The Effect of Hair Care Products on the Buffer Capacity of Shampoos

This experiment was designed to test which shampoo brand had the greatest buffer capacity. The relevance of the experiment was to test how well the shampoos could resist pH change. Resisting pH change holds great importance in shampoos because if the pH of shampoo (around 5.5 pH) changes to drastically when added to hair, the pH of hair could potentially leave its healthy range of 5.5 to 6.0 pH. The objective was to find which shampoo brand had the greatest buffer capacity against ascorbic acid, which is generally found in hair dyes, and sodium carbonate, which can be found within some hair styling products. In this experiment, 25 mL of Pantene, Pert Plus, and CVS shampoos were titrated with either the ascorbic acid or the sodium carbonate. They were titrated to find out which shampoo could be introduced to the largest amount of either chemical without having a significant change in pH (a significant change is considered a positive or negative change of one pH value). To receive the change in pH, a LabPro pH Sensor was used to indicate the pH before and after the addition of the chemicals to the shampoos. The data received from the experiment was analyzed using an analysis of variance test (ANOVA), one for each chemical used to titrate. An ANOVA analyzes the means of the data and compares them all with a p-value. After analyzing of the data that took place, the conclusion was that the Pantene was the shampoo with the strongest buffer capacity for both the addition of ascorbic acid and sodium carbonate.

Research Done By:

Ellen Dishman
L'Anse Creuse High School

Michael Rizza
Romeo High School

Felicia Wodowski
Center Line High School