How to Properly Use a Clarifying Shampoo

Woman washing hair with a clarifying shampoo

Have you ever had those days when, even after washing your hair, it feels greasy, weighed down and limp – and no matter what you do with it, it still looks untidy? Well, then it’s probably time to clarify.
All of the mousse, gels, hairspray and even the moisturizers in some shampoos and conditioners will leave build up on your hair. Hard water in your area and the chlorine in swimming pools also contribute to buildup by depositing minerals in your hair. A good clarifying shampoo can help remove all of the above and give your hair a beautiful, shiny, healthy-looking fresh start.

How Do Clarifying Shampoos Work?

Clarifying shampoos are designed to remove dulling residue that can cause bad hair days, leaving hair refreshed, shiny and full of bounce. The majority of clarifying shampoos on the market contain acetic acid, a mild, acidic chemical compound that is known for its descaling capabilities. Acetic acid is also contained in vinegar, which is used to de-scale household appliances, etc. In the same manner, the acetic acid contained in clarifying shampoo removes the buildup in hair that makes it feel oily, weighed down and unmanageable.

Healthy Hair Basics | Co-Wash & Clarify -Video

When Do You Need to Clarify?

If you use a lot of heavy hair care products, your hair will benefit from clarifying shampoo. Following are 4 obvious signs of buildup:
1. Your favorite shampoo doesn’t seem to be cleaning your hair as well anymore.
2. Your hair still feels greasy after washing it.
3. Your hair’s breaking/splitting more than normal (because the water/moisture can’t penetrate it any longer).
4. You are a swimmer and your hair has a green tint.

How Often Should You Use a Cleansing shampoo?

That will depend on how much styling product you use on a daily basis. If you use a lot of styling products, swim frequently, and/or live in an area that has mineral-rich water, you should consider deep cleaning your hair a couple of times a month.

If your hair has a tendency to be oily, you should consider using a gentle, clarifying shampoo every day.

If you live in an area with soft water and use hair products in small quantities, you only need to clarify every couple of months or when your hair starts to show the signs of product build-up, etc. For the most part, most people only need to use a clarifying shampoo once or twice a month. 

If you have mineral deposits in your hair from using hard water, you need to use a chelating shampoo.  Chelating shampoos are formulated to remove minerals such as calcium and magnesium that can build up on your hair. 

If you color your hair you shouldn’t use a clarifying shampoo more than once a month and never within the first few weeks of coloring. Clarifying color-treated hair too often will make your hair color fade faster. Also, make sure to use a clarifying shampoo that is safe for colored hair

However, if you want to get rid of a bed hair dye job, a harsh clarifying shampoo can help you fade unwanted hair color in a few washes.

Since clarifying shampoo can strip away the natural oils, that keep your hair and scalp well-moisturized, you will need to apply a rinse-out conditioner to restore lost moisture and detangle your hair.

If you clarify prior to receiving a chemical treatment you may skip the conditioning step, depending on the treatment you are going to receive.

Medical Disclaimer

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