Usually, after straightening your hair, you would follow up with neutralizing shampoo to get rid of all the chemical residues and re-balance your scalp and hair’s pH level. But is it only suitable for straightened hair? Will it have the same effect on other types of hair? Can you use neutralizing shampoo without a relaxer? Read this article to find out.
Related: How Long Does Hair Relaxer Last?
Can You Use Neutralizing Shampoo Without a Relaxer?
Yes, you can use neutralizing shampoo without a relaxer. This type of shampoo is made to be used after chemical hair treatments in general, not just hair relaxers. Rebounded, dyed, and permed hair that has met chemicals can all benefit from neutralizing shampoo.
But you should not use neutralizing shampoo as a regular shampoo. If you employ it too often, it will reduce your pH level more than you want it to, causing damage to the scalp and hair.
Keep reading! We will break this matter down in more detail!
First, What is Neutralizing Shampoo?
A neutralizing shampoo is essentially a specially formulated shampoo that can lower the pH level of your scalp and hair, which was raised because of chemicals from treatments, such as hair relaxing, rebonding, coloring, and perming. Hence, it can re-balance the pH level of your scalp and hair.
In addition, it cleanses your scalp and hair deeply to make sure that there are no residues of chemicals left behind. Typically, this type of shampoo has a color-changing lather. You can look at it to determine whether there are still chemicals in your hair.
So, What? Why Should You Use Neutralizing Shampoo?
When the pH level of your scalp and hair increases, they become dehydrated and easily irritated. The healthy bacteria flora that resides there will also be affected, contributing to various scalp and skin diseases. At the same time, there are agents that fight harmful bacteria and fungal infections, keeping the scalp and hair healthy.
In addition, when your hair encounters substances with a higher pH level than itself, the negative electrical charge on the hair fibers’ surface increases.
This, in turn, ramps up the repulsion and friction between the hair strands, lending to cuticle damage and breakages. Your hair then frizzes, tangles, and loses luster. Your hair cuticles also remain open, leaving them vulnerable and receptive to damage.
Therefore, after the pH level of the scalp and hair is raised during a chemical treatment, you need to bring it back down with neutralizing shampoo.
How Do Hair Treatments Affect the Hair’s pH Level?
As explained above, neutralizing shampoo helps lower the scalp and hair’s pH level when it has risen, which is after you have done a chemical hair treatment. And so, a common question here is, “Why do chemical treatments affect the pH level?”
Let’s look at when hair relaxers are in play.
These chemicals split the natural bonds of your hair so they can alter and reshape them, giving the hair a new look from straight to curly. But in their formulas are high contents of pH components. Your scalp and hair’s natural pH level becomes imbalanced when you let these chemicals come in contact.
Thus, a neutralizing shampoo comes in handy when you have just gotten a chemical hair treatment, such as a relaxing treatment.
When Can You Use Neutralizing Shampoo
Other chemical treatments that can benefit from using neutralizing shampoo afterward are hair rebonding, hair coloring, and hair perming.
This is a chemical procedure that straightens your hair, making it look smooth and silky.
Here is an example of rebonded hair:
The chemicals in this treatment break the natural bonds of your hair, then reconstruct it to deliver results like those pictured above.
During the process, your scalp and hair’s pH level can become imbalanced. So, you need to use a neutralizing shampoo to restore it.
This is also more commonly known as hair dyeing. Here, you are adding pigments to the hair to change its color. Like hair relaxing and rebonding, it involves chemicals.
The chemicals alter the essence of your hair, including the scalp and hair’s pH level. As a result, the natural range goes out of whack. A neutralizing shampoo is necessary to take it back to its standard level.
Below is an example of permed hair.
As you can see, this treatment makes your hair look curly or wavy.
Chemicals are used in the perming procedure to break the bonds between your hair and restructure them. Concluding the treatment, neutralizing shampoo is used to stop them from “doing their job,” remove them from the “job site,” and recover the “job site” back to its original standard.
See also: What Can Replace Neutralizing Shampoo?
Can Neutralizing Shampoo Replace Regular Shampoo?
By the same token, this type of shampoo should really only be used when there are such chemicals involved. You should not replace your regular shampoo with it.
Compared to neutralizing shampoo, a regular shampoo does not have a pH level that is too low or too high. Even with frequent use, it will not change the pH level of the scalp and hair.
Since neutralizing shampoo is designed to lower the pH level of your scalp and hair, using it continually can continually, can result in a lower-than-desired pH level, which does more harm than good. Too-low pH throws your scalp and hair out of balance, and the consequences are the same as those described earlier.
You should not use neutralizing shampoo more than once or twice a week.
Going back to the first question, “Can you use neutralizing shampoo without a relaxer” we can conclude that:
- The answer is YES – if you are using it for other treatments involving treatments other than those involving hair relaxers, such as hair rebonding, coloring, and perming treatments.
- The answer is NO – if you are seeking to replace your regular shampoo with it.
Hopefully, this article has helped you decide when and how often you will be making use of neutralizing shampoo in your hair care routine. Share this to help others too!