best low ph shampoos

4 Best Low pH Shampoos 2022 | pH-Balanced And Neutral Products

It’s important to use a low pH shampoo as your scalp and hair have a slightly acidic (low) pH and using alkaline products (with high pH) can leave them dry and frizzy.

So you probably didn’t think that shopping for shampoos will involve remembering your high school chemistry lessons. But here we are!

If you’re using the best shampoos (even the sulfate-free ones!) and not getting results, it might be because of the shampoo pH.

The pH scale ranges from 1-14 with one being highly acidic, 7 being neutral and 14 being highly alkaline.

Our hair usually has a pH of 5.5 and our scalp 3.5 which falls on the slightly acidic side. But a lot of shampoos (especially ones with harsh surfactants) come with alkaline formulas that disrupt your scalp and hair pH.

This can lead to changes in sebum production, changes in hair shaft texture, an increase in bacterial/fungal growth and other problems.

The easiest way to avoid this issue is to use shampoo with a low pH formula. Now, most professional or salon shampoos have a low pH, but very few chemical ones do.

Even the ones marketing themselves as “pH-balanced” are exposed as having alkaline formulas when we do a litmus test on them. 

So I decided to use some top “low pH shampoos” in the market today and check if really do have a low pH and if they are good for your hair. 

Best Low pH ShampoosBest ForTop Ingredients
Videri Peppermint & Tea Tree ShampooOily HairAloe Vera, Jojoba Oil, Peppermint, Tea Tree Oil
Joico Moisture Recovery ShampooDry HairSea Kelp, Jojoba Oil, Shea Butter
Avalon Organics Biotin B-Complex Thickening ShampooThinning HairBiotin, Aloe Vera, Citrus Oil, Saw Palmetto
dpHUE Apple Cider Vinegar Hair RinseCurly Hair/Afro HairApple Cider Vinegar, Argan Oil, Vitamin E
Sebamed Everyday ShampooSensitive/Inflamed ScalpSulfocussinate, Citric Acid

How I tested the best low pH shampoos?

I tested the shampoo for the following factors when I used them. I also rated them on a scale of 1-5 for you to select the shampoos easier. 

  • Formula (Low pH Levels) – The first test I did was putting the shampoos through an electronic pH meter (no I didn’t have one lying around, I bought it to test these shampoos!) The ideal pH we want our shampoo to be is less than 5.5
  • Ingredients  –  The other thing I checked for was the presence of sulfates. Having harsh surfactants will negate any positive factors of a low pH shampoo
  • Hair Care Benefits – Having a low pH isn’t enough, the shampoo should be “worth” something to your hair! So I checked if it does damage control, reduce hair fall, moisturize hair, etc.

Top Low pH Shampoos 2022

Videri Peppermint & Tea Tree Shampoo


low ph shampoo sulfate free

The first low pH shampoo I tried out was this Videri Peppermint and Tea Tree Shampoo and I was very shocked (pleasantly of course!) to see how well it worked on my hair.

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First of all I loved that it was sulfate-free. Not all low pH shampoos are, so it was a delight to find this as it didn’t fade dye from my color-treated hair when I started using it.

Also, it didn’t contain parabens which are scientifically proven to be harmful to your health. So this shampoo gets another point from me!

It lathered really well despite being free of SLS and SLES so that was a plus and unlike a lot of other shampoos it kept my hair moisturized while also removing a majority of oil and debris from strands and scalp.

I also adored the fresh scent and was even happier to see to it was from natural essential oils of lavender and chamomile and not from perfume.

Even low pH shampoos have hidden irritants like sulfates and perfumes so I was glad to see this shampoo didn’t contain either.

Pros:

  • The formula is sulfate-free, hence suitable for sensitive scalp and colored hair
  • The aloe vera and jojoba oil keep hair and scalp moisturized
  • The tea tree and rosehip essential oil help controls oiliness on scalp
  • Vegan and cruelty-free formula good is eco-friendly and animal-friendly
  • The formula is free of problematic preservatives like parabens

Cons

  • None that I noticed while using the shampoo

My Ratings:

  • Formula – 4.5/5
  • Ingredients – 5/5 
  • Hair Care Benefits – 4.5/5

Who It’s For – People with oily hair

pH Level – 4.2-5.8

Sulfate-Free – Yes

Joico Moisture Recovery Shampoo

ph level of shampoo brands

I’m a huge fan of Joico products so I used this Moisture Recovery shampoo first. And to say I had mixed feelings would be an understatement.

On testing the shampoo with the pH meter, I found its pH to lie somewhere between 4.5-5. Not bad at all! But it’s not the same as the 3.5 which was advertised.

Now coming to the shampoo itself. I liked how it moisturized my hair on first use itself. It lathered well and I didn’t need to use a lot of the product. 

But I was disappointed to see the inclusion of SLES in the formula. So using it on very dry 4c hair or color-treated hair is out of the question as it strips moisture and hair color.

My slight frizzy curls, however, reacted well to the shampoo and looked hydrated for a long time.

I also liked the scent the shampoo left behind on my hair – a mix of peach, orange, and hyacinths!

However, this scent is a result of added perfumes, which was a bummer. If you have a sensitive scalp I think you should steer clear of Joico.

Pros:

  • Formula is both cleansing and moisturizing so it doesn’t form product build-up on scalp
  • Moisturizing ingredients make it suitable for 4c hair as well

Cons

  • Hair can feel weighed down due to the heavy formula
  • It contains sodium laureth sulfate which makes it unsuitable for color-treated hair

My Ratings:

  • Formula – 4/5
  • Ingredients – 4/5 
  • Hair Care Benefits – 4/5

Who It’s For – People with dry hair

pH Level – 4-5

Sulfate-Free – No

Avalon Organics Biotin B-Complex Thickening Shampoo

best low pH shampoos

Okay, so I can safely say that the Avalon Biotin Therapy shampoo was my favourite from this low pH shampoo list. 

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Firstly, I noticed that it is completely sulfate-free! I could safely use it even when I had dyed my hair.

And there is no added perfume either! The citrusy fragrance here is purely due to the lemon and citrus essential oils. So you sensitive-scalp folks can use it safely too.

The shampoo also doesn’t make any false claims about being pH-balanced as I found the pH to be between 3.5 and 4, which you can see is actually better than the Joico Moisture Recovery shampoo.

What I liked most about this shampoo is the inclusion of biotin and saw palmetto (DHT blockers) in the formula.

I used this shampoo for a few weeks and I could see my hair strands feeling fuller. And DHT blockers have been proven effective at reducing your hair fall.  

I just had one complaint, the addition of alcohol in the products. This can dry out curly hair textures and type 4 African American hair. 

So folks with this texture will be better off with Joico as it has nourishing ingredients like shea butter to counter the drying effects.

Also, this shampoo is free from silicones. So you won’t find your hair soft and smooth on the first wash itself. Just give it time to work on your tresses!

Pros:

  • Sulfate-free formula safe for colour-treated hair
  • Good for sensitive scalps as it is perfume and colourant-free
  • Vegan and cruelty-free formula that’s good for the environment
  • Contains DHT blockers that prevent hair fall

Cons:

  • Will take time to show its effectiveness
  • Not suitable for African American hair as it’s not very nourshing

My Ratings:

  • Formula – 4.5/5
  • Ingredients – 5/5 
  • Hair Care Benefits – 4.5/5

Who It’s For – Damaged, thinning hair / Color-treated hair

pH Level – 3.5-4

Sulfate-Free – Yes

dpHUE Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse

shampoo ph levels chart

If we’re getting really technical, the dpHUE is technically not a shampoo but a hair rinse. It won’t clarify your scalp or hair but it will remove any product build-up thanks to the apple cider vinegar formula.

I used it almost every day on my hair when I got it, and it dry out my scalp at all! It’s got argan oil and vitamin E too so it keeps your hair moisturized.

And that’s what makes it so perfect for 4c hair. I really recommend it to Afro-haired folks especially if your wearing protective hairstyles and cannot really use a “shampoo” regularly.

I loved that there are no traces of any harsh ingredients. No sulfates, alcohol, added perfumes, or parabens! 

So if you have a sensitive scalp or even issues like inflammation or redness, this is a good choice.

Yes, you can use it on colour-treated hair. I found that it actually made my hair colour seem more vibrant and shiny thanks to its cuticle-sealing properties.

Oh, and the nozzle dispenser on the packaging is genius! I could directly use the shampoo on my scalp (yes, it’s okay to do it in this case as it’s a mild formula).

The only scruple I have is the price! It’s twice as expensive as say the Avalon Organics shampoo. 

But if you’re looking for a mild yet cleansing product is totally worth it. 

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Pros:

  • The surfactant-free formula doesn’t strip hair colour
  • Extra mild on scalp as it’s free of sulfates, fragrances and alcohol
  • Can be used daily as it has a very mild formula
  • Vegan formula good for the environment

Cons:

  • Doesn’t lather well due to a lack of sulfates
  • Will not clarify your hair thoroughly as the formula is rather mild

My Ratings:

  • Formula – 5/5
  • Ingredients – 4.5/5 
  • Hair Care Benefits – 4/5

Who It’s For – Scalp with product build-up, Folks with African American hair looking for mild cleanser

pH Level – 4-5

Sulfate-Free – Yes

Sebamed Everyday Shampoo

low ph shampoo research article apa

I used the Sebamed shampoo as I had heard a lot about its pH-balanced, hypoallergenic formula.

And I wasn’t disappointed at all. The shampoos cleansed my scalp well and didn’t strip it of either colour or moisture.

I like that it contains milder surfactants like sulfosuccinate instead of SLS and SLES. So it lathers nicely but it is gentle at the same time.

The pH formula sits exactly at 5.5, which is not as low as Joico Moisture Recovery or even Avalon but it’s still a good choice for people who have scalp issues and might not handle a very acidic pH.

I just wish the shampoo could have been perfume-free! It’s the one thing that disappointed me in an otherwise amazing product.

I was happy with the price too. Yes, it’s more expensive than Joico or Avalon but it’s way, way affordable than the dpHue cleanser. 

Pros:

  • pH-balanced formula makes it good for dermatitis, scalp acne and inflammation
  • Mild, sulfate-free formula can be used everyday

Cons:

  • The pH is 5.5 which is balanced but comparatively higher than Joico or Avalon
  • Doesn’t work well on oily scalps as it’s very mild
  • Contains perfume which might not suit some scalps

My Ratings:

  • Formula – 4/5
  • Ingredients – 4.5/5 
  • Hair Care Benefits – 4.5/5

Who It’s For – Dry, sensitive scalps & Flaky, irritated scalps

pH Level – 5.5

Sulfate-Free – Yes

Take a quick look at these low pH shampoos and their properties below!

Low pH shampoosJoico Moisture Recovery Shampoo
Avalon Organics Biotin B-Complex Thickening ShampoodpHUE Apple Cider Vinegar Hair RinseSebamed Everyday Shampoo
Images
pH Level4.5-54.5-53.55.5
Cleansing4/53.5/55/54.5/5
Gentleness3.5/54.5/54.5/54/5
Fragrance4.5/53.5/5.54/54/5
Price5/53.5/53/53/5
Sulfate-FreeNoYesYesYes

It’s not compulsory for you to use a low pH shampoo. Remember, every scalp and hair type is different and has different needs.

I, do recommend these products to people dealing with overly-processed, damaged, dry and frizzy hair as the disruption of scalp pH is a major cause of these hair issues.

A low pH shampoo can also be useful for girlies with type 4c hair (or Afro hair textures as it’s commonly called) as they can increase moisture retention and help with curl definition.

But it’s not only necessary to use a good low pH-balanced shampoo. I have to add that a gentle,  alcohol and silicone-free conditioner is as important. 

Also Read:

Best herbal shampoo

Best shampoo for psoriasis

Best shampoo to treat scalp acne

Best shampoo for smelly hair

Joico Moisture Recovery Moisturizing Shampoo

The best low pH shampoos prevent dryness, frizz and scalp inflammation. The Joico Moisture Recovery Moisturizing Shampoo is suitable for all hair types.

Product SKU: JCL5298GI22P02

Product Brand: Joico

Product Currency: USD

Product Price: $19.00

Price Valid Until: 2023-04-16

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
5

Pros

  • The shampoo is sulfate-free
  • It contains a low pH formula that suits sensitive scalp

Cons

  • The shampoo will not suit oily scalp