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Clarifying Shampoos

Updated on August 22, 2011

We have all heard about "shampoo buildup" and how it weighs down your hair. That is why is important that we purchase clarifying shampoo.  A build up of what?How true are these claims? is there really any difference "clarifying shampoo" vs regular shampoo?

Women are a sucker for clever packaging. If it looks like it is healthy and smells good we buy it no matter what the price. You ever notice that all the Clarifying Shampoos are always clear? is because they are without some of the other ingredients that weigh our hair down or is it due to some clever marketing ploy. If the Shampoo is clear then it is clarifying..right?

Build up in hair does occur especially if you use hair thickening shampoos or many hair care products. Even hard water deposits and chemicals from the pool can cause your hair to be unmanageable at times.

Some of the recommendations found in this hub today will be from Paula Begoun, the author of "Don't go Shopping for hair care products without me. She did a comprehensive study of shampoos and placed it all in her book.

Does it Work?

 Most people are able to feel an immediate difference in their hair after using a clarifying shampoo. It becomes more manageable and is easier to style.  Most people are surprised how much better they feel after using a clarifying shampoo.  If you don't have a clarifying shampoo  you can mix two teaspoons of baking soda with your regular shampoo.  that will also help take the extra residue out!

How does it work?

Clarifying Shampoos have the ingrediant Acetic acid that can descale the excess product right off the hair shaft. The name sounds more harmful than it really is. To give you an example, Acetic acid is found in Vinegar. Vinegar is also good for cleaning. Clarifying shampoos are good for swimmers as it can help take the chlorine out of their hair. Be sure to follow up with a conditioner as over use of a clarifying shampoo can dry it out.

How often should you use?

How often should you use clarifying shampoo? It depends upon how many hair care products you use or what your hair goes through on a daily basis. If you use a ton of products you should probably clarify your hair once a week. if you have no problems using a lot of hair products or with you r environment the use once a month or every other month.  Keep in mind too if you have color in your hair the clarifying shampoo may help the color fade faster than normal.

Let Clarifying Shampoo sit  in hair for a minute or two
Let Clarifying Shampoo sit in hair for a minute or two

How to use?

You would use a clarifying shampoo just as you would any other shampoo. Take a quarter size of the shampoo and lather in your hair. it may not lather well depending upon how much build up you have. Rinse and repeat again, but this time let the shampoo sit in your hair a few minutes before rinsing. This will help release the buildup in your hair.  Be sure to condition afterwards.  You may even need extra conditioner as the Clarifying shampoo tends to dry out your hair.

Tips on Hair washing

Does Clarifying Shampoo lighten your hair color?

Neutrogena Shampoo
Neutrogena Shampoo

Neutrogena Anti Residue

Neutrogena Anti residue Shampoo claims to remove buildup and is good for all hair types. it does have a bit of a medicine smell so it may not be most attractive. It sells for six dollars for six ounces. This was the highest recommended from Palua Begoun and the most mentioned on the Internet as being the most effective.

Loreal Clarifying Shampoo

 Loreal's Kerastase Clarifying shampoo for Oily Scalp and Oily Hair runs about  $30.00  for a 8.5 oz bottle.

Paul Mitchells Clarifying shampoo
Paul Mitchells Clarifying shampoo

Paul Mitchell Clarifying

 If you want to pay a bit more you can go to your favorite salon and purchase Clarifying,Paul Mitchells shampoo.  It can also be found in some drugstores for $6.75 a bottle


 Pantene offers a clarifying shampoo that is  5.79

found in most drugstores
found in most drugstores

 When searching the web for the best Shampoos it is important to note that Dove was voted as a a number one brand of shampoo to purchase.  It was voted number one due to the product itself and the affordability of the product.  Unfortunately the Dove shampoos do not offer a clarifying shampoo. at least according the Dove website.  Hopefully Dove will offer more choices to their already excellent products!


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      nikki 6 years ago

      I use ion clarifying shampoo and it works really good I buy it at sallys :)

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      Stormy 6 years ago

      I too had the same problem as Dylan... a beautician friend of mine recommended this ION Clarifying Shampoo... I was at my wits end and after the very first use I noticed a tremendous difference... it smells great too! I highly recommend this stuff! They also carry a regular shampoo so that you can use that when the clarifying shampoo isn't needed and they also carry treatment packets that are in powder form. This is the very first product in months that has actually worked for me.

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      Ms. Pirate 7 years ago

      I am a licensed cosmetologist and I can tell you that I have tried hundreds of products, professional and non-professional, none are as good as Pantene Clarifying Shampoo. I am sooooooooo disappointed. Here I go spending hundreds of dollars in search of a new clarifying shampoo..........

    • profile image

      freeebird_46349 7 years ago

      I too used the pantene purifying shampoo and upset that they discontinued it. I have long, very long hair with curls that tangles easily. I used the moisturizing formula and now that they changed the formula it weighs down my hair and I tried to use the classic formula and it dries my hair out. If they don't get back to the old formula, I am going with another brand.

    • Ms Chievous profile image

      Tina 7 years ago from Wv

      Thanks Dylan, I'll have to look into that shampoo.

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      Dylan 7 years ago

      I recently have been using Ion Clarifying Shampoo. I had this horrible waxy/greasy build-up on the crown of my head. A great friend suggested a clarifying shampoo. I love the results I get. Smells tangy and doesn't weigh my hair down.

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      Patricia 7 years ago

      Why on earth would Pantene discontinue their Clarifying shampoo. I've used it for years and haven't found anything on the shelves to match it. :(

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      Patti 7 years ago

      I am so bummed... Pantene's clarifier was the only one I used, too. I've been searching for another one and haven't come up with anything I like yet.

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      Della 7 years ago

      Thanks for the info Della. I've been searching for it for a while now. I just ran out and it was the only shampoo I used. :(

    • Ms Chievous profile image

      Tina 7 years ago from Wv

      Thank Yo Della for letting me know about the discontinued product!

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      Della 7 years ago

      I just called Pantene this morning concerning their product change and found out they no longer carry a clarifying shampoo. They told me on the phone that they have discontinued this particular product. I let them know that I was not happy with that. I have tried using their new line of products and was not at all happy with the results. The products weighed my hair down tremendously.

    • Lgali profile image

      Lgali 8 years ago

      wow very useful info thanks

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      One of my favorite things about living with a girl is the shampoo. I just love it when she came out of the shower. Girls always get the best stuff (so it seems). I always cut my hair really short, so I really don't need much shampoo--a half a teaspoon usually does the trick! This is great to know anyhow! I enjoyed reading it.