11 Best Clarifying Shampoos For Natural Hair – Our Top Picks

by Shreya Vishwanathan
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Do you notice your scalp and strands developing a thin layer of something over time that causes itching and dull hair, among other bad signs? That thin layer is called buildup. Buildup accumulates from shampoo, conditioner, color treatment, hair gel, or just about anything your hair is exposed to. When you’re dealing with product and residue buildup, your regular shampoo might fail to do an impressive job at cleaning your scalp and restoring your hair’s natural sheen. This is why you need a clarifying shampoo for natural hair that’s formulated for intense cleansing.

If you’re new to this game and are clueless about clarifying shampoos, allow us to help you out. A clarifying shampoo removes that nasty layer of buildup on the scalp, washes away product or residue film from hair strands to expose a clean, healthy scalp and shiny, hydrated tresses. If you’re switching to a clarifying shampoo but don’t know where to begin, we’re here to make your hunt way easier with our list of the 11 best clarifying shampoos for natural hair.

TOP 10 PRODUCTS
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Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo
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Acure Curiously Clarifying Shampoo
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Sof N’ Free Gro Healthy Nothing But Clarifying Shampoo
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Maple Holistics Degrease Shampoo
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Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo
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Brocato Deep Cleansing Peppermint Scrub Purifying Shampoo
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Suave Essentials Daily Clarifying Shampoo
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Alberto VO5 Herbal Escapes Clarifying Shampoo
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Mizani Moisture Fusion - Moisture Rich Shampoo
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Texture ID Curl Clarifying Shampoo
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11 Best Clarifying Shampoos For Natural Hair

1. Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo

After a busy week, all you need to reclaim a clean scalp is this clarifying shampoo for natural hair from Neutrogena. It helps get rid of heavy dulling residues that styling products, pollutants, shampoos, and conditioners leave behind on your scalp. It is a gentle, non-irritating formula that instantly rinses away buildup while adding volume to your hair over time. When you use this natural hair clarifying shampoo, your regular shampoo will work all the more efficiently to give you healthy-looking hair after every wash. Say yes to this once-a-week treatment for buildup, and your scalp will thank you.

Pros

  • No artificial dyes or colorants
  • Boosts volume
  • Works for all hair types
  • Color-safe

Cons

  • Contains SLS

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2. Acure Curiously Clarifying Shampoo

If you’re looking for a clarifying shampoo that’s gentle enough to be used daily, this is the best clarifying shampoo for natural hair. It comes with the goodness of lemongrass oil and argan that enrich your scalp while eliminating product buildup. Argan helps hydrate the scalp and adds a natural shine to the tresses. Aloe juice, blackberry fruit extract, punica granatum extract, and matricaria extract are among other lucrative natural ingredients in this shampoo that strengthen your hair from within. Give this clarifying shampoo for natural hair a try if you’re actively looking for a paraben and sulfate-free shampoo that’s not tested on animals.

Pros

  • Gentle formula
  • Sulfate-free formula
  • Paraben-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan
  • Free of formaldehyde and petrolatum

Cons

  • Some may find the scent too strong

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3. Sof N’ Free Gro Healthy Nothing But Clarifying Shampoo

If chlorine affects your hair and stops you from hitting swimming pools, you should consider a clarifying shampoo like this one. This clarifying shampoo for natural hair clears away deep-seated contaminants, chlorine, and product buildup that might weigh your hair down. The chemical-free formula works its magic on the scalp to give you bouncy, lustrous locks that are manageable. It is recommended for almost all kinds of hair from biracial, African-American, to color-treated hair. Use this shampoo once or twice a month before a conditioning treatment for better results.

Pros

  • Non-irritating
  • Lightweight
  • Free of parabens, phthalates, and petrolatum
  • Mineral oil-free

Cons

  • May not suit low porosity hair

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4. Maple Holistics Degrease Shampoo

This sulfate-free, anti-itch cleanser is all you need if your scalp is incredibly oily. It is infused with pure essential oils that improve the hair texture, while lemon oil helps get rid of the bad kind of oils. You’ll also find other hair and scalp-loving ingredients like cypress, basil, rosemary leaf, and jojoba oil that promote hair growth. This organic shampoo adds body to the hair with its volumizing formula and eliminates dullness after each wash. You could have fine, curly, or straight hair and this shampoo will do its job at giving you a squeaky-clean scalp irrespective of your hair type.

Pros

  • Volumizing
  • Washes away dead skin cells
  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  • Some may find the consistency too thick.

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5. Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo

An unclean scalp means unhealthy hair, and the right way to tackle this problem is to hit the reset button with a nourishing cleanser like the Moroccanoil sulfate-free clarifying shampoo for natural hair. Argan and avocado in this shampoo are among the best natural sources of essential nutrients for the hair follicles. It is also infused with lavender, chamomile, and jojoba plant extracts. It is a keratin-enriched, concentrated formula that washes away residue, dead cells, and gives way to beautiful, flowy hair. Get this clarifying shampoo for African-American hair and other kinds for a weekly dose of moisture-packed goodness for your hair.

Pros

  • Hydrating qualities
  • Keratin-enriched
  • Sulfate, phosphate, and paraben-free
  • Color-safe

Cons

  • May not be suitable for everyday use

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6. Brocato Deep Cleansing Peppermint Scrub Purifying Shampoo

This refreshing clarifying shampoo for black hair contains 100% pure peppermint oil that helps rid the scalp of buildup and makes your hair feel fresh and invigorated. This is an ideal weekly treatment if you have a busy week in the outdoors or you’re into sports. It doubles as a body scrub, so you can count on this bottle to help you stay clean from head to toe. We love this shampoo because it improves circulation and has a fresh aroma, which helps revitalize and offers a multi-sensory experience after a hectic day.

Pros

  • Suitable for all hair types
  • Color-safe
  • Offers deep cleaning
  • Doubles as a body scrub
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  • Contains EDTA

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7. Suave Essentials Daily Clarifying Shampoo

Bring out the real beauty and shine in your hair with this daily clarifying shampoo that fights buildup like no other. This scalp cleanser for natural hair has a gentle formula that makes it suitable for everyday use if you’re trying to address a serious residue buildup problem. It packs a healthy amount of moisture, so you can say your final goodbyes to frizzy hair. It lathers well, is ideal for day-to-day wash, and does not strip your hair of the natural oils so that you get to have flowy hair minus all the dirt on the scalp.

Pros

  • Moisturizing qualities
  • Imparts shine to hair
  • Gentle formula
  • Cleanses deeply
  • pH-balanced

Cons

  • Contains parfum

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8. Alberto VO5 Herbal Escapes Clarifying Shampoo

Dry hair and a flaky scalp is a combination that’s challenging to deal with. But you can feed two birds with one scone if you’re using the Alberto VO5 Herbal Escapes shampoo. This all-natural clarifying shampoo is concocted with kiwi, lime, and lemongrass extracts, which makes it rich in vitamin C, E, B5, and B3. This rich formula nourishes and hydrates your hair to eliminate dryness and frizz and makes your hair feel fuller. As a plus, it is cruelty-free, so you get supple hair without harming our furry friends.

Pros

  • Repairs damaged hair
  • Hydrates
  • Offers intense cleaning
  • Silicone-free

Cons

  • Some may find it slightly drying.

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9. Mizani Moisture Fusion – Moisture Rich Shampoo

If your hair falls flat and looks lifeless, you need the top clarifying shampoo for color-treated natural hair like this one from Mizani. When your hair is exposed to impurities like dust, accumulated oils, dead cells, etc., it might feel overly dry. The Mizani Moisture Fusion shampoo restores the natural texture of the hair and locks in moisture so that your tresses shine naturally. With its balance-inducing formula, you can expect it to keep your hair hydrated, a clean and healthy scalp, and magnificent locks. If you have extremely dry hair, use a deep moisturizing treatment followed by this shampoo for best results.

Pros

  • Retains natural shine
  • Suitable for all hair types and textures
  • Moisturizes
  • Paraben-free

Cons

  • Contains parfum

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10. Texture ID Curl Clarifying Shampoo

Anything with natural and hydrating oils like the Texture ID curl clarifying shampoo is bound to bless your hair with rich nutrients. This clarifying shampoo for natural curly hair boasts ingredients like sweet almond, coconut, jojoba seed, safflower, and argan oil that add sheen to your tresses and promote elasticity. Honey, the star ingredient in the shampoo is a natural humectant that hydrates and defines your curls, and aloe fights frizz. It also protects your hair from breakage— thanks to its protein-silk amino acid formula.

Pros

  • Seals moisture
  • Rich in natural oils
  • Calms frizz
  • Protects hair from breakage
  • Sulfate-free

Cons

  • May not be ideal for hair with perm

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11. Love Beauty And Planet Charcoal And Bergamot Sulfate-Free Shampoo

This magical concoction in a bottle helps reveal clean hair with a rich formula of bamboo charcoal and bergamot. Both these ingredients have an impeccable reputation for detoxing and cleansing like no other. What makes this shampoo so loved is how it is made from nature-inspired, ethically-sourced ingredients and does not contain many of the harsh and toxic chemicals like sulfates, parabens, and dyes. If you’re all about guilt-free shopping, this vegan, cruelty-free, plant-based clarifying shampoo for natural hair has what it takes to be your haircare companion.

Pros

  • Plant-based
  • Color-safe
  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan
  • Silicone, dye, and paraben-free

Cons

  • Some may find the scent chemical-like

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Now that you have a list of 11 best clarifying shampoos for natural hair right in front of you, you need a buying guide so that you don’t go wrong when buying a certain type of clarifying shampoo for your type of hair. Here we go.

How To Choose A Clarifying Shampoo For Natural hair?

  • Try not to be afraid of sulfates

Sulfates are mostly thought to be the bad guys. However, the reason why you find them in many of the skincare products is that they bind water to oil and make cleansing a lot more effective. When you’re shopping for a clarifying shampoo, it is okay to opt for one that has sulfates. However, if you’ve found one that doesn’t contain sulfates and is still meant for deep cleansing, that works too.

  • Hair type

Do you have straight, wavy, curly hair or have you color-treated your hair? These are some of the questions to ask before you set out to buy a clarifying shampoo. Address any treatments that you’ve gotten for your hair in the recent past, like perm, coloring, etc. and check if the clarifying shampoo is meant for your type of hair.

  • Check for natural ingredients

It is always beneficial for a clarifying shampoo to house several natural cleansing agents. These ingredients offer nutrients that your hair follicles and scalp might need and fight the effects of heavy and toxic ingredients. So, natural oils like argan, jojoba, almond, tea tree, coconut, avocado oil are the ones to look for, and any other ingredient like avocado, lemon extract, lemongrass extract, etc. are a plus.

  • Check the label

Brands are constantly trying to make their product look different. And in an effort to do this, they might sometimes shift from the conventional word “clarifying” and pick words like purifying, deep cleansing, normalizing, and balancing. Check for these words and read through the description of the product and what exactly it does. This will help you ensure you’re buying a product meant for those stubborn scalp oils and residue buildup.

  • Frequency of use

If you’re using clarifying shampoo for natural hair almost every day or at least alternate days, make sure the label says that the shampoo is suitable for everyday use. This is crucial because most clarifying shampoos tend to be harsher than regular shampoos since they deep cleanse. Most clarifying shampoos work wonders if you use them once a week. However, brands have been changing this a little bit to suit the requirements of people who need to use a deep cleanser more frequently.
Are you still not sure as to what benefits clarifying shampoos offer? We’ll make it easy for you to know with our next segment. Read on and find out.

Benefits Of Using Clarifying Shampoo For Natural Hair

  • Clarifying shampoos for natural hair help get rid of all the environmental aggressors that can prevent your hair from growing, make your hair look dull, give you an itchy scalp, and other issues that follow (like chances of developing scalp eczema).
  • These shampoos are the best way to rid the hair of products if you’re using gels, leave-in conditioners, and their ilk. Since hair products may contain a good amount of chemicals, product buildup can mean unhealthy scalp and hair.
  • You get to eliminate the bad oils and retain the natural oils in your scalp so that your hair follicles get the needed nutrients to stimulate hair growth.
  • Clarifying shampoos are a natural choice for people who swim, as exposing the hair to chlorine on a daily can mean dull, lifeless-looking hair and a bad case of chlorine buildup on the scalp.

While clarifying shampoos offer apparent benefits when added to the hair care regimen, it’s all about how often you use it to witness these benefits. Here’s a brief segment about how frequently you should cleanse your hair with a clarifying shampoo.

How Often Should You Use A Clarifying Shampoo On Natural Hair?

The magical number is once per week for natural hair. However, it also depends so much on what the environment around you is like, how many hair products you use, and most importantly— which clarifying shampoo you pick. Clarifying shampoos are quite strong. So, you can expect intense cleansing when you use them once in a week. On other days, you can as well use your normal cleanser. However, if you really want to use your clarifying shampoo more frequently than that, look for a gentler alternative.

In the times of abundant hair products, styling, treatments, and worsening air quality that we live in, a good clarifying shampoo for natural hair is the magic potion we all need once a week for super clean, super healthy hair and scalp. While they’re the best way to get rid of buildup, itch-causing residues, unneeded oils, and so much more from the scalp, make sure that you give the label a good read before you pick your bottle of deep cleanser.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

Does black hair need a clarifying shampoo?

Every hair type irrespective of the color might need a clarifying shampoo if you’re dealing with a scalp with residue, product and oil buildup, chlorine buildup, and similar issues.

Why do you need a clarifying shampoo for your natural hair?

Clarifying shampoos are needed for natural hair because they help in deep cleansing of the scalp and get rid of buildup so that your scalp stays healthy, has good, nutritive oils, and promotes hair growth. Other than that, clarifying shampoos also restore the natural shine of the hair and lock in moisture.

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Shreya Vishwanathan

Shreya is an SEO-content writer and has worked with various organizations to craft unique and creative content. Holding a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology, she calls herself a lifelong learner driven by curiosity to tap into different fields and the will to push her boundaries. She combines her curiosity and love for writing to write about subjects that are valuable to fashion enthusiasts.
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