will change the formula around and probably cause the consistancy to change

Adding baking soda here is not needed. It is not really a chelator and is not good for removing mineral build up. (People use it to clarify.) The blog you referenced actually mentions this much later down in the comments:

Thanks! So I ditched the baking soda idea, and got me some test strips. Coincidentally, Point of Interest! posted a blog post on “When can you tinker with a finished product? (http://swiftcraftymonkey.blogspot.se/2017/07/questions-from-patreon-when-can-you.html)” the other day which was quite enlightening, so thanks for pointing out that the consistency can change, because I didn’t realise that!


I'm asleep on my feet here, so I didn't make it through all the numbers and text, but I did notice this. 20% would be 500/5=100ml. I'll let you sort out the resulting corrections for that section from there.

Ahhh, of course! Thank you!

---


This is what I did! Thanks for all your help! First I’ll outline the process, then results, then the cost/reason why I wanted to DIY instead of buy a proper one.

Process

As per suggestion, I ditched the baking soda idea.

First, I revised my entire thinking about the amount of citric acid needed in the bottle. I use a glob of shampoo about a tablespoon size, which is 15 ml. Science-y’s rinse used 0.3 ml citric acid per rinse. So if you use 15 ml shampoo each time you wash, I though maybe I should add 0.3 to every 15 ml part.

500 ml bottle/15 ml parts = 33.3

33.3*0.3 ml citric acid = 10 ml citric acid per 500 ml bottle

10 ml = 2 teaspoons

So I added 2 teaspoons citric acid to my 500 ml bottle, mixed for a good few minutes, and tested the acidity. The pH was… 6. Huh. No idea how that happened. I didn’t test the pH before adding (unfortunately) so I really don’t know. ETA: As far as I understand, the pH of hair is around 4.5-5.5, so a product with a pH of 6 isn't too shabby

Results

I tested it out and honestly, it worked pretty well. The consistency didn’t change too much, and it did improve the mineral buildup on my hair! It wasn’t as good as a regular chelating shampoo, but then again, it cost me only a fraction of the price, so I’m quite pleased all in all.

Cost

I wanted to DIY because over here, I’ve never found a chelating shampoo under 300 SEK/ 30 EUR/ 35 USD and as I’m on disability right now, I just can’t afford that. Clarifying shampoos run a little cheaper but they don’t do anything for my mineral build up. Unfortunately, I have hard water (off-the-charts hard water!).

This is the cost break down of my experiment:

1 bottle of shampoo (500 ml 12 SEK/1.25 EUR/1.5 USD)
2 teaspoons citric acid (30g 10 SEK/1 EUR/1.25 USD)
pH-strips (50 for 129 SEK/13.5 EUR/16 USD)

Total: 151 SEK/15.5 EUR/19 USD

If I use, say 2 strips per bottle I make, the box of pH strips would last 25 bottles, and this would cost me…

Average: 27 SEK/3 EUR/3.25 USD

Plus, I love DIY-ing! In the end it was super easy to make, just pop some acid in there and mix well. It was just figuring out how to that was the problem!

Kyaatje
July 30th, 2017, 07:42 AM
just wanted to leave a 'like' :p

Siv
July 30th, 2017, 09:18 AM
just wanted to leave a 'like' :p

Thank you for your help again! :flowers: I'm pretty new to hair-DIYs so I'm rather pleased with my non-crappy result!

Kyaatje
July 30th, 2017, 09:21 AM
No problem!
I make all my products but before I did that I needed al lot of help (and reading and asking around)
I like making my own things that way I know what goes into my products.

lapushka
July 30th, 2017, 09:25 AM
Looks like it turned out fine. I would have personally left the shampoo bottle alone, washed, then would have done a citric / lemon rinse. But that's me. I hope the shampoo doesn't go off; it normally shouldn't.

Siv
July 30th, 2017, 09:30 AM
Looks like it turned out fine. I would have personally left the shampoo bottle alone, washed, then would have done a citric / lemon rinse. But that's me. I hope the shampoo doesn't go off; it normally shouldn't.

I'm hoping so too since citric acid can be used as a preservative, if I understand correctly. Still, I don't know enough about chemistry to predict what will happen in combination with this particular shampoo :) Time will tell, if it works fine I'm happy, if it doesn't, experimenting a bit was fun at least!

Chromis
July 30th, 2017, 04:21 PM
Glad it worked out for you!