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PH balance is an indicator of how acidic or alkaline a substance is. Hair and skin has a PH range of 4.5 to 5.5. The PH of a shampoo can be manipulated to obtain specific results. Clarifying shampoos are slightly alkaline, whereas conditioning shampoos are slightly acidic. If you make your own homemade shampoo, it is important to pay attention to the PH level and adjust it according to the type of shampoo you are making.

How to PH Balance at Homemade Shampoo

Mix the home made shampoo according to your favorite recipe.

Use a litmus paper or nitrazine paper to determine the PH of the shampoo. Shampoo is naturally alkaline and you may need to add acid to reduce the PH to that of hair, between 4.5 and 5.5. If you would like a clarifying shampoo, allow the PH to remain slightly higher than the 4.5 to 5.5 range.

Fill a dropper or pipette with lemon juice, lime juice or lactic acid. Acid is added to the shampoo if the PH level is high and you would like a shampoo with a PH balance similar to that of hair.

Drop one drop into the shampoo and mix thoroughly. Test the PH of the shampoo again with litmus or nitrazine paper.

Continue adding drops of lemon juice, lime juice or lactic acid until desired PH is reached. A PH between 4.5 and 5.5 will be in balance with the PH of hair. A slightly lower PH will condition hair, whereas a slightly higher PH will act as a clarifying shampoo.


One recipe for making homemade shampoo is to add 1 ounce of grated gentle bar soap to 8 ounces of boiling distilled water and allow to simmer for five minutes.

About the Author

Sarah Thomas

Sarah Thomas has been a freelance writer for more than five years. She has ghostwritten e-books and articles on weddings and other topics. Her work has also been published on various websites. Thomas graduated from Daemen College with a degree in psychology.