How You Can Use Neutralizing Shampoo For Relaxed Hair?

The main goal of using a neutralizing shampoo for relaxed hair on your hair is to restore or re-balance the natural pH level of your hair. The natural pH level of hair is between 3.5 to 5.5 on the pH scale, whereas the pH level for the scalp is naturally 5.5.

The neutralizing shampoo acts on the hair by neutralizing any alkali residue due to hair gel, sprays, coloring products. The neutralizing shampoo is also known as counterbalancing shampoo.

People are using it on hair to relax and sometimes also on other chemical treatments like coloring. The relaxing treatment can elevate the hair’s pH, breaking the curly hair into straight hair strands. 

Alkaline environments can cause all kinds of hair-related problems, such as hair fall out, dry scalp, scalp fungus, and inflammation.

Why Use Neutralizing Shampoo?

neutralizing shampoo for relaxed hair

The main aspect to keep in mind is the biology of our body. And how it should naturally act, and in the case of our hair and scalp, they are naturally a bit acidic on the pH scale. 

Healthy hair has a normal pH level at a range of 3.5 to 4.5. But if it shifts upwards on the pH scale, it becomes unhealthy for your hair strands. The acidic nature of our hair and scalp helps the hair cuticles lay flat and enables the scalp to fight against some of the bacteria dandruff and inflammation.

So when your hair and scalp inclines towards the basic pH, it lifts the hair cuticles and makes them exposed. Therefore the scalp is left open, vulnerable to bacterial infection and over-greasiness. 

However, if a person undergoes the hair or relaxing treatment, the chemicals involved directly jump your hair pH beyond pH 7. It can be very damageable to your hair.

People who might go under the hair treatments like coloring should know that the whole process of coloring uses many chemicals. It also makes the pH of hair grow a little higher than its natural state. This also leads to the lifting of hair cuticles due to the chemicals.

Consequently, the color pigments during the hair treatment enter the hair shafts resulting in high porosity. The long state of hair in the alkaline pH can cause long-term damage to both the hair structure and scalp.

Neutralizing shampoo keeps your hair at the natural pH of hair. It counteracts the effects of high alkalinity and uses low pH ingredients and deep cleansing formulas so that they can rinse off the harmful toxins and chemicals that can disturb the good harmony of your hair and scalp.

How To Check You Need To Use Neutralizing Shampoo?

Check whether your hair needs some ultimate care or is not in a natural pH state if you recently got the hair treatment. And now your hair locks are looking a bit dull and flat, all in a swift.

Then the problem may be due to the high alkalinity. Now you need a shampoo full of low pH ingredients and the neutralizing formula. Your hair will be in a healthy state again like you hit the reset button for them.

What is a Good Neutralizing Shampoo?

First of all, the two major things a good neutralizing shampoo should do to your hair scalp are to restore the pH level. It also removes all of the leftover chemical deposits from your hair and scalp.  So now you have various options in the market to select the best for your hair.

You can restore your hair after a chemical treatment back to its original state by washing it with a neutralizing shampoo. The shampoo is not always color-changing, but when it is, you can see it as a sign that your hair has not been fully cleaned.

Some come with silk protein to give a better shine after the wash. At the same time, some include honey,  milk proteins, and honey as an ingredient of their product for a better effect on the hair.

Can Neutralizing Shampoo Be Your Regular Shampoo?

neutralizing shampoo for relaxed hair

As the neutralizing shampoo is a bit more acidic as compared to regular shampoo. Then using the neutralizing shampoo for relaxed hair will only make sense if the hair is slightly inclined towards the alkaline pH. So, to explain neutralizing shampoo comparing to a regular one, you can say that neutralizing shampoo delivers a more cleansing action on the hair. 

Also read: How Often Should You Oil Your Scalp? (Not As People Think)

Normally, a hair specialist will recommend not using the neutralizing shampoo for relaxed hair daily as they double up the effect more than the clarifying shampoo. Using neutralizing shampoo daily can make your hair strands dry. 

Therefore, as a piece of advice, you should stick to your regular shampoo with a pH-balanced sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner. Also, use neutralizing shampoo only when your hair has been treated with any chemical.

Neutralizing Shampoo And Clarifying Shampoo Is The Same Or Not?

In simple words, no, they both are not the same and never get confused between the two. Sometimes chelating shampoo can also add up as a part of the confusion. So, all three seem very similar to each other in comparison, but they have been developed for entirely different purposes.

Now to explain all of the three with their particular purpose. We know that neutralizing shampoo and clarifying shampoo removes unwanted residue from the hair and buildup. In clarifying, it goes as far as deep cleaning, but it doesn’t regulate the pH level of hair and scalp.

The expert also recommends that not to use hair cleansers (in other words clarifying shampoo) regularly. They should only be used when you feel that your hair needs a wash from it.

The neutralizing shampoo adds the extra benefit of regulating the pH level of hair and scalp that has gone out of range because of some alkali treatments. While comparing the two neutralizing and chelating shampoos, we can conclude that the main difference is similar to the clarifying one. Because the chelating shampoo also helps in cleansing of hair.

The experts refer to the chelating shampoo as swimmer’s shampoo as they are much stronger in their action. They are referred from their second name because EDTA (Ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid) is an ingredient.

The ingredient can remove minerals, hard metals, and chlorine found in hard water. They mostly cause damage to the hair strands as well as color fading of the hair. 

The minerals in the swimming water can firmly bind to your hair strands but are hard to rinse off from the hair. So, to entirely get rid of the chlorine from the hair, one should use chelating shampoo a couple of times a month because it is very effective than clarifying shampoo and will surely abolish the harmful effects of chlorine.


Use neutralizers to help your hair restoring the acid-alkaline balance after any hair treatment. Therefore, next time you make your hair experience chemical or relaxer treatment, make sure to use a neutralizing shampoo to neutralize your hair.

You can also take advice about neutralizing shampoo for relaxed hair from your hairstylist. After that, ask him to wash it after the hair treatment. This wash with the neutralizer can ensure that your hair will not suffer from any potential side effects. In addition, it’s also to any damage from being in a too alkaline state.

Some hairstylist does care for there clients hair. They even wash their salon instruments after any hair treatment with the involvement of chemicals. In turn, that these chemicals further do not damage any other client’s hair for no reason as not everybody is getting a hair treatment in the salon.

The relaxing treatment can make your hair dry and brittle. Therefore, try to avoid combing after such treatments and thoroughly clean your hair. Doing this with neutralizers straight away to get rid of the hair fall-out situation. 

Combing your hair when they are brittle and dry can break down hair strands in bulk. To present with you a piece of general advice that almost every hairstylist or a trichologist may give. It is to avoid any hair treatment or relaxer treatment that can lead to such bad conditions of hair strands. And they will recommend you to treat your hair with more kinds of natural products.

The natural neutralizing shampoo for relaxed hair may include oils and shampoos with natural ingredients. They also recommend not treating your hair with any chemicals to make your hair health complicated. This guide should be enough to know all about neutralizing shampoo and its use. Also, or what to do and what to avoid after relaxing treatment.

Read more about Can You Leave Conditioner in Your Hair Overnight?


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