Why use pH balanced shampoos & conditioners?

For years, I’ve not been using hair conditioner because I don’t like how they weigh down my hair plus I’ve never found a real need to because my hair was generally manageable with just shampoo. However, since my recent hair coloring session, they feel like straw whenever I wash them and I have to use a wee bit of conditioner now.

Hair coloring alters pH balance
And I found out that this is because coloring alters the hair from inside as the ammonia or peroxide open the cuticle of the hair to enable the pigment to change color. By doing so, hair have a more alkaline quality as the pH of the hair, which is normally at 4.5 – 5.5, is altered to a much higher pH at 8.5 or so.  That’s why my hair felt like straw after washing!

pH balanced shampoo & conditioner to protect hair cuticle
Hence, to ensure that my hair is more manageable, to keep the hair cuticles smooth and to help my hair color last longer, I need to return it to it’s ideal pH and really should be using a pH balanced shampoo and conditioner. By doing so, this will keep the cuticle close and prevent the color from fading. No wonder the hair salon was urging me to do a treatment but I didn’t as I was hard pressed for time then. *regrets*

Shampoo for oily hair more acidic
I have no idea if my shampoo is pH balanced as it doesn’t state so. However, I found out that shampoos for oily hair might be slightly more acidic. My shampoo is designed to increase the volume of my hair so  I wonder if it leans toward being more alkaline although it contains mostly natural ingredients.

Hair conditioners have low pH of 2.5 to 3.5
Good thing though, I have on hand the Tebe Hair Hydrating Conditioner and it is stated as pH balanced! Not sure if it really is the case as I understand that most conditioners have low pH’s 2.5 to 3.5 and may even employ ingredients of an acidic nature to balance the hair and scalp pH. But I was at least happy that it helps my hair become more manageable and I only need to use less than a pea-size to achieve that.

How much hair conditioner do you use?
I’ll take it that the conditioner is pH balanced as stated.  I’m not ready to switch to using my son’s Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Shampoo & Wash which is pH balanced and rather stick to my Burt’s Bees Very Volumizing Shampoo so at least using a hair conditioner indicated as pH balanced gives me some peace of mind.  By the way,  how much conditioner do you use on your hair?  I’m curious to know because I seem to need very little!


  1. Sue says:

    I only use conditioner at the lower half of my hair coz I find that the conditioner does weight my hair down and it gets oilier faster. In terms of size, depends on the brand? I’m currently using this conditioner that has magnetic elements (forgot the brand) and I had to use more, like around 1 and half inch of it (the opening is also very small). It does keep my hair from flying all over the place. Oh ya, I highlighted my hair, hence the need for conditioner. Like you, I tend to avoid conditioner previously with my undyed hair =)

  2. pf1123 says:

    Thats not pea-sized meh???? That looks to be more than the amount of moisturiser I use.

    Oh, I use quite a lot of conditioner. Like 3 times that amount because I have too much hair. Btw, now that I have coloured my hair as well, I’m using shampoo and hair essence for coloured hair. Hopefully they keep my hair colour longer.

    My hair is also oily. But I find that I get less oily when I use the hydrating shampoo from Clariol, so I alternate between the colour shampoo and hydrating shampoo. In addition to a conditioner, I use a hair mask from Elseve, the gold colour tub for anti-frizz. I put it only at my ends. Works very well for my dry hair. Keeps it kinda bouncy too.

    Btw, I tried looking for Tony & Guy’s dry shampoo which I saw on the shelves of watsons and guardian. Wanted to try the dry shampoo. Last week they were there. But this week the Tony & Guy products were almost all gone! What dry shampoo do you use? Would like to try a cheap one first to see if I like doing it.

  3. Amanda says:

    I use a tiny amount of conditioner, and only at the ends of my hair. I find this just helps untangle my hair and makes it more manageable when combing.

    I haven’t switched my haircare to pH balanced or all natural yet, but I will soon. =)

  4. sesame says:

    Yes, that’s where I use them too. Just the ends. I do notice that with conditioners, my hair gets oilier too.

  5. Jyoan says:

    I need a lot! Otherwise my hair is never smooth. Around the size that generally comes out of pump bottles… Which is roughly the same as the amount of shampoo I use.

  6. sesame says:

    No, a bit lesser than pea-size. Probably cos it’s magnified so it looks that size. But definitely more than moisturizer I use too.

    I would imagine you use more conditioner and can afford to since you have thicker mane.

    The dry shampoo I use is from Klorane – I get it from Guardians for $14.90. Didn’t know about the Tony & Guy’s one. I spotted one or two at Sephora but I can’t remember the brand. May check it out.

  7. sesame says:

    So the amount I use isn’t too little…

    If you’re happy with your own haircare at the moment, then no need to switch. I am very reluctant to switch haircare products if they work for me. But I have very little options.

  8. pf1123 says:

    The Tony and Guy one is only around $7.90. So was keen to try it.

    Do you find that the hydrating conditioner keeps your hair less oily??? I’m not using one right now…maybe I should.

  9. sesame says:

    You have long hair too so I guess that amount is about right…

  10. sesame says:

    Oh just $7.90? I want to check it out! But actually I’m really tired of using dry shampoo. All that breathing is not too good for my lungs I think. Try to hold my breath but still…

    I don’t find the hydrating conditioner keeps my hair less oily. I noticed that my top was still greasy when I didn’t use dry shampoo. ?

  11. ayn says:

    i need to use conditioner because my ends tend to dry ? but never on my roots or else it only adds up to my oily roots… another thing it adds shine to my hair and makes it manageable ?

  12. Mint says:

    hi, first time commenting here but i’ve been a faithful follower of this lovely blog for quite a while. =)

    i use quite a lot of conditioner cause i have rrly thick and long mane.. plus i’m born with natural curls so they get frizzy very easily.. i only apply on the lower half of my hair like most people. if not i’ll avoid it totally if i’m using pantene clinicare treatment.. =))

  13. pf1123 says:

    I think its that price. Or around that price. I was looking at it once or twice, thinking if I want to buy it. But now its gone!

    Actually my hair isn’t so oily until I can’t bear it. Its just sometimes a little bit itchy if I don’t use the hydrating shampoo. So, I intend to use the dry shampoo when I have a date or something important and I can’t go back home to wash it.

  14. ann says:

    I use about 10 cent coin size for my short hair. Am using John Masters citrus & neroli detangler. I think going with natural products has helped.

    Used to use salon sold conditioners. After some time, while my hair felt super soft and smooth when i showered, it still became very dry later in the day. It’s the opp now, hair doesn’t feel that slinky or creamy when u put the conditioner but stays frizz free.

  15. JK says:

    Where can I purchase the Tebe Hair Hydrating Conditioner?

  16. sesame says:

    Yes, I find that using conditioner on my whole head of hair makes my hair more oily too.

  17. sesame says:

    Ah…conditioner is a necessity for you then cos it’ll be hard to manage your hair with just shampoo only.

  18. sesame says:

    Yup, it’s good to use as a backup. I use to bring it out but now I just use it before I head out. Actually I think it’s more of a security blanket for me.

  19. sesame says:

    I have read some raves on John Masters’ range of shampoo but not tried them myself. Perhaps I should check them out soon…

  20. sesame says:

    It’s only available in some stores online from New Zealand. You can run a search and the shops should turn up.

  21. N. says:

    Ohh my hair is really dry and I have lots of it. Not only long, but the density too, haha!
    So A LOT OF conditioner.

  22. sesame says:

    Ah…I can imagine! Conditioner is critical for you then… ?

  23. cemolina says:

    Hi sesame,

    I have the same hair type as you but my hair is very long so i need to condition the ends. I went to a dermatologist who told me that i should use shampoo with a PH balance, i’m using dermaveen natural oatmeal shampoo which has done wonders for my hair! Its softer and smoother! but I think the oat smell is not that nice!

  24. cemolina says:

    ohhh btw never use kerastase shampoo if you’re sensitive…its not PH and it has so much chemicals in it that it hurts! i just use their conditioner when i’m on holidays at the beach =)

  25. Jasmine says:

    I changed job recently and couldn’t access your page! I’m now digging in the archives trying to catch up for the past couple of weeks. I wish I had seen this earlier — I just blew $60+ for some professional shampoo that was “pH balanced”. Nevermind, when my hair stabilises (or when I finish this bomb bottle!) I’ll check out that Baby Bee shampoo you have there in the picture =)

  26. sesame says:

    Not sure the Baby Bee Shampoo will work cos I never tried on my hair but only on my body – it’s also a wash. Cos it’s formulated for babies, it could be quite mild and can’t get rid of overly greasy type of hair residue.

  27. GUNN says:

    hi i fing this article helpful.
    i have used burts bees shampoo and i liked it a lot.
    i m now using giovanni organic shampoo with tee tree extract.
    I dont know if to put blame on the shampoo, but my hair has started turning white. lots of them
    its like too many white hair. what do you think is my hair turning white i am 24, can i do something to stop it???/

  28. suresh says:

    I am having Fizzy Hair, so kindly advice me how pH balanced shampoo and conditioner purchase in INDIA. will you send it through courier if I will pay through my credit card

  29. Mandy says:

    I tend to have to use a lot of conditioner. I’m not sure if I really half to use that much but it just makes me feel better to have too much than not enough. Even though my hair isn’t frizzy its pretty long and gets tangled easily. A few times I skipped the conditioner just because I ran out of hot water and it took me almost two hours to get a brush all the way through my hair. I also tend to color my hair a lot. Thats why I was looking into PH balanced hair products to begin with. Maybe I will try backing down on the conditioner and see what happens though. I tend to have a greasy scalp.

Leave a Reply