Clarifying Shampoos

The "411" on clarifying shampoos

Here's the "411" on clarifying shampoos and why they are beneficial for your hair care routine.

Clarifying shampoos are a specialized type of shampoo designed to deep-clean the hair and scalp by removing buildup of product residues, excess oil, hard water minerals, and environmental pollutants.

In general, the majority of shampoos, including the one currently in your shower, contain one or two ingredients called chelators that aid in breaking down minerals. However, what sets apart your typical shampoo from a hard-water or clarifying shampoo is the concentration and potency of these chelators within the formulation.

An ideal clarifying shampoo will boast a blend of chelating agents, such as EDTA, citric acid, along with ascorbic acid (vitamin C), apple cider vinegar, sodium citrate, sodium gluconate, and/or citric acid. If your shampoo contains a combination of these chelators and guarantees to dissolve buildup, it should effectively tackle the issue.

A clean and healthy scalp is essential for promoting hair growth and preventing scalp issues like dandruff, itchiness, and irritation. Clarifying shampoos like Apple Cider Vinegar rinses help to unclog hair follicles and remove dead skin cells and excess oil, and product build-up promoting better scalp health and reducing the risk of scalp problems.

Product buildup on hair typically appears as a dull, lackluster coating on the strands. It may feel heavy, sticky, or greasy to the touch. Over time, this buildup can make hair look flat and lifeless, and it may also contribute to issues such as scalp irritation or flakiness. If you're experiencing these symptoms, using a clarifying shampoo or treatment specifically designed to remove buildup can help restore your hair's natural shine and manageability.

Creme of Nature Apple Cider Vinegar Clarifying Rinse is a good one for locs (dreadlocks) and color treated hair.

Aunt Jackie's Power Wash Intense Moisture Shampoo deep cleans and hydrates, so your hair doesn’t feel dry, rough, and stripped.

Camille Rose Sweet Ginger Rinse very gentle on hair and is good for all hair porosities.

As I Am Curl Clarity Shampoo good for curly hair, softens hair.

While clarifying shampoos are excellent for deep cleansing, they can be drying if used too frequently, especially for those with dry or color-treated hair. It's best to use clarifying shampoo once a week or every other week, or as needed, to prevent over-stripping the hair of its natural oils.


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