The best clarifying shampoo: the haircare step you’re missing

It's time to hit the reset button on your locks

The best clarifying shampoo is the essential haircare step you may not even be aware of. But bag the right one and it will change your hair routine forever.

Everyone should use a clarifying shampoo from time to time; they work to remove product build-up, hard water minerals, excess oil and grease and environmental pollutants from hair (to name but a few).

These are the times that you should use the best clarifying shampoo:

  • Before you colour you hair: If the colour is going to penetrate into the hair shaft, nothing can stand in its way, like dirt and product build up
  • Before using the best hair mask: Same as above, if you want the super nourishing ingredients to get to work, you need to rid the area of crap
  • If you live in a city: Much like your skin, your hair is unfortunately subjected to pollution particles, which means your locks will look lifeless and dull. The best clarifying shampoo will rectify that

If you get the right one, it can be the best shampoo for dry hair, thick hair, fine hair, greasy hair… the list seems endless. So how do you go about finding the right one for your hair type?

How often should you use clarifying shampoo?

A little of this depends on your hair type. It’s recommended that if you have particularly dry hair, you shouldn’t use a clarifying shampoo more than a couple of times a month. Hair that is super curly also doesn’t require regular clarifying.

For all other hair types, using a clarifying shampoo once a week as part of your haircare routine keeps your hair from having that ‘weighed down’ feeling that you get from showering regularly in hard water or using too much product.

Best clarifying shampoo for fine hair

TRESemmé Cleanse & Replenish Deep Cleansing Shampoo, £2.75, Amazon

best clarifying shampoo TRESemme

If you have fine hair, you may worry that the harshness of a clarifying shampoo will wreak havoc upon your locks – but there’s no need to panic as it can be the best shampoo for greasy hair or limp, fine hair.

Opt for one of the more gentle formulas, like TRESemmé’s, which can be used a couple of times a week and is great at removing product residue from finer hair. It’s also serious bang for its buck, coming in at less than a fiver for 900ml. What more could you ask for?

Living Proof’s Full Shampoo is another excellent clarifying option here, specially designed for hair that’s a bit limp and lifeless. Give your hair a deep cleanse while simultaneously adding a bit of ‘oomph’.

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Best clarifying shampoo for colour treated hair

Ion Defence Clarifying Shampoo, £30.07, Amazon

best clarifying shampoo Ion

The eternal struggle with coloured hair is that you want to give your hair a good, deep clean, but equally you don’t want to strip any of the colour from your locks. What’s a girl to do?

About 75% of the time, clarifying shampoo shouldn’t be used on colour hair as it will strip some of the colour. No doubt you want to prolong your colour for as long as possible rather than wash it down the drain. But there are some formulas that are gentle enough to be used on dyed hair.

Even better some have been specifically designed to balance the needs of clarifying needs and coloured hair. Ion Colour Defence Clarifying Shampoo is one of the best on the market, working to seal in your colour while giving it a gentle but thorough cleanse. Because the last thing you want is to undo all the hard work of your colourist.

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Best clarifying shampoo for curly hair

Oribe The Cleanse Clarifying Shampoo, £40, Net-A-Porter

best clarifying shampoo Oribe

Loved by supermodels and stylists alike, Orbie is a brand with hella hair authority. Their clarifying shampoo is packed with naturally detoxing ingredients such as eucalyptus, green tea and sea kelp extract to cleanse the hair and leave it feeling fresh. What makes it one of the greatest curly hair products is that it won’t strip the natural essential oils of your locks, meaning your curls will keep their shape and bounce post-washing. Nobody ever dreamed of having limp and lifeless looking curls. Curlies should also try out the best sulphate free shampoo, too.

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Best clarifying shampoo for dry hair

Moroccanoil CLARIFY Clarifying Shampoo, £18.95, Lookfantastic

best clarifying shampoo

If you suffer with very dry hair, we wouldn’t blame you for worrying that a clarifying shampoo would only make the situation worse, but limiting your clarifying washes to a couple of times a month will give your hair enough of a deep clean, without leaving it looking and feeling like a haystack.

Never fear, because nourishing heroes Moroccanoil are on hand with a clarifying formula specifically for your hair type. Their CLARIFY Shampoo not only gives hair a thorough clean, removing all sorts of impurities, but it also contains Argan and avocado oils to keep the hair soft and smooth.

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Scroll through our round up below to find the perfect clarifying shampoo for your hair type. Product build-up, be gone…

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