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Ph Balanced Shampoo - What Is It?

A lot of shampoo brands now talk about being pH balanced. Find out what’s behind it and if there’s a benefit to a pH-balanced shampoo.

pH is a measure of how acidic or alkaline a substance is. It’s a scale from 1 (most acidic) to 14 (most basic) with neutral in the middle at pH7.

Water sits it the middle of the scale at pH7.

A heavily basic (alkaline) substance like baking soda or heavily acidic one like vinegar – both of which some people mistake as a natural remedy for dandruff – could further aggravate an unhealthy scalp.

That’s why a lot of people now talk about shampoos being ‘pH balanced’.

When a shampoo is labelled as pH balanced, it means the manufacturer identified a target pH for their product, where it performs best. 

As the shampoo is made, they measure the pH to make sure it hits the target, and if it is out of range, add more of an acidic or basic ingredient until it’s just right.

As the name implies, pH balanced shampoos are neither extremely acidic nor basic.  

Almost all quality shampoos are pH balanced.

That includes the entire range of Head & Shoulders shampoos. Plus, they’re proven to be gentle on your hair so you can use them every day.


By tackling the root cause of dandruff, we go straight to the problem. And our shampoos have repeatedly been shown to be more effective than other 1% pyrithione zinc (ZPT) shampoos*.

Our unique formula combines the active ingredient ZPT with zinc carbonate. The shampoo fights flakes better** while moisturizing your scalp, and protecting you from irritants that can trigger dandruff.

So, if you want a pH-balanced shampoo with zinc pyrithione that’s been clinically proven in over 200 studies, stick with Head & Shoulders - the shampoo that’s recommended most by Dermatologists.

Explore our range of dandruff shampoos

* vs. leading store brand with 1% pyrithione zinc

** P&G Calculation based on Nielsen sales information July 2012- June 2013.