Styling products are notorious for causing buildup on the scalp that lasts long after you’ve washed your hair, resulting in common hair-care woes such as irritation, itchiness and oiliness. If you rely on dry shampoo, mousse, thickening powder and other leave-in hair products, incorporating one of the best clarifying shampoos into your hair-care routine can effectively rid the scalp of these agents.
Formulated to perform a deep cleanse, clarifying shampoos are designed to remove residue and buildup from the scalp. Recommended for those who expose their hair to heavy styling products and heat tools, have a low hair porosity or are prone to oily scalps, these powerful shampoos have a rebalancing effect on the scalp, allowing them to reset while promoting a healthier environment. They can also sweep away other scalp-clogging impurities such as dead skin cells, excess oil and pollutants.
Because of their intensive formulas, it’s not uncommon for clarifying shampoos to feel stripping. But the best clarifying shampoos aim to replenish the moisture and nourishment in your scalp using hydrating ingredients while also soothing signs of irritation and damage with calming extracts like aloe vera, chamomile and more. Unlike regular shampoo, clarifying formulas do not need to be used as often; it’s best to alternate between your go-to shampoo and your clarifying shampoo, using the clarifying formula anywhere from once a week to once every two weeks depending on your styling and cleansing preferences.
Below, explore the best clarifying shampoos that will help keep your scalp in tip-top shape and help you achieve healthier hair.
Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo
Designed to detoxify, the Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo exfoliates, soothes and rebalances the scalp’s pH levels using a blend of Binchotan charcoal and vegetable-derived micro-exfoliators. In addition to removing buildup and dead skin cells, it features soothing and purifying peppermint, spearmint and tea tree oils to relieve inflammation and irritation.
Verb Reset Clarifying Shampoo
Formulated with aloe vera, honey and seawater, the Verb Reset Clarifying Shampoo deeply cleanses away all traces of product buildup and impurities while preserving the hydration and natural oils of the scalp. Gentle and effective, this shampoo is suitable for all hair types, including color-treated strands.
Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo
Made with a highly concentrated cleansing formula, the Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo resets the scalp by successfully removing clogging agents such as dead skin cells, product buildup and environmental impurities. This, in turn, results in rejuvenated strands that are thoroughly cleansed, rehydrated and nourished.
Pattern Beauty Clarifying Shampoo
Made with coily and tight ringlets in mind, the Pattern Beauty Clarifying Shampoo revives the scalp and gives hair a fresh start by delivering a deep-yet-gentle cleanse. Featuring a blend of antioxidant-rich matcha green tea, soothing aloe vera and strengthening panthenol, it strengthens low porosity hair by opening the cuticle and infusing it with moisture.
Nexxus Clean and Pure Clarifying Shampoo
Lightweight and deep-cleansing by design, the Nexxus Clean and Pure Clarifying Shampoo detoxifies the scalp and restores nourishment to damaged hair using a blend of elastin protein and marine minerals. It also replenishes any missing nutrients to protect hair from future damage and revive its natural shine.
Malibu C Hard Water Wellness Shampoo
Delivering a detoxifying deep clean with its carefully crafted vegan formula, the Malibu C Hard Water Wellness Shampoo washes away buildup and impurities while preserving the scalp’s moisture and natural oils. It’s enriched with the brand’s vegan cleansing complex, which replenishes hydration, imparts radiance and makes unruly hair more manageable.
Kenra Clarifying Shampoo
Created to remove buildup from the scalp before coloring appointments, the Kenra Clarifying Shampoo is a color-safe formula that eliminates up to 99 percent of dulling deposits from the hair while brightening highlighted, bleached and gray hair.
Suave Naturals Daily Clarifying Shampoo
Providing a gentle cleanse that’s suitable for all hair types, the Suave Naturals Daily Clarifying Shampoo rebalances oily scalps without causing irritation thanks to its hydrating and restorative formula, which helps bring out your hair’s natural shine.
Aveeno Scalp Soothing Shampoo
Fortified with apple cider vinegar to clarify the scalp, the Aveeno Scalp Soothing Shampoo cleanses and reinforces shine from root to tip without sulfates, dyes or parabens. Suitable for color-treated hair, it revives dull, unmanageable strands and creates a salon-quality sheen.
Twisted Sista Luxurious Clarifying Shampoo
Boasting a nourishing formula that’s enriched with coconut, avocado and almond oils, the Twisted Sista Luxurious Clarifying Shampoo deeply cleanses the scalp and rids it of follicle-clogging impurities and product buildup. To preserve the integrity of the scalp, follicles, cuticles and strands, it replenishes hydration and nutrients where they’re needed most.
Oribe The Cleanse Clarifying Shampoo
Offering a luxurious cleanse thanks to its innovative mousse-like texture, Oribe’s The Cleanse Clarifying Shampoo deeply detoxifies and purifies the scalp without stripping it of its essential oils, ridding it of dirt, oil and product buildup.
Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two
Formulated with wheat-derived conditioners to boost body and shine, the Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two is a color-safe clarifying shampoo that deeply cleanses oily hair and scalps for healthier strands. By eliminating buildup and other scalp-hindering agents, this energizing lemon-scented shampoo reduces oil and helps extend your wash days.
Seven Cubica Clarify Shampoo
Enriched with essential oils to perform an effective and deep scalp detox, the Seven Cubica Clarify Shampoo eliminates all forms of buildup, including styling product residue, hard water minerals, pollutants and excess oils. Suitable for all hair types, it enhances shine, volume and vibrancy in dull hair while revitalizing and resetting the scalp.
Davines Solu Shampoo
Created for hair that constantly endures heavy styling products, the Davines Solu Shampoo deeply cleanses away product buildup using clarifying buckwheat extract, revealing a cleaner and more refreshed scalp.
Ouidad Water Works Clarifying Shampoo
Designed to create a fresh start for curly hair and restore elasticity and bounce, the Ouidad Water Works Clarifying Shampoo enlists the purifying help of non-stripping citrus extracts to break down and remove buildup from heavy styling without depriving the curls of their essential moisture.