How To Balance The pH Of Your Hair For A Healthy Look

Simple and natural homemade remedies to enjoy nourished, frizz-free tresses.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Shruti Chavan, MBBS Dr. Shruti Chavan Dr. Shruti ChavanMBBS
Written by , MSc Annie Jangam MSc Experience: 11 years
Edited by , BA, MSc Eshna Das BA, MSc Experience: 3 years
Fact-checked by , MA (Journalism & Mass Communication) Monomita Chakraborty MA (Journalism & Mass Communication) Experience: 4 years

If you are fed up with trying various products, expensive salon treatments, and DIY home remedies to get healthy hair without any results, it is high time to start looking for tips to balance the pH of your hair.

Maintaining the right hair pH is crucial. Factors such as pollution, usage of harsh chemicals will disturb the pH, which eventually results in dry and damaged hair. This hair pH imbalance also allows the unwanted growth of microbes on the scalp. So, we have come with a list of natural solutions that will help maintain your hair’s pH balance. Scroll down to know ways of getting lustrous hair that everyone dreams of.

What Is The pH Of Hair?

Image: Shutterstock

The pH of the hair shaft is 3.67, while that of the scalp is 5.5. Optimum pH levels are crucial for the overall health of your hair. pH, or the potential of hydrogen, denotes the concentration of Hydrogen ions (H+). Thus, based on the pH, we can classify a substance as acidic (pH below 7), neutral (pH of 7), and basic or alkaline (pH above 7).

This shows our hair is acidic. In the upcoming section, we will further delve into the importance of hair pH and how you can maintain it.

Why Does The pH Of Your Hair Matter?

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The optimum hair pH is acidic. An acidic hair pH regulates sebum production and microbial growth. Disturbance in the hair pH can mean loss of moisture or an imbalance in sebum production. This can lead to dry, brittle hair. Even the hair care products you use should not disrupt the natural pH balance of your hair.

  • For instance, alkaline shampoos increase the negative charge on the hair strands (1). They cause the hair cuticles to swell up and open, making hair frizzy. These shampoos with high alkalinity can damage the cuticles and make hair prone to breakage.
  • Similarly, an acidic pH regulates the bacterial growth on the scalp. Products with an alkaline pH can trigger microbial overgrowth and cause scalp infections, itchiness, and clog hair follicles.
  • Alkaline hair is often characterized by a dry, itchy, and flaky scalp. It disrupts the natural sebum protection mechanism and makes your hair vulnerable to infections.
  • Bleaches and hair dyes contain alkaline ingredients essential for pigment deposition. However, these also can upset the natural pH of your hair and cause cuticle damage.

pH-balanced hair care products can gently cleanse the scalp of product build-up and dead skin cells without stripping the natural moisture and oils. These can also restore the optimum hair pH and make your hair smooth, shiny, and healthy.

protip_icon Did You Know?
The pH of tap water ranges from 7 to 10. High water pH can make your hair swollen, saturated, and weak.

How To Balance The pH Of Hair Naturally

You can start by examining your hair for dryness, brittleness, or itchiness. Using acidic ingredients can help restore your hair pH. These shrink the hair fibers of the cuticles and cause them to lie flat on the hair shaft, making the hair smoother.

  • Aloe Vera Juice Rinse
Aloe vera juice rinse for balancing scalp pH
Image: Shutterstock

Apply aloe vera gel to your hair and rinse with warm water. You may also add a few drops of coconut oil if you have dry hair. This rinse also closes the cuticles and removes frizz.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse
Image: Shutterstock

Apple cider vinegar has a pH of 3. Hence, it is essential to dilute it with water before use. Use the diluted mixture on your hair strands to balance their pH.

  • Aloe Vera Hair Mask
Image: Shutterstock

You will need

  • One cup of aloe vera juice
  • 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • Water


  1. Mix the ingredients thoroughly.
  2. Apply the mixture to your hair by distributing it evenly along the hair length. Divide your hair into sections for proper coverage.
  3. You can also apply this mixture to your scalp to reduce dandruff. Massage gently with your fingertips in slow, circular motions.
  4. Leave this mask on for 20 minutes.
  5. Shampoo and condition as usual. Use lukewarm water.
  • Baking Soda Hair Clarifier
Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • Baking soda
  • Water


  1. Mix 1 part baking soda with 3 parts water to create a smooth paste.
  2. Apply the paste to wet hair, focusing on the roots and scalp.
  3. Gently massage your scalp for a few minutes to remove product buildup and impurities.
  4. Leave the mixture on your hair for 1-3 minutes.
  5. Rinse your hair thoroughly with warm water.
  6. Follow up with a conditioner, if needed.

This is a popular DIY method for using baking soda for pH balance in hair care as it is alkaline in nature. As a hair clarifier, it is a pocket-friendly option that may help remove excess grime and dirt from your hair. However, there is no scientific research to back up this claim.

protip_icon Quick Tip
You can use a homemade leave-in conditioner made of 2 tablespoons of jojoba oil, 2 tablespoons of aloe vera juice, and 2 tablespoons of silicone-free conditioner to hydrate your hair. Apply this mixture to washed hair. Wait till it dries to go about styling your hair.

Infographic: Hair pH: Why It Matters &Tips To Balance It

Following a good hair care routine, maintaining good hair hygiene, and still having frizzy hair is frustrating. However, you might be missing one detail in your hair care regimen: your hair’s pH balance! Yes, your hair has an acidic pH level, and some products you are using may disturb it. Check out the infographic below to understand the importance of your hair’s pH balance and find out how to maintain it.

hair ph why it matters & tips to balance it (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Maintaining the right pH balance in your hair is crucial for your hair health. A disruption in the pH balance can result in an imbalance of sebum production or loss of moisture in the hair shafts. Additionally, using products with alkaline pH can clog the hair follicles and cause scalp infections. You can use ingredients such as aloe vera or apple cider vinegar to reduce frizz and dandruff as they have more acidity, which may help balance the pH of your hair. Using these natural ingredients will reduce dryness and improve overall hair health.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is pH-balanced shampoo?

A pH-balanced shampoo has a low acidic level, which maintains your hair and scalp’s pH levels.

Is hair conditioner acidic or alkaline?

You can find acidic and alkaline hair conditioners. You can check the pH level of your conditioner by using a paper pH test strip. You can also buy conditioners and hair care products made to aid pH balancing.

What is the pH of apple cider vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar has a low or acidic pH level of between 3.5-5, depending on its concentration.

Key Takeaways

  • pH imbalance of our scalp can lead to dry, brittle hair, scalp irritations, and infections.
  • Common household items like apple cider vinegar and aloe vera can help you regain the pH balance of your scalp naturally.
  • Avoiding harsh heat styling or chemical treatments can help prevent further damage.

Dive into the science of pH balance and its impact on your natural hair. Learn how to maintain a healthy pH level to promote strong, vibrant hair from root to tip from this informative video.
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