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Home » Hair Care Products » ᐅ 10 Best pH-Balanced Shampoos and Conditioners (2023 upd.) for Every Hair Type

ᐅ 10 Best pH-Balanced Shampoos and Conditioners (2023 upd.) for Every Hair Type

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aida turner

Published by Aida Turner

Fact checked by Annie

Ever wonder why you have dull hair and an unhealthy scalp? You probably need a pH-balanced shampoo and conditioner in your hair care routine.

Using non-low pH conditioners and shampoos can adversely affect hair and scalp health, based on the study.1 This includes:

  • Altering the scalp’s natural acidity causes dryness, itching, and flakiness.
  • Stripping hair of its natural oils and leaving it vulnerable to damage and breakage.
  • Fading or discoloring of hair color treatments.
  • Increasing the production of sebum leads to oily hair and scalp.
  • Inhibiting the effectiveness of hair treatments, such as deep conditioning or chemical treatments.
BEST OVERALL

Amazon best-selling product B083L9RK6N

Our rating

Joico Moisture Recovery Moisturizing Shampoo

  • Paraben, sulfates and fragrance free
  • pH 4.5 – 5.5 formula
  • For thick, coarse and dry hair
RUNNER-UP

Amazon best-selling product B00AUTL1MC

Our rating

SexyHair Big Volumizing Shampoo/Conditioner

  • Provides moisture and hydration
  • SLS & SLES Sulfate free
  • For all hair types
Best Value

Amazon best-selling product B00NXDZ59W

Our rating

Unwash Anti Residue Hair Cleanser: pH Balanced Clarifying Shampoo

  • Has lower pH levels
  • For oily, fine, curly, coarse, damaged hair
  • Sulfate and paraben free

What is a pH-Balanced Shampoo?

Shampoos and conditioners are pH-balanced if their pH level is similar to or lower than the pH of the hair and scalp. The scalp’s pH is 5.5, while the hair shaft has a pH of 3.6, so an acidic shampoo with a pH below 5.5 is recommended.

If you have chemically treated hair (because of permanent dyeing or permanent waving), the most satisfactory option is a pH-balanced shampoo to recover and rebuild your hair and scalp.2

List of the best pH-balanced shampoos and conditionerspH Level
Best OverallJoico Moisture Recovery Moisturizing ShampoopH 4.5 – 5.5
Runner-UpSexyHair Big Volumizing Shampoo/ConditionerpH 4.5 – 5.5
Best ValueUnwash Anti Residue Hair CleanserpH 3.5 – 4.0
Best for Oily ScalpsVideri Peppermint & Tea Tree ShampoopH 4.2 – 5.8
Best for Sensitive or Itchy ScalpSebaMed Everyday ShampoopH 5.5
Best for Dry HairNexxus Therappe Moisturizing ShampoopH 4.8 – 5.5
Best for Curly HairdPHUE Apple Cider Vinegar Hair RinsepH 4.0-5.0
Best for Natural HairKeracare Moisturizing ShampoopH 6.0
Best for Color-Treated HairHerbal Essences Repairing Argan Oil ShampoopH 3. 5 – 5.0
Best for Thinning HairFekkai Full Blown Volume ShampoopH 4.5 – 5.5

Top 10 pH-Balanced Shampoos and Conditioners List

It may be difficult to look for the best pH-balanced shampoos and conditioners. Some brands don’t indicate the pH level of their products on the packaging.

But don’t worry! We did the spadework to develop our top 10 picks for low-pH shampoos and conditioners. Check out this buying guide as you figure out your hair care routine!

1. Best Overall – Joico Moisture Recovery Shampoo and Conditioner

Detailed review

This low-pH shampoo and conditioner from Joico is our top pick among all the brands we reviewed in this article. It’s a commonly used professional brand in salons.

As a pH 4.5 – 5.5 formula, this brand perfectly moisturizes the hair, from roots to tips, making it an ideal hair care product for those with thick, coarse, frizzy, and dry hair.

As it replenishes the hair’s moisture, it also restores the smoothness and elasticity of every strand. It’s also versatile with any type of hair and infused with essential ingredients that keep your hair healthy.

Main ingredients

  • Brown Algae
  • Sea Kelp,
  • Seawater Nutrients
  • Jojoba oil
  • Shea butter

Revitalizes hair by infusing moisture and reinforcing hair’s protective barrier to prevent moisture loss.

Joico Moisture Recovery Shampoo is a mild hair cleanser that gently washes without stripping moisture away.

If you’re looking for a low-pH shampoo to help with dryness, frizziness, and tangles, this is the brand we highly recommend for you!

Pros

  • Ideal for different hair types
  • Restores smoothness and elasticity
  • Moisturizes the hair from roots to tips
  • Great for chemically-treated hair

The Cons

  • Expensive

Compliments Well With

Our experience with the product

“…improves hair texture and softness. It also fortifies weak hair fibers and guards against future breakage.”

2. Runner-Up – SexyHair Big Volumizing Shampoo/Conditioner

Detailed review

Next on our list is the SexyHair Big Volumizing Shampoo/Conditioner. It shares a similar pH level with the Joico shampoo. Hence, we know it will leave your hair silky smooth and healthy.

It similarly works with ANY hair type and enhances your hair’s shine and elasticity. SexyHair Bug Volumizing Shampoo is ideal for thin flat hair who wish to achieve more volume.

Main ingredients

  • Botanical extracts
  • Vitamin B3 & Lemon grass
  • Hydrolyzed quinoa protein
  • Spirulina Maxima Extract

SexyHair Big Volumizing Shampoo/Conditioner is a great formula for a color-treated and chemically-damaged mane. It also helps normalize your hair’s pH, adapting to its needs.

This is a vegan, gluten-free, and sulfate-free shampoo with organic ingredients.

Pros

  • Keeps hair silky and smooth
  • Enhances the shine and elasticity
  • Great for fine, curly hair

The Cons

  • Doesn’t lather well in small amounts

Our experience with the product

“Although pricey, this shampoo delivers great results for my delicate curly locks. My hair feels refreshed and nourished, not dehydrated.”

3. Best Value – Unwash Anti Residue Hair Cleanser

Detailed review

For around $25, you’ll already get a 10 Oz. pH-balancing shampoo. It has an even BETTER pH scale than the previous products, with only 3.5 – 4.0.

Unwash Anti Residue Hair Cleanser is a great hair care product that would help strengthen your mane. Given that it’s a thickening formula, it’s also a good option for thinning hair.

Main ingredients

  • Cocamide Dipa (Non-DEA)
  • Coconut And Babassu Oils
  • Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil

This product supports a healthy scalp and strong hair, from roots to tips. It gently cleanses the hair, too, with its organic ingredients.

It’s also a cruelty-free, fragrance-free, sulfate-free, and vegan shampoo. No harsh chemicals!

Pros

  • Has lower pH levels
  • Strengthens the hair
  • Promotes hair growth
  • Vegan and sulfate-free formula

The Cons

  • Doesn’t lather enough

Our experience with the product

“I exclusively use this shampoo for clarifying purposes. It has a fresh scent and effectively removes build-up, without over-drying my hair. The results are always a clean and healthy head of hair.”

4. Videri Peppermint & Tea Tree Shampoo – Best for Oily Scalps

Detailed review

The best vegan shampoo that cares for people with an oily mane is Videri Peppermint & Tea Tree Shampoo.

It keeps the hair moisturized and gently cleans the scalp to remove excess oil, dirt, and debris. With this formula, oily scalps are nothing to be worried about!

On top of that, it helps replenish the damage and minimizes breakage, split ends, and brittle hair.

Main ingredients

  • Aloe vera
  • jojoba oil
  • tea tree essential oil
  • peppermint essential oil
  • lavender flower water

The ingredients of Videri Peppermint & Tea Tree Shampoo are meant to refresh the hair and get it back in shape.

It also improves your mane’s elasticity and strength to keep it from breaking and becoming dull.

Pros

  • Replenish damaged hair
  • Minimize breakage, split ends, dullness, and brittleness
  • Removes excess oil gently
  • Improves hair strength and elasticity

The Cons

  • Expensive
  • Slight tingling sensation due to peppermint

Our experience with the product

“I was pleasantly surprised by how revitalizing this shampoo was. It gave my hair a lift, without making it feel heavy or stripped of moisture.”

5. SebaMed Everyday Shampoo – Best for Sensitive or Itchy Scalp

Detailed review

If you have an itchy or sensitive scalp, the SebaMed Everyday Shampoo is a good pick for you. It prioritizes scalp health by gently cleansing dirt and debris away without stripping the scalp’s natural oils.

It also prevents scalp irritation with its hypoallergenic formula. Besides that, it also moisturizes your mane to promote bouncy and shiny hair.

Main ingredients

  • Botanical cleansing agents

SebaMed’s formula can also help thicken the hair. Hence, if you wish to achieve a voluminous mane while caring for your scalp and hair, it’s a good everyday shampoo to add to your routine.

This is suitable for all hair types and people with sensitive scalps as it doesn’t contain soap and traces of alkali in its formula. We also recommend this brand for those with sensitive skin.

SebaMed is great for those with a flaky scalp, dandruff, scalp psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, and oily scalp.

Pros

  • Helps thicken the hair
  • Controls dandruff and flakiness
  • Suitable for people with dermatitis and sensitive scalp

The Cons

  • Doesn’t contain essential oils and extracts
  • Has sulfates and fragrance

Our experience with the product

“This shampoo is unparalleled and particularly helpful for those with dry hair and dandruff issues.”

6. Nexxus Therappe Moisturizing Shampoo – Best for Dry Hair

Detailed review

Having super dry hair is frustrating. If you have this hair type, your mane may need an extra dose of moisture and a ph-balancing shampoo.

To solve your problems, consider including Nexxus Therappe Moisturizing Shampoo in your routine.

It’s packed with amazing ingredients to help replenish and nourish both your scalp and hair. Plus, it will smoothen your strands to restore elasticity.

Main ingredients

  • Wheat protein
  • caviar extract
  • coconut oil
  • fucus algae extract

Nexxus Therappe is a great formula to restore damaged hair from hair color treatment and bleaching.

With caviar complex and elastin protein, this brand will surely revive the moisture your hair and scalp yearn for.

Pros

  • Provides extra moisture to revive dry and brittle hair
  • Smoothens and restores elasticity
  • Great for chemically-treated hair

The Cons

  • Not the best formula for oily hair

Our experience with the product

“This shampoo has greatly tamed my frizz, resulting in a level of softness I haven’t experienced in a long time.”

7. dPHUE Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse – Best for Frizzy Hair

Detailed review

Apple cider vinegar hair rinse became a trend for at-home hair care treatment due to its benefits on hair.

What more if it’s infused with other ingredients like argan oil, vitamin E, and aloe vera?

That’s what dPHUE Apple Cider Vinegar offers to its users. It’s a great hair rinse, especially for those with frizzy and textured hair. This is a formula we recommend for Afro hair.

It also has properties that care for the hair cuticles and helps strengthen the hair. Despite being a hair rinse, it cleanses the mane really well, like other low-pH shampoos on this list.

Main ingredients

  • Aloe vera
  • argan oil
  • vitamin E
  • lavender extract

This hair rinse is a great formula for those with colored hair. It makes the colors pop and appear more vibrant, as this low pH formula seals the cuticle scales.

It’s a great alternative to natural shampoo, especially if you find it difficult to wash your hair with protective hairstyles (e.g., braids, knots, rows).

Pros

  • Suits protective hairstyles
  • Great for textured and frizzy hair
  • Makes hair color appear vibrant

The Cons

  •  Not a clarifying formula

Our experience with the product

“At almost 70, I’ve grown my hair out again, and it’s longer than it’s been in years. This shampoo and vinegar rinse combination have been a game changer – my scalp feels rejuvenated, and my hair is silky and smooth.”

8. Keracare Moisturizing Shampoo – Best for Natural Hair

Detailed review

Keracare has a slightly higher pH than the other pH-balanced shampoos on this list. Yet, it’s still a great natural shampoo for those with hair that is natural and NOT chemically treated.

For a low price, you’ll be able to have a good formula for itchy scalp and dandruff control. It will also help moisturize and nourish your hair for a shiny, strong mane.

Main ingredients

  • Aloe vera
  • apple extracts
  • lemon peel extracts
  • green tea leaf extract

KeraCare is a good pH-balanced shampoo that can protect you against dry scalp and prevent itchiness. It also minimizes tangles, as well as dry and brittle hair.

Pros

  • Relieved itchiness and dandruff
  • Moisturize, nourish, and strengthens the hair
  • Minimize tangles and brittleness

The Cons

  • Almost neutral pH

Our experience with the product

“I’ve been using this product for the past five years and have not had any dandruff issues. It leaves my hair moisturized, not stripped of its natural oils.”

9. Herbal Essences Repairing Argan Oil Shampoo – Best for Color-Treated Hair

Detailed review

If you love going to the salon to get your hair color treatment, there’s also a great possibility that your hair is damaged. You may also need a good shampoo to keep your hair vibrant-looking.

Herbal Essences Repairing Argan Oil Shampoo is our best bet for you!

This formula works great in replenishing damage in color-treated hair. It revitalizes your strands to promote healthy hair, plus a soft and bouncy mane even after chemical treatment.

Main ingredients

  • Argan oil
  • aloe vera
  • natural sea kelp

This formula is paraben-free and dye-free. Plus, it claims to be color-safe. Hence, you can assure that it’s FREE from harsh chemicals that will strip the vibrancy away.

Pros

  • Color-safe
  • Revitalize damaged hair
  • Makes the hair color look vibrant

Cons

  • Strong scent
  • Limps thin hair

Our experience with the product

A different phrasing could be: “This shampoo has shown significant REPAIRING benefits. My hair feels healthy, soft and has a light bounce to it, it’s also effectively tackled my split ends.”

10. Fekkai Full Blown Volume Shampoo – Best for Thinning Hair

Detailed review

Don’t worry if you have thinning and fine hair. The Fekkai Full Blown Volume Shampoo will help you achieve the fullness and volume you’ve wished for.

It has a revitalizing formula that’s ideal for smoothening hair strands. It will also help detangle your hair for easy combing.

Main ingredients

  • Green coconut water
  • french oak extract
  • iselux
  • rosemary

With this formula, you’ll be able to achieve soft, bouncy, and voluminous hair in no time. It will give your flat mane extra volume and minimize frizziness and tangles.

Pros

  • Detangle and smoothen hair
  • Minimize frizziness
  • Gives extra volume to a flat mane

The Cons

  • Some users experience irritation and itchiness

Our experience with the product

“A little goes a long way with this product. I highly recommend it to those with flat, limp hair like mine.”

The Benefits of pH-Balanced Shampoo

A pH-balanced shampoo can offer numerous benefits for your hair and scalp, including:

  1. Maintaining the natural pH balance of your hair and scalp
  2. Preserving the hair’s natural oils and moisture
  3. Improving hair shine and luster
  4. Reducing breakage and split ends
  5. Preventing dryness and itching
  6. Promoting a healthy scalp environment
  7. Improving the overall health of your hair.

A pH-balanced shampoo can help keep your hair and scalp in the best condition possible, resulting in firmer, shinier, and healthier hair.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Low pH Shampoo and Conditioner

Several factors you need to consider when scouting for the best low-pH shampoos and conditioners are:

  • Ingredients – The ingredients of the products you use say a lot about how they would care for your hair and scalp. 
    • Avoid paraben, sulfates, alcohol, fragrance, silicones, artificial colors, and dyes.
    • Contain: aloe vera, chamomile, glycerin, proteins (such as keratin), essential oils (such as lavender or tea tree oil) – Check The 10 Best Oil For Hair
  • Scent – We often like shampoos and conditioners that smell like flowers or the tropical breeze. However, if you have a sensitive scalp, we suggest you ditch the super fragrant formula. It might also cause irritation, itchiness, and dryness.
  • pH level – The ideal low-pH shampoo for your scalp and hair ranges between 5.5 and 3.6, respectively. This is an excellent scale to keep the moisture locked in without disrupting pH balance and causing damage.
  • Scalp and hair benefits – You should choose products that keep the hair healthy and moisturized and prevent damage, brittleness, frizziness, and hair fall. Other products also support hair growth, which is excellent for those with flat and dull manes and people experiencing hair loss. Similarly, it should adapt to oily and sensitive scalps and help replenish and relieve them from irritation and damage.
  • Brand reputation – Choose well-established brands that have a reputation for producing quality, effective hair care products. For instance Joico, Olaplex, Evolvh, Unwash, Christophe Robin, and Aveda.

Our Expert Advise

Here are our expert tips and tricks to consider while using a pH-balanced shampoo for the best result:

  1. Use as directed: Follow the instructions on the product label and use the shampoo as directed.
  2. Choose the right product: Select a pH-balanced shampoo suitable for your hair type and specific needs. Our tip is Joico Moisture Recovery pH-Balanced Shampoo
  3. Test first: Before using the shampoo on your entire head, it’s a good idea to test it on a small section of hair to ensure that it agrees with your hair and scalp.
  4. Rinse thoroughly: Rinse the shampoo thoroughly from your hair to avoid buildup or residue.
  5. Avoid over-shampooing: Over-shampooing can strip your hair of its natural oils, so it’s essential to limit the frequency of washing.
  6. Follow with conditioner: To keep your hair hydrated, it’s recommended to use a pH-balanced shampoo with a matching conditioner.

Conclusion

Joico Moisture Recovery pH-Balanced Shampoo is our best pick among the ten options.

Our recommended application:

  1. Dampen hair and then apply.
  2. Foam up and rinse clean.
  3. Finish with Moisture Recovery Conditioner.

Our broad experience with the product is that its use has eliminated dandruff in just seven days and reduced itching and dryness of the scalp. Thanks to its low pH value, it does not cause scalp irritation, so it is highly recommended for those who experience this problem.

My experience with the shampoo was that the color of my dyed hair did not lose its vibrancy even after two weeks of use. I haven’t experienced this with other shampoos; the Joico Moisture Recovery offers an exception. Additionally, my hair ends did not become brittle and were more resistant to damage.

Best Choice

Amazon best-selling product B083L9RK6N

Our rating

Joico Moisture Recovery

Glamour.com Award 2020 winner for the “Best Pro Shampoo + Conditioner for Moisture”

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the method to determine the pH level of my hair?

You can find test strips online to help you figure out the pH level of your hair.

Another way to test the pH of your hair is to use litmus paper which is commonly used to test the pH of liquids. Simply take a small sample of your hair, wet it and apply litmus paper to it. The color change on the paper indicates the pH value of the hair.

Is hair loss a result of a pH imbalance?

A pH imbalance can potentially lead to hair loss as it can cause damage to the hair and scalp, leading to weak and brittle hair that can break easily.

How frequently should you use a pH-balancing shampoo?

Daily use of a pH balanced shampoo is recommended, but if you have dry hair, using it a few times a week is sufficient.

References:

1: Gavazzoni Dias MF, de Almeida AM, Cecato PM, Adriano AR, Pichler J. The Shampoo pH can Affect the Hair: Myth or Reality? Int J Trichology. 2014 Jul;6(3):95-9. doi: 10.4103/0974-7753.139078. PMID: 25210332; PMCID: PMC4158629.

2: Alessandrini, A.; Piraccini, B.M. Essential of Hair Care Cosmetics. Cosmetics 2016, 3, 34.

aida turner

Aida

Founder & Hair Beauty Specialist

I’m Aida and this is my blog where I write mostly about beauty and make up related stuff, but I like to spice it up a bit with lifestyle and photography posts. Or with whatever that comes to my mind. Hope you will enjoy the reading enough that we will ‘see’ each other more often!