Do You Need Neutralizing Shampoo After Bleaching Hair?

Neutralizing shampoo after bleaching is best for protecting the integrity of the hair, and it also protects the hair from further damage.

The purpose of using bleach is to remove all the natural pigments in your hair. Bleach does this by using hydrogen peroxide to strip the pigments from your natural hair. But the natural pH level of your hair is acidic in nature, around 3 to 5 pH. To get your hair back to its natural pH level, you will be needing neutralizing shampoos.

But do you need neutralizing shampoo after bleaching? The alkalinity caused by bleach helps remove the pigment and you need to wash it to get rid of them. This provides you with a bleached hair color. To help the bleaching process, you need to wash the bleach from your hair. And to keep it protected, you need to know why neutralizing shampoos is important.

What is a Neutralizing Shampoo?

What is a neutralizing shampoo

Neutralizing shampoos are one of the most recent hair care trends. They are mostly used to maintain the regular pH of the hair. Well, the term “neutralizing shampoo” has been around for a while, but with the latest trends and uses, it is getting some recognition. We blame social media for that. Most people want to do proper hair care at home, and what’s better than using neutralizing shampoos that will maintain a pH of 4 to 6? Which is the correct and standard pH for the hair? When bleach or any keratin treatments are done on the hair, the pH tends to boost around 9 to 10, which is highly alkaline. And because the neutralizing shampoo is applied on top, they are mostly acidic and will return the pH to normal.

Hair is slightly acidic in nature, and the pH ranges from 4.5 to 5.5. When extensive chemical treatments like bleaching are done on the hair, they tend to change the pH level, so there’s a high chance of hair damage. And the same thing can be said for regular shampoos, as they tend to have a basic pH because they are surfactants. All of these will make the hair frizzy, and they will also open the cuticles. It is, therefore, preferable to use a pH-balancing or neutralizing shampoo to protect the hair from the aftereffects of bleach and hair color.

Why Do You Need Neutralizing Shampoo After Bleaching Hair?

Why do you need neutralizing shampoo after bleaching hair

The short answer would be that the neutralizing shampoo would correct the pH level of the hair, which all of the bleaching actions have somewhat compromised. Here are some of the crucial reasons why a neutralizing shampoo is used after bleaching hair:

  1. The bleaching chemicals are mostly alkaline and tend to boost the pH to 10. And with the alkaline terms, the hair tends to be fragile. And the neutralizing shampoo will turn back the pH of the hair to 5 or 6.
  2. Ammonia or hydrogen peroxide used for bleaching hair would be responsible for opening the cuticles of the hair, and thus there’s a high chance that the hair would lack moisture. The neutralizing shampoos will restore the pH and seal the cuticles.
  3. After bleaching, the hair is in a very fragile state, so using other shampoos or conditioners would just harm the hair as they have unnecessary surfactants that might be very damaging to the hair. Neutralizing shampoos will prevent that.
  4. With bleaching and hair treatments, the hair tends to lose its protein, and neutralizing the hair will minimize the damage.
  5. After bleaching, you might want to neutralize the hair at first. So you really just want to neutralize the hair instead of using a shampoo with regular surfactants.

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How Do I Wash the Bleach From My Hair Correctly?

How do I wash the bleach from my hair correctly

When we think about bleached hair, the first use of shampoo would be after the whole bleaching process. Only then are you likely to get a bleaching process as well as a way to neutralize the bleaching? The consequences of washing off bleach are rarely discussed, and in this article, we’ll provide some insight on how to do it correctly.

Rinse with lukewarm water

When you are starting to rinse the bleach out of your hair, we feel like you should start with just the hair part and wash it off with mildly hot water. That way, the pores are not completely compromised, and their losing moisture would be a less threatening term. And when you go in with really cold water, there’s a high chance that the scalp will also be irritated afterward. The temperature of the water really depends on the person, but warm water would be perfect for the environment and hair situation.


Do I shampoo after bleach? When you are done with the first rinse of the bleached hair, you might want to go with a neutralizing shampoo. As the bleaches are alkaline, you have to go with a shampoo that has a low pH. This way, the bleaching will neutralize the hair. The shampoo will relieve the hair from the obvious alkaline weather and will also deactivate the active ingredients. The cuticles will go back to their normal state. This will make the hair less prone to breakage and further damage.


You might as well use a deep conditioner now that the shampoo has appeared after 5 days of bleaching. This will give the hair back its moisture and also provide strength. Deep conditioning of the hair after bleaching ensures the integrity of the strands, and they will restore the color completely. This is one of the final steps of bleaching hair, as the hydration form will restore the hair’s care. Conditioner is used right after a neutralizing shampoo, and you have to let the conditioner stay for at least 25 minutes. After this, wash the product with lukewarm water.

Purple shampoo  

Well, this might not be a mandatory step for bleached hair. But when your bleached hair has some warm tones like red and orange after the whole bleaching process, just go over it with a purple shampoo. That way, the hair would have the proper silver shine, and you’d be able to get a very even tone on the hair. Well, the purple shampoo can be used right after the neutralizing shampoo, and it can also be used before the conditioner.

Is Neutralizing Shampoo Mandatory After Bleaching Hair?

No, the neutralizing shampoo is not a must-have, but it does aid in the overall neutralizing process. For example, when you have to shampoo your hair, you might want to think about the ambiance of the hair. And they are mostly alkaline. And lastly, the neutralizing shampoo will do its part and give the hair a more neutral pH. The neutralizing shampoo will bring the hair back to its normal state and will also help with the overall pH. The neutralizing shampoo will help reduce the pH of the hair.

Bleaching is an active process. So when you apply the bleach to dark hair, it will remove the pigments from the hair and ensure there is no precise dark part for it to work on. But with that, it tends to make the hair fragile. And that might be the reason why, when you are thinking about bleaching the hair, you might want to think of a way to deactivate the process. And a neutralizing shampoo will do its part by reducing the chemical reactions.

What are the Alternatives to Neutralizing Shampoo?

When you are about to bleach your hair and want some good alternatives for the neutralizing part, we’ve got your back. There are different alternatives for neutralizing shampoo; some are from the kitchen. The main idea behind using a neutralizing shampoo is to find one that can reduce the bleaching components while also assisting in lowering the alkalinity of the hair. Here we are including the best alternatives for a neutralizing shampoo: 

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar

Well, the most common alternative for the hair would be apple cider vinegar as the neutralizer. They have advantages and disadvantages because they are the least acidic. Because apple cider vinegar has a pH of around 3, combining it with a solution with a pH of 10 will result in a pH that is neutral. This is why vinegar is an absolute pro when it comes to looking for alternatives for a neutralizing shampoo. Vinegar is commonly used on the hair to add brightness and freshness to the strands. Here are some ways to use apple cider vinegar:

  • First, start with a cold rinse after bleaching.
  • Then add some vinegar to the water in a mug and apply the water directly to the hair.
  • Or just use a spray bottle to spritz the water onto the hair.
  • Let the water sit for 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse it.

Fruit extract

Fruit extract

Well, this might not sound like an obvious alternative for a neutralizing shampoo, but these are perfect when you want to get the hair to a neutral point. Fruits with citric acids, such as lime, lemon, and orange, would be the obvious choice. The acidic part of the juices will help with the overall process and restore the pH of the hair thereafter. Here is a way of using the fruit extract on bleached hair:

  • In a water mug, combine 12 teaspoons of fruit extract.
  • Pour the water into a spray bottle.
  • Spray the water on the hair, and make sure that the water has soaked in completely.
  • Follow through with a cold rinse.
  • Wash the product out of your hair thoroughly before applying the conditioner.


1.Do you shampoo after bleaching hair?

Yes, you must use shampoo after bleaching your hair because the bleach must be completely removed from the hair.

2.What happens when you don’t use neutralizing shampoo after bleaching?

When you don’t use neutralizing shampoo after bleaching, you might have damaged hair, which would lead to improper breakage points on the hair.

3.What shampoo should I use after bleaching hair?

Two types of shampoo can be used after bleaching the hair. The neutralizing shampoo will reduce the alkaline pH of the hair, and the purple shampoo will get rid of the warm tones

Final Thoughts

Bleaching takes a toll on regular hair as very harsh chemicals like ammonia and hydrogen peroxide are used on it. When the hair is bleached, there’s a bit of a dramatic part where there’s a chance that the hair is being damaged. And for that, you might want to take some measures to save the hair. And the best part would be to start with a neutralizing shampoo. They will increase the pH of the hair in very basic terms and stabilize the cuticles. These will also help lock the remaining moisture into the hair. The neutralizing shampoo helps to bring back the regular pH of the hair and does lead to an overall level of bleach. These will also help to clear out any dirt or dust from the hair.

Key Points

  1. Bleaching causes the cuticles of the hair to unravel, leaving them exposed. Any strong shampoo used on bleached hair will damage the cuticles and cause the hair to lose its integrity. To begin, consider using a neutralizing shampoo.
  2. Hair is naturally somewhat acidic, with a pH ranging from 4.5 to 5.5. When intensive chemical treatments, such as bleaching, are performed on the hair, the pH level changes, increasing the likelihood of hair damage. The same may be stated for ordinary shampoos, which have a basic pH since they include surfactants. All of these will make the hair frizzy, and they will also open the cuticles.
  3. Bleaching is a dynamic process. When you apply bleach to dark hair, it removes the pigments from the hair and ensures that there is no specific dark area for it to work on. However, this causes the hair to become brittle.

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