What Does Clarifying Shampoo Do for Your Hair? Discover the What and How

Clarifying shampoo is a deep cleansing product that removes residues and build-up from your hair. Well, what about your regular shampoo? It is still effective for cleansing your scalp and hair, but it doesn’t lift as many residues as clarifying shampoos do.

Clean scalp and hair is the first step to healthy hair growth. It also affects the overall appearance and texture of your hair. Haircare products like oils, dry shampoo, hair sprays, hair dyes, gels, and mousses leave build-up on your scalp and hair over consistent use.

Moreover, chemicals from pool water also leave build-up on the hair. Your regular shampoos may not do an effective job when it comes to getting rid of these. This is why experts advise hair clarifying shampoos as part of your routine. Continue reading to see what clarifying shampoo can do for your hair.

What Is Clarifying Shampoo?

Think of clarifying shampoos as face toners on your hair. They go the extra step of breaking through product and chemicals build-up that makes your hair look dull, limp, heavy, and greasy. They are very safe hair care products for every hair type.

Clarifying shampoos help to detoxify your hair and restore vibrancy to your locs. They are especially good for people who wear colored hair. These shampoos contain a lot of surfactants that they use to properly cleanse your hair of build-up.

How Do You Know You Need Clarifying Shampoo?

You need clarifying shampoo if you fall under any of these categories:

  • You’re an infrequent hair washer
  • Your hair gets a lot of hair care products like gels, mousses, curl stylers, and conditioners
  • You use heat styling tools on your hair a lot
  • Those spend a lot of time in the pool with their hair in chlorinated water
  • People who have dyed hair that needs refreshing
  • If you have put your hair through the rigor of bleach agents
  • Your scalp produces a lot of sebum
  • You have limp hair and in need of volume

What Does Clarifying Shampoo Do?

Clarifying shampoos are great for scalps that produce too much oil and greasy hair. The surfactants and chlorides in the shampoo mildly deep cleanse your hair to remove build-up that makes your hair have a disturbing appearance.

Moreover, using clarifying shampoo is a good place to start if you feel like your hair care regimen is no longer working. It allows you have a fresh start with new products and these products can penetrate your clean scalp and hair effectively.

In addition, as they remove oil build-up, they strengthen the roots of your hair and encourage hair growth, inadvertently increasing hair volume.

However, because of the high concentrations of surfactants, these shampoos may strip your hair of its oils and worsen scalp and skin conditions like dandruff, dermatitis, and eczema.

SEE: Should You Shampoo Daily? All You Need to Know About Hair Care

What Does Clarifying Shampoo Do for Curly Hair?

Clarifying shampoo helps to revive curls that have lost their bounce and form. It removes every chemical and product that must have damaged your curls and creates a clean slate for a new hair care regimen.

Consequently, the new products in your regimen can better penetrate your hair and improve its health and appearance. Curls are exposed to issues like frizz, split ends, and breakage. This is why products like hair masques are recommended for deep conditioning.

However, if your scalp and hair are heavy with build-up, deep conditioning will have very little effect. Before applying hair masques, you should treat your curls to a clarifying shampoo for better results.

What Does Clarifying Shampoo Do for Colored Hair?

Over consistent use, a clarifying shampoo will gradually fade hair dye and restore your hair to its original color without causing any damage.

Some clarifying shampoos contain gentle ingredients like aloe vera and oils, which help to remove dullness and restore vibrancy to colored hair.

Furthermore, color-safe clarifying shampoos that do not contain sulfates do not fade away color. They rather help to remove build-up from exposure to environmental irritants, that make your hair appear dull. They retain hair color and keep it looking fresh.

What Does Clarifying Shampoo Do for Bleached Hair?

Contrary to popular belief that clarifying shampoo can ruin your colored hair, the right formula can be a blessing to your bleached hair. Bleach agents contain alkaline chemicals that remain in your hair even after washing off the bleach.

These chemicals can alter your scalp’s pH balance and make your hair a breeding zone for bacteria. Also, it roughens hair cuticles and exposes them to frizz.

If you use a clarifying shampoo correctly, it’ll remove these alkaline chemicals and restore your hair to good health.

Another benefit of using a clarifying shampoo on bleached hair includes its cleansing power that removes hair toner residues, greasy and brassy undertones from your bleached hair. In addition, it protects your hair from the damage that hard water minerals can cause.

SEE: Co-washing Natural Hair: All You Need to Know About the Wonder Treatment

What Does Clarifying Shampoo Do for Highlights?

Clarifying shampoo can help lighten highlights that must have darkened due to product build-up. The shampoo cleanses your scalp and hair, removing harsh chemicals that make highlights look funny and less of the beauty it was.

If you get the right formula, it makes a good option for reviving highlights without using products that contains harsh chemicals. Moreover, it’s a way of protecting your hair from the rigor of hair coloring or color stripping.

What Do Clarifying Shampoos Do for Grey Hair?

Asides from moisturizing shampoos, clarifying shampoos make great additions to the hair care regimen for people with grey hair. Washing grey hair with shampoo will help eliminate yellowy undertones that make grey hair dull.

It enhances the silver color and makes your hair look sharper, brighter, and shinier. In addition, it adds volume to already limp grey hair. Clarifying shampoos works to make the greying session an enjoyable one. It takes frizz and gathers flyaway into smooth, silky hair.

What Is the Difference Between Clarifying Shampoo and Regular Shampoo?

The first difference to note is their cleansing effect. Your regular shampoo cleanses your scalp and hair but not as deep as clarifying shampoos do. Clarifying shampoos can do this because they contain more surfactants than regular shampoos.

Additionally, regular shampoos put more pressure on your scalp because they use more detergents to scrub your scalp and may not lift off all the residues and build-up. On the other hand, clarifying shampoos dissolve these residues and makes taking them off your hair easier.

SEE: How Does Dry Shampoo Work: See Why and How You Should Use It

How to Use Clarifying Shampoo

The steps to using a clarifying shampoo are not difficult and it takes only a little more time than when you have your regular hair wash.

  • Before you wash your hair, make sure your locs are well detangled or combed
  • Proceed to wet your tresses with clean, cool water
  • Then, squirt the shampoo in your palm and apply it to your hair
  • Use your fingers to massage and lather the shampoo into your hair. Rub it in well and make sure enough shampoo gets to the likely areas of build-up
  • Afterward, allow the shampoo to sit for a few minutes so that it can dissolve the residues properly
  • Thereafter, thoroughly rinse out the shampoo with cold water
  • Apply conditioner to your strands to restore moisture and keep them hydrated and silky. Leave it on for a few minutes before you rinse
  • Dry your hair with a clean towel to wring out excess water
  • Then, you can leave it to air dry or use a blow dryer if you’re in a rush

Should You Use Regular Shampoo After Clarifying Shampoo?

If your regular shampoo is moisturizing, it can be a great idea for shampooing twice. Clarifying shampoos can be very drying because while they dissolve build-up to remove them, they could excessively strip your hair of its natural oils.

As a result, your hair could become very dry and exposed to damage. Using a moisturizing shampoo after clarifying your hair will help to replenish moisture, keep your hair hydrated, and shiny.

SEE: Protect Your Hair’s Natural Oil With Sulfate-Free Shampoo


Does clarifying shampoo damage hair?

Clarifying shampoo will not damage your hair if you use it correctly. However, because it contains chemicals that deeply cleanse your hair, using it excessively can strip your hair of its natural oils and cause it to dry out.

How often should you use clarifying shampoos?

Use clarifying shampoo at least once a week. This shampoo is not formulated to suit everyday use. The chemicals in the shampoo can strip your hair of its natural oils if you wash your hair with it every day. Moreover, the best way to use the shampoo is to alternate it with your regular shampoo.

How long does it take clarifying shampoo to work?

Visible results from using clarifying shampoo can be seen after about five washes. The number of washes it takes for clarifying shampoo to clean your hair depends on the strength of the dye used.


It’s only natural to think that your hair needs a lot of washing, moisturizing, and conditioning to look its best. However, these hair care products can leave residues on your scalp and cause worse problems. Washing your hair with a clarifying shampoo will help remove any build-up.

Moreover, it is quite different from regular shampoo. Just like with our regular shampoo, you shouldn’t use clarifying shampoo every day. Create a routine for your hair care and follow it religiously.

Thanks for reading.

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