Bad Hair Day?
Is it possible that spending extra money on shampoo or conditioner will
give you the hair of your dreams? Have you ever wondered if changing
your shampoo will get rid of bad hair days forever? Shampoo and
conditioner manufacturers want you to believe that this is true. Walk into
any hair salon, drug store, or grocery store in the country and there are seemingly endless
choices of hair products. This leaves consumers relying on advertising, trial and error, and
information from hair stylists to find the right shampoos and conditioners for them.
The cosmetology department of a local Community College has hired your team has been hired
to research, from a scientific perspective, of pH in shampoos. Your team must provide the college
A. a PowerPoint (or similar) presentation summarizing background research on the esthetic value
of using hair products with a certain pH
1. Get together with your team. Divide up the tasks fairly.
2. In your group conduct research on the following:
• background information about pH, the pH scale, and the pH of various household chemicals
for comparison. Use page 16 from your textbook as a starting place.
• the pH of skin and the pH of various types of shampoo in comparison.
• how hair is affected by pH, what is the usual pH of shampoos, and why shampoos are
created to have this pH
•a definition of the term “pH Balanced” and why shampoo manufacturers claim this to be a
good thing (with examples)
The Resources section, below, provides some starting points for your research.
3. Prepare the PowerPoint presentation. Your team’s presentation should include the following:
(a) a title slide, including a purpose for the presentation, with the names of the team
(b) an introduction slide listing main manufacturer’s claims about hair care products
(c) several slides outlining pH, the pH scale, and the pH of skin, the pH of various types of
shampoo and the pH of various household chemicals in comparison.
(d) one slide for a conclusion to summarize the results of your research
Ingredients – Shampoo
This is a good general information site about shampoos and the ingredients they contain.
Exploratorium: Better Hair Through Chemistry
This site contains information and diagrams of hair and follicles, how shampoos actually clean
hair, ingredients of shampoos, and other processes salons do to hair.
There is information on the history of shampoos, a description of how they clean the hair, and a
description of the ingredients in shampoos.
All about Shampoos
This site starts out explaining how to care for hair, then discusses the chemistry of shampoos and
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