Neutralizing shampoos have been available for a while, but they have recently gained popularity among consumers and hair care professionals.
Purchasing a neutralizer shampoo, on the other hand, is quite expensive. Fortunately, you can still replace the neutralizer shampoo with several alternatives.
So, if you are wondering what can replace neutralizing shampoo to save some money, let’s get started!
What Is A Neutralizing Shampoo?
A neutralizing shampoo, often known as a counterbalancing shampoo, is essentially a formula that helps restore the pH of the hair and the scalp to normal levels.
Most neutralizing shampoos have a color-changing lather that lets you know if any chemicals are left in your hair.
You’d never know how your hair strands are destroyed daily if you used conventional shampoo.
Furthermore, a neutralizing shampoo is frequently used after applying a hair relaxer to eliminate the alkalinity.
Regular shampoo has an acidic pH, whereas neutralizing shampoos have a far higher acidic pH. Because alkalinity is neutralized by acidity, hair treatments are corrected with neutralizing shampoos.
What Are The Benefits Of Neutralizing Shampoo?
As mentioned earlier, this shampoo is often used after using a hair relaxer, which contains harsh chemicals that drastically alter the structure of your hair.
These chemicals must be discontinued when completed to avoid hair and scalp damage. This is where neutralizers come in, with the following advantages.
Restore pH balance
As the name implies, the main advantage of neutralizing shampoos is to neutralize.
Chemical treatments like hair coloring, spas, and keratin are typically highly alkaline and, thus, can alter your hair’s natural pH and boost it above 10.
Thanks to their acidic ingredients in neutralizing shampoos, like lactic acid and citric acid, they serve to neutralize this effect.
Improve scalp health
A healthy scalp contributes to healthy and fine hair. To do this, it is crucial to keep the scalp’s natural pH, balance, and sebum levels.
Neutralizing shampoos aid in the cleansing of your scalp and hair. Further, they relieve scalp irritation produced by using alkaline products and hair treatments.
Also, using a neutralizing shampoo on your hair might help it become smoother, shinier, and more manageable.
Reduce the dullness and greasiness of your hair
Keeping your hair at the right pH level keeps it smooth and shiny. The pH range of healthy hair is between 4.5 and 5.5.
Neutralizing shampoos assist in maintaining this pH, which helps keep your hair cuticles closed and avoid greasy hair.
Reverse the effects of coloring and bleaching
Bleaching and coloring your hair causes it to lose its natural pH levels and chemical balance.
These methods expose your hair cuticles to alkaline substances and induce moisture loss. As a result, your hair becomes frizzy, brittle, and dry.
Therefore, avoiding very alkaline items like sodium hydroxide and triethanolamine is best. Neutralizing shampoos have a low pH and can help counteract the adverse effects of hair dyes and bleaches.
Avoid hair breakage and split ends
Water has a pH of 7.0, whereas your hair has a pH between 4.5 and 5.5. Rinsing your hair using water disrupts this pH and allows water to permeate the hair cuticle, damaging the keratin bonds and causing breaking.
But if you use neutralizing shampoo, it will restore the hair’s pH, preventing it from breaking.
Neutralize brassy undertones
Neutralizing shampoos assist in neutralizing brassy, purple undertones in your hair, which can help to prevent or reduce graying.
It also aids in the maintenance of lighter hair color on bleached hair and minimizes fading.
Stop relaxers’ action
Relaxers can create scalp burns and entirely dry up your hair if used over an extended period. However, rinsing with water does not permanently remove the chemicals.
Here comes neutralizing shampoo, which halts relaxers before they cause too much damage and remove the residual chemicals.
What Happens If You Don’t Use A Neutralizer?
Being important, but do you know what may occur if you do not use a neutralizing shampoo?
The primary reason for using a neutralizer is to provide intensive hair care for delicate skin. Those with sensitive skin may lose hair if they do not apply a neutralizer.
Furthermore, if they have blocked their hair with residue, using regular shampoo will hurt the scalp.
For instance, since clarifying shampoo has a higher pH, it will cause hair dryness, hair loss, and other problems.
What Can Replace Neutralizing Shampoo?
There are several alternatives to neutralizing shampoo, including both natural and synthetic alternatives. So, let’s find out what they are!
Clarifying shampoo is not ideal, but it can still be used instead of neutralizing shampoo because it does not remove your hair from its natural oils.
Even though both clarifying and neutralizing hair solutions remove residue and buildup, clarifying provides deep cleansing rather than controlling pH levels as a neutralizer.
It is also vital to note that hair cleaners should be utilized sparingly and only when necessary.
A chelating shampoo can also be used in place of neutralizing shampoos because it is intended to eliminate mineral deposits and other deposits from your hair.
They are a slightly better choice than regular shampoo as they rarely remove your hair from its natural oils.
Notably, a chelating shampoo is significantly stronger than a clarifying shampoo in that it has chemicals that will truly dissolve the mineral deposit from your hair.
EDTA, sodium gluconate, and phytic acid are among the substances that may be present.
For the best, you should only apply it once a week or as needed.
Apple cider vinegar
The ultimate goal of using neutralizing shampoo is to eliminate all adverse effects of any chemical and restore the pH level to normal. And apple cider vinegar acts as an excellent natural neutralizer.
Apple cider vinegar has a naturally acidic PH. As you rinse it after using shampoo, it neutralizes the PH of your hair, making it smooth and simple to detangle.
In addition, it can help ensure a deep clean of your hair while maintaining the proper pH balance of your scalp.
To use it as a neutralizing shampoo, you can fill an empty spray bottle with three teaspoons of apple cider vinegar for each cup of water to test it out.
Then, apply the solution to the scalp and rub for several minutes in the shower before washing and styling as usual.
However, keep in mind that although acidic, apple cider vinegar still lacks the qualities of a true neutralizer and cannot remove chemical relaxers from hair.
Because of its alkaline pH, baking soda is a good cleaner for your hair and scalp. It cleans the scalp by removing debris and buildup as well.
However, the typical pH of your scalp is acidic, ranging between 4 and 5. Outside this pH range, your hair cuticles open and lose moisture, resulting in dry, frizzy, rough, and unmanageable hair.
With a pH of 9, baking soda is really outside of your scalp’s “safe zone.” If diluted or used incorrectly, it may easily alter the pH balance of your scalp and harm your hair.
Yet, when applied appropriately, baking soda cleans, softens, and revitalizes your hair. You can do this by following it with apple cider vinegar. This treatment is quick and easy, and it smooths and moisturizes your hair!
How To Make Homemade Neutralizing Shampoo?
The simplest basic DIY shampoo recipe takes only two components: water and baking soda.
Simply combine a tablespoon of baking soda with a cup of water, and you are done! You have a gentle neutralizing shampoo that will eliminate buildup while leaving your hair fresh and clean.
If you want a more clean shampoo, you may add several drops of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to the water and baking soda mixture.
This will assist in removing any excess oils and grime from your hair, leaving it clean. Just make sure to use a conditioner afterward since these acidic substances can dry if applied too frequently.
Furthermore, remember to put your homemade shampoo in a dark glass bottle and then use it within a few weeks for optimal results.
For those who are a big fan of neutralizing shampoos, this video will help you discover more about this excellent product:
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are The Best Neutralizing Shampoo For Relaxed Hair?
The best neutralizing shampoo for relaxed hair rehydrates your scalp. It will condition the ends of your hair without totally removing the substance used to straighten your textured locks.
Listed below are some of the greatest shampoos on the market.
Isoplus Neutralizing Shampoo And Conditioner
This delicate solution contains proteins derived from plant extracts such as soy and rice, and it helps smooth the cuticle layer to prevent breaking.
It will provide your hair with a superior moisturizing system and aid in the restoration of water balance, as well as moisturize and strengthen each strand of hair.
MIZANI True Textures Moisture Replenish Shampoo
The first ingredient on the list is coconut oil, which conditions, silkens, and smoothes your hair. What we really like about this product is that although being incredibly hydrating, it does not leave your hair greasy at all.
Furthermore, the shampoo is free of silicones, sulfates, and parabens, which are known to harm gowns. As it is sulfate-free, you may apply it to color-treated hair without hesitation.
ORS Olive Oil Professional Neutralizing Shampoo
This neutralizing shampoo is ideal if you want a shampoo that lathers well and makes your hair feel fresh and clean.
It aids in the preservation of the scalp’s protective layer, which traps moisture and oils for healthy hair development while reducing irritation such as dandruff and scalp infections.
Can You Use a Neutralizing Shampoo As a Regular Shampoo?
Although neutralizing shampoos are designed specifically for chemically treated hair, they are not suitable for daily use.
High acidic chemicals are found in neutralizing shampoos. After treatment, they react with the alkali left on your scalp and hair to restore the scalp’s natural pH.
Nonetheless, if you use them daily, they will reduce the pH of your scalp and make it far too acidic.
If this occurs, your scalp will lose hydration and become exceedingly dry. Your hair will also get dry and frizzy, and you may have hair loss.
As a result, do not apply neutralizing shampoo as regularly as ordinary shampoo. Once or twice a week is more than sufficient to keep your hair and scalp relaxed.
Should You Use A Neutralizing Shampoo After Dyeing Your Hair?
After coloring your hair, you should use a neutralizer conditioner instead of a neutralizer shampoo. Since such shampoo is significantly more acidic, it will neutralize alkalinity.
Dyeing your hair produces a lot of alkalines, so using neutralizing shampoo may cause a lot of problems. Shampoo, for instance, will enter your scalp and attempt to fade the hair color.
That is the reason why the neutralizer conditioner with the ideal acid balance has arrived. It will restore the correct pH balance without fading the color.
Neutralizing shampoos are excellent because they help reverse hair damage caused by hair products and styling, as well as restore your hair’s natural chemical balance. That is why most hair stylists suggest neutralizing shampoo. However, if the cost of such shampoo seems too high, you can consider clarifying or chelating shampoo or natural alternatives like apple cider vinegar or baking soda instead.