13 Best Clarifying Shampoos For Curly Hair – 2024

Add the perfect bounce and shine to your curls with deeply nourishing formulations.

Reviewed by Rebekkah O’Neill, Master Stylist, Hair & Beauty Trainer Rebekkah O’Neill Rebekkah O’NeillMaster Stylist, Hair & Beauty Trainer facebook_iconinsta_icon
Written by , Integrated MA Medha Deb Integrated MA linkedin_icon Experience: 5 years
Edited by , MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach Shiboli Chakraborti MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English Literature) Ramona Sinha MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 11 years
Last Updated on

Your gorgeous curls are too wild to be tamed by regular shampoo and conditioner. You require clarifying shampoo for curly hair, which helps tame your curls and make them look fabulous again! Unlike regular shampoo, clarifying shampoos are specially formulated to remove stubborn dirt and oil from your hair. Curly hair needs are nothing like other hair types and may need extra maintenance due to their texture. Regular rinsing does not do the job; therefore, incorporating a clarifying shampoo in your hair care routine will help you maintain your curls better.

Top Picks
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Best Sulfate-Free:Avalon Organics Clarifying Lemon Shampoo
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Best For All Hair Types: Christina Moss Naturals Organic Shampoo
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Best Color-Safe Product: Sofn’Free GroHealthy Nothing But Clarifying Shampoo
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Best Detoxifying: Maple Holistics Degrease Shampoo
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Best For Itchy Scalp:Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo
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Best For Hair Length Retention:Redken Detox Hair Cleansing Cream Clarifying Shampoo
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Best For Removing Product Buildup: Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo
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Best Nourishing: Honey Dew Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo
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Best pH-Balanced Formula:Suave Naturals Daily Clarifying Shampoo
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Best Protein-Infused Formula:Mixed Chicks Gentle Clarifying Shampoo
Price on Amazon

There are 2 types of clarifying shampoos:

Clarifying shampoos with sulfate

Clarifying shampoos with sulfates are designed to thoroughly remove build-up from elements like silicones and minerals from hard water from the hair. These sulfates are usually considered harsh and drying for your hair.

Sulfate-free clarifying shampoos

Sulfate-free clarifying shampoos and cleansers preserve the natural oils and moisture on your scalp and hair, making your curly hair healthy and free of build-up. It doesn’t foam as much, which is why it is suitable for dry, dull, and curly hair.

Without any further ado, let’s deep dive and review the 13 best clarifying shampoos for curly hair in 2024 we’ve curated especially for you.

Top 13 Best Clarifying Shampoo For Curly Hair In 2024

1. Best Sulfate-Free: Avalon Organics Clarifying Lemon Shampoo

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Avalon Organics Shampoo Image: Avalon Organics

This clarifying lemon shampoo by Avalon Organics contains an assortment of lemon essential oil, quinoa protein, aloe, and vitamin E. The shine-enhancing shampoo gently clarifies and polishes the hair and eliminates excess oils and product build-up. It also improves hair elasticity. If you observe keenly, Avalon Organics affirms they engineer only safe shampoos with no synthetic perfumes, phthalates, sulfates, or parabens. It is also free from animal testing. Avalon Organics also practices the usage of 100% recycled supplies for the packaging of their bottles.

Hair Type: Dry | Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 1.7 x 7.2 inches | Weight: 11 Ounces

Pros
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Removes excess oils
  • Mild shampoo
  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • No synthetic/artificial fragrances
  • Safe ingredients

Cons
  • The lemon fragrance may be strong for some.

protip_icon Trivia
In 1814, an Indian Bengali entrepreneur, Sake Dean Mahomed, introduced shampoo in Britain. The word shampoo itself comes from the Hindi word chāmpo.

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Why We Think It's Worth Buying

With 2,699 positive reviews on Amazon, this product has become a bestseller.

2. Best For All Hair Types:Christina Moss Naturals Organic Shampoo

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Christina Moss Naturals Hair Shampoo for Damaged Hair Image: Christina Moss Naturals

If you dream of bouncy curls and a healthy scalp, you should consider the Christina Moss Naturals Organic Shampoo. It gently cleanses your hair without the use of sulfates and parabens. This organic shampoo is hypoallergenic, making it suitable for all hair and scalp types. It is a soothing and gentle shampoo that doesn’t strip off natural oils from the scalp. It provides a detangling and softening effect for beautifully glossy hair. This natural organic shampoo can also be applied every day or as frequently as you like. The shampoo contains natural, organic, and nourishing ingredients like organic coconut oil, organic olive oil, aloe vera, shea butter, and rosemary, which helps soothe, cleanse, and revitalize your scalp for healthy curly hair and offers restorative care.

Hair Type: Oily, Dry, Normal | Product Dimensions: 2.25 x 2.25 x 5.5 inches | Weight: 8 Ounces

Pros
  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Vegan
  • Not tested on animals

Cons
  • It may not help eliminate frizziness.

protip_icon Pro Tip
Use a nourishing oil as a pre-shampoo treatment for smooth and glossy curls. Once the oil covers all your tresses, wrap a warm towel around your head. Keep it on for 15 minutes, and shampoo your hair. Follow it up with Christina Moss Naturals conditioner.

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Why We Think It's Worth Buying

More than 962 rave reviews on Amazon prove why we are so in awe of this product.

3. Best Color-Safe Product:Sofn’Free GroHealthy Nothing But Clarifying Shampoo

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Nothing But Clarifying Shampoo Image: Nothing But
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This clarifying shampoo includes only the most beneficial elements crucial for a complete nourishing and cleansing routine. This clarifying shampoo is free of mineral oil, sulfate, parabens, colorants, and phthalates. The shampoo lathers well and cleanses thoroughly. It contains citric acid, d-Limone, and citral for fragrance and aromatherapy. It offers a cooling sensation for a refreshing and rejuvenating hair-washing experience. It is considered to be one of the best clarifying shampoos for naturally curly hair with low porosity. This shampoo also washes out old color from your hair. According to reviewers, the shampoo does not strip off the natural oils but leaves the hair moisturized and manageable.

Hair Type: Normal | Product Dimensions: 4 x 4 x 9 inches | Weight: 12 Ounces

Pros
  • Deep cleansing benefits
  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Gently removes dirt and product build-up
  • Suitable for color-treated hair

Cons
  • It may be drying for some hair types.
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Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The overwhelming 2,474 positive reviews on Amazon show how popular this product is with happy users.

Avalon Organics Clarifying Lemon Shampoo
Best Sulfate-Free
Christina Moss Naturals Organic Shampoo
Best For All Hair Types
Sofn’Free GroHealthy Nothing But Clarifying Shampoo
Best Color-Safe Product
Hair Type Dry Oily, Dry, Normal Normal
Dimensions 2.5 x 1.7 x 7.2 inches 2.25 x 2.25 x 5.5 inches 4 x 4 x 9 inches
Weight 11 Ounces 8 Ounces 12 Ounces
Rating
Reviews2,6999622,474
Price$8.34$22.97$9.99

4. Best Detoxifying:Maple Holistics Degrease Shampoo

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Maple Holistics Clarifying Shampoo for Oily Hair and Oily Scalp Image: Maple Holistics

This degrease cleanser works actively to soothe and relax an itchy scalp. It cleanses away the accumulation of dirt, excess oil, dandruff, dead skin cells, and many other follicle-clogging contaminants, and leaves your curly hair light and full of volume. It is enriched with lemon, cypress, rosemary, basil, and peach kernel oils that detoxify hair follicles and boost circulation for a healthy scalp and hair growth. It is designed to be suitable for all curl types all while being gentle on sensitive scalp. The shampoo purifies and cleanses your curly hair without any harsh chemicals, parabens, sulfates, colorants, or synthetic fragrances. It is also free from animal testing.

Hair Type: Oily, Color Treated, Dry, Curly, Normal | Product Dimensions: 2.2 x 2.2 x 6.2 inches | Weight: 10 Ounces

Pros
  • Free of sulfates
  • Paraben-free
  • Soothes and relaxes itchy scalp
  • Controls and balances sebum levels
  • Natural cleanser
  • Cruelty-free

Cons
  • May not be best suited for fine hair.
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Why We Think It's Worth Buying

A whopping 1,914 reviews on Amazon make it obvious that users genuinely love this product.

5. Best For Itchy Scalp:Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo

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Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo Image: Moroccanoil

The Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo removes build-up caused by hair products, chlorine, dirt, and excess oils, making your curly hair weak, dull, or oily. The shampoo consists of nourishing ingredients–a blend of keratin, argan and avocado oils, lavender, chamomile, and jojoba extracts that replenish nourishment and luster to your locks. It acts as a hair and scalp clarifier that effectively removes environmental impurities and restores natural pH balance. For best results, this shampoo should be used before getting your curly hair dyed, permed, or exposing it to other treatments. The shampoo encourages hair growth and keeps your scalp healthy.

Hair Type: Buildup Prone | Product Dimensions: 2 x 2 x 6.5 inches | Weight: 8.82 Ounces

Pros
  • Gives immediate results
  • Free of sulfates and parabens
  • Suitable of color and chemically-treated hair
  • Pleasant fragrance

Cons
  • May not be suitable for fine hair.
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Why We Think It's Worth Buying

This product has garnered over 2,066 positive reviews on Amazon, and the number continues to grow.

6. Best For Hair Length Retention:Redken Detox Hair Cleansing Cream Clarifying Shampoo

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Redken Detox Hair Cleansing Cream Clarifying Shampoo Image: Redken

This volumizing shampoo gently cleans the build-up caused by hard water, environmental contaminants, and styling products. It almost immediately eliminates minerals like copper, iron, magnesium, and calcium found in hard water. The cleansing cream restores and rejuvenates hair cuticles and promotes hair growth and aids hair retention. It also reduces breakage and promotes a healthy scalp. It is enriched with sugarcane extract, hydrolyzed wheat protein, lemon peel extract, and apple extract to add a natural shine and volume to curly hair.

Hair Type: All | Product Dimensions: 1.38 x 1.38 x 3.86 inches | Weight: 1.7 Ounces.

Pros
  • Long-lasting fragrance
  • Clarifies hair
  • Moisturizing properties
  • Suitable for all hair types and textures
  • Reduces hair fall

Cons
  • Some may find the consistency too thin.

Our Tester's Experience

"The shampoo cleans my oily scalp and eliminates product buildup. It makes my hair feel cleaner, lighter, and more manageable. It also has a pleasing citrus scent."


7. Best For Removing Product Buildup:Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo

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Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen Image: Shea Moisture

The Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo cleans and clears your hair removing all dirt, buildup, and grime. This rebalancing shampoo has just the right amount of cleansing and moisturizing ingredients. It is ideal for people who often dye, straighten, curl, or style their hair with heat. It works great on naturally kinky, curly, or wavy hair. It’s a great shampoo for people who want to grow their hair longer and stronger. Black castor oil is well-known for making hair stronger, and we’ve combined it with other high-quality ingredients that make hair more resilient and clean. It also improves hair texture. The certified organic shea butter in the formula helps hair grow naturally by strengthening damaged hair and reducing breakage. The peppermint oil helps to wake up the scalp for a refreshing and tingling feeling. According to reviews, this product leaves the hair shiny and soft post cleansing.

Hair Type: Dry | Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 2.5 x 6.5 inches | Weight: 1.05 Pounds

Pros
  • 100% natural
  • Cruelty-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Silicone-free

Cons

None

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Why We Think It's Worth Buying

There are more than 1,445 Amazon reviews attesting to the quality of the product and endorsing its value.

8. Best Nourishing:Honey Dew Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo

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Honeydew Argan Oil Shampoo Image: Honeydew

The key elements of the Honey Dew Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo are Moroccan argan oil, golden jojoba oil, and keratin. These oils help moisturize, nourish, and preserve curly natural hair from damages prompted by multiple factors, naturally or artificially. It is an anti-inflammatory formula that stimulates hair growth. This formula is free of parabens and sulfates and is also cruelty-free. It is ideal for everyday use as it is formulated with 96% natural ingredients, which keep your hair and scalp healthy and happy.

Hair Type: Oily, Color Treated, Curly, Normal | Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.5 x 5.5 inches | Weight: 8 Ounces

Pros
  • Has a pleasant and soothing fragrance
  • Free from parabens and sulfates
  • Moisturizes and restores damaged hair
  • Lathers up well
  • Not tested on animals

Cons
  • Slightly expensive

9. Best pH-Balanced Formula:Suave Naturals Daily Clarifying Shampoo

The Suave Naturals Daily Clarifying Shampoo cleanses your hair without shedding its natural oils and moisture from your scalp. It is a gentle pH-balanced formula, so you can use it every day or as frequently as you like for its benefits like frizz control. The product foams up and diffuses through your curly hair pretty easily, ensuring curls revival. The viscosity of this shampoo is quite dense, and you would only require a nickel-size dollop to cleanse your entire scalp and hair. It also has a long-lasting fragrance to keep your curly locks smelling fresh all day.

Hair Type: All | Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 2.3 x 2.2 inches | Weight: 1.1 Pounds

Pros
  • Cleanses hair and scalp
  • Intense hydration
  • Suitable for all hair types
  • Refreshing and long-lasting fragrance
  • pH balanced

Cons
  • Contains sulfate

10. Best Protein-Infused Formula:Mixed Chicks Gentle Clarifying Shampoo

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Mixed Chicks Gentle Clarifying Shampoo Image: Mixed Chicks

This clarifying shampoo contains healing ingredients like soy protein and panthenol that help penetrate the hair follicle, shaft, and lend a gorgeous glow to your curly hair. The Mixed Chicks Gentle Clarifying Shampoo removes product build-up, environmental impurities, and accumulation of excess oils, and restores your curls to their natural volume. This shampoo is one of the best ones for curly and natural hair, and is gentle for daily use. It also cleanses your color or chemically-treated hair without stripping away the natural oils off your hair or making the color fade away.

Pros
  • Contains avocado oil
  • Contains vitamin A
  • Free of parabens
  • Sulfate-free
  • Not tested on animals

Cons
  • It may not help reduce frizziness.

11. Best For Daily Use:Alberto VO5 Herbal Escapes Clarifying Shampoo

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Alberto Vo5 Herbal Escapes Clarifying Shampoo Image: Alberto Vo5

This clarifying shampoo is free from substances like gluten, nickel, lanolin, paraben, and soy. It is a gentle formula with 5 essential vitamins and lemongrass extract that helps nourish, moisturize, and hydrate curly natural hair. The 5 essential vitamins include vitamin E that nourishes the scalp and adds moisture, vitamin H aids in thicker and stronger hair, vitamin C protects your curly hair from UV rays, vitamin B5 that acts as a humectant, and vitamin B3 supports hair growth. According to multiple reviewers online, the product leaves the hair smooth, shiny, and clean.

Hair Type: Damaged | Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 3.6 x 1.3 inches | Weight: 1 Pounds

Pros
  • Gluten-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Moisturizing properties
  • Lightweight

Cons
  • Slightly expensive

12. Best Organic:Ouidad Water Works Clarifying Shampoo

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Ouidad Image: Ouidad Water Works Clarifying Shampoo

The Ouidad Water Works Clarifying Shampoo is one the best clarifying shampoos for curly hair  It uses fruit extracts to get rid of the build-up in your hair caused by environmental impurities, pollutants, products, and styling. This shampoo for curly hair is rich in natural and organic constituents that will achieve the desired results even if you have a sensitive scalp or unruly hair. This formula contains citrus extracts that do not strip away natural oils and cleanse the scalp while retaining moisture.

Hair Type: Curly | Product Dimensions: 2 x 2 x 7 inches | Weight: 8.5 Ounces.

Pros
  • Clarifies and cleans scalp and hair
  • Does not strip off natural oils
  • Natural and organic
  • Non-drying formula
  • Locks in moisture
  • Free from animal testing

Cons
  • Some may find the fragrance too strong.

13. Best Cruelty-Free:Unkle Funky’s Daughter Squeaky Clarifying Cleanser

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Squeaky Clarifying Cleanser Image: Uncle Funky's Daughter

The Unkle Funky’s Daughter Squeaky Clarifying Cleanser is enriched with tea tree oil, which is great for a sensitive scalp. Not only does it cleanse your scalp but it also prevents dirt or dandruff build-up. Tea tree oil is an antiseptic essential oil that promotes hair growth and overall hair health. This cleansing shampoo is a color-safe formula that offers restorative care. Although it is suitable for all hair types and textures, it is best suited for curly hair, coils, wavy, and natural hair. You don’t need to apply a lot of product, just a nickel-sized dollop is enough for it to work its magic.

Pros
  • Cruelty-free
  • Free of parabens and sulfates
  • Cruelty-free
  • Suitable for all hair types
  • Can be used on chemically and color-treated hair

Cons
  • Some may find the consistency too runny.

Did you find a clarifying shampoo that’s best suited for your hair from this list? If yes, let’s take a look at how you can use a clarifying shampoo for curly hair.

How To Use Clarifying Shampoo For Curly Hair

Step 1: Pour a nickel-sized dollop on your palm.

Step 2: Lather well on damp hair.

Step 3: Massage your scalp thoroughly and let the product fall onto your ends.

Step 4: Leave the product on for at least a minute.

Step 5: Rinse and follow up with your favorite deep conditioner to complete the hair treatment.

The Bottom Line

Rebekkah O’Neill, master stylist in hair and beauty, says, “We all get build-up on our hair, especially if we use a lot of products. It’s important we remove that by using a clarifying shampoo once a week, to refresh our hair and scalp. If you want to take it one step further, grab a scalp massager and massage the clarifying shampoo into the scalp, you’ll be amazed at how clean your scalp feels!”

Traditional shampoos with nourishing ingredients cannot remove the fine layer of product buildup caused due to conditioners, shampoos, hair gels, and sprays. Instead, you need a clarifying shampoo formulated to clear the scalp and make your hair look healthy, gorgeous, and shiny. These shampoos are cruelty-free, vegan, and color-safe. However, some products are not ideal for perm hair. The Avalon Organics Clarifying Lemon Shampoo has a gentle clarifying formula for dry and damaged hair, while the Maple Holistics Degrease Shampoo is the perfect choice for oily hair and scalp. If you have curly hair, go for the Ouidad Water Works Clarifying Shampoo for clean and bouncy curls. Picking the suitable clarifying shampoo can be tricky but not if you have gone through our buying guide. Add one of these products to your hair care regimen and say goodbye to your scalp woes.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

Haircare enthusiast Medha Deb, the author of this article, loves experimenting with different products that are designed to eliminate different hair woes. Understanding the difficulties in maintaining curly hair, she has researched and read a multitude of product reviews for clarifying shampoos for curly hair. With the insights gained, she has made a list of the best ones that are available in the market. The listed products can remove the stubborn dirt from the hair and enhance the natural curls.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a clarifying shampoo good for curly hair?

Since a lot of the clarifying shampoos for curly hair in the market can strip your hair’s moisture and natural oils, it’s essential to pick a clarifying and effective formula that’s intended to be gentle and mild on curly natural hair.

Does clarifying or regular shampoo bring back curls?

Most clarifying shampoos are too harsh for curly hair as they contain a lot of harsh and powerful detergents, which cause damage to your curls and coils. But with the right clarifying shampoo, the formula will maintain the lustre and volume of your curls.

How often should you use a clarifying shampoo on curly hair?

If you come in contact with chlorine frequently, style your hair with many products, or bathe with hard water, it is recommended to use a clarifying shampoo at least once a week to maintain a healthy scalp and hair.

Should I use a conditioner after clarifying shampoo?

You can apply your regular conditioner to the lower sections of your hair in a uniform layer, wait as instructed, and rinse as usual. A conditioner with apple cider vinegar may also help.

What happens if you don’t clarify hair?

If you do not clarify your hair, product buildup may damage your follicles and make your tresses appear heavy and dull.

What is the difference between a shampoo and a clarifying shampoo?

The major difference between a shampoo and a clarifying shampoo is that the latter has a higher concentration of aggressive surfactants (SLS) that are added to remove stubborn buildup from your hair.

Does a clarifying shampoo dry out hair?

Yes, overusing clarifying shampoos may dry your tresses out while causing frizz and flyaways.

Should I deep condition my hair after clarifying?

Yes, deep condition your hair after clarifying. It helps retain moisture and keep your hair shiny.


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Rebekkah O’Neill
Rebekkah O’NeillMaster Stylist, Hair & Beauty Trainer
Rebekkah is a Master Stylist with over 7 years of experience. She specializes in the most popular colors and balayage and the most extravagant restyles. From managing a busy salon to working internationally with clients on their big days, she has gained knowledge in every aspect of her profession.

Read full bio of Rebekkah O’Neill