How to Balance PH in Hair Naturally

February 11, 2014 8 Comments

Potential of Hydrogen, or pH, is the measurement of how acidic or alkali a substance is. It is judged on a scale between 0 and 14. Anything between 0 and 6.9 is acidic, 7 is neutral, and anything between 7.1 and 14 is alkaline. Human hair and scalp oil, sebum, has a pH balance of between 4.5 and 5.5. This natural hair acidity prevents fungi and bacteria in the hair and scalp, and keeps the cuticle closed and healthy. Many of the hair products that people use disrupt the natural pH of the hair. A substance that is too alkaline will cause the hair cuticle to open, while a substance that is too acidic will cause the cuticle to contract. This article will tell you how to balance pH in hair naturally.


1) Assess your current hair. There are a number of conditions that can indicate the pH of your hair. It is important to establish a general pH before you can balance it to the healthy level.
If you have problems with fungi or bacteria on your scalp, it is likely that your scalp and hair are too alkali. Usually, this means that you are using a product that has a high pH above 7, and it is stripping away your naturally acidic sebum that fights bacteria.
If you have permanently dyed or relaxed hair, your hair was first treated with a highly alkali substance to expose and change the hair's cuticle, and then, it was "neutralized" with a highly acidic substance to flatten the cuticle again. This is a damaging process and slightly acidic hair products are needed to keep the hair cuticle lying flat.
If you have curly hair, then your cuticle is already partially open. It is especially important for people with curly hair to return their hair to a slightly acidic pH level, since the open cuticle prevents natural acidic sebum to keep the entire hair at a pH level between 4.5 and 5.5.
If you have straight hair, you should use hair-care products that are pH balanced, but may not need to apply extra products because the sebum moves through your hair, creating a natural pH balance.

2) Read the labels on your current hair products. If they do not say they are pH balanced for your hair, then they should be tested to see how they affect your hair. A pH between 4 to 7 works well on hair.
Buy test strips online or from beauty supply stores. Pour your liquid product into a glass, stick the test strip into the glass for the amount of time the strip directions indicate. Remove the strip and compare it to the diagram to find the pH of the product. Discontinue the use of any product outside of the 4 to 7 pH range.

3) Wash your hair with pH balanced shampoos and conditioners. Rinse your hair. This will return your hair to a neutral, rather than acidic pH level. Water has a pH level of 7, so it is more alkali than your hair.

4) Use a natural acid to bring your hair into an acidic pH range, if your hair is naturally oily. You can pour aloe vera juice in a bottle and mist it over your hair. This will also close the cuticle and remove frizz.
You can also use apple cider vinegar. It has a pH level of about 3. It should be diluted with water until it has a pH level of 4. Many people prefer aloe vera gel because the vinegar smell is too strong. If you rinse your hair after using the natural acid, the water will deactivate the acid.

5) Apply a leave-in conditioner to wet hair to return your hair to the 4.5 to 5.5 natural acidity, if your hair is naturally dry or damaged. Use a homemade leave-in conditioner composed of the following recipe.
Pour 2 tbsp. (30 ml) of a silicone-free conditioner, 2 tbsp. (30 ml) of whole-leaf aloe vera juice and 2 tsp. (10 ml) of jojoba oil into a bowl. Mix well with a spoon and use a pH test strip to ensure the pH is not under 4.5.
Apply the mixture to damp, washed hair. Allow it to dry and style as usual.

Credit: Article Courtesy of Wikipedia

Food List:

Ranked Foods: Alkaline to Acidic

Extremely: Alkaline 

Lemons, watermelon. Alkaline Forming Cantaloupe, cayenne celery, dates, figs, kelp, limes, mango, melons, papaya, parsley, seaweeds, seedless grapes (sweet), watercress.Asparagus, fruit juices, grapes (sweet), kiwifruit, passionfruit, pears (sweet), pineapple, raisins, umeboshi plums, and vegetable juices.
Moderately Alkaline Apples (sweet), alfalfa sprouts, apricots, avocados, bananas (ripe), currants, dates, figs (fresh), garlic, grapefruit, grapes (less sweet), guavas, herbs (leafy green), lettuce (leafy green), nectarine, peaches (sweet), pears (less sweet), peas (fresh, sweet), pumpkin (sweet), sea salt (vegetable).Apples (sour), beans (fresh, green), beets, bell peppers, broccoli, cabbage, carob, cauliflower, ginger (fresh), grapes (sour), lettuce (pale green), oranges, peaches (less sweet), peas (less sweet), potatoes (with skin), pumpkin (less sweet), raspberries, strawberries, squash, sweet Corn (fresh), turnip, vinegar (apple cider).

 Slightly Alkaline:

Almonds, artichokes, brussel sprouts, cherries, coconut (fresh), cucumbers, eggplant, honey (raw), leeks, mushrooms, okra, olives (ripe), onions, pickles (homemade), radishes, sea salt, spices, tomatoes (sweet), vinegar (sweet brown rice).Chestnuts (dry, roasted), egg yolks (soft cooked), essene bread, goat’s milk and whey (raw), mayonnaise (homemade), olive oil, sesame seeds (whole), soy beans (dry), soy cheese, soy milk, sprouted grains, tofu, tomatoes (less sweet), and yeast (nutritional flakes).

Neutral Butter (fresh, unsalted), cream (fresh, raw), cow’s milk and whey (raw), margarine, oils (except olive), and yogurt (plain).

Moderately Acidic:

Bananas (green), barley (rye), blueberries, bran, butter, cereals (unrefined), cheeses, crackers (unrefined rye, rice and wheat), cranberries, dried beans (mung, adzuki, pinto, kidney, garbanzo), dry coconut, egg whites, eggs whole (cooked hard), fructose, goat’s milk (homogenized), honey (pasteurized), ketchup, maple syrup (unprocessed), milk (homogenized).Molasses (unsulferd and organic), most nuts, mustard, oats (rye, organic), olives (pickled), pasta (whole grain), Pastry (whole grain and honey), plums, popcorn (with salt and/or butter), potatoes, prunes, rice (basmati and brown), seeds (pumpkin, sunflower), soy sauce, and wheat bread (sprouted organic).
Extremely Acidic Artificial sweeteners, beef, beer, breads, brown sugar, carbonated soft drinks, cereals (refined), chocolate, cigarettes and tobacco, coffee, cream of wheat (unrefined), custard (with white sugar), deer, drugs, fish, flour (white, wheat), fruit juices with sugar, jams, jellies, lamb.Liquor, maple syrup (processed), molasses (sulphured), pasta (white), pastries and cakes from white flour, pickles (commercial), pork, poultry, seafood, sugar (white), table salt (refined and iodized), tea (black), white bread, white vinegar (processed), whole wheat foods, wine, and yogurt (sweetened).

8 Responses


July 07, 2017

I am not sure of the source of your food list, but some of the foods appear to be distributed into categories at random (lemons, for example, are highly acidic with a ph of 2 to 3 depending on the lemon) . An update with better references would be helpful—to help with this, suggests (fairly diplomatically compared to the wikipedia page on alkaline diets) that there isn’t really any evidence supporting an alkaline diet model. If you are focused on promoting adjustments to hair, then the food list still doesn’t make sense because it contradicts your article.


June 03, 2017

Hi tel me my hair is dull &a dry &light so what I have to use harbalproducts


February 19, 2017

Thanks for article. I have a 3.5 ph conditioner for my straight hair…is this too drying? I also have one that is 4.0-5.0 and one that is listed as 4.5- 5.5…which is best, especially since I am planning to bleach my hair in a couple of months? Also, with the aloe vera spray, should I put that on after conditioner and rinse, or before shampooing? Thanks for imput.


October 24, 2016

Hi there,
Great article! I’ve been trying to change over to an all natural shampoo for a while now and can’t seem to find the right one. This article is very helpful! My hair tends to be on the oily/greasy side so I’m trying to find the right fit for a shampoo! I have used apple cider vinegar but did rinse it out so I will try it again without rinsing it! And I also have used aloe Vera gel with baking soda and a little olive oil. That worked some days but not always. Sometimes still greasy after. I’m wondering if there are any essential oils that you would recommend using to help with oily hair and hair growth? Maybe to add to the ACV or aloe Vera juice? Thank you! -Leah

Celeste M Munford, J. Lexi, LLC
Celeste M Munford, J. Lexi, LLC

May 28, 2016

The best water for your hair is acid water made from an ionizing water filter. Check out my Acid Beauty Water + Acid Hair water @

Acid water adds shine + softens hair. This 100% water is chemical free + is great for both natural + chemically process hair alike.

Jifam Tahmid
Jifam Tahmid

May 26, 2016

Thanks for this important information,I hope this helps me more than i want


March 18, 2016

Thanks for the information! Lemon is regarded as extremly akaline? Is the PH level mesured when it is digested in bio system? It would be thankful if you can explain more about it.


May 04, 2015

This is great. Thanks for the informative article. One thing I find is that when I try aloe vera juice it leaves my hair dull and dry, even rough feeling. I read the ingredients and see that it has additives/preservatives. Tried the preservative free one and …. same result :-( I’m in the UK and it seems what we get are ‘cheap’ imitations as imports compared to buying direct in the US. Any suggestions?

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