11 Best Clarifying Shampoos For Natural Hair (2024), As Per A Cosmetologist

Say goodbye to hair dirt and hello to naturally gorgeous locks with these products.

Reviewed by Lindsay Loo, Cosmetologist Lindsay Loo Lindsay LooCosmetologist insta_icon
Written by , MA (Journalism & Mass Communication) Kirtana Divakar MA (Journalism & Mass Communication) linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
Edited by , Integrated MA Medha Deb Integrated MA linkedin_icon Experience: 5 years
Fact-checked by , MA (Journalism & Mass Communication) Monomita Chakraborty MA (Journalism & Mass Communication) linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
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Clarifying shampoo for natural hair can help you get rid of the residue buildup on your scalp and hair. The buildup is from all the products that you use, like shampoos, conditioners, hair gels and sprays, and hair colors. Basically, anything that you put on your hair and scalp can leave behind residues, which accumulate as a thin layer. This buildup can cause itchiness and make your hair look and feel dull, sticky, and unclean. Regular shampoos are often not equipped to effectively remove all of the gunk, and as a result, you may hardly find your scalp squeaky clean and your locks shimmering as they should after a wash. Clarifying shampoos are formulated for the very purpose of deeply cleaning out your hair and scalp.

There are plenty of clarifying shampoos on the market and so, you may find it overwhelming to pick one. To make this task a little easier so that you have more filtered options, we have listed the best 11 clarifying shampoos for natural hair in this article. Explore away and choose the one that suits you best.

Top Picks
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Best For All Hair Types:Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo
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Best Paraben And Sulfate-Free:Acure Curiously Clarifying Shampoo
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Best For Color-Treated Hair:Sof N’ Free Gro Healthy Nothing But Clarifying Shampoo
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Best Sulfate-Free:Maple Holistics Degrease Shampoo
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Best Keratin-Enriched:Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo
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Best Deep Cleaning:Brocato Deep Cleansing Peppermint Scrub Purifying Shampoo
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Best pH-Balanced:Suave Essentials Daily Clarifying Shampoo
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Best Cruelty-Free:Alberto VO5 Herbal Escapes Clarifying Shampoo
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Best Moisturizing:Mizani Moisture Fusion - Moisture Rich Shampoo
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Best For Damaged Hair:Aunt Jackie's Curls and Coils Oh So Clean Shampoo
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11 Best Clarifying Shampoos For Natural Hair – Top Picks Of 2024

1. Best For All Hair Types: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 and sheen 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.

Hair Type: All | Product Dimensions: 1.75 x 4.5 x 5.31 inches | Weight: 11.99 Ounces

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

Cons
  • Contains SLS

2. Best Paraben And Sulfate-Free: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 vera juice, blackberry fruit extract, punica granatum extract, and matricaria extract are among other lucrative nourishing 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. Check out the detailed review of this hair straightening shampoo in. Check this video to explore a reviewer’s experience of using this shampoo to learn more about its benefits.

Hair Type: All | Product Dimensions: 1.7 x 3 x 6.75 inches | Weight: 12 Ounces

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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Why We Think It's Worth Buying

This product has received 423 reviews from customers on Amazon, indicating its popularity and reliability.

3. Best For Color-Treated Hair:Sof N’ Free Gro Healthy Nothing But Clarifying Shampoo

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4.3
Nothing But Clarifying Shampoo Image: Nothing But

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.

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

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

Cons
  • May not suit low porosity hair
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Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The product has more than 2,474 reviews and is a top choice all around the world.

Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo
Best For All Hair Types
Acure Curiously Clarifying Shampoo
Best Paraben And Sulfate-Free
Sof N’ Free Gro Healthy Nothing But Clarifying Shampoo
Best For Color-Treated Hair
Hair Type All All Normal
Dimensions 1.75 x 4.5 x 5.31 inches 1.7 x 3 x 6.75 inches 4 x 4 x 9 inches
Weight 11.99 Ounces 12 Ounces 12 Ounces
Rating
Reviews10,1544232,474
Price$8.78$20.95$9.99

4. Best Sulfate-Free:Maple Holistics Degrease Shampoo

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4.2

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. This shampoo is suitable for fine, straight, or curly hair and it will do its job at giving you a squeaky-clean scalp irrespective of your hair type. Many reviewers praise the shampoo as it can control scalp greasiness and eliminate dirts and pollutants from it.

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

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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Why We Think It's Worth Buying

With over 1,914 reviews, this product has become a fan favorite among users.

5. Best Keratin-Enriched:Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo

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4.5
Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo Image: Moroccanoil

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. Watch this video detailing a tester’s experience with this product for more information.

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

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

Cons
  • May not be suitable for everyday use
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Why We Think It's Worth Buying

A whopping 2,066 reviews on Amazon make it obvious that users genuinely love this product.

6. Best Deep Cleaning:Brocato Deep Cleansing Peppermint Scrub Purifying Shampoo

This revitalizing 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.

Hair Type: Normal Hair,Oily | Product Dimensions: 6 x 2 x 2 inches | Weight: 2.31 Pounds

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

Cons
  • Contains EDTA

7. Best pH-Balanced: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. Watch this video of the product for more information.

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

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

Cons
  • Contains parfum

protip_icon Pro Tip
Lather the shampoo and massage it well into your scalp before rinsing it off. Wear a cap and let your hair stay inside for 10 minutes. Rinse off with lukewarm water.

8. Best Cruelty-Free:Alberto VO5 Herbal Escapes Clarifying Shampoo

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4.5

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.

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

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

Cons
  • Some may find it slightly drying.

9. Best Moisturizing: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.

Hair Type: Dry | Product Dimensions: 2.38 x 2.38 x 9.85 inches | Weight: 1.24 Pounds

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

Cons
  • Contains parfum

protip_icon Pro Tip
Use this clarifying shampoo once a week. Take a small amount and apply it to your damp scalp. Do not apply the shampoo without washing your hair with water first.

10. Best For Damaged Hair:Aunt Jackie’s Curls and Coils Oh So Clean Shampoo

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4.5
Aunt Jackie's Curls and Coils Oh So Clean Shampoo Image: Aunt Jackie's

The Aunt Jackie’s Curls and Coils Oh So Clean Shampoo is specially formulated for chronically dry hair, boasting a lather-rich formula that is highly effective. The formula is infused with nourishing ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter, and extra virgin olive oil that deeply clean the scalp and hair while leaving the hair feeling moisturized and smooth. It features all-natural conditioners and wholesome components that work together to restore moisture balance and minimize tangling, making it a top pick for natural waves, coils, and curls. The shea butter also helps manage frizz, and the shampoo is a great choice for chemically treated or colored hair that needs to be revitalized. Not only does it remove build-up, but it also replenishes vital oils and nutrients to the hair.

Hair Type: Dry | Product Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 3.6 x 3.6 x 4.5 inches | Weight: 14.07 Ounces

Pros
  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Color-safe
  • Repairs damaged hair
  • Moisturizing qualities

Cons

None

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Why We Think It's Worth Buying

It has received over 260 rave reviews on Amazon, proving it is a mass favorite.

11. Best Plant-Based:Love Beauty And Planet Charcoal And Bergamot Sulfate-Free Shampoo

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4.3
Love Beauty And Planet Delightful Detox Daily Clarifying Sulfate-Free Shampoo Cleansed Hair Care Charcoal and Bergamot Silicone-free, Paraben-free, Vegan Shampoo 32.3 oz Image: Love Beauty And Planet

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 detoxifying 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. Go through this video review for a detailed understanding of the product.

Hair Type: Chemically-treated-hair | Product Dimensions: 3.25 x 3.25 x 9.8 inches | Weight: 2.18 Pounds.

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

Cons
  • Some may find the scent chemical-like

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, coconut, avocado, and tea tree 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 helps 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.

The Bottom Line

Any hair products we use, like conditioners, shampoos, hair gels, and sprays, form a fine layer of product buildup that is hard to get rid of. Instead, you need a clarifying shampoo for natural hair that is formulated to clear the scalp buildup and makes your dull and sticky hair shine that traditional shampoos can’t. If you want to remove product buildup and residue and leave your hair clean and revitalized, then go with the Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo. The most effective solution for reducing excess oil and greasiness in hair is the Maple Holistics Degrease Shampoo. A delicate yet powerful formula is provided by the Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo to eliminate impurities and leave you with beautiful tresses. These shampoos are cruelty-free, vegan, and color-safe. However, some products might have a strong fragrance. Go through the reviews and buying guide to pick the best one that suits your hair needs.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

The author, Kirtana Divakar, is an expert on all things skin and hair. She knows that to properly and thoroughly clean natural hair, you need to have a good clarifying shampoo on hand. She researched many products online, reading through thousands of reviews, to find the best clarifying shampoos for natural hair. She chose this list based on hair type, ingredients, brand, and more.

Frequently Asked 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.

Does clarifying shampoo damage your hair?

No, using a clarifying shampoo once a week will remove all buildup from hair and give you squeaky clean hair. However, overusing such shampoo can leave the hair dull and dry.

How do you remove buildup from black hair?

Use a clarifying shampoo once every two weeks to remove buildup, grease, and impurities from your hair. If you use a lot of products for hair styling, use it once every week.

Does clarifying shampoo lighten natural hair?

No, clarifying shampoo does not lighten natural hair. But it can reset your hair color and remove chemical buildup. It leaves your hair looking more natural and not over-processed.

Does clarifying shampoo help with dandruff?

Yes, clarifying shampoo helps to get rid of the build-up on the scalp. But it cannot address the root cause of dandruff.

When should I use a clarifying shampoo for natural hair?

You can use a clarifying shampoo before deep conditioning to remove buildup. It can help the hair mask and treatment penetrate better.


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Lindsay Loo
Lindsay LooCosmetologist
Lindsay Loo is a cosmetologist who has spent 10 years behind the chair in a storied salon in Chelsea. She is a certified Wella Master Color Expert and also has experience backstage at New York Fashion Week. She has a private studio and loves to make her clients feel amazing and welcomed.

Read full bio of Lindsay Loo