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Do You Have to Use Neutralizing Shampoo After Coloring Hair?

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Anytime your hair has been chemically altered — whether it was done by perming, relaxing, bleaching, or coloring it — it is important that you care for your newly-colored strands more than usual.

Using harmful chemicals on your locks means you have to work harder at keeping your hair looking and feeling as healthy as it should. There’s one thing you should do, though, that many people skip.

The thing is simple: you have to use a neutralizing shampoo for your freshly colored hair. But do you have to use neutralizing shampoo after coloring hair? We think yes, and we tell you why below.


Do You Have to Use Neutralizing Shampoo After Coloring Hair?

If you had your hair colored at your local salon, then no doubt your hairstylist asked you to have a neutralizing shampoo treatment. Doing so helps to restore your hair’s natural pH balance, which is why this is an important step in keeping your hair healthy, and why your hairstylist wanted to do it.

If you had your hair colored at your local salon, then no doubt your hairstylist asked you to have a neutralizing shampoo treatment.

Having a neutralizing shampoo treatment will also help to remove any excess traces of the chemicals used, as well as stop them from overprocessing.

Neutralizing shampoo even can close your cuticles, which will prevent further damage from the chemical processing.

Many people tend to skip the neutralizing shampoo treatment. Once they see the color they’re happy with, all reason flies out the window with the focus directed towards the color and the excitement of new locks!

But using a neutralizing shampoo after coloring your hair shouldn’t be seen as an added luxury. Doing so should be a top priority, especially if you love the look and feel of shiny and healthy hair.

Using a good neutralizing shampoo that has a gentle formula will cleanse the chemical residues out of your hair, as well as balance its pH level.

Make a point of checking the ingredients before you buy.

The ingredients list should include vitamins and proteins, as well as contain a nourishing oil like coconut, argan, shea, avocado, or olive to help hydrate your hair, which will be in a fragile state after undergoing chemical treatment.


Why pH is important

Your scalp and hair are naturally acidic, with the former having a natural pH level of 5.5, and your hair at 3.5-4.5. When levels are within this pH level range, the scalp and hair are healthy, and this makes them resistant to bacterial and fungal infections that cause things like dandruff.

Chemical treatments like coloring will raise the pH level of both beyond 7. So, neutralizing shampoo is used to cleanse after chemical treatment. Because it has a low pH, it can help to bring your hair’s natural pH balance back, and boost its health.

Otherwise, not using a neutralizing shampoo after coloring your hair will mean you’ll be dancing with the threat of a dry and itchy scalp, frizzy hair, breakage, and possibly even hair loss due to the pH imbalance that will occur.


Is Neutralizing Shampoo Like Normal Shampoo?

Hair that has been chemically relaxed, permed, bleached, or colored has been exposed to harmful chemicals like ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, and ammonium thioglycolate, which are highly alkaline.

The high alkalinity of these ingredients helps to break our hair’s chemical bonds, but they raise the pH level of the hair and scalp, which makes them much more prone to irritation and damage.

So, unlike normal shampoos, which are cleansing compounds that simply wash out dirt and product from hair, neutralizing shampoos works to rebalance the hair’s normal pH level. Neutralizing shampoo formulations contain ingredients that are low in pH.

Unlike normal shampoos, which are cleansing compounds that simply wash out dirt and product from hair, neutralizing shampoos works to rebalance the hair’s normal pH level.

When these low pH level ingredients react with the high alkaline residue of the relaxer, perm, bleach, or color, then the result is neutralized hair, which helps to promote a healthy scalp and hair growth.

This also means that you shouldn’t use a neutralizing shampoo as a substitute for normal shampoo. As we just mentioned, neutralizing shampoo is low in pH, and plays a special role in balancing the high alkalinity of the chemical treatment, like coloring.

If you use neutralizing shampoo regularly, then it will eventually also lower the pH levels of your scalp and hair, which will cause issues further down the line. You’re better off than using a normal shampoo with a normal pH that won’t add any damage to your hair.


Luxe Luminous Recommends

So now that you know that using a neutralizing shampoo after coloring your hair is a necessity, here is a product that we recommend to keep your hair healthy and looking great enough to rock your new color.

Most neutralizing shampoos on the market contain a color-changing lather that helps you know if there are any chemicals left in your hair. CHI Deep Brilliance Neutralizing Shampoo  does just this, as well as gently and effectively removing the chemical residue left over from coloring.

CHI Deep Brilliance Neutralizing Shampoo - Sulfate, Paraben, and Gluten Free, 12 oz.
  • Helps gently and effectively remove...
  • Contains emollient-rich Olive Oil to...
  • Blended with Monoi Oil featuring Coconut...

CHI Deep Brilliance also contains olive oil to help retain moisture in the hair, as well as monoi oil, a blend of coconut oil and gardenia flowers, which will leave your newly colored and nourished hair smelling amazing.


Final Suds

So, do you have to use neutralizing shampoo after coloring hair? Well, yes you do, which you now know because you’ve read this article.

Also keep in mind that to keep your hair color looking its best, using a protective color shampoo and conditioner after your neutralizing treatment will give you the confidence to rock your colored tresses for longer.

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