11 Best Hairdresser Reviewed Affordable Drugstore Clarifying Shampoos -2024

Affordable shampoos that are gentle on your scalp but tough on dirt and buildup.

Reviewed by Alexandro Vasquez, Hairdresser Alexandro Vasquez Alexandro VasquezHairdresser facebook_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
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If your hair feels weighed down and greasy even after regular shampoos, then what you might just need is the best drugstore clarifying shampoo. This shampoo will deeply cleanse your hair and scalp, leaving it free from residue, product build-up, and dirt. It can be used for all hair types to leave them super-clean and fresh.

Given below are the 11 best drugstore clarifying shampoos for you to try.

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Best Long-Lasting Fragrance:TIGI Bed Head Down N' Dirty Clarifying Detox Shampoo
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Best Color-Treated Hair:Neutrogena Anti-Residue Clarifying Shampoo
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Best Herbal Clarifying:Alberto Vo5 Herbal Escapes Clarifying Shampoo
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Best Pollution Free:Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two
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Best Deep Cleansing:Avalon Organics Clarifying Lemon Shampoo
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Best Lemon-Aid Conditioner:Fairy Tales Sun & Swim Lifeguard Clarifying Shampoo
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Best Keratin Treatment:Keratin Research Clarifying Shampoo
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Best Cruelty-Free:Acure Curiously Clarifying Shampoo
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Best Biracial Hair:Nothing But Clarifying Shampoo
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GIOVANNI Eco Chic 50:50 Balanced Hydrating Clarifying Shampoo
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11 Best Affordable Clarifying Shampoos Of 2024

1. Best Long-Lasting Fragrance:TIGI Bed Head Down N’ Dirty Clarifying Detox Shampoo

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4.5

The TIGI Bed Head Down N’ Dirty Clarifying Detox Shampoo comes with a cleansing and clarifying formula that improves your overall hair and scalp health. The effective formula consists of glycerin that keeps your tresses hydrated and healthy. It also includes lotus flower extract that has proven efficacy in intensely repairing and softening your hair. It effortlessly enhances the natural beauty of your hair with its fresh and long-lasting fragrance. This scalp detox shampoo removes dirt, grime, and product buildup without stripping your hair of moisture or its natural oils. It is suitable for every hair type and color-treated locks.

Pros

  • Color-safe formula
  • Removes product buildup
  • Suitable for every hair type
  • Mild citrus fragrance

Cons

  • Contains sulfates

Review: A reviewer says, “I’ve used TIGI Bed Head Down N’ Dirty Clarifying Detox Shampoo and it’s fantastic! Leaves my hair soft, shiny, and thoroughly clean. The citrusy scent is a nice touch. It truly makes a difference in hair and scalp health. Affordable and effective, highly recommend!


protip_icon Caution
Clarifying shampoos are for occasional use (once every 10 days or more) and should not replace your regular shampoo.

2. Best Color-Treated Hair:Neutrogena Anti-Residue Clarifying Shampoo

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4.5

The Neutrogena Anti-Residue Clarifying Shampoo is a mild and gentle formula suitable for all hair types. It also is safe for color-treated hair. This dermatologist-recommended drugstore shampoo can effectively remove over 90 percent of the build-up and residue. You can enhance natural hair shine and beauty and make your hair voluminous with this deep cleanser. However, excess use of the residue-removing shampoo may lead to hair dryness. Using a hair conditioner after shampooing could reduce the possibility. The hair product contains no colorants or artificial dyes.

Also Recommended By: Maneaddicts and Forbes have also listed Neutrogena Anti-Residue Clarifying Shampoo in their top 10.[1]7 BEST DRUGSTORE CLARIFYING SHAMPOOS, Maneaddicts. https://maneaddicts.com/blogs/maneaddicts/7-best-drugstore-clarifying-shampoos
[2]The Best Clarifying Shampoos That Remove Buildup, According To Experts, Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbes-personal-shopper/article/best-clarifying-shampoos/?sh=5bc8b4ba69e8

Pros

  • Suits all hair types
  • Color-safe
  • No colorants
  • No artificial dyes
  • Non-irritating

Cons

  • Overpowering fragrance

Review: A user says, “Neutrogena Anti-Residue Clarifying Shampoo is my hair savior. Whether it’s product buildup or chlorine aftermath, this trusty shampoo gets the job done. My hair feels clean, light, and residue-free. An essential in my routine for that instant refresh!

protip_icon Did You Know?
A clarifying shampoo is made of 80-90% water along with other heavy surfactants.

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Why We Think It's Worth Buying

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

3. Best Herbal Clarifying:Alberto Vo5 Herbal Escapes Clarifying Shampoo

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4.5

The Alberto Vo5 Herbal Escapes Clarifying shampoo combines the fresh fragrance of sweet kiwis and tangy limes with rosemary and lemongrass extracts. You can balance scalp pH levels, restore natural hair moisture, purify the tresses, and achieve healthier hair effectively with this drugstore shampoo. It is suitable for all hair types, including damaged hair. The herbal clarifying shampoo revitalizes dry, oily, and damaged hair and leaves it feeling silky, soft, and fluffy. It is free of harsh chemicals and silicones.

Pros

  • Silicone-free
  • Suits all hair types

Cons

  • Contains sulfates

Review: A user says, “This clarifying shampoo works wonders for my oily hair, leaving it impeccably clean. However, be cautious with color-treated hair as it may strip the dye. While there was initial dryness, subsequent uses along with a conditioner proved effective and the shine was impressive. A monthly go-to for a refreshed look.”

protip_icon Caution
Choose a mild clarifying treatment shampoo if you experience seborrheic dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis.

4. Best Pollution Free:Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two

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4.5
Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two Image: Paul Mitchell

The Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two deeply cleanses your tresses and removes unwanted product buildup. The color-safe product is suitable for every hair type and ideal for oily tresses. The deep-cleansing formula comprises nourishing ingredients like jojoba seed oil, aloe extract, white ginger root extract, and wheat oil that tame unruly tresses and keep your hair grease-free for days. The ingredients leave your strands feeling fresh, rejuvenated, and shiny. The product rejuvenates hair by eliminating pollution residue. It also reduces oil and sebum production in your hair and scalp. This oil-control shampoo also offers a volumizing effect and improves the overall appearance of your hair. The product can help in achieving free-flowing tresses and deserves a definite spot in your hair care regime. Check out this review on YouTube to understand the product better.

Also Recommended By: Forbes and Allure have also listed Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two in their top 10.[1]The Best Clarifying Shampoos That Remove Buildup, According To Experts, Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbes-personal-shopper/article/best-clarifying-shampoos/?sh=5bc8b4ba69e8
[2]17 Best Clarifying Shampoos for Healthy, Squeaky-Clean Hair, Allure. https://www.allure.com/gallery/best-clarifying-shampoos

Pros

  • Removes scalp buildup
  • Reduces sebum production
  • Offers volume
  • Ideal for oily hair
  • Color-safe formula
  • Vegan formula
  • Paraben-free

Cons

  • Contains sulfates/SLS

Review: A tester mentions, “Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two has become a lifesaver for my oily scalp. Its refreshing citrus scent and effective residue removal are impressive. My hair stays clean and bouncy between washes, its a must-have for oily scalps.

5. Best Deep Cleansing:Avalon Organics Clarifying Lemon Shampoo

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4.3
Avalon Organics Shampoo Image: Avalon Organics

The Avalon Organics Clarifying Lemon Shampoo restores the natural hair shine and luster. This restorative-care composition is a beautiful mix of modern science and natural plant-based botanicals and an exclusive blend of revitalizing essential oils. This drugstore shampoo consists of a fine blend of lemon essential oil, aloe, quinoa protein, and vitamin E that condition and seal the hair cuticles. It offers voluminous hair and clean grease off the scalp and strands without any hassle.

This deep cleansing shampoo revitalizes hair by removing the excess oils and build-up. The shampoo is EWG-verified. It is non-GMO and is free of preservatives, parabens, artificial colors/fragrances, phthalates, and sulfates. This shampoo is specifically suitable for dry hair. It also is vegan and cruelty-free.

For excellent results, apply this shampoo to wet hair, massage till you get a rich lather, and rinse thoroughly. You can additionally combine this shampoo with Avalon Clarifying Lemon Conditioner to multiply the results. You may check this video to explore a reviewer’s experience with the hair product.

Pros

  • Suitable for all hair types
  • Specifically suits dry hair
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Non-GMO
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Preservative-free
  • No artificial colors
  • No artificial fragrances
  • Pleasant fragrance

Cons

  • Watery consistency

Review: A reviewer says, “As someone working in a pool, I needed a healthy clarifying option, and this exceeded my expectations. It effectively cleanses my hair and scalp while the pleasant lemon scent adds a refreshing touch that lingers around.

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Why We Think It's Worth Buying

It has gained over 2,699 positive reviews on Amazon, making it an all-time best-seller.

6. Best Lemon-Aid Conditioner:Fairy Tales Sun & Swim Lifeguard Clarifying Shampoo

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4.4

The Fairy Tales Sun & Swim Lifeguard Clarifying Shampoo is made of natural fruit extracts that boost hair health. They gently remove accumulated chlorine, sea salts, minerals, and daily build-up. This gluten-free, restorative-care shampoo is made with lemon, pineapple, and orange extracts. This product softens and detangles hair. This deep-cleanse shampoo deals with problems specific to dry hair and helps clarify the scalp gently. It is free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, soy, dairy, and nuts.

For best results, massage this shampoo into hair and scalp and rinse thoroughly. You can follow this routine with a Lemon-Aid Conditioner for quick hair detangling and shine.

Pros

  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Soy-free
  • Nut-free
  • Dairy-free
  • No synthetic colors
  • No synthetic fragrances

Cons

  • None

Review: A users says, “Fairy Tales Sun & Swim Lifeguard Clarifying Shampoo has been a lifesaver for my children’s hair. With their blonde hair prone to damage from swimming, this shampoo refreshes, eliminates pool chemical buildup, and leaves their hair soft and manageable.

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Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The product has more than 2,587 reviews and is a top choice all around the world.

7. Best Keratin Treatment:Keratin Research Clarifying Shampoo

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4.3
Best Clarifying Shampoo for Keratin Hair Treatment Image: Keratin Research

The Keratin Research Clarifying Shampoo is formulated to deep clean the hair cuticles and remove all impurities and residue from the hair shaft. This shampoo opens the cuticles for optimum receptivity of the Keratin Treatment. It leaves the hair clean, soft, and residue-free. It helps promote hair growth and moisturization to unveil soft and fluffy hair you won’t stop admiring. This shampoo keeps hair silky and naturally straight and improves hair quality. It also reduces hair breakage and strengthens hair cuticles by boosting hair volume.

Pros

  • Reduces hair breakage

Cons

  • Contains formaldehyde

Review: A reviewer says, “This has revolutionized my hair care routine. As a frequent keratin treatment user, this shampoo is essential for maintaining results. Its gentle yet powerful formula effectively removes buildup and residues, leaving my hair clean, soft, and prepped for keratin treatments. It’s a game-changer for managing frizz and maintaining smoothness.

8. Best Cruelty-Free:Acure Curiously Clarifying Shampoo

The Acure Curiously Clarifying Shampoo is formulated to gently wash out all build-up without stripping the natural hair oils. It comes with a double dose of highly beneficial oils infused with lemongrass. The freshness of lemongrass revitalizes hair, boosts hair shine, and replenishes natural hair moisture.

The shampoo is 100% vegan and cruelty-free. It also is free of parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, petrolatum, and formaldehyde.

Pros

  • Mineral oil-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Petrolatum-free
  • Formaldehyde-free
  • 100% vegan
  • Not tested on animals

Cons

  • Overpowering fragrance

Review: A user says, “Acure Curiously Clarifying Shampoo is my go-to choice. Its lemongrass scent is soothing, and my hair feels amazing after each wash. As someone with fine hair, I appreciate its sulfate-free formula that leaves my hair clean without causing damage. It’s been a true haircare discovery!

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Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The product has more than 2,649 reviews claiming its efficacy.

9. Best Biracial Hair:Nothing But Clarifying Shampoo

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4.3
Nothing But Clarifying Shampoo Image: Nothing But

The Nothing But Clarifying Shampoo gently deep cleans the hair and scalp. It removes deep-seated contaminants, excess oils, build-up, and residue from the hair and hair follicles. The clarifying shampoo restores hair shine and makes hair more manageable. It suits all hair types, including color-treated hair, curly, African American, and biracial hair.

It can be easily used once to twice a month or whenever you feel the need. Swimmers can also use this shampoo to safely remove chlorine build-up and achieve healthy hair. This shampoo is free of parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, petrolatum, phthalates, and colorants. For best results, you can use a sulfate-free clarifying shampoo with a moisturizing cleansing conditioner and an intense healing mask. Multiple reviewers on Amazon have also complimented the product for its effective results and stated that it as one of the best shampoos for curly hair types.

Pros

  • Safe for color-treated hair
  • Suitable for all hair types
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Petrolatum-free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Colorant-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Non-irritating formula
  • Pleasant fragrance

Cons

  • May dry hair out in some

Review: A tester says, “I was seeking a solution for my hair struggles and found it in Nothing But Clarifying Shampoo. It effectively removes buildup, leaving my hair soft and moisturized. My curls are now lively, flaky scalp is gone, and volume is back. It’s a newfound haircare balance I adore.

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Why We Think It's Worth Buying

A whopping 2,474 reviews on Amazon make it obvious that users genuinely love this product.

10. GIOVANNI Eco Chic 50:50 Balanced Hydrating Clarifying Shampoo

The GIOVANNI Eco Chic 50:50 Balanced Hydrating Clarifying Shampoo is curated with a blend of vitamins, proteins, and nutrients that nourish and strengthen each hair strand. This color-safe shampoo is suitable for daily use and particularly ideal for people with dry hair. It revitalizes over-processed and overworked hair by hydrating and moisturizing the tresses. The everyday shampoo also controls the pH balance in your hair and leaves the tresses shinier than ever. It is enriched with aloe vera, rosemary, and sunflower seed oil that gently cleanse and add moisture to your hair. Rosemary extract offers a luxurious appearance to your hair and smooths frizz. Aloe vera strengthens your hair strands and controls extra grease. The sunflower seed oil prevents breakage, thinning hair and improves its growth. Get voluminous and frizz-free hair with this safe-for-sensitive scalp shampoo today!

Pros

  • Suitable for dry hair
  • Imparts shine
  • Color-safe formula
  • Moisturizing formula
  • Vegan-friendly formula
  • Cruelty-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free

Cons

  • None

Review: A tester says, “I was in search of a clarifying shampoo that truly delivered, and GIOVANNI Eco Chic 50:50 Balanced Hydrating Clarifying Shampoo exceeded my expectations. It leaves my hair squeaky clean, effectively removing buildup without drying it out. The results are amazing and worth it.

11. Best Color-Safe:Kenra Clarifying Shampoo

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4.4

The Kenra Clarifying Shampoo is a perfect solution for those with dry, dull, unmanageable, and lifeless hair. The product also works well on hair exposed to hard or well water or mica. Its unique formula is made of extracts of grapefruit and witch hazel combined with amino acid chelates. It helps restore natural hair volume and helps you achieve gorgeous hair. This drugstore shampoo works perfectly to remove build-up and clears 99% of the dulling deposits. It is color-safe and ideal for all hair types. It brightens highlighted, bleached, and gray hair. The product is free of parabens. It is also free of animal testing.

Pros

  • Paraben-free
  • Suits all hair types
  • Pleasant fragrance
  • Color-safe
  • Softens hair

Cons

  • Contains sulfates

Review: A user says, “After decades of battling hard water effects on my highlighted hair, Kenra Clarifying Shampoo was a game-changer. Just one use brought back the softness and revived my highlights. Weekly use keeps buildup at bay, and it even rescued my stained hair. Truly impressed with this product!

worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

With over 3,848 reviews, this product has become a fan favorite among users.

*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.

Infographic: A Buying Guide On Drugstore Clarifying Shampoos

If you want to remove the unnecessary product buildup in your tresses without going too high on budget, you should opt for drugstore clarifying shampoos. They rejuvenate your tresses while getting rid of extra buildup and residue. However, choosing one might be challenging if you are not aware of what to look for. The below infographic explains how to choose the right drugstore clarifying shampoo. Take a look!

A Buying Guide On Drugstore Clarifying Shampoos (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

The Bottom Line

Bad hair days can be easily avoided with the best drugstore clarifying shampoos. They clean the grease off your scalp and strands and make your hair look gorgeous. Alexandro Vasquez, a hairdresser, says, “Clarifying shampoos is something I recommend only for customers with oily scalp or to clear products residues like that crazy peekaboo balayage that you want change the shade, but is better to be careful when your hair got a new shade because Clarifying Shampoos could wash off your new colors and remove that new keratin treatment too. So ask for professional advice in case you have doubts.” Most of the products mentioned in our list are hypoallergenic and chemical-free. Some of them are color-safe and reduce split ends. They also offer relief from itchiness, dry scalp, and hair breakage. The TIGI Bed Head Down N’ Dirty Clarifying Detox Shampoo keeps the tresses healthy and hydrated, while the Neutrogena Anti-Residue Clarifying Shampoo works wonders in volumizing the strands and removing product buildup, and the Acure Curiously Clarifying Shampoo enhances shine. The best part? These products are affordable, and therefore, you do not have to break your bank to keep your hair healthy. Check various reviews and stay away from products that may dry out the strands.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does hair clarifying mean?

Hair clarifying is the process of removing product build-up on the scalp or in the hair through the use of home remedies or clarifying shampoos.

Is a clarifying shampoo bad for your hair?

No. Using clarifying shampoos the right way has benefits. But excess usage can leave your hair dry and brittle.

How often should I use a clarifying shampoo on natural hair?

You can use a clarifying shampoo once a week or twice every two to four weeks. The usage, largely, depends on your needs.

Do clarifying shampoos strip hair color?

Clarifying shampoos are usually color-safe. But using them too often may fade your hair color.

How do clarifying shampoos work on curly hair?

Drugstore clarifying shampoos for curly hair are better than regular shampoos. They cleanse well and also restore the natural bounce and shine of curls when used on curly hair.

What’s the difference between shampoo and clarifying shampoo?

Regular shampoos use harsh substances like sulfates to clean the scalp and hair, removing natural oils from the scalp’s surface. On the other hand, clarifying shampoos have a unique formula that attracts dirt and product buildup, dissolves them, and flushes them out from the scalp.

Does baby shampoo work as a clarifying shampoo?

Yes, baby shampoos are a gentler option. They provide deep cleansing without striping the essential oils from the scalp. Also, if you have colored hair, it’s important to choose a clarifying shampoo that is specifically formulated for colored hair. Look for a drugstore clarifying shampoo for colored hair, as they are designed to preserve your dye while providing deep cleansing benefits.

How do you know if you need a clarifying shampoo?

Here are a few signs that indicate your hair needs clarifying shampoos.
• Your hair is frequently oily and greasy, and dirt is not off the scalp.
• When your highlights look dull
• Your hair cannot hold styling anymore
• Frequently using dry shampoo

Why Trust StyleCraze?

The author, Shiboli Chakraborti, is a certified skin care coach and a hair care enthusiast. She strongly advocates using drugstore clarifying shampoos to deeply cleanse the hair and scalp. This list of the best clarifying shampoos is based on hours of research of various products and user feedback collected from trusted online forums. These products are suitable for all hair types and work best to leave your hair super fresh and clean.

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Alexandro Vasquez

Alexandro VasquezHairdresser

Alexandro Vasquez has been a hairdresser since 1997 and has worked in various countries, including Brazil, Spain, Ireland, Indonesia, Singapore, and UAE. His experience spans salon brands such as Toni&Guy, Aveda, and Leekaja. He specializes in traveling and training hair salon staff around the world. He is adept at adapting to different styles and cultures and speaks 3 languages –...read full bio

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