Monday, 13 February 2012

pH of Shampoo : The Ultimate List!

Update 13/02/2012 : Newly added - Matrix, Deva Curl, Renpure

Original -  05/02/2012

Here we go. For those keen on pH and pH balance, here are the first results of my research.  The bigger manufacturers were totally helpful since they clearly have good records of the products they make.I also managed to test a few based on those that my circle of friends owned. I will be chasing up many more manufacturers. I promise to name and shame any who do not give up the data (because your consumer deserves to know!)

I know this will be asked - why do manufacturers give a range rather a fixed figure? The reason is that they use buffers which keep the product within a pH range. These buffers will self adjust the pH of the product if a small amount of acid or base is added (eg if water drops into the product, if acids present on your skin find their way into the bottle etc).

By popular demand, I will be doing another list for conditioners and leave ins. I will put up request posts a little later in the week (once I send out requests to all the manufacturers). 

pH of Shampoos

Brand: Herbal Essences
Drama Clean M 5.4-6.6
Hello Hydration M, T 5.3-6.7 (6.5)
Dazzling Shine  T (6.5)
Totally Twisted M 5.3-6.7
Tousle Me Softly M 5.5-6.5
Long Term Relationship M 5.2-6.6
Brand: Pantene
Pro-V Smooth M, T 5.5-6.5(6.5)
Pro-V Hydrating Curls M 5.5-6.5
Pro-V Relaxed and Natural M 5.3-6.7
Curly Hair Series Moisture Renewal M 5.3-6.7
Brand: Aussie
Aussie Moist M 5.4- 6.4 
Brand: Matrix
Biolage (shampoos and shower gels) M 3.5 - 9
Brand: Tresemme
Natural with vitamin E M 5-6
Naturals Moisture M 6-6.5
Naturals  M 5-6
Brand: Aphogee
Deep Moisturizing M 5-5.5
Shampoo for damaged hair M 6-7
Brand: Suave
Suave (all) M 5-7 
Brand:Creme of Nature
Kiwi and Lime T (6.5)
Brand: VO5
Milks Strawberries and Cream M 5.5-6.5
Tea tree tingle M 5-6
Kiwi Lime M 5.5-6.5
Brand: Dove
Moisturizing Shampoo M 5-7
Brand: Johnsons
Top to toe baby wash T (5.5)
Brand: Renpure
Organics - Moisturising Shampoo M 6.0-6.8
Brand: Devacurl
Devacurl and Devacare no poo M 6.5
Devacurl and Devacare low poo M 6.5
Brand: Nexxus
Shampoo Therappe M 4.8-5.5
Brand:Trader Joe
Trader Joe Nourish Spa T (7)
Brand: Yes to
Yes to Carrots M (6-7)
Brand: Giovanni
Smooth as silk T (6-7)
Tea tree T (6)

(**These are alkaline soap based shampoos**)
Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose (HSR) T (9)
Aubrey Organics GBP   (9)*
Alaffia (all) (8-10)*
Oyin Honey Wash (8-10)*
Castile Soap/Dr.Bronners (10-11)*
Karen' Body Beautiful Cool Clarifying Shampoo (8-10)*

(**pH values are only reliable for water soluble liquids. A shampoo with solids cannot have a reliable pH value**)
Terresentials Mud Wash -
Rhassoul Clay (mixed with liquid) -
Bentonite Clay (mixed with liquid) -

The values in the table are sourced as indicated below
M   - manufacturer value
T - The Natural Haven test value
* - This value is untested but likely given the shampoo is soap based

If you have not yet added your shampoo to the research list then please leave a comment!

The companies I have emailed and I am awaiting a response:
Shea Moisture, Kinky Curly, L'Oreal, Carol's Daughter, Burts Bees, Lush


  1. Could you possibly post on the Shea moisture line of shampoos/conditioners?

    1. Yes they are on the email list along with Kinky curly

    2. I'd like the ph of Creme of Nature Argan oil shampoo

    3. If you're still here, hehe, please, what about Macadamia Natural Oil? And thanks for your work. :)

    4. Also, could you note the ph of Elasta QP brand (shampoos and conditioners)? Thank You. xxx

    5. could you do a ph list of shampoos that don't have sodium laurate?

  2. This is wonderful info. Thank you so much!!


  3. That's fantastic! I can't believe I was toying with the idea of buying Aubrey Organics at the weekend. You've done a stirling job and saved me a tenner and some unwanted scalp irritation no doubt. God bless you!!!

  4. What is the best ph range for shampoos?

    1. Cosmetic chemists like a pH range between 4-7. This range is close to the natural range of skin and hair.

      Soap based shampoos will most likely always be alkaline (ph 8+) because soap is alkaline. The surfactants in soap however are much larger than those in shampoo and therefore some people find that despite the high pH, the soap based shampoo does not irritate skin or hair.

    2. This is an interesting finding about soap, as I was toying with the idea of getting a shampoo bar, but not too sure now.

  5. Great list. Could you find some info on the L'Oreal EverStrong sulfate free line?

  6. Hey Jc
    Another great post! Thank you!
    Can you find out about Lush Shampoos? e.g Big, I Love Juicy, Antiphilitron ...

    Also Kiehls Amino Acid, Origins, Head Organics ...
    Thanks again!

    1. I will send emails out tomo :)

  7. JC - this is great! This helped me decide on which shampoos to incorporate into my routine. It also explains why sometimes I would get product buildup with certain shampoos and very dry hair with others, even after conditioning and styling with butters etc. Here's my next question - now that I understand the difference with the shampoos and soaps, do you think alternating between shampoos and soaps are a good idea to get a balance between clean hair and scalp, on one hand, and moisturized hair on the the other?

  8. Can you add KeraCare to that list?

  9. Shea Moisture african Black Soap Bar
    Giovanni Smooth as silk
    Giovanni 50:50

  10. Hi Jc,

    Were you able to get a reply from Lush about their Rehab Shampoo, or The Body Shop Rainforest Shine Shampoo?

    1. Not yet, I forgot body shop but lush is emailed. I will email body shop

  11. Could you please add Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition?

  12. Neutrogena Triple Moisture Cream Lather Shampoo!

    Please and thank you :)

  13. Oh, and Elasta QP Creme Conditioning Shampoo.

  14. Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Creamy Aloe Shampoo :) And perhaps Avalon Organics Lavender (as I found it ineffectual as well as irritating but it was sulphate free :() and Waitrose own brand shampoos? The waitrose are sulphate free too and cheap old me wants to know if they're a viable option lol.

  15. You may not be able to get these, but I checked their website and they do have stores in the UK.

    Sally's Beauty Supplies Silk Elements Luxury Moisturizing Shampoo and Mega Silk Moisturizing Treatment conditioner.

  16. So according to this list, if the shampoo is more basic then it has soap in it? If soap is in it, why wouldn't the company list it as an ingredient? I've used Aubrey Organics GPB Shampoo & my hair doesn't feel stripped & my scalp isn't drier & more irritated versus using other shampoo's with SLS in it. Idk if I really believe everything here.

    1. Chelsyea many naturals use aubrey organics shampoo and find it wonderful. I personally measured the HSR shampoo myself, so I am certain of its pH at 9. The second ingredient on the label is clearly stated as Coconut Oil-Corn Oil Soap.

      I have not measured the GBP shampoo which I clearly indicated in the table. Its third ingredient is decyl glucoside which AO states on their website is coconut oil soap.

      I do not know if you know, but soap is made by mixing oil and a strong base usually sodium hydroxide. The soap is always alkaline as a result AND it works best when kept alkaline. Your hair is not bothered by it simply because it is a well made soap, nonetheless it is a soap. You are proof that pH is not all you need to consider when selecting a shampoo.

      You can read about the soap in GBP on the Aubrey Organics site here -

      Honestly, I do not take Aubrey organics labelling seriously anyway -

    2. Thanks very much!!! :D I love hair and I have to make sure of all the information that's out there is legit. Thanks for your research.

    3. I didn't know about how soap is made (maybe I should've looked it up). I've been meaning to really look up the ingredients that would be "challenging" to pronounce or unfamiliar. I started but didn't continue with it. You now have influenced me to do so again. Should shampoo's be acidic basic in order to wash the hair "properly"? One site I looked on said the scalp or hair is acidic. IDK

    4. Also, which shampoo would you use for yourself? Which shampoo have you found to wash your hair properly without stripping it? Does it's pH level support your finding?

    5. Those are great questions! I would like to know that as well (acidic base) and the personal findings as well.

  17. Hi. Thanks for this post. It is really helpful. I currently use the Creme of Nature Detangling Conditioning Shampoo. Thanks again.

  18. Can you find out Desert Essence Tea tree replenishing shampoo?

  19. Is there a list like this for protein sensitive naturals?

  20. Thank you so much for taking out the time to do this! God bless you.

  21. Hey :) Thank you so much for taking time to research and post this on your blog, very kind of you. I was wondering if you could also find out the ph for the creme of Nature argan oil moisture and shine shampoo as well as Keracare hydrating detangling shampoo. Also how does one go about finding the ph of hair product just in case I may want too in the future. Thanks a mill hun.

  22. Wow thanks for the list! Can you do a test of TIGI Green Peace Love Planet Leave-in Conditioner?

  23. I was wondering if you could find out the ph levels for Organix shampoo and conditioner? I know there are alot so specifically the coconut milk shampoo and teatree mint/argan oil conditioner. Thanks

  24. Is there a list of shampoos and conditioners for people who have dandruff or scalp eczema? if not it would be very help if you guys made one :)

  25. This is great! Thanks so much :)

  26. I use Palmer's Coconut Oil Shampoo and Conditioner. I have a feeling that I may need to switch. Could you please add this to your list as well if possible

  27. What do the parentheses around the numbers in the table represent? Great post! Very informative. VERY EYE OPENING! I purchased the Johnson's Head-to-Toe Baby Wash because of this post. I have some of the Trader Joe's Nourish Spa shampoo in my cabinet. I may need to re-visit it. Thanks for sharing! :)

  28. I use Dr.Bronner's Unscented Baby Mild Soap "bar" and it works for me. I have super sensitive skin and shampoo's and any products in general effect me greatly so I thank goodness for Dr.Bronner's bar soap.

  29. Thank you so much for your research! I'd like to know the pH for Creme of Nature's Argan Oil Shampoo please.

  30. Aubrey Organics state that their AO GBP pH is between 3-5.

    1. Perhaps you are talking conditioner because their shampoo definitely is not, I measured it myself. Please send me the link to where you read this, I will definitely take it up with them.

  31. What about nexxus shampoo therappe? i need to know if it is what it says on this chart? help me out here plz..

  32. Toni & Guy?

  33. I have been told I need pH balanced shampoo as an attempt to keep my hair during cold cap used in conjunction with chemotherapy. So the pH needs to be around 4 . Any ideas please???

  34. What is the best ph levels for the naturals? I'm a new natural, I just did the big chop. My hair type is 4a/4b. Thank you for all your information and time.

    1. 4.5-5.5 is best.

      Oh! and if you ever use apple cider vinegar on your hair (I love ACV), remember to dilute it - 1 part AVC to 7 or more parts water (depending on what you're using it for, but never use more than 1 part ACV to 7 parts water).


  35. what should the pH be for maximum strength? I really need this for the science project I am doing. Thank you.

    1. Generally shampoo is pH'd between 4 and 7 as it will be in contact with skin. The efficacy of a shampoo is related to the surfactants it contains first and foremost. pH is also a factor but that is dependant on the surfactants it contains.

  36. Looking for a sulfate free shampoo with a ph balance of 4.0-5.5. Do you have any recommendations. Thanks

  37. So im trying to go natural witg my. hair. I can not use a shampoo with ph over 6. Some of the shampoo u have listed have 6 & over. Example 5 to 7. Is that still healthy? Is it a 5 or 7? And baby shampoo doesn't clean my hair.

  38. Organix argan shampoo moroccan shampoo coconut milk shampoo

  39. You guys can test your own products. Get some ph strips online or EBay, they are cheap.

  40. You can make a pH indicator also and the best shampoo is Dove. Also get shampoos with the pH level of 5 to seven.
    I am only in Grade 6 so please don't judge me and I did this as an expo science project

  41. Err you ever able to get the ph of Shea Moisture products? The coconut line please


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