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The fresh feeling we receive after washing our hair is incredible, but do you ever get the sense that your shampoo may not be doing the trick? Your hair might look and feel great at first, but after a day, it’s back to its same dullish state. If this sounds familiar to you, it might be time to consider trying out a clarifying shampoo.
Don’t know the difference between regular and clarifying shampoos? In a nutshell, clarifying shampoos offer a deeper clean for your scalp that you may need, which is what traditional shampoos don’t typically provide. That’s not to say that clarifying shampoos act as a replacement for the shampoo you use on a regular basis — but they serve as an addition to your already-established hair care routine.
Why Should I Add a Clarifying Shampoo to My Hair Care Routine?
Your everyday shampoo is excellent for maintaining hair cleanliness, but clarifying shampoos go deeper to remove dirt and buildup that may cause dullness and make your hair look lifeless. According to Healthline, a clarifying shampoo focuses specifically on removing buildup on the scalp to revive strands and leave them feeling healthier and stronger. These cleansers can be super powerful, so they’re only meant to be used twice per week — or even less frequently.
When evaluating what type of clarifying shampoo is right for you, there are a number of factors to consider. If you have a naturally oilier scalp, you may want to go for a more intense formula — and if you have color-treated or damaged hair, a lighter, gentler formula is a better choice. Also, think about the type of hair you have — be it fine, thick or curly — when picking up a clarifying shampoo to try. We address all of these different needs and concerns in our comprehensive roundup of the best of the best clarifying shampoos below, so read on for more!
Our 11 Absolute Favorite Clarifying Shampoos for Every Hair Type
Kristin Ess Deep Clean Clarifying Shampoo
This product not only helps remove any type of excess buildup on the hair or scalp, it may also repair damaged ends! The formula includes a strengthening complex that is designed to improve split ends or damaged hair cuticles that could be causing breakage, making your hair grow stronger and stronger over time.
- Sudsy feeling
- Helps with breakage
- May be too harsh for some hair
Odele Clarifying Shampoo
This women-owned and operated brand’s clarifying shampoo is arguably one of the safest ones you can try! It’s sulfate, paraben, phthalate and cruelty free, plus dermatologist tested to boot. If you find that your scalp is extra sensitive but still want the benefits of a deep clean, we highly recommend this shampoo!
- Great for all hair types
- May not provide as deep of a clean as others
Available at: Target
Herbal Essences Tea Tree Clarifying Shampoo
What shoppers love most about this shampoo (aside from its clarifying powers) is the intoxicating scent! The formula is enriched with tea tree oil to help cleanse the scalp and leave you with a fresh and clean aroma. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but reviewers say they haven’t found a more superior smelling product than this one!
- Great value
- Fresh feeling
- Tea tree may not be the scent for all shoppers
Bumble and Bumble Sunday Shampoo
As the name suggests, this shampoo is meant to be used on Sunday nights as you reset and get ready for the upcoming work week! It’s ideal for fine-to-medium hair and helps to fully cleanse the buildup in your hair that’s garnered throughout the week. If you’re the type of person who wants to wash their hair less frequently, this is the product for you!
- Ultra-cleansing formula
- A small amount goes a long way
- Not best for dryer scalps
Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two Clarifying Cleanser
Though this shampoo can be used for all hair types, it’s especially excellent if you have oily hair. The formula is designed to help decrease oil production over time so it doesn’t get greasy, and in turn allow you to wash your hair less often. Shoppers note that while it does provide a proper deep clean, it doesn’t leave their hair feeling stripped and dry either!
- Refreshing lemon scent
- Works for all hair types
- May dry out hair ends
Verb Reset Clarifying Shampoo
While removing the buildup that may be sitting on the scalp, this shampoo also helps soothe the scalp and restore your hair’s natural pH balance! Infused with aloe vera, the formula leaves your hair feeling healthy and clean from the root all the way down to the tip.
- Paraben and sulfate free
- Enriched with natural extracts
- May not work for oilier scalps
PATTERN Clarifying Shampoo
Developed by iconic actress Tracee Ellis Ross, this clarifying shampoo was developed specifically for curly and coily natural hair. It’s designed to help cleanse the scalp without stripping hair bare of the oils that keep locks feeling healthy and strong. If you have low-porosity hair, it also helps to keep the cuticles open to moisture. If you’re using a deep conditioner after, it will fully absorb the product!
- Designed for curly and natural hair
- Non-stripping formula
- May be too gentle for super oily scalps
- Pricier than most
OUAI Detox Shampoo
Perfect for all hair types, this hair detox uses apple cider vinegar to help deep cleanse and make your scalp feel refreshed! This cult-favorite shampoo has led shoppers to feel like they’re fresh from the salon. It has a non-drying formula which helps to relieve irritated scalps and bring life back into your hair.
- Cult-favorite product
- Great for all hair types
- Higher price tag
Nexxus Clean and Pure Clarifying Shampoo
If you’re worried about a clarifying shampoo being too harsh on your hair, this lightweight formula may be a good option for you. Along with its detoxifying properties, it also includes proteins and marine minerals that may help your strands feel nourished and silky-smooth after washing. It’s safer to use more frequently than some of the other products we’ve mentioned!
- Great value
- Perfect for dry hair
- Too gentle for some shoppers
Redken Detox Hair Cleansing Cream Clarifying Shampoo
Suitable for all hair types, this cleansing cream promises to get rid of all of the unwanted buildup in your hair after just one wash! The thicker cream consistency makes it feel nourishing and gentle on the scalp, which is ideal for color-treated hair. It also helps to strengthen the hair cuticle so that your strands feel smooth, silky and 100% revived!
- Cream consistency
- Strengthening formula
- Some shoppers don’t love the scent
GIOVANNI Eco Chic 50:50 Balanced Hydrating Clarifying Shampoo
This cleanser is packed with vitamins, natural extracts and proteins to help restore your hair’s health and radiance. If your hair is overworked or has been over-processed, the healthy pH balance it once had can be thrown off — and this shampoo is designed to help get you back in the game!
- Super affordable
- Super deep clean
- Can be very drying if not followed up with proper conditioner
Still haven’t found what you’re looking for? Check out these related product articles below:
- The 10 Best Blow Dryers for Curly Hair Available Now
- The Best Designer Fashion Belts for Women
- The 7 Best Curling Irons for Short Hair
Check out more of our picks and deals here!