How To Balance Hair pH Naturally

Your hair’s natural pH is 4.5 to 5.5. If you are wondering how to balance pH naturally this is your sign to read this article!

The natural pH of hair is between 4.5 and 5.5. Using commercial shampoos and conditioners, even homemade recipes, can alter this pH and negatively affect your hair’s health. There are natural ways to return your hair’s pH to its optimum levels. Higher pH’s can soften and lift cuticles, lower pH’s have the opposite effect.

If you want your hair in its best condition then keeping the pH balance at optimum levels is the first thing you should consider.

Read on to find out how to do this naturally.

How To Balance Hair PH Naturally

What does pH mean?

pH stands for ‘power of hydrogen’ and the scientific scale is from between 1-14, where 1 is extremely acidic, and 14 is extremely alkaline.

A pH level of 7 is considered neutral and pure water would be an example of this.

Bleach would be high on the scale and is extremely alkaline, whereas citrus fruits are acidic and would record a very low number on the scale.

Now you know what pH levels are, you are likely wondering what is the pH level for our hair. Well, most people’s hair is in a pH range between 4.5 and 5.5.

However, this is for undyed, and untreated hair. If you have used any type of product in your hair it is possible that you have altered the natural pH.

If you want to maintain the pH of your hair naturally then you need to know what is the pH level for your hair.

To work this out, start by purchasing some litmus paper from your local chemist, or online.

It is quite an easy process. All you need to do is apply the litmus paper to your scalp and watch to see what the color tells you about your hair.

From this, you can determine which products to use to bring your hair and scalp back into balance.

If you are going to apply anything to your hair then you can also use your litmus paper to test the product to see what effect it might have.

There are several ways to alter the pH of your hair naturally (source 1,2,3,4):

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Vinegar is acidic, with a level of 2-3.

If you have an oily scalp then using a diluted solution of ACV and water will help rebalance your scalp.

2. Yoghurt

This is less acidic than vinegar, but still between 4-5 on the scale, which is nearer your scalp and hair’s natural levels.

Yogurt is great for adding protein and rejuvenating your hair and scalp.

3. Aloe Vera

6 on the scale, aloe vera is less acidic than your scalp’s normal status.

If your hair is prone to frizz, then using aloe vera to close the cuticles could be the answer.

Closing the cuticles stops moisture from the outside from getting into the hair shaft and causing the dreaded ‘frizz’ look.

However, if you have low porosity hair, aloe vera may lead to further dryness.

4. Diet

Remember that the health of your scalp, and therefore your hair, is directly linked to what you put into your body.

A healthy diet will not only improve your general health but will also be seen in the condition of your hair.

Why Is pH Balance For Hair Important?

Keeping your hair balanced with a pH of around 5 will help your hair to look and feel at its best.

It is important to be aware of pH balance for hair growth and health.

It is accepted that the pH levels of your scalp affect growth but how does pH level affect hair?

The following list should give you an insight.

  • Growth: Without a healthy scalp with the correct pH your hair growth may be limited.
  • Loss: If you use the wrong pH product on your hair you may start to suffer from hair loss.
  • Breakage: Hair that is the wrong pH will show more evidence of breakage than hair that is pH balanced.
  • Dandruff: If your scalp is too alkaline then you may suffer from dandruff and other scalp irritations.
  • Frizz: pH will affect your hair’s ability to take in and retain moisture which may lead to frizz or lank hair.

How To Check pH Level Of Hair At Home

If you are wondering how to check the pH level of your hair, then wonder no longer, hair pH test strips are readily available either online or in your local chemist and health food shops.

You can even find them in your local garden center!

Checking the pH of your hair and hair products is one of the easiest things to do.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Purchase your pH test strips (also called litmus paper)
  2. Take one of your strips
  3. Lay it against your hair and scalp
  4. Gently press to ensure that there has been a good contact
  5. Remove the litmus paper
  6. See which color appears/is highlighted
  7. Check on the chart to see if your hair and scalp are at optimum pH levels

Try to use the test on unwashed hair as if you try to do this test on perfectly clean and dry hair, you may not be able to get enough scalp oil to give a good reading.

You can also use the pH testing strips to find out the pH level of your hair products.

Also knowing your hair’s porosity status will help you to decide whether you need more alkaline or more acidic products.

How Does The pH Value Of Products Affect The Hair?

If you are reading this article then you should now know how the ph value of the products used affects the current state of the hair.

Other people might be surprised to learn that their haircare products may have a positive/negative effect on their hair.

This positive/negative effect is not simply down to the products you use, but the porosity type of your hair, and your own personal optimum pH for your scalp.

Any shampoos, conditioners, oils, or anything else you may put in your hair or on your scalp will have an effect on the pH of your hair and scalp.

If you know that your hair is outside the ‘normal’ range, you can use a product of the opposite pH level to bring it back to a healthy level.

If the products you use are too alkaline, or too acidic, increased hair loss and breakage will happen.

Knowing the porosity of your hair will also help you to choose the right product for your hair (source 1,2).


Each shampoo has its own pH levels, and this will depend upon what the particular shampoo is trying to achieve.

A clarifying shampoo will often have a pH of 4.5+.

An anti-dandruff shampoo can have a pH as high as 6.5.

Clarifying Shampoo

Clarifying shampoos and natural clarifying No Poo recipes can have pH’s up to 8 which is extremely alkaline but will work to strip the hair of build-up.


Conditioners often have lower pHs around 3.5 to close the hair’s cuticles.

Hair Mask

Hair masks can be tailored to your hair’s needs but are often pH balanced, being close to your hair’s ‘normal’ pH of 4.5-5.5.


An acidic spray to close cuticles and lessen frizz is very popular.


The pH will depend upon the variety of oil, and even between batches.

Testing before use is a good idea if you suffer from hair loss and breakage.

How To Check The pH Value Of Hair Products

It is always recommended to check the pH of your hair and any new product that you may choose to use.

Remember that just because a particular product used to be right for your hair, it may not be the best for the current health of your hair.

Just like testing your hair and scalp, testing your products can be easily achieved using litmus paper.

You should decant a small amount of product into a dish or bowl and dip the litmus paper in. Remove the paper and check on the chart to see where it falls on the acid/alkaline scale.

If you test your hair at the same time, you can be sure that you are using the best pH balancer for your locks.

What Happens If Your Hair pH Is Too Low?

If your hair pH is too low then this could lead to the following problems:

  • Breakage
  • Split ends
  • Lack of growth
  • Raised hair loss
  • Scalp irritation

Can High pH Cause Hair Loss?

You may be choosing a shampoo with a high pH to combat oily hair, but overuse could cause damage if you are not careful.

A shampoo with a high pH could cause the following:

  • Static
  • Breakage
  • Tangles
  • Color-fading
  • Moisture-loss

As a result of the above, a shampoo with a high pH could increase hair loss and should not be used regularly (source 1).


If you know whether your hair is too alkaline, too acidic, or just right, then you can tailor your hair care regime.

Knowing how to balance hair ph naturally using aloe, apple cider vinegar, or another natural product will help you to keep your hair as healthy as it can be.

Related Questions

What Is A pH Balanced Shampoo?

A pH-balanced shampoo will closely resemble the natural pH of your hair and scalp. i.e. it will be slightly acidic and will help keep the balance your hair needs.

Katrina Stewardson

Hello! My name is Katrina Stewardson, and I've been obsessed for almost ever with discovering the best natural hair methods for my own hair. For years I longed for one website to tell me everything I needed to know about the amazing No Poo Method movement. I just couldn't find one though, so I decided to create it myself! I dearly hope this website will save all you lovely ladies (and gents!) from wasting hours scrolling the internet looking for natural hair-related information like I did.

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