If you like the soft texture of olives, thank NaOH for it because soaking olives in sodium hydroxide softens the texture slightly making them more palatable.
In its purest form the chemical can be very dangerous and when used as part of any manufacturing process, employees are required to protect themselves before handling.
Ok so now you are scared, but really don’t be! In truth we actually use Sodium Hydroxide every day, well we would hope that you are using it every day because there are very few soaps, cleansers, shampoos and even lotions handmade or not that do not contain sodium hydroxide.
In order to make a bar of soap or your favorite cleanser, oil is mixed with lye to create the product. The process is called Saponfication, and mixing the oil with the lye neutralizes the chemical making the product virtually harmless to you.
Even though we try not to be scientists around here, we do recognize the value of pH when it comes to dealing with our hair, hair products are created with just that in mind and the purpose of sodium hydroxide is to help create either, an acidic, neutral or alkaline base depending on how much of the chemical is used in the product.
Will your conditioner relax your curl?
The answer is no, in comparison to a typical tub of relaxer there is much less sodium hydroxide used in a conditioner and the amount used is normally enough to keep the product neutral or slightly acidic.
If on the other hand you have a product that specifically says, ‘silkner’, ‘relaxer’ or ‘texturizer’ on the label then absolutely you should be aware that there might be a little relaxing going on and if you are told otherwise, that my friends is a little white lye. No pun intended.