5 Best Clarifying Shampoos To Remove Hair Color, Hairstylist-Approved (2024)

These clarifying shampoos help remove your hair color and help you deal with any color mishap.

Reviewed by Alexandro Vasquez, Hairdresser Alexandro Vasquez Alexandro VasquezHairdresser facebook_iconlinkedin_iconyoutube_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach Shiboli Chakraborti MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach Experience: 4 years
Edited by , MA (English Literature), Diploma In Health & Wellness Aditi Naskar MA (English Literature), Diploma In Health & Wellness Experience: 5 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English Literature) Ramona Sinha MA (English Literature) Experience: 11 years
All products recommended on StyleCraze are independently selected by our editorial team. If you make a purchase through any of these links, we may receive a commission. Learn more about our product selection process here.

If you are going through some hair color mishap and want to get rid of that unflattering hue, here is some good news for you. The best clarifying shampoo to remove hair color is here to help. Color-safe, professional-grade clarifying shampoos clean your hair gently by removing excess sebum from the oily scalp. They also eliminate the residues left by styling products and color pigments from your hair. As a result, they leave your hair soft and your scalp clean. The shampoo also fades the color of your hair with each wash. There are several brands available on the market that offer different clarifying or deep cleansing shampoos that do not strip the natural moisture of your hair. In this article, I have listed the best clarifying shampoos for hair color removal after consulting Alexandro Vasquez, a hairdresser. Keep scrolling to check them out!

Note: Before you invest in the best shampoo to strip color, remember that it is advised to use a good clarifying mask or conditioner after using the shampoo. Most clarifying shampoos have Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or Sodium Laureth Sulfate that dries out the hair.

Top Picks
Best Gentle Formula:Neutrogena The Anti-Residue Formula
Price on Amazon
Best For All Hair Types:Matrix Biolage Normalizing CleanReset Shampoo
Price on Amazon
Best Nourishing:Nexxus Clean & Pure Nourishing Detox ShampooPrice on Amazon
Best Keratin-Infused Formula:Matrix Biolage Normalizing CleanReset Shampoo
Price on Amazon
Best Vegan:Manic Panic Prepare To Dye Clarifying Shampoo
Price on Amazon

5 Best Clarifying Shampoo To Remove Color

1. Best Gentle Formula:Neutrogena The Anti-Residue Formula


Add bounce to your limp hair with the Neutrogena The Anti-Residue Shampoo. It is a non-irritating, gentle cleansing shampoo to wash out hair dye. The drugstore shampoo has been designed as a weekly clarifying treatment to clean away grease, oil buildup, and residue from the scalp and oily hair shaft. The Sodium Laureth Sulfate in the formula washes off the color of your hair while glycerin, a humectant, prevents moisture loss, revitalizes dry scalp, and keeps your hair soft and hydrated. This anti-build up shampoo to lighten dyed hair also boosts hair volume and adds bounce to dull hair. Check out this video on YouTube for an in-depth review of Neutrogena Anti-Residue Formula.

Stephanie, a blogger, shares her experience with the shampoo when her hair started becoming oily, dead, and dry. She says, “I love the squeaky clean feeling it gives, which is why I don’t recommend using it for more than once a week. This is affordable and will last you a very long time. I really like this product, it clears my hair from residue and gives my hair a refreshing feeling (i).”

Key Ingredients: Glycerin, SLS

Hair Type: Multicultural | Product Dimensions: 3.7 x 1.3 x 5.8 inches | Weight: 7.68 Ounces


  •  Non-irritating
  •  Artificial colorant-free
  •  Artificial dye-free
  •  Gentle formula
  •  Suitable for all hair types


  •  Unpleasant smell
  •  Can cause hairfall

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

More than 24,488 Amazon users have vouched for this amazing product.

2. Best For All Hair Types:Matrix Biolage Normalizing CleanReset Shampoo

The refreshing Matrix Biolage Normalizing CleanReset Shampoo is formulated with lemongrass extract that strips off the color and chemical buildups from the hair. The key features of the cleansing agents Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate are that they gently lighten the hair color, while sage extracts add shine to the tresses. This intense cleansing treatment has antibacterial and antiseptic properties to help control oil production and scalp acne. It promotes healthy hair growth and leaves a healthy shine. If you want to know more about the Matrix Biolage Normalizing CleanReset Shampoo, go ahead and check out this reviewer’s experience video on YouTube.

A blogger says, “At first, I was disappointed with the shampoo. It didn’t seem to help my oily scalp at all. But after around 3 weeks of usage, I suddenly noticed that my hair was softer, shinier, and healthier and I’m talking about my dry and unhealthy ends. As for my scalp, it’s virtually oil-free and as fresh as it could get on the second day of the wash (ii).”

Key Ingredients: Lemongrass and Sage

Hair Type: All | Product Dimensions: 3.15 x 3.15 x 9.76 inches | Weight: 2.4 Pounds


  •  Antibacterial
  •  Lathers well
  •  Paraben-free
  •  Refreshing fragrance
  •  Suitable for all hair types


  •  Dries out the hair

protip_icon Pro Tip
Apply a hydrating conditioner, the Biolage conditioner, after washing the hair with this shampoo to nourish the strands.

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

This product has made it to our top favorite list with more than 5,998 rave reviews on Amazon.

3. Best Nourishing:Nexxus Clean & Pure Nourishing Detox Shampoo

The lightweight Nexxus Clean & Pure Nourishing Detox Shampoo lightens the hair color while the exclusive ProteinFusion blend of elastin protein and marine minerals rebonds the hair shaft. This sulfate-free shampoo nourishes the hair and makes it smooth and silky. It is packed with nourishing ingredients like hydrolyzed wheat protein, hydrolyzed keratin, and coconut oil that replenish essential nutrients to the hair. Plus, the intensive treatment formula of the cleanser seals in moisture to restore shine and bounce to dry hair that is damaged by environmental pollutants. In this YouTube video, you will find a detailed review and the tester’s experience of the Nexxus Clean & Pure Nourishing Detox Shampoo.

Key Ingredients: Elastin protein, Marine mineral, Hydrolyzed wheat protein, Coconut oil, and Hydrolyzed keratin

Hair Type: Dry,Damaged | Product Dimensions: 2.61 x 2.61 x 9.29 inches | Weight: 13.5 Ounces.


  •  Lightweight
  •  Silicone-free
  •  Paraben-free
  •  Sulfate-free
  •  Dye-free


  •  Overpowering fragrance

protip_icon Pro Tip
For the ultimate detoxifying result, use the Clean & Clear Scalp scrub, then wash your hair with this shampoo.

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

This product has received 1,699 reviews from customers on Amazon, indicating its popularity and reliability.

Neutrogena The Anti-Residue Formula
Best Gentle Formula
Matrix Biolage Normalizing CleanReset Shampoo
Best For All Hair Types
Nexxus Clean & Pure Nourishing Detox Shampoo
Best Nourishing
Hair Type Multicultural All Dry,Damaged
Dimensions 3.7 x 1.3 x 5.8 inches 3.15 x 3.15 x 9.76 inches 2.61 x 2.61 x 9.29 inches
Weight 7.68 Ounces 2.4 Pounds 13.5 Ounces.

4. Best Keratin-Infused Formula:OUAI Detox Shampoo

The concentrated formula of OUAI Detox Shampoo uses apple cider vinegar and chelating agents to wash away the stubborn color pigments as well as oil, dirt, flakes, hard water deposits, product buildup and other pollutants from your hair. It is fortified with keratin to strengthen the hair strands and keep hair soft, shiny, and frizz-free. It is infused with hints of bergamot, cedarwood, lychee, and white musk that leaves you with a long-lasting refreshing experience. According to research and reviews, it is safe to use this deep-cleaning shampoo as a weekly treatment.

Key Ingredients: Apple cider vinegar, Hydrolyzed keratin, Tamarind seed extracts, and Chelating agents

Hair Type: Straight,Wavy,Curly,Coily | Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 2.5 x 5.5 inches | Weight: 12.64 Ounces


  •  Lightweight
  •  Sulfate-free
  •  SLS/SLES-free
  •  Paraben-free
  •  Formaldehyde-free
  •  Phthalate-free
  •  Mineral oil-free
  •  Triclosan-free
  •  Cruelty-free
  •  Gluten-free


  •  Not suitable for fine hair

protip_icon Pro Tip
Apply this shampoo to your scalp, and wait for three minutes. Then, rinse your hair with cold water to close the cuticles and prevent free radicals from entering the hair shaft.

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

A whopping 1,616 reviews on Amazon make it obvious that users genuinely love this product.

5. Best Vegan:Manic Panic Prepare To Dye Clarifying Shampoo


The special blend of surfactants and bonding ingredients in the Manic Panic Prepare To Dye Clarifying Shampoo helps to remove styling product buildup, excess oils, and hard water residues from the hair. This breakthrough formula is crafted using organic ginseng root, sage extract, and rosemary extract to promote healthy flake-free scalp. The high pH level of this shampoo opens up the hair cuticles to prepare it for the next color. Its mild grapefruit fragrance uplifts your mood.

Key Ingredients: Organic ginseng root extract, Rosemary extract, and Sage extract


  •  Organic ingredients
  •  UV protectant
  •  Pleasant fragrance
  •  Vegan
  •  Cruelty-free
  •  Ammonia-free
  •  Paraben-free
  •  Gluten-free
  •  Resorcinol-free
  •  Phthalate-free



*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

Unlike professional-grade color stripping agents that are loaded with harsh chemical agents, clarifying shampoo strips off the hair color pigments comparatively and gives you clean hair. It clears off deep-rooted dirt, excess product buildup, and grime from the hair, making the tresses squeaky clean. And if you use a clarifying shampoo to remove hair dye the right way, it can even be a healthy detox for your scalp and hair, as it is known to offer restorative care.

Alexandro Vasquez, a hairdresser, says, “I normally recommend these types of shampoo for customers that want to get rid of those strong pigments like red, blue, purple and black. It helps to remove those colors giving opportunity for a good change in the future. Another one is for customers that want to see some kind of sun-kissed hair color for natural hair in beach areas due the sun exposure.”

How To Use A Clarifying Shampoo To Remove Hair Color

If you have a sensitive scalp, clarifying shampoos with gentle clean ingredients are ideal! Using a clarifying shampoo to remove hair color is as simple as using a regular shampoo. But the following tips can enhance the effectiveness of the shampoo in removing the color.

  •  Take some shampoo in your palms and rub it well until it lathers. Now, massage it on your wet scalp and along the lengths of your hair.
  •  Leave it in for at least two to five minutes so that the cleansing agents can dissolve the color pigments attached to the cuticles. Pay special attention to the inner and bottom layers of your hair, as those tresses tend to hold more color than the top layers.
  •  Use warm water to rinse the shampoo.
  • Remember to use a good conditioner or a clarifying leave-in conditioner to prevent your hair from drying out.

To get the best benefits from a clarifying shampoo, you also have to ensure you have the right formula with proven efficacy. Read below some factors you should consider before buying a clarifying shampoo.

How To Choose The Best Clarifying Shampoo To Remove Color

  1.  Anti-residue formulas: Since this is the basic purpose of a clarifying shampoo, make sure it will cleanse away all residues from your scalp and hair to leave it squeaky clean. The stronger the anti-residue factor is the better it will cleanse away color pigments.
  1.  Ingredients: Pay close attention to the ingredients list while picking up a clarifying shampoo. Among other ingredients, a clarifying shampoo contains sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate. These are scientifically proven cleansing agents that give your clarifying shampoo the power to fade colors as well as remove dirt and grime from your hair.
  1.  Nourishment: Color-treated hair needs special care, so while you are trying to strip the color off, make sure the shampoo does not strip off the natural oils and nutrients from your hair. Choose a shampoo with a tried-and-tested formula that will nourish and strengthen the strands while it removes the color.

Infographic: Things To Consider When Buying A Clarifying Shampoo To Remove Color

The probability of mishaps while coloring your hair is quite high, especially if you experiment frequently or are a beginner. To undo the damage without harming your hair, you need a good-quality clarifying shampoo. It is also the go-to solution for those who deal with excess oil and product buildup. Check out the infographic below to learn about the things you should keep in mind while buying a clarifying shampoo to get rid of color.

Things To Consider When Buying A Clarifying Shampoo To Remove Color

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

The Bottom Line

Clarifying shampoos that strip color are one of the safest and gentlest tools for lightening or removing hair color. Always remember to support your hair with a good clarifying conditioner to preserve the health and shine of your tresses. Try the Neutrogena The Anti-Residue Clarifying Shampoo to effectively remove colors while keeping the tresses moisturized and hydrated, or the Matrix Biolage Normalizing CleanReset Shampoo to deeply cleanse the scalp and reduce excess oil production.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take for a clarifying shampoo to fade hair dye?

A clarifying shampoo may take up to five washes to remove semi-permanent hair dyes. The time will vary depending on the strength of the color and your hair’s texture.

Will clarifying shampoo lighten hair dye?

Yes, clarifying shampoos can lighten hair dyes if used well. These shampoos have been formulated to remove product buildup and keep your strands clean.’

What does clarifying shampoo remove hair color?

Clarifying shampoos remove stubborn product buildup and lighten semi-permanent hair color to bring back the original color of your tresses. These shampoos often use a higher pH formula to lift the cuticles and remove color pigments or residues.

Are clarifying shampoos safe for color-treated hair?

No. Clarifying shampoos can often lighten semi-permanent colors on your hair. If used too much, they might also dry your tresses and damage cuticles.

Should I use clarifying shampoo before coloring?

Yes, you can use a clarifying shampoo on your tresses before coloring. These shampoos can help enhance the effect of new dyes while making your hair feel cleaner than usual.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

The author, Shiboli Chakraborti, is a hair care enthusiast who loves to experiment with different hair care products. She went through numerous reviews and feedback on multiple forums and websites to curate a list of the best clarifying shampoos. These products help remove excess oil from the scalp, residue of styling products, and color pigments from your hair.


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

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