Monday, December 24, 2018

Product pH List

This is a short-looking list but read carefully, for some brands or some lines within a brand, the pH range is for multiple products. Some brands are not forthcoming with their pH range, either by direct request or looking through safety data sheets.

pH is given in a range because it may vary from batch to batch or product to product, though the pH needs to be in a specific range in most cases in order for preservatives to be effective and the product to be stable on the shelf.

Hair is at its least vulnerable between about pH 4.5 and 6.5. Outside that range, it is more vulnerable to damage. Lower pH products don't necessarily force cuticles to "close" - for some people the opposite can happen - hair-swelling in very-low pH can cause cuticles to pop up. It's likely safe to keep products in this range if you have delicate, breakage-prone or damaged hair.

ProductpH Range
Alterna Bamboo Smooth anti-frizz shampoo6-6.5
Alterna Bamboo Smooth anti-frizz conditioner3 - 4.5
Aussie Instant Freeze Gel7.5-8.5
Aussie Mega Moist Conditioner: 5.3-6.7
Aussie Mega Moist Shampoo5.3-6.7
Castile soap (liquid, un-diluted, such as Dr. Bronners)8.9-10
Design Essentials Honey Crème Moisture Retention Super Detangling Conditioning Shampoo5.8-6.6
Clay, bentonite mixed with distilled water~8
Clay, rhassoul, mixed with distilled water6.5-7.5
Design Essentials Kukui & Coconut Hydrating Conditioner5.8-6.6
Head and Shoulders Dandruff Shampoos4 to 6
Herbal Essences Conditioner: Hello Hydration3.5 to 6.5
Herbal Essences Conditioner: Long Term Relationship3.5 to 6.5
Herbal Essences Mousses5.5 - 6.5
Herbal Essences Set Me Up Gel7.5-8.5
Homemade Flax Seed Gel (made with distilled water)5.3
LA Looks Mega Mega Hold Styling Gel5 to 6
LA Looks Sport 5 to 6
Lemon juice (undiluted) ~2
Long Hair Don't Care products5.5 to 6.5
Shea Moisture Brand Products (this is the range they provide for their products)5 to 6.8
Soultanicals (All products except Master Hair Cleanse)5.5 to 6.5
Suave Conditioners - all Variations5.2
Tresemme Conditioners (All varieties)5
V05 Extra Body4 to 5
Vinegar (undiluted)2-3


  1. Hey, I'm not sure if you are taking a break or you resigned from the blog, but I wanted to say, that I use the information you provide every day and you saved me already so many times from harming my already compromised skin and hair. I have a question: I have a pretty oily scalp, that's also extremely dehydrated and somewhat dry (my skin in general gets oily to compensate) and while I don't get the dandruff flakes, it starts to itch pretty much the moment my skin and hair dry completely after washing. When I'm itchy and I apply any liquid (not just scalp treatments, even pure water) the itching stops. Do you know what it could mean? I tested everything I use on my wrists and didn't get allergic reactions, I tried dandruff shampoos, tea tee and rosemary oils and hemp/coconut/argan oils, ACV with mother rinse, moisturizers, I am currently experimenting with a cream and a gel with urea (one has 20,one 30%), lactic and salicylic acid and I'm not sure which one's better and if it's a good idea at all. I'm really sad and desperate now and I blindly try everything with little to no results
    and I already lost a lot of hair to it. Do you think it could be seborrheic dermatitis? What's up with water helping with the itch? Normally water causes itch on my body, because it's drying, so it confuses me. Could you please tell me if you have any theory and advise?
    Hope you are doing well and planning to come back, greetings!

    1. Hello Ocandro, It sounds like your skin might be dehydrating after washing to me too. In dry air or windy conditions, even a "dry" scalp will tend to produce more oil. And an "oily" scalp can be tipped in favor of more fluid oils (greasy) or more solid oils (waxy residue). Those tend to feel different. Skin that dehydrates will often increase oil production as a last resort because it is trying to prevent more water from leaving the skin. That is a "skin barrier" issue - if your skin barrier function that normally preserves hydration isn't working well, skin dehydrates easily, can feel itchy, especially sensitive, tight. You may very well have an underlying skin condition if the skin on your body dries out with water-exposure. I can't tell what that is, but keep in mind that conditions like seborrheic dermatitis, eczema, rosacea, all have a common denominator - inflammation. Inflammation weakens the skin barrier from within. ---- If none of those treatments has provided relief, you might try using a mild, fragrance-free shampoo (dilute it with water to keep it mild) to avoid drying your skin. Topical hydrocortisone is often used to reduce itching related to allergy or inflammation, the only product I know of that is easy to find is is Scalpicin. A doctor or dermatologist would have different anti-itch/anti-inflammatory medications. ---- Salicylic acid shampoos often help, I rely on fragrance-free ones like Neutrogena T-Sal or DHS Sal shampoo - those help with exfoliation - which is necessary for some people even if there is no flaking or peeling. Urea is hydrating and exfoliating, I wasn't terribly impressed with it when I was experimenting with it. --- There are lotions for reducing itching like Sarna Sensitive or CeraVe Itch Relief Moisture Lotion - but they're not designed to cure, just to relieve itch. How that would work with your hair - I don't know!
      If you can afford it, seeing a dermatologist (or a general practitioner first if that's faster) could steer you in the right direction better than I can. It would probably be best to get a diagnosis, especially if you can't recall an exposure to anything out of the ordinary that provoked this period of itching and hair loss.
      I encourage you to find some fragrance-free products, use mild cleansers, not-too-hot water. One new fragrance-free pyrithione zinc shampoo that works for a friend with an itchy scalp (nothing else has helped other than Scalpicin), called "Dr. Eddy's Happy Cappy Shampoo." It's for babies with cradle cap. Works for grown-ups too. My go-to medicated products are DHS Sal Shampoo and Dr. Cynthia Bailey's Foaming Zinc Cleanser. I use one of those 1-2 times per week. In between, I use a very, very mild, unscented shampoo. I wash my head a lot. :) Good luck! W