How to Clarify Your Hair at Home? Why & When You Should Clarify Your Hair

Written by Ramona Sinha

Just like your face, your scalp also needs exfoliation and deep cleansing once in a while. This is where clarifying treatments can help. They work like “scalp-detoxification” and help remove product buildup, excess dirt, dust, and oil from the scalp. No wonder clarification is the key to keep your hair healthy and strong.

This article clarifies why hair clarification should be a part of your hair care regimen and how you can do that at home. Keep reading.

What Is A Hair Clarifying Treatment?

Hair clarifying treatments wash away all dirt, dust, product buildup from the scalp. You can do it with clarifying shampoos or homemade clarifying recipes. Clarification makes your hair feel light, bouncy, and easy to style.

There are many reasons to include hair clarification in your hair care routine. Let’s take a look at them.

Benefits Of Clarifying Your Hair

1. Removes Buildup

Regular shampoos cannot clean all traces of hair products like conditioners, gels, mousse, and sprays that you use regularly. They attract dirt and dust, causing further buildup. Also, hard water can leave chlorine and other mineral deposits on the scalp. Clarifying shampoos and treatments can clear the buildup and keep the hair follicles healthy.

2. Restores Natural pH Balance

Hairstyling products and hard water can alter the optimal pH of your scalp. A disbalance in pH levels can irritate the scalp and promote bacterial and fungal growth. Clarifying the scalp once in a while helps maintain the optimal pH levels and maintains a healthy scalp.

3. Rejuvenates The Hair

Excess oil and dirt weigh the hair down, making it limp and flat. Clarifying the scalp refreshes and rejuvenates the hair. Clean hair feels naturally bouncy and appears voluminous.

You should use a clarifying shampoo only when your hair and scalp need it. How do you know when to clarify your hair? Here are a few tell-tale signs to check.

Signs That Your Hair Needs Clarifying Treatment

  • If you swim often (in a swimming pool or in the ocean) and see a green tinge on your hair (caused by chlorine deposit).
  • Your hair feels weighed down.
  • Your hair products no longer work, and you are not getting the desired results. This happens because of excess residue on the scalp.
  • You have fine hair that becomes oily quite often.
  • Your scalp starts itching, and you notice flakiness.
  • Your hair becomes frizzy (because of excess buildup).
  • You experience excessive hair fall.
  • Your hair has become limp and lifeless.
  • Your hair looks dull.
  • Your hair feels weighed down and limp even after shampooing.
  • You often use products like oils and deep conditioners. In that case, you need to clarify your hair once every two weeks.

Once you know that your hair needs a clarifying treatment, here are a few ways to do it at home.

How To Clarify Your Hair At Home: DIY Recipes

You can always use a clarifying shampoo for cleaning your scalp and hair. Follow it up with a hydrating conditioner. Clarifying shampoos contain SLS that helps remove buildup. However, if you want to avoid SLS, you may use the following DIY clarifying recipes.

1. The Sea Salt Scrub

The salt granules are excellent exfoliators, and lemon juice works as a clarifying agent and is often used in DIY remedies. Adding a vegetable oil ensures that your hair does not end up losing excess moisture.


  • 6 tablespoons of sea salt
  • 1.5 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil (use any hair oil of your choice)


  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Scrub your damp hair and scalp with the mixture for 10 minutes.
  3. Leave it on for another 10 minutes.
  4. Wash it off with a mild shampoo.

2. The Classic Clarifying Treatment

Baking soda is often used in DIY recipes for its exfoliating properties. Adding tea tree oil can help minimize dandruff (1). It can also keep the scalp healthy.


  • ¼ cup of liquid castile soap
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • 2-4 drops of tea tree oil


  1. Mix all the ingredients.
  2. Apply the mixture to a damp scalp and massage.
  3. Leave it on for 10 minutes and wash it off.

3. Bentonite Clay And Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

Bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar are often used in traditional remedies and DIY masks for their oil-absorbing and clarifying properties. This clarifying mask can keep the scalp clean and healthy.


  • ½ cup of bentonite clay
  • ¼ cup of water
  • ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar


  1. Mix the bentonite clay and water to form a paste.
  2. Apply the paste to the scalp and hair.
  3. Leave it on for 5-10 minutes. Rinse well.
  4. Now, mix the ACV in a cup of water (100 ml).
  5. Use the ACV mix as a post-wash rinse.

4. Rhassoul Clay Mask

Like bentonite clay, rhassoul clay or Moroccan lava clay is rich in minerals and is used in traditional recipes for its oil-absorbing and clarifying properties. The aloe vera juice keeps the scalp moisturized (2). Apple cider vinegar adds shine to the hair.


  • ½ cup of rhassoul clay
  • ½ cup aloe vera juice
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of any vegetable oil (coconut, argan, olive, or sweet almond oils)
  • 10 drops of any essential oil for fragrance (peppermint, ylang-ylang, or tea tree oils)


  1. Mix all the ingredients.
  2. Apply the solution to the scalp and massage for 10 minutes.
  3. Leave it on for another 10 minutes.
  4. Rinse well with water and then shampoo.

5. Baking Soda And Apple Cider Vinegar

Baking soda exfoliates the scalp, and apple cider vinegar helps regulate sebum and make the hair shiny.


  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup of water


  1. Mix the baking soda and ACV.
  2. Apply the paste to your scalp and massage.
  3. Leave it on for 2-3 minutes and rinse with water.
  4. Wash off with a shampoo.

Use these DIY recipes to clarify your hair whenever you think it feels weighed down. However, you should not clarify frequently. Scroll down to learn how often you should do it.

How Often To Clarify Your Hair

If you sweat excessively and use many hair products, it is best to clarify your scalp once in two weeks. However, if your hair is healthy and your scalp is not oily, you can clarify once a month.

You may follow the tips below for choosing the best clarifying product.

Best Clarifying Products: How To Choose One

When choosing a clarifying shampoo, look for the following ingredients:

  • Ammonium lauryl sulfate
  • Ammonium laureth sulfate
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate
  • Sodium stearate
  • Alpha-olefin sulfonate

These are detergents and can clean residue and buildup in one wash. However, use the shampoos sparingly, or else they may dry out the hair.


Clarifying your hair and scalp is essential to get rid of product and dirt buildup. It also helps prevent bacterial and fungal growth on the scalp and minimizes hair fall. You may use a clarifying shampoo or follow any of the DIY recipes shared in the article. However, ensure that you are clarifying your hair not more than once every two weeks, as overdoing it may dry out the scalp and cause hair breakage.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you clarify your hair with scissors?

Do not use scissors to clarify your hair or scalp as it may cause damage.

What are the drawbacks of clarifying your hair?

There are no drawbacks. However, excessive use of clarifying agents may dry out the hair and cause breakage.

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  1. Treatment of dandruff with 5% tea tree oil shampoo
  2. Aloe Vera: A Short Review
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Ramona is a journalist-turned-content writer. She holds a Master’s degree in English Literature and has been writing for the digital world for over five years. She specializes in writing for Skin Care. She has done a certificate course titled ‘Dermatology: Trip To The Skin’, offered by Novosibirsk State University. She believes that beauty begins with a good skin care regimen and is on a mission to eliminate all toxins from her routine. She helps and guides readers in selecting products and ingredients specific to their skin type/issue. When Ramona is not working, her books and passion for music, good food, and traveling keep her busy.