Do You Need to Use Neutralizing Shampoo after Coloring Hair? [Pros & Cons]

Have you got your hair color recently? It’s certain that your hairstylist called you back for a neutralizing shampoo session. Neutralizing your hair is one of the most important steps of the hair coloring process.

I have seen many people skip this step due to their reluctance to spend some extra bucks. As long as they can see a new shade of color on their hair, they are good.

This is one of the worst mistakes you can make if you love healthy and shiny hair. Neutralizing your hair after you have exposed your hair strands to harmful chemicals is not a luxury but a priority. 

Though, we do understand that investing in something that you are not sure of can be a difficult decision to make. That’s the reason we are here with a detailed guide that will educate you about everything you need to know about using neutralizing shampoo after coloring hair.

Do you need to use Neutralizing shampoo after coloring hair?

neutralizing shampoo after coloring hair

The main purpose of a neutralizing shampoo is to restore the pH balance of your hair. It’s usually required after your hair undergoes a chemical reaction like coloring or relaxing.

The products used to color your hair lifts your hair cuticles and lets the color enter your hair shafts. This creates an alkaline follicle environment which is not good for your hair.

Severe hair damage can be experienced if the hair is exposed to these chemicals for a longer time.

Leaving your hair in such a state is harmful not only to your hair but also to your scalp.

A neutralizing shampoo balances the pH of your hair by counteracting the high alkaline environment created by chemicals used in hair coloring products. Hence, it becomes very important to use a neutralizing shampoo after coloring hair.

How does a neutralizing shampoo maintain the pH balance of your hair?

The natural state of the scalp and hair is acidic. It is in this state that the scalp and hair are healthy and resistant to dandruff, bacteria and infections.  

Chemical treatment like coloring raises your pH beyond 7. It is important to note that the natural pH of your hair lies in the range of 3.5 – 4.5 and that of the scalp is 5.5.

A low pH neutralizing shampoo works towards cleansing the harmful chemicals and toxins out of your hair. In this way, it brings your hair back to its natural pH balance.

How to Choose the Best a Neutralizing Shampoo for Colored Hair?

Choosing the right neutralizing shampoo may be confusing given the hundreds of different options in the market. However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind before settling for one that suits you the best.

1. Check the ingredients list

It goes beyond saying that your hair is in a fragile state after undergoing a chemical treatment. It needs nourishment and extra care.

Make it a point to check the ingredients list before choosing a shampoo. Check if the ingredient list includes vitamins and proteins that your hair needs. Shampoos that contain coconut, Shea, avocado and olive are going to help a lot.

2. Choose a shampoo that doesn’t lather a lot

There is a misconception that your hair is not entirely cleaned until the shampoo produces lather and foam. In reality, lather and foam can do more harm than good to your hair due to its chemical properties.

Thus, go for a good neutralizing shampoo that doesn’t dry out your hair with extra lather but thoroughly cleans.

3. Make sure it offers maximum cleansing

A good neutralizing shampoo is gentle in cleaning the product residues out of the hair. It should also have the right consistency to clean both your thick strands and baby hairs.

Top 3 Recommended Neutralizing Shampoos to use after Coloring Hair  

1. Motions Active Moisture Neutralizing Shampoo

Chemical treatment like coloring makes your hair crave extra nourishment. This neutralizing shampoo cares for your hair with its rich ingredients like coconut oil, argan oil, and Shea butter. The rich nourishment prevents breakage and maintains shine.

Coconut oil works as a deep conditioner and repairs damaged hair. Argan oil also provides hydration and adds extra shine. Shea butter also works as a deep conditioner and protects your hair by adding strength and luster.

Apart from its rich nourishment and moisturizing properties, the best thing about Motions Active Moisture Neutralizing Shampoo is its sulfate-free formula that restores the hair’s natural pH balance without making it dull and dry.

The shampoo also helps in detangling and gentle cleansing. The natural ingredients make sure your hair stays healthy and hydrated for a longer period of time.

2. IsoPlus Neutralizing Shampoo

With IsoPlus Neutralizing Shampoo, you don’t need to worry about if the product residues are completely cleaned out of your hair or not. This amazing shampoo comes with color indicative lather which lets you the products are rinsed off completely.

If you see pink color suds after washing your hair with this shampoo, it means your scalp and hairs are still holding harmful chemicals from the color treatment. It is an indication to keep washing hair until the pink lather turns into white.

The shampoo is great for those who are allergic to fragrances as it comes with little to no smell. Also, the shampoo is pocket-friendly so it’s a total win-win situation.

3. ORS Olive Oil Professional Neutralizing Shampoo

Olive oil has the properties to heal, refresh, nourish and strengthen. This shampoo is enriched with olive oil and gives your hair a natural shine and glow. The thick and creamy formula works beautifully to detangle and hydrate.

The smell of the shampoo is neutral. A bottle goes a long way as even less is enough to cleanse and moisturize.

The best thing about this shampoo is that it cleans all product residues without leaving your hair brittle and dry. After applying the shampoo, one can feel as if their hair is already been conditioned.

Apart from olive oil, the shampoo also contains Aloe Vera, vitamin E and pantheon. While Aloe Vera is renowned for soothing the scalp and moisturizing hair, vitamin E provides nourishment and shine to hair. Pantheon consists of pro-vitamin B-5 which moisturizes the hair shafts.

Benefits of Using Neutralizing Shampoo after Coloring Hair

1. The deep cleansing formula puts a full stop to the ongoing action of the product residues

The chemicals used in the hair coloring products continue to harm the hair even after weeks if they are not properly removed. The normal shampoo is ineffective in cleansing these tough chemicals of the product residues which can result in hair breakage, scalp fungus and other scalp allergies.

The deep cleansing formula of a neutralizing shampoo stops this ongoing process to save your hair before the chemicals can inflict too much damage. It also cleans out the residue chemicals and product build-up (if any).

2. Makes your hair look silky and voluminous

Not using a neutralizing shampoo after a chemical treatment like coloring makes your hair look dry and flat. Your hair loses all its shine and becomes extra greasy.

Using a neutralizing shampoo brings back the freshness. You immediately start loving the extra volume and liveliness of your hair.

3. Fights the effects of high alkalinity

High alkalinity results in high porosity and greasy hair. A neutralizing shampoo is also known as counterbalancing shampoo.

A good counterbalancing shampoo has low pH which counterbalances everything up.

Important Points to Note Before Using Neutralizing Shampoo after Coloring Hair

  • A neutralizing shampoo is meant to cleanse and balance the pH of your scalp and hair. Thus, its use is advised only for those who have chemically processed hair.
  • A neutralizing shampoo can do more harm than good if your hair is not alkali. If your hair is not chemically processed then using a neutralizing shampoo on a regular basis can leave your hair dry and brittle.
  • Those who haven’t got hair color or any chemical treatment can use a mild pH-balanced sulfate shampoo. Below is a Recommended Shampoo:

There are no downsides to using a neutralizing shampoo for those who have colored their hair. Using more than excess shampoo can result in making your hair dry, which is the same as using an excess of any kind of shampoo.

Difference between Neutralizing Shampoo and Clarifying Shampoo

It’s easy to get confused between neutralizing shampoo and clarifying shampoo. Both of these hair products work to deeply cleanse your hair and remove product build-up. Though, there’s one striking difference between them.

The only work of a Clarifying shampoo is to clean dirt, sweat and product build-up from your hair.

A neutralizing shampoo does the cleansing as well as balances the pH balance of your hair after a chemical treatment like coloring which changes your hair’s acidic environment into alkaline.

Difference between Neutralizing Shampoo and Chelating Shampoo

Clarifying, neutralizing and chelating shampoos are used for the same purpose of deep cleansing. The only difference is in the kind of build-up they clean.

The chelating shampoo is similar to neutralizing shampoo but is much stronger. It is also known as the “swimmer’s shampoo” as it removes build-up like chlorine and metals that stick to the hair when it comes in contact with hard water.

These minerals and metals can result in fading away from your hair color and causing hair damage. These minerals are also responsible for causing green pool hair.

Regular shampoo and even a clarifying shampoo fail to rinse off these hard chemicals. The chelating shampoo contains EDTA which helps you to get rid of these chemicals to keep your hair and scalp clean.

Final Words:

New hair color should make you feel happy and fresh. No one deserves to get a hair color in the hopes of feeling alive again and shed tears due to the unwanted hair damage and hair fall. 

Neutralizing your hair saves you from all the extra risks that come your way after coloring your hair. It nullifies the damage and gives you a chance to shine again. 

Make sure you neutralize your hair using a neutralizing shampoo after coloring hair and welcome beautiful, shiny and healthy mane!