What Is Hair pH And Why Is It Important For My Hair?

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pH level, just as you learned about in high school chemistry class, is actually a major factor when it comes to the health and strength of your hair. The pH balance can make a big difference in how your strands look and feel. Need a refresher on understanding pH? We've got you covered. Read on to learn more about finding and maintaining your hair's pH and why you need to consider pH for your haircare and haircolor regimen.

What Is pH and Why Is It Important For My Hair?

Let’s go back to basics (a trip back to that high school chemistry class, as it were). The pH scale runs from zero to 14; zero through six is the acidic side of the spectrum, seven is neutral, and eight to 14 is alkaline. 

“Your hair’s natural pH is somewhat acidic, around 4.5 to 5.5,” explains Redken Artist George Garcia. “It’s healthiest whenever it is in this state.” 


The only issue? Most of the things we do to our hair disrupt this delicate pH balance, pushing it into the alkaline side. We’re talking chemical processes such as coloring or bleaching, and even shampooing, as many shampoos use alkaline cleansing agents.

So, What Happens if Hair pH is Not Balanced?

When hair pH is pushed to the alkaline side, the end result is damaging. The cuticle—AKA the outer layer of the hair—starts to lift up and the healthy and strength of the hair is ultimately affected, leading to issues such as breakage and frizz. Not to mention that a more alkaline state can also affect the bacteria and oil (which we all have) on the scalp, and potentially cause dandruff

How Can I Make Sure My Hair Has A Healthy pH Level?


pH level—combined with protein and moisture—ultimately determine your hair’s health, strength, length, shape, and color. Luckily for us and our hair, the entire Redken brand is grounded in science and rooted in effective formulas that are pH balancing. It’s been a part of Redken's DNA since it was founded in the 1960s. From our Shades EQ Acidic Haircolor to the new Acidic Bonding Concentrate regimen, balancing hair pH is foundational to our products.

The secret to an optimal hair pH level? Enter Redken’s haircare collection. Redken's shampoos are pH balanced, while the conditioners are slightly acidic, a uniquely developed combination that ultimately helps keep hair in its pH sweet spot. Redken's haircare systems also have unique protein and moisture levels based on the specific needs of different hair types and colors. Whether your hair is damaged, dry, or color-treated- Redken has the haircare range to provide the best results and keep the hair in the healthiest condition. So, where do you start?


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Created for all textures and hair types, the Acidic Bonding Concentrate haircare regimen is formulated with Citric Acid and Redken's concentrated Bonding Care Complex. On top of balancing hair pH, this acidic formula strengthens weakened bonds and provides ultimate strength repair, intense conditioning, and color fade protection for those with color-treated hair.

With the addition of the new Acidic Bonding Concentrate Intensive Treatment, this haircare family is even stronger. When used as the complete 4-step system, Acidic Bonding Concentrate transforms hair with instantly visible results. Your hair will be 14x smoother, 2x stronger, and 90% more conditioned*. Learn more about Redken's strongest system for damaged hair, Acidic Bonding Concentrate and see some results below.

*vs. non-conditioning shampoo