Everything You Need To Know About PH Shampoo Bars

Often marketed as natural ingredients only and zero waste, shampoo bars have now become more popular than ever. In this article, we’re going to delve deeper into the benefits of pH shampoo bars and why you should consider making the switch.

PH Shampoo Bars

When considering your hair and the products that are exposed to it, you might not think much about pH levels. But did you know that the pH level of your hair determines what products you should be using? Enter shampoo bars.

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PH Balanced Shampoo Bars Comparisons Table

Many shampoo bars on the market are too alkaline.

However, there are some pH shampoo bars that contain gentle, natural ingredients that won’t strip away your natural oils.

More importantly, they won’t alter your hair’s natural pH. These are great alternatives to the overly-processed products that are often advertised.

What is pH?

As you may or may not know, a pH level is an indication of how acidic something is.

The typical pH of your hair is around 4.5-5.5 due to the fact that it is mostly made up of oil, salt, and water, which is slightly acidic.

Also Read: Shampoo Bars Pros and Cons: Most Important Facts

Why Is pH Important To Hair And Scalp?

We need our pH level to be between 4.5-5.5 in order for the cuticles to remain closed and healthy.

If the pH level of your hair increases, then this can cause the cuticles to open up. This can lead to brittle, weak hair that breaks off easily.

It can also cause an irritated, damaged scalp – that’s something you will want to avoid entirely!

If your hair is curly then naturally, your cuticles will be partially open. This means that curly hair, in general, is more alkaline than someone who has straight hair. 

Of course, there are ways that you can keep the pH level balanced and that includes using the right products.

Maintaining a pH level within the normal range is very important for the hair and scalp. It’s what keeps it so healthy!

Here is exactly what it does for you:

Protects Against Bacteria And Fungus

Your scalp is prone to bacteria, which is why you need the right level of acidity to fight against this and to keep your scalp and hair looking strong and full of life.

If the balance is disrupted it can cause bacteria to remain and thrive on your scalp. This can cause a host of problems such as dry scalp, dandruff, and hair loss.

Enables Hair Products To Actually Work

If your pH level is unbalanced then any hair products you put on your scalp and hair will make little difference to the appearance.

When it’s within normal range, the products will soak into the hair and scalp as intended to and help strengthen your hair.

Reduces The Risks Of Damage From Chemical Treatments

A healthy pH level means that the cuticles remain closed and therefore they are at less exposure of damage from chemical treatments.

What Causes Unbalanced pH In Hair?

Hard Water

It’s a well-known fact that hard water isn’t good for your hair. But have you ever wondered why? It’s because hard water is more alkaline due to high mineral content.

If you are already using a high alkaline shampoo with hard water then you have a recipe for tangled, waxy hair.


Many hair products are too alkaline and contain chemical ingredients, and in turn, these can irritate your hair and scalp and throw off your natural pH.

Chemical Processes Such As Colouring Or Bleaching

The scalp is very sensitive. When it’s exposed to harsh ingredients like bleach, it can cause the pH level to become unbalanced.

This is also largely due to the fact that these products strip the scalp off its natural oils that are needed to maintain good hair health.

Also Read: The Best Oat Hair Soaps (3 Important Buying Tips)

Symptoms Of Unbalanced pH

There are many unpleasant symptoms that arise as a result of unbalanced pH levels and these include:

  • Hair that is frizzy and dried out
  • Itchy scalp
  • Dandruff
  • Hair that breaks off easily
  • Hair loss and hair thinning

Benefits Of Shampoo Bar Vs Bottle Shampoos

One of the quickest ways to balance your hair’s pH levels is to use a shampoo product that was made specifically for this purpose.

This is where shampoo bars come in handy, as you can find an excellent selection of pH balanced shampoo bars on the market today.

Here are some additional benefits of using shampoo bars:

Zero waste

One of the most appealing aspects of shampoo bars is that they aren’t sold in plastic packaging.

When using these convenient bars, there is absolutely no waste and you can use them until they have completely run out.

Most are made from natural ingredients

Many shampoo bars are made from natural oils like coconut oil, castor oil and almond oil, which can be very nourishing for the hair and scalp.

Many of them are sulphate and paraben-free as well, which makes them a good choice for those looking for a gentle and chemical-free formula.


Due to their size and weight, shampoo bars are far more convenient than plastic shampoo bottles. This means they are perfect for travelling.

The pH Of Shampoo Bars

Now, the downside to some shampoo bars on the market is that they often contain a high pH level.

Many of them are in the range of 8.0 – 9.0, which is far too alkaline to put on your hair and scalp if you want to keep it looking healthy.

When a product with such a high alkaline is absorbed into your hair, it can cause the cuticles to be exposed.

This can lead to a dry scalp and dry, coarse hair that breaks off at the ends.

It’s important that when buying a shampoo bar that you look for one that is advertised specifically as a pH balanced shampoo bar.

Also Read: Easy Guide To Washing Your Hair In Dandelion Tea

If you’re unsure, try to get in touch with the company or the person that creates the product.

There are certain ingredients that you should avoid when deciding what pH shampoo bars you should buy and these include:

  • Sodium hydroxide
  • Sodium lauryl sulphate
  • Palm oil
  • Rice bran
  • Water (if it’s one of the first few ingredients)

If in doubt, it’s always best to look for a shampoo bar that is labelled as pH balanced, rather than taking a chance on a product that could potentially be very damaging to your hair.

Our Top Pick pH Shampoo Bars

#1 Ethique Eco-Friendly Shampoo Bar

Ethique Eco-Friendly Shampoo Bar

Ethique is an eco-friendly brand with the intention of ridding the world of plastic waste by using compostable packaging.

Not only is their pinkalicious shampoo bar great for the environment, but they are extremely good to your hair and scalp too.

This biodegradable shampoo is pH balanced, non-drying, and suitable to use on colored hair.

They also have a lovely smell due to the added grapefruit and vanilla.

#2 Foamie Shampoo Bar

Foamie Shampoo Bar

Foamie shampoo bars are a good choice if your hair is dry and in need of some nourishment. They contain aloe vera and almond oil for deep hydration.

Also Read: Does Shampoo Expire? What You Need To Know

They also have a pH value of 5.5, which ensures that they won’t dry out your scalp or leave you prone to bacteria.

#3 Kind2 The Hydrating One

ph shampoo bars

These pH shampoo bars gently cleanse your scalp while nourishing your hair and ensuring it stays soft and shiny.

These bars contain no nasty ingredients but they are infused with macadamia oils and shea, which will leave your hair smelling good and looking rather healthy.

#4 Daytona Shampoo Bar

ph shampoo bars

These SLS-free shampoo bars are beautifully created and they have a fresh orange scent to leave your hair smelling great all day long.

As these bars only contain natural ingredients such as coconut oil cocoa butter and shea oil, you won’t have to worry about them stripping away your natural oils or colour.

Disclaimer: This site is not intended to provide professional or medical advice. All of the content on LovedByCurls.com is for informational purposes only. All advice should be followed at your own discretion. Ingredients may change at any time so always check the product label before using. Check our full disclaimer policy here.

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Coralle Skye

Coralle is an experienced beauty writer with a passion for wellness, women’s health, and sustainability.