Having shiny, strong, and beautiful locks is every woman's dream. To achieve this, hair care products like shampoos, conditioners, and treatments are needed to nourish your hair deeply. Yes, these are effective in revitalizing. However, regular treatments leave a residue on your scalp. The solution to this? Clarifying shampoos. These hair products contain efficient agents to wash away dirt and gunk build-up.
It thoroughly cleanses your scalp whilst rejuvenating each strand for bouncy-looking hair. Clarifying shampoo is a beneficial addition to your hair care routine to avoid greasy and damaged hair. Read on as we have curated a guide—with comments and tips from board-certified dermatologist Dr. Gaile Robredo-Vitas—to help you determine which formula does its job on your hair type. We've included our top picks too!
Dr. Gaile Robredo-Vitas is a board-certified dermatologist from the Philippines. She enjoys teaching and gives lectures here and abroad. She is also very active in social media educating the public and correcting misinformation online. Her other special interests include aesthetic and procedural dermatology such as cosmeceuticals, injectables, lasers, and energy-based devices.
Our recommendation articles are carefully researched and crafted by the mybest Philippines team of writers and editors. To stay true to our company’s mission and vision to help users’ selection process easier, we also collaborate with experts from various fields to ensure that our content stays factual and useful.
The expert oversees the Buying Guide only, and does not determine the products and services featured.
The products and services listed are ranked independently by the editorial team based on the points mentioned in our thoroughly researched buying guide (as of 01-16-2023).
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The scalp's natural oils maintain essential moisture and protect delicate hair from environmental aggressors. However, there is a tendency that the oil traps sweat and dirt, clogging your scalp and can even aggravate breakouts. Oily hair occurs when you are exposed to too much heat and when you overwash your hair. Frequent washing triggers the scalp to release more oils.
Luckily, excess sebum is only one rinse away with the aid of clarifying shampoos. Excess sebum is often accompanied by flat and lackluster hair. These shampoos provide a root boost, revealing more volumized strands. This is a reliable product to eliminate deep-seated dirt on your scalp that your shampoos might have missed.
Clarifying shampoos contain surfactants that are very efficient in cleansing the scalp because they often contain stronger surfactants than regular or gentler shampoos. It is recommended to use on hair with a lot of build-ups, to individuals who do not regularly wash their hair, and to those whose hair is exposed to many elements, such as chlorine. One downside, though, is that it might be too harsh, so it is recommended that you apply conditioner afterward.
Here are some key points to consider:
For more detailed information, read through our buying guide below.
Most clarifying shampoos are formulated with sulfates and other potent ingredients to banish gunk and dirt completely. Despite its effectiveness, this can strip the scalp's natural oil and can fade hair color. It is crucial to pick a clarifying shampoo, which works wonders on your hair type.
It's no secret that sulfates are a foe to colored hair. Sulfates are a popular cleaning agent which creates a lathering effect on your regular shampoos. This foam contributes to effectively eliminating dirt and oil from your strands. However, this ingredient is not suitable for people with frizzy, fine, and damaged hair as this can strip oil as well as hair color.
Another downward is that they can trigger irritation to those with a sensitive scalp. To avoid this, look for a clarifying shampoo with no sulfates. Sulfate-free shampoos are a great addition to your hair care routine since they retain your natural oil while cleansing each strand from root to tip. Many brands offer clarifying shampoos that are free of sulfates.
Sulfate-free alternatives are not only more gentle and help keep hair's natural moisture, but they are also said to make hair coloring and other hair treatments last longer than when using shampoos with sulfates. If you have colored hair, sulfate-free shampoos are a blessing. Unlike their counterparts, these are gentle on the hair and won't strip your hair of its color too fast.
Reveal your clean and healthy tresses through the help of a gentle clarifying shampoo. These products are infused with natural ingredients like coconut oil, known for conditioning your strands, detoxing, and eliminating chemical impurities from all hair types. Besides, some shampoos are formulated with mild surfactants that clean your locks without the heavy feeling.
Stay away from products with sulfates, as these shampoos leave your hair dehydrated and can trigger itchiness and redness, particularly for those with a sensitive scalp. A better and safer option is to use gentle shampoos to keep your locks having that mirror-like shine while eliminating unwanted residues.
Apart from the things mentioned above, there are other things you can do. One is to limit the use of clarifying shampoo to once or twice a month or on days where you feel the need for really deep cleaning your hair. Another is by using a product that brings back moisture to your strands after cleaning it, like a good conditioner or coconut oil.
Unlike liquid shampoos, bars can be used as many as 80 washes, equivalent to one and a half bottles of standard-sized liquid shampoo. This is described as a liquid shampoo that comes in a solid form, commonly loaded with natural ingredients. Shampoo bars are usually free of harsh chemicals that can damage waterways.
However, you still have to take a closer look at the ingredients list. Choose a plant-based shampoo bar that unclogs hair follicles, making your strands healthier than before. Also, assure that it is free from artificial fragrance to avoid irritation. If you're switching from liquid shampoo to a shampoo bar, it is normal if your locks feel waxy as it is still adjusting on the change of product.
Since shampoo bars are mostly made of oils, there may be a tendency to cause build-up and more snags or tangles. One way to remedy this is by using them sparingly or by not rubbing the shampoo bar directly onto your hair, rather working up a lather with both your hands before shampooing your hair.
For dry locks, go for shampoos infused with panthenol and amino acids that can moisturize dry cuticles. With sufficient amino acids, the shampoo can rejuvenate and strengthen your damaged tresses caused by heat styling tools. It also boosts elasticity, fragile follicles. Amino acids put an end to hair shedding and breakage by maintaining your scalp's needed moisture.
While for those who love multitasking beauty products, brands also provide offerings that can be used to clarify your scalp and body. Skin irritation is not an issue since these products are made with gentle ingredients. It washes away residue buildup while simultaneously fighting acne and rashes on the face, neck, arms, and back. This is a practical option that can be used for daily top-to-toe wash.
If you have sensitive skin, dry skin, or have a history of allergies to chemicals, you will benefit from clarifying shampoos free from potentially irritating ingredients. Examples of ingredients that may help include coconut oil or argan oil. If you have oily scalp and hair but have sensitive skin, you may opt for gentler sulfates such as sodium laureth sulfate. If you really cannot tolerate sulfates, looking for shampoos with oil-absorbing ingredients such as clays or charcoal may help.
Merely using hair styling tools makes a difference in your hair's appearance. Due to this, many are skipping deep cleansing of the scalp and treating strands. This is a habit that needs to be stopped. Nothing beats nourished locks from root to tips. Unfortunately, some regular shampoos contain ingredients that are harmful to you and the environment.
Stay away from products with ammonium lauryl sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens, sodium chloride, formaldehyde, and alcohol. Sulfates are strong cleaning agents that can lead to damaged and brittle hair. Finally, it is best to follow the instructions label to make the most of the product. Since clarifying shampoos contain powerful ingredients to clear dirt and excess sebum, use this once or twice a week to avoid stripping natural oils.
While it is essential to know what you are putting on your skin and hair, I am personally not one to scare my patients from using ingredients that have gotten a bad reputation just because of negative experiences by certain individuals. I use products containing parabens because they are good preservatives that will keep my products microbe-free. I also occasionally use those containing sulfates when I need them to serve a purpose.
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Great for Fighting Impurities While Keeping Your Locks Moisturized
R + Co
Oblivion Clarifying Shampoo
Fragrant Clarifying Shampoo With Coconut Oil for Daily Use
Get Gentle Yet Intensive Scalp Cleansing to Buff Away Pollution
Clarifying Lemon Shampoo
No-Frills Shampoo That Cleanses Dulling Scalp Build-Up
First Class Detoxifying Charcoal Shampoo
Clarifying Shampoo That Absorbs Dirt Like a Magnet
Charcoal Clarifying Shampoo
Sulfate-Free Shampoo for Clarifying Colored Tresses
Water Works Clarifying Shampoo
Gentle Formula Ideal for Cleansing Curly Hair
Bed Head by TIGI
Reboot Scalp Shampoo
Reboot Your Scalp's Condition With This Shampoo
Refresh Purifying Shampoo
Reveal Your Lustrous Locks With Alpha Keratin
Detox and Nourish
Goodbye Daily Impurities, Hello Salon Gorgeous Hair!
When someone mentions clarifying shampoo, the common impression is it is drying on your scalp since it will intensely cleanse your locks. Well, this clarifying shampoo from Human Nature will change this assumption. Taking pride in its wide array of natural products that are well-loved by Filipinos, this shampoo packs a punch in fighting impurities thanks to its high content fruit acids.
Not only that, it is formulated with betaine and aloe vera extract, which moisturize and relax your strands. Once you've applied it to your hair, it gives a rich and natural foamy effect, leaving a refreshing scent of green apple.
The natural lather is possible as this shampoo is made of coconut-derived sulfates, so this one's non-irritating that lets you achieve silky, healthy hair in no time. For optimal results, use this 2 to 3 times a week alternately with your regular shampoo.
This clarifying shampoo from R + Co is ideal for everyday use since it is gentle on the scalp yet effective in clearing residues and buildup of chlorine, styling products, and hard water. It is jampacked with powerful ingredients that will give you lustrous locks in an instant.
This hair essential is infused with tea tree oil and witch hazel, contributing to removing stubborn buildup. Meanwhile, amino acids maintain hair moisture and restore damaged hair.
Additionally, hair fall and lackluster strands are no match with this product, thanks to its coconut oil content that boosts and conditions your hair. You no longer need to worry about the oily hair and its heavy feeling with this mild clarifying shampoo. You'll also love the earthy smell in every wash!
Give your scalp the detox it needs with this shampoo by Davines that effectively buffs away residues caused by smog, environmental impurities, and pollution. It is a must-have for its gentle formulation made of naturally derived active ingredients that work hand-in-hand to cleanse and lightly exfoliate your scalp without aggravating it.
Apart from the natural surfactants and scrub particles that exfoliate your scalp, it is infused with silica particles that help with scalp regeneration. Its formulation also contains essential cardamom, coriander, and mint oils to provide antiseptic and soothing properties. Your hair would surely thank you for it!
If you're on the lookout for a no-frills shampoo that directly targets your hair dilemma, this one is a great addition to your essentials. It contains a blend of lemon essential oil, quinoa protein, aloe, and vitamin E that work hand-in-hand to eliminate excess oils and scalp build-up that causes lackluster and lifeless tresses.
Instead of opting for products that focus solely on bringing back your's shine, using this clarifying shampoo is an optimal solution because it does not merely revive your hair's glow but also targets the gunk build-up that causes lackluster tresses. The best thing? It is organic and free from harmful chemicals!
It's no secret that charcoal is a go-to ingredient when detoxifying and cleansing the scalp is your goal. If you're on the lookout for a shampoo that will maintain your colored locks' radiance, IGK First Class Detoxifying Charcoal Shampoo is a great pick.
Its hero ingredient, charcoal, acts like a magnet in attracting excess oil and build-up from dry shampoos, styling products, chlorine, and pollution without drying out your scalp. It also contains witch hazel and tea tree oil to calm the scalp. Free of parabens and sulfates, this clarifying shampoo is a perfect companion in cleansing all hair types.
In the long run, colored tresses tend to look dry and lackluster. To maintain that fresh-from-salon shine, go for a sulfate-free shampoo. Why not try out clarifying shampoo that retains your vibrant hair color? The good news is Hask Charcoal Clarifying Shampoo works wonders on color-treated hair. It is mild enough that it can be applied to natural or dyed hair.
Infused with charcoal derived from coconut shells, this clarifying shampoo lifts impurities and clarifies your scalp, minus the itchiness and irritation. Buyers loved how this sulfate-free formula effectively banish residues. Plus, it has an invigorating citrus scent that makes your hair smelling fresh throughout the day.
Curly hair is more prone to drying. Hence, it is crucial to select the right hair care products. Luckily, Ouidad Water Works Clarifying Shampoo is specially formulated for keeping your curls in tip-top condition. It is packed with non-stripping ingredients that will draw out impurities and residues.
Plus, you can rest easy to irritate your scalp as it is made with gentle and chelating formula. With that, it eliminates minerals and chlorine from hard water, which is the primary cause of hair breakage color fading. Ultimately, this go-to clarifying shampoo for curls is best used to prep your locks for styling.
Advertised as an antidote to reboot your hair when it has had enough, this shampoo is formulated to remove irritation-causing build-up and debris in your scalp. Adding to that, it also helps improve your hair's ability to lock in moisture to prevent having a dry scalp.
With this, you can achieve not just clean but also soft hair. Apart from the Pumped Up Cleansing System responsible for all the exfoliation, it has surface care molecules to make sure your hair is soft and smooth after going through that detox.
Detoxifying or clearing up your scalp at least once a week is essential to be free of unwanted dirt and oil. Virtue Labs Refresh Purifying Shampoo highlights a damage repair protein, Alpha Keratin 60ku®, which restores your hair’s best condition. Another plus is it is loaded with charcoal powder that lifts and removes impurities and hops extract that works as an astringent on the scalp.
Worried if it can strip natural oils? This shampoo also contains coconut fatty acids, which are known for their moisturizing properties. The best part is that it has a rich citrus scent with a blend of detoxifying tea and sweet orange and lemon essential oils, leaving your locks fresh and rejuvenated.
Formulated with natural ingredients, this clarifying shampoo from TRESemme aims to cleanse and detoxify your hair the natural way. Its infusion of ginger and green tea gets rid of daily impurities and scalp build-up caused by pollution, styling products, and even smog.
It also makes sure to replenish lost nutrients along the way to guarantee your hair stays nourished, so you can rock salon-gorgeous healthy and shiny hair! This shampoo is also one that your hair would thank you for since it contains no parabens or dyes.
Before you rush to the bathroom to take a shower, take some time to read Dr. Gaile's answers to some of the internet's most asked questions.
Theoretically, yes. Clarifying shampoos are intended to be used by individuals who experience a lot of build-up on their scalp either due to being inherently oily or sebum-producing. It is also recommended to those who are exposed to the elements (oil, dirt, and debris) or engage in activities such as swimming and want to rid their hair of chemicals like chlorine.
As such, I don't recommend using clarifying shampoos that often because there is a chance of over-stripping your hair of its natural moisture, which is also necessary to keep it healthy.
There are many possible causes of dandruff. One is dry skin, another is the build-up of debris, oil, and dead skin cells, and the other is the proliferation of an oil-loving fungus called Malassezia sp.
Clarifying shampoos may work if the cause of your dandruff is buildup or proliferation of the fungus by controlling sebum production. Otherwise, if dryness of the scalp is the reason, they could make it worse. This is why it is important to consult a board-certified dermatologist if your dandruff persists despite trying clarifying shampoos or anti-dandruff shampoos.
When used properly (not using it every day), choosing clarifying shampoos containing ingredients that match your scalp and hair's needs and putting into consideration other skin issues you may have (e.g. allergies, sensitive skin), I believe clarifying shampoos may be beneficial for all hair types. You just have to find one that works for you.
With all the styling tools and products you use daily, this can lead to the buildup of conditioners, oils, and treatments. It is better to treat your hair at least once a week to maintain that healthy-looking radiance. Here are some product reviews that will help you get the hair of your dreams.
No. 1：Human Nature｜Clarifying Shampoo
No. 2：R + Co｜Oblivion Clarifying Shampoo
No. 3：Davines｜Detoxifying Shampoo
No. 4：Avalon Organics ｜Clarifying Lemon Shampoo
No. 5：IGK｜First Class Detoxifying Charcoal Shampoo
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