What Is Clarifying Shampoo And How To Use It

this is a photo of a woman with a curly afro.

Many people think that using a clarifying shampoo will result in dry, brittle hair but when used correctly, a clarifying shampoo can do wonders to make your natural hair pop and come back to life when it starts to look dull and limp. Learn how to incorporate this power house cleanser into your hair regimen today for new and improved results in your hair goals!

This post is all about what is clarifying shampoo.

What Is Clarifying Shampoo?

A clarifying shampoo is designed to remove any and all products, oils and flakes that build up on the hair and scalp. Have you ever washed your hair and still felt a coating of previous product and or oils? If so, think of a clarifying shampoo as a shampoo that won’t leave you wondering whether your hair is clean or not. With the addition of extra cleansing surfactants in a clarifying shampoo, you can really start with a clean canvas, allowing for optimum intake of other hair products that are applied thereafter. Clarifying shampoos typically get a bad reputation in the natural hair community, but once you learn how and when to use them, it can literally change your hair care routine for the better.


So how do you know when and how often to use a clarifying shampoo? Continue reading more to find out!

What Is The Difference Between A Clarifying Shampoo And A Regular Shampoo?

A regular shampoo is typically a lot more moisturizing and accommodating to the natural oils of the hair and scalp as opposed to a clarifying shampoo. A traditional shampoo is formulated to gently lift the cuticles of the hair to remove the product buildup and oils that may accumulate throughout the weeks. However, the biggest difference between the two is that a regular shampoo will not make your hair feel stripped of all of its moisture as a result of rinsing it out.

A clarifying shampoo has the job of getting the hair squeaky clean and as a result, you may be surprised at how “squeaky clean” your hair actually feels upon rinsing it out. But don’t be alarmed, this is what it is formulated to do. You should always follow up with a moisturizing conditioner or nourishing conditioning hair mask as soon as you rinse your hair to bring the cuticles back down on the hair shaft and reduce friction, while also adding moisture back into your strands.

The Benefits Of Using Clarifying Shampoo

If you’ve been feeling as though your hair has been looking lifeless no matter what you use, consider using a clarifying shampoo. Not only will your curls pop immediately after all the layers of previous gel, curl creams, oils and stylers are cleansed off, but you’ll immediately notice that your hair will absorb products a lot better! You will be amazed at how fast your hair seems rejuvenated and products can work how they’re actually supposed to.

How Can You Tell If Your Hair Needs More Than Just A Regular Shampoo?

Have you ever looked at your hair and wondered why your curls are no longer standing out or you use your favorite hair products for weeks and wonder why they suddenly “stop working”? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. A common misconception is that using the same hair products over time can result in them suddenly not working, as if our hair get’s used to the ingredients in a negative way.

The problem however is not always the products, but perhaps the amount of product buildup that has not been properly shampooed out from the style beforehand. When this happens, your hair will feel weighed down, limp and seem like nothing works on it anymore.


when should you use clarifying shampoo

How Often Should You Clarify Your Hair?

Try to aim for using a clarifying shampoo once per week or biweekly. Take into account the products you are using and how your hair feels and looks. If your hair seems like it is doing fine each week with your basic moisturizing shampoo routine, consider clarifying your hair once per month. However, if you find yourself trying out new hair products more frequently, then consider clarifying before you try your next set of products or else they may not work as well as they are supposed to.

Can A Clarifying Shampoo Damage Your Hair?

If used too frequently, there are cons that come with over cleansing your hair. Not only will you strip your hair of its natural oils, but you could potentially make things worse if you already suffer from a dry, itchy scalp. By clarifying too often, you could potentially be signaling your scalp to produce more oil/sebum to protect itself. This can result in hair that is oily, weighed down and/flakey.

What Happens If You Allow Products To Buildup On Your Hair?

It can seem enticing to skip your intense wash day session when you have a protective hairstyle in place or have simply been avoiding wash day week by week due to exhaustion, lack of time and/or lack of interest. But by allowing your stylers to build up on your hair and scalp, you could be creating the perfect storm when it comes to breakage, dandruff, itchy and dry scalp.

Products that weigh down the hair tend to make the hair strands less flexible when you want to restyle, as there is a coating on the hair. This can also be the reason why your hair always feels dry no matter what products you use, due to its inability to absorb any moisture.

Will Clarifying Shampoo Remove Hair Color?

The great thing about using a clarifying shampoo on color treated hair, is that it can help the hair color look vibrant and fresh! Keep in mind that if you aren’t using one that says it’s safe for color treated hair, you may run the risk of the color stripping much faster than normal if you are washing your hair more frequently.

Try to clarify no more than once per month if your hair is color treated or biweekly if you are using a lot of styling products during the week. It is always good to clarify before doing a deep conditioning treatment, especially if your hair is color treated so that the ingredients of the hair mask can actually seep into the strands of the hair and help keep your hair balanced, healthy and strong.


Comment Below Some Of Your Favorite Clarifying Shampoos To Use!

This post was all about what is clarifying shampoo.



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  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    Posted 10.25.22
    • Teona Smith wrote:

      My pleasure!

      Posted 10.25.22

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