What is a Neutralizing Shampoo? Best “Nutralizing” Shampoos

These days, there are so many things you can do with your hair. What’s more, there are so many products to choose from to help you maintain your crowning glory. We’ve got alcohol-free shampoos, detoxifying shampoos, and shampoos specifically made for different hair types.

But this time, we’ve also got to discuss neutralizing shampoos. In this article, you’ll find out the do’s, don’ts, ingredients, and everything you need to know about neutralizing shampoos!

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What Is A Neutralizing Shampoo?

The basic goal of neutralizing shampoos is to restore the pH balance of your hair. Hair sprays, hair gels, and hair coloring chemicals can alter the pH balance of your hair. Therefore, a neutralizing shampoo can remove any alkali or caustic residues. 

The pH level of your hair should ideally be between 4.5 and 5.5. Many “normal” shampoos are technically neutralizing by default, although they aren’t labeled as such. As a result, it’s more critical to ensure that the ingredients and outcomes are right for you and your hair.

After using a hair relaxer, a neutralizing shampoo is used to remove the alkalinity. Regular shampoo is acid-balanced, whereas neutralizing shampoos are far more acidic. Alkalinity is neutralized by acidity, ergo hair treatments done on your hair are fixed by neutralizing shampoos.

What Are The Ingredients Of A Neutralizing Shampoo?

So how exactly does a shampoo ‘neutralize’ your hair? Here are the ingredients of a neutralizing shampoo that is responsible for the process:

Deionized Water

Water serves as a filler and dilutes other shampoo components. Deionized water, which is cleaned by removing mineral ions, is used in neutralizing shampoos. It is kinder to the hair and aids in the prevention of mineral build-up.


Acids in neutralizing shampoos help to restore acid balance, alleviate scalp dryness, aid chemical leaching, and encourage hair growth. Lactic acid and citric acid are examples of acids utilized. Citric acid originates from citrus fruit, whereas lactic acid comes from milk.


Humectants have a hydrating effect on the hair and scalp by bonding hydrogen and water molecules together. Humectants for hair have a neutralizing effect as well. Glycerine, propylene glycol, laurate, and disostearate are examples of humectants used in this product.


Surfactants aid in the emulsification of the shampoo, as well as the solubility of residue left in the hair and the spreadability of the shampoo. Cocamidopropyl betaine, lauramine oxide, and cocamidopropyl betaine are examples of surfactants employed.

Sodium Hydroxide 

Sodium hydroxide is a frequent neutralizer in neutralizing shampoos. It operates by separating negatively-charged oxygen and hydrogen atoms from positively-charged sodium atoms. Shampoos only employ tiny quantities of sodium hydroxide since it is a powerful alkaline substance that is also caustic.

neutralizing shampoo

What Factors Should I Consider Before Buying A Neutralizing Shampoo?

Aside from the ingredients and contents, there are a couple of important factors to think about when choosing your ideal shampoo. Here are the following things good products should be able to do for your hair:

#1 Does It Have Nourishing Ingredients?

Looking for a neutralizing shampoo means that your hair has gone through its fair share of treatments and damage. Having said that, your hair is still delicate and in need of care. Look for nutrients that will give your hair the nutrition it requires. Hair benefits from ingredients that include fatty and amino acids, proteins, and vitamins. Olive oil, shea butter, avocado, coconut oil, and argan oil are just a few of the substances that will improve your hair.

#2 Is It Truly Able To Restore The pH Balance Of Your Hair?

For legitimately healthy hair, its pH levels should be maintained within a range of 3.5-4.5. Your scalp has a bit more leeway with a recommended pH balance of at least 5.5. Your hair’s pH balance goes over 7 after a relaxing or other chemical treatment! Some additives can even increase the pH level of your hair to 11! That level of alkalinity should be neutralized back to normal, so checking the strength of your shampoo really dictates its effectiveness.

#3 Does It Remove Leftover Chemical Deposits?

A good neutralizing shampoo should be able to cleanse your hair and rid it of dirt, grease, and other products’ residue. Signs of an incomplete wash include tending to still smell of other hair products, development of dandruff, flaking, and irregular feel or texture of your hair. All of this could be avoided if your neutralizing shampoo really cleans your hair deeply.

#4 Is The Process User-Friendly For Your Expertise Level?

Not all shampoos are the same. Some have much more complicated instructions, while others can be pretty good for home use. Find the perfect balance between a DIY neutralizing shampoo and a hair-stylist-approved product, and you’re good to go!

#5 Is It Worth The Price?

Make sure that your item’s price isn’t too far off from its promised benefits and that it’ll prove its usefulness to you. Check out the price of other well-known products before fully committing to one.

FAQs About Neutralizing Shampoo

With all this information, you surely have some questions on your mind. Don’t worry; we’ve got the answers! Here are the commonly asked questions about this product:

When And How Often Should I Use A Neutralizing Shampoo?

Relaxed and treated hair should be washed with a neutralizing shampoo at least once a week. However, it’s important to remember that using neutralizing shampoo every day will definitely erase any trace of your hair treatment. Therefore, ease up on the usage if you want the treatment to last a little longer.

Should I Apply A Conditioner After Using A Neutralizing Shampoo?

Apply a protein conditioning treatment to fill up the fissures in the hair shaft after rinsing out the neutralizing shampoo. The relaxing process opens the cuticle, allowing your hair to absorb and replace the protein it has lost.

Is It Okay If I Use Neutralizing Shampoo When I Want To Remove My Hair Dye?

Yes, you may use it. Whether you use a purple hair dye for black hair without bleach, split hair dye, or any color for black women’s hair, a pH-balancing shampoo will restore your hair’s natural pH balance. It will also assist in closing the hair’s cuticle and removing the color. It’s not required, but it’s perfectly OK unless your hair color brand specifies otherwise.

What If I Don’t Use a Neutralizing Shampoo After Relaxing My Hair?

The chemicals in your hair might make your strands brittle and dry if you don’t apply a neutralizer after relaxing. This will eventually result in significant hair loss and breakage.

Can Neutralizing Shampoo Wash Out A Perm?

Yes, a neutralizing shampoo can strip the perm chemicals of your hair and restore it to its old pH levels.


In totality, whatever you want to do with your hair, don’t forget the proper products and procedures you should follow. From the latest hair straighteners, eyebrow trimmers to hair follicle stimulators, we’ve got you covered. For the latest on all things hair care, read on our site to know more!

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