13 Best Clarifying Shampoos To Cleanse Buildup

by Charushila B
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With a tight schedule, it can be tough to wash your hair often. While using a dry shampoo, mousse, and styling products can give your hair that instant oomph, in the long run, excess product buildup can make your scalp sensitive, causing hair fall and dullness. Above all, sweating at the gym or swimming in chlorinated water can worsen it. What’s the best solution? A good clarifying shampoo!

Clarifying shampoos are formulated with deep cleansing ingredients like charcoal that rejuvenate and restore hair health. They also contain scalp soothing and nourishing ingredients like peppermint, green tea extracts, and tea tree oil to balance scalp pH and prevent fungal infections.

Want to check out the best options? Head down to the following list of 13 best clarifying shampoos for all hair types including, curly, fine, low-porosity, and color-treated hair. Swipe up!

Top 10 ProductsCheck Price
Best For Sensitive Scalp: Neutrogena Shampoo Anti-Residue FormulaCheck Price
Best For Chemically Treated Hair: TRESemmé Clean & ReplenishCheck Price
Best For Color-Treated Hair: GIOVANNI 50:50 Balanced Hydrating-Clarifying ShampooCheck Price
Best For Oily Hair: Maple Holistics Degrease ShampooCheck Price
Best For Hard Water: Kenra Clarifying ShampooCheck Price
Best For Lifeless Hair: Moroccanoil Clarifying ShampooCheck Price
Best For Natural Hair: Nothing But Clarifying ShampooCheck Price
Best Vegan Clarifying Shampoo: ACURE Curiously Clarifying ShampooCheck Price
Best For Flaky And Itchy Scalp: Puriya Scalp TherapyCheck Price
Best For Hair Rejuvenation: Brocato Peppermint Scrub Purifying ShampooCheck Price

13 Best Clarifying Shampoos For All Hair Types – Review

1. Best For Sensitive Scalp: Neutrogena Shampoo Anti-Residue Formula

The Neutrogena Shampoo Anti-Residue Formula is one of the best drugstore clarifying shampoos that help remove up to 90% of heavy buildup caused by shampoos, conditioners, and styling products. It is non-irritating and gentle, boosts volume, and restores shine and bounce. This once-a-week treatment is formulated for all hair types, including color-treated hair.

Pros

  • Gentle and non-irritating
  • Boosts volume and shine
  • Suits all types of hair
  • Safe for color-treated hair
  • No artificial dyes or colors
  • Rejuvenates the hair and scalp
  • Affordable
  • Non-drying

Cons

  • May cause allergic reactions

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2. Best For Chemically Treated Hair: TRESemmé Clean & Replenish

Treating your hair chemically, be it coloring, smoothening, or styling, can take a toll on your hair and scalp. The TRESemmé Clean & Replenish is a great clarifying shampoo if you have been experiencing the aftermath of chemical treatment.

This shampoo cleanses and replenishes the scalp by gently removing buildup and heavy residue caused by waxes, pomades, creams, and sprays. It is enriched with vitamin C and green tea that clean and soothe the scalp. The shampoo works best on people with dry hair and produces salon-quality results. Use a conditioner along with the shampoo to boost hair softness and shine.

Pros

  • Suitable for chemically treated, over-processed hair
  • Suitable for dry hair
  • Salon-quality results
  • Gentle
  • Replenishes the hair strands
  • Paraben-free

Cons

  • Expensive

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3. Best For Color-Treated Hair: GIOVANNI 50:50 Balanced Hydrating-Clarifying Shampoo

Coloring or bleaching the hair can make your hair look dry, dull, and lifeless. On the other hand, using a regular shampoo can fade your hair color. If you are facing these issues, the GIOVANNI 50:50 Balanced Hydrating-Clarifying Shampoo is your best bet. It is formulated with natural organic ingredients and a proprietary blend of vitamins, nutrients, and proteins that increase the hair strands’ strength and vitality.

The botanical extracts in the formula moisturize the hair, reduce frizz, and improve manageability, making the hair feel smoother. They feel soothing and gentle on the scalp and help balance its pH. However, if you have dry hair, use a color-safe conditioner with the shampoo.

Pros

  • Moisturizes
  • Reduces frizz
  • pH-balanced
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free

Cons

  • May weigh down thick hair

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4. Best For Oily Hair: Maple Holistics Degrease Shampoo

The grease in oily hair makes the scalp itchy and smelly. It is tough for a regular shampoo to clean it thoroughly. To combat oily hair issues, try the Maple Holistics Degrease Shampoo. It is formulated with lemon essential oil, jojoba, and rosemary to balance the scalp pH, regulate sebum production, and protect the hair from environmental pollutants.

The shampoo thoroughly cleanses the hair and scalp, minimizes scalp pores, and improves blood circulation. Basil and cypress in the formula also boost hair health and reduce frizz.

Pros

  • Gentle
  • Reduces frizz
  • Balances scalp pH
  • Improves hair health
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Suitable for sensitive scalp
  • Affordable

Cons

None

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5. Best For Hard Water: Kenra Clarifying Shampoo

The dissolved minerals in hard water can add to the buildup, eventually causing poor scalp health and frizzy and dull hair. The Kenra Clarifying Shampoo removes excess buildup even when you wash your hair with hard water.

This deep-cleansing shampoo eliminates up to 99% of hair dulling deposits. It lathers well, strengthens the hair roots, and adds bounce, shine, and volume to the hair strands. The clarifying shampoo is also suitable for swimmers to remove chlorine deposits from the scalp and hair.

Pros

  • Strengthens the hair roots
  • Great for swimmers
  • Reduces frizz
  • Volumizes hair

Cons

  • Contains sulfates

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6. Best For Lifeless Hair: Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo

The Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo deeply cleanses, nourishes, and revitalizes the hair strands. It removes all impurities, including chlorine, environmental pollutants, and product deposits, gently and maintains the scalp pH balance. The shampoo is perfect for dry and thinning hair as it contains Moroccan argan oil, avocado, jojoba, and castor oils, silk amino acids, and keratin amino acids. These ingredients make the hair strands glossy, frizz-free, healthy, and bouncy.

Pros

  • Gentle
  • Maintains scalp pH
  • Makes the hair glossy and bouncy
  • Softens the hair
  • Reduces frizz
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free

Cons

None

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7. Best For Natural Hair: Nothing But Clarifying Shampoo

The Nothing But Clarifying Shampoo is perfect for all hair types, especially curly, coily, and kinky hair. Its gentle deep-cleansing action removes deep-seated contaminants, excess oils, product buildup, and residue from the hair follicles and strands.  It improves hair manageability and heals the hair from roots to the tips, making it feel cleaner and lighter for days. It is free of sulfates, parabens, colorants, phthalates, mineral oil, and petrolatum.

Pros

  • Gentle
  • Strengthens the hair follicles
  • Improves hair manageability
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Colorant-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Petrolatum-free

Cons

  • Can be drying

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8. Best Vegan Clarifying Shampoo: ACURE Curiously Clarifying Shampoo

The ACURE Curiously Clarifying Shampoo is 100% vegan and gently cleanses excess buildup with a double dose of beneficial oils like argan and lemongrass. This clarifying shampoo hydrates the hair and boosts shine. The product is free from harsh chemicals and comes in recyclable packaging.

Pros

  • Gentle
  • Paraben-free
  • Formaldehyde-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Petrolatum-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Recyclable packaging

Cons

  • Not color-safe

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9. Best For Flaky And Itchy Scalp: Puriya Scalp Therapy

The Puriya Scalp Therapy is formulated with a proprietary herbal blend of tea tree oil, arnica, sage, and rosemary that removes excess buildup and dandruff flakes and hydrates the scalp. It rejuvenates the scalp, protects it from infections, reduces itching, and locks moisture in the hair to manage frizz. The shampoo leaves the scalp feeling clean and the hair soft and smooth. It is effective on curly, wavy, straight, fine, and damaged hair.

Pros

  • Softens the hair
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Artificial fragrance-free
  • Sodium chloride-free

Cons

  • Not suitable for sensitive scalp

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10. Best For Hair Rejuvenation: Brocato Peppermint Scrub Purifying Shampoo

The Brocato Peppermint Scrub Purifying Shampoo provides deep cleansing to remove excess product buildup. It contains 100% pure peppermint oil that acts as a purifier and leaves the scalp and hair feeling rejuvenated and smelling fresh. This unisex shampoo is suitable for all hair types and textures.

Note: Avoid the product if you are allergic to peppermint or have skin issues like psoriasis and eczema.

Pros

  • Suitable for all hair types and textures
  • Paraben-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Can be used as a body scrub

Cons

  • May cause allergic reactions

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11. Best For Curly Hair: Saragan Activated Charcoal Shampoo

Curly hair looks gorgeous. But it traps sweat, environmental pollutants, and residue that are difficult to get rid of completely. The Saragan Pure Activated Charcoal Shampoo can attract all the dirt, grease, and excess oil to cleanse your scalp and curls.

It contains Moroccan oil to reduce frizz, jojoba oil to volumize, almond oil to hydrate, coconut oil to boost hair growth, camelia oil to moisturize, and avocado oil to clean blocked hair follicles. The shampoo also fortifies your hair with keratin and is suitable for oily, curly, straight, color-treated, and frizzy hair. It leaves the hair feeling soft, smooth, and silky, and bouncy.

Pros

  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Not suitable for sensitive scalp

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12. Best For Fine Hair: Mixed Chicks Shampoo

The Mixed Chicks Gentle Clarifying Shampoo penetrates the follicles to restore the hair’s natural luster and shine and removes all dirt, grease, and pollutants. The soy protein and avocado oil in the formula helps maintain hair health and add shine.

The formula also contains biotin that strengthens the hair, borage seed oil to retain moisture, mallow leaf extract to strengthen the hair follicles, and ginger extracts to improve manageability and reduce dandruff. It is lightweight, non-sticky, and suitable for fine and curly hair.

Pros

  • Does not weigh the hair down
  • Contains natural ingredients
  • Softens the hair
  • Gentle

Cons

  • May cause dryness

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13. Best For Low-Porosity Hair: Grapefruit Detox Re-Nutrient Shine Repair Shampoo

The Grapefruit Detox Re-Nutrient Shine Repair Shampoo nourishes low-porosity hair and reverses the damaging effects of environmental pollutants. It contains grapefruit seed extract that restores natural shine and volumizes the hair to give it a healthy appearance. The AHA in the formula gently exfoliates the scalp to remove hard water deposits, pollutants, and styling product residue. It leaves the hair feeling soft and smooth.

Pros

  • Paraben-free
  • DEA-free
  • BPA and Phthalate-free
  • No synthetic dyes and fragrances
  • Not tested on animals

Cons

None

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These are the 13 best clarifying shampoos for all hair types and textures you can buy online. Before you take the final call, here’s a quick checklist for you to consider. Scroll down.

How To Choose The Best Clarifying Shampoo For Your Hair

  • Ingredients: Avoid clarifying shampoos with parabens and Check for soothing and hydrating ingredients like aloe vera, argan oil, almond oil, and avocado.
  • Hair Type: If you have curly hair, choose a shampoo with activated charcoal. For low porosity, rough, and damaged hair, use a hydrating shampoo infused with oils. If you have fine hair, use a shampoo with cleansing ingredients but not too many oils as that can weigh down your hair and make it look oily and limp. If your hair is color-treated, get a color-safe shampoo.

Keeping your scalp clean is extremely important to maintain hair health. And adding a clarifying shampoo to your hair care routine is a wise decision. However, these shampoos should be used not more than once a week to cleanse your scalp and restore hair health. Get your bottle today and start seeing results in just a few uses. Happy shopping!

Expert’s Answers for Readers Questions

What does clarifying shampoo do for the hair?

Clarifying shampoos remove residue, grease, product buildup, mineral deposits (from hard water), and environmental pollutants to thoroughly cleanse the scalp and keep your hair feel clean and healthy.

What can I use instead of a clarifying shampoo?

Diluted apple cider vinegar is believed to be a natural alternative to clarifying shampoos. However, ACV is acidic and can alter the scalp pH, cause infections and dandruff, and lead to rough hair.

Can you use Dawn dish soap as a clarifying shampoo?

No. Never use Dawn dish soap as a clarifying shampoo. It will make your scalp sensitive.

Can I use baby shampoo as a clarifying shampoo?

No. Baby shampoos do not contain the ingredients needed to remove residue, excess dirt, and oil.

Is it OK to use a clarifying shampoo every day?

No, clarifying shampoos contain harsh surfactants to deep cleanse the scalp and should not be used more than once a week.

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