10 Best Clarifying Shampoos in 2019

Last updated: June 26, 2019
Published 12:28 am

Ultrax Labs
Hair Surge

Art Naturals Organic
Moroccan Argan Oil

Anti-Residue Shampoo

Published 12:28 am

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Have you ever felt a baby’s hair?

It’s so soft, smooth and healthy. There’s no sign of damage or weakness. It’s heavenly!

But as we begin to use heated tools and perm and color our hair, all of the product that goes along with these styles transforms our hair and it’s not for the better.

I noticed that my hair was dull, lifeless and just plain unhealthy. It was no secret why, as I used a curling iron almost everyday and loved to change my color with the changing seasons.

So I began to search for the best clarifying shampoo. There are plenty of clarifying shampoo brands that can remove the build up in your hair and make it healthy again.

Take a look at my reviews of some of the top brands.

The Best Clarifying Shampoos

Ultrax Labs is known for its hair products that promote better hair quality, thickness, shine and encourage longer and healthier growth cycles.

This is quite possibly the best clarifying shampoo for fine hair as it contains caffeine, a compound shown to promote new hair growth in ongoing studies.

This shampoo really exceeded my expectations. It seemed like my hair had more volume than ever before.

Simply put, my hair had never felt so great or been so cooperative. It only took a couple of weeks to notice great shine and new hair growth.

Key Features:

  • Contains highly effective CaffinoPlex blend designed and researched to aid in healthy hair growth
  • Contains powerful caffeine compounds which have been shown to reduce hair loss, stimulate hair growth and block effects of testosterone within the skin
  • Most effective topically available shampoo formula for men and women


Ultrax Labs
Hair Surge Caffeine Hair Loss Hair Growth Stimulating Shampoo
8 oz
  • This shampoo really promotes hair growth
  • It really makes a difference
  • In just a few weeks you can start to feel and see the stubble filling in thinning areas
  • May be a waste of money for those who don’t see results even after using the product religiously
  • It is pricy for a small product

The products only contain 100% natural ingredients and will help cleanse your hair from the inside out.

I loved how much this shampoo lathered, which is rare in many clarifying shampoo brands.

The conditioner doesn’t smell quite as good as the shampoo but that’s my only complaint regarding these products.

My hair was shinier and definitely a lot fuller than it was before Art Naturals.

Key Features:

  • Great for all hair types
  • Natural and organic ingredients help repair hair damage and prevent any effects from heat and excess styling
  • Deeply moisturizing
  • ArtNaturals offers a 100% satisfaction guaranteed or your money back


Organic Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner Set
2 x 16 Fl Oz / 473ml
  • Your hair will feel even softer when paired with the leave-in conditioner
  • It smells really amazing
  • Great price for the quality
  • Not for more sensitive skin

If you’ve been searching for the best clarifying shampoo for natural hair, Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo is the answer.

It instantly removes over 95% of dulling residue and really boosts up your hair’s volume. It’s made for all hair types and can be used with your favorite shampoo as a once a week treatment to keep your hair happy and healthy.

I was a bit skeptical at first but after just one use, I could feel the difference in my hair.

You’ll definitely need to condition after using this clarifying shampoo as your hair might feel a bit dry afterward but this is just proof that both the residue and excess oil have been removed.

As long as you don’t overuse the product, your hair won’t become dangerously dry.

Key Features:

  • Helps remove up to 90% of heavy, dulling residue caused by shampoos, conditioners and styling products
  • An easy, once-a-week treatment to remove heavy build-up from hair and leaves it feeling thoroughly cleansed
  • A non-irritating and clarifying shampoo that gently cleans your hair and scalp
  • It helps boost hair volume by instantly rinsing away any build-up


Anti-Residue Shampoo, Gentle Non-Irritating Clarifying Shampoo to Remove Hair Build-Up & Residue
6 fl. oz
  • After just one wash, hair felt lighter, finer, more voluminous, and needed less styling products to achieve the same results
  • Good for super clean hair pre-dye
  • It is a great shampoo but it can be a bit drying
  • Has a strange scent

Now this shampoo might not be marketed as a clarifying shampoo but it still does wonders for your hair.

It reduces thinning and shedding while adding body and volume to your hair. It can be used as a regular shampoo and is free of sulfates.

If you’re pressed for time, this shampoo works incredibly fast. In only a week, I stopped seeing strands of hair coming out in the shower.

My hairbrush was free of strands as well, leading me to believe that this shampoo really does stop hair loss.

If your hair seems to lack shine, you’ll notice a huge improvement with Art Naturals Hair Growth Therapy.

Key Features:

  • A blend of Aloe Vera, Argan oil, Rosemary, and other key ingredients
  • Helps stimulate the renewal of cells and healthy growth
  • Revitalizes hair follicles and supports a healthy scalp


Argan Hair Growth Shampoo
16 Fl Oz / 473ml
  • This product smells so good and lathers really well
  • You can see fine hairs growing in quickly
  • Hair looks fuller and healthier
  • It keeps hair smooth and sleek-looking even on humid summer days
  • This product does NOT have DHT blockers anymore it does not work as it used to

Redken makes possibly the best clarifying shampoo out there.

It’s made to remove the build-up of some styling product, to remove iron and copper, as well as minerals from hard water. Nothing is left behind.

It’s great to use before having chemical services performed on your hair, like a perm or coloring. By removing any residual build-up, your hair will take better to whatever alterations you are administering.

I used this shampoo right before coloring my hair, which I do often.

The color seemed much more vibrant and even lasted longer than it normally would. I chalk this up to Redken, the best clarifying shampoo for color treated hair.

Key Features:

  • Works on curly hair
  • The formula is for fine-soft hair


All Soft Shampoo
33.8 oz
  • This product has a great scent
  • Can be used by men and women
  • It leaves hair clean and soft without any scalp issues
  • It’s definitely worth the price
  • This product helps tremendously with the split ends
  • It can be drying for some users
  • Can leave bad residue on hair
  • May leave your hair greasy

Tru Moroccan is made with natural ingredients, including oils and herbs that are made to erase grease and oil from your scalp and hair, making it the best clarifying shampoo for oily hair.

It’s safe for color treated hair and balances out sebaceous glands that have been overworking due to product buildup.

This shampoo is like a mini-massage for your scalp. I loved how clean and fresh my hair felt after using this product.

My scalp had less irritated patches and felt smooth and moisturized, not rough and oily like it had in the past.

Key Features:

  • Heals Itchy Scalp
  • Best Natural Clarifying Shampoo
  • Promotes New Hair Growth
  • Volume Shampoo


Tru Moroccan
Moroccan Oil Shampoo- Shampoo For Oily Hair-Scalp Treatment
8 oz
  • Helps with dry scalp and oily hair
  • This product really feels nourishing
  • Its scent is not overwhelming but very pleasant
  • This shampoo leaves the scalp balanced so it is not itchy on dry winter months
  • May not be effective to some

Just as the name suggests, this shampoo is infused with apple cider, a great natural component for smooth and healthy hair.

It’s scented with fresh apples and pears instead of synthetic fragrances and is silicone-free. It removes buildup while cleansing and clarifying.

If you find yourself with oily hair that creeps up on you during the day, give Fekkai a try.

I thought that it was more of a weekly treatment but if you suffer from truly oily hair, you might be able to use this on a daily basis to keep your hair soft and manageable.

Key Features:

  • It is infused with Apple Cider
  • This shampoo is scented by fresh apple and pear
  • Silicone-free purifying cleanser clarifies and removes buildup


Apple Cider Shampoo
8 Fl Oz
  • It smells great
  • It removes oil and build up
  • This shampoo makes hair more manageable
  • It works wonderfully to clarify hair
  • Shampoo does not seem to work for greasy hair
  • Can strip away salon color

If you’re looking for a salon quality shampoo without the high-end prices, Paul Mitchell is always a great option.

Their clarifying shampoo helps to remove chlorine and plenty of other impurities that can build up in your hair over time.

This is an excellent shampoo to use before a deep conditioning treatment as it will help the treatment really penetrate and moisturize each strand.

This is the best clarifying shampoo for natural hair that I used.

Just about anyone can use it but it’s especially great for anyone who spends a lot of time in the pool.

If you have blonde hair, you might even have had to battle green shades after swimming a few extra laps in your pool.

This shampoo will restore your natural shade in just one wash.

Key Features:

  • Removes dulling buildup from hair, strengthens strands and minimizes future buildup
  • Deep cleansers remove chlorine, iron, and minerals


Paul Mitchell
Shampoo Three
10.14 oz.
  • This shampoo is great for use after swimming
  • It removes green pool hair
  • This product is a must-have for product build-up and removal of chlorine smell
  • Could leave your hair dry and brittle
  • May cause hair loss

Is budget all that’s been holding you back from finding the best clarifying shampoo? Then give Pantene a try.

This budget-friendly shampoo helps to gently cleanse and remove build-up.

It’s paraben and dye free and won’t leave behind any residue like other budget-friendly cleansers might.

I really thought that this shampoo might leave my hair feeling extra dry and brittle but it performed just as well as the other, more expensive clarifying shampoos. It’s gentle and effective. My hair and scalp felt lighter and cleaner right away.

Key Features:

  • Gently cleanses to remove build-up on Natural Hair


Pro-V Shampoo
12.6 Oz
  • The shampoo does a fantastic job of removing chlorine from hair after swimming
  • It really cleans your hair and brings back its natural hair pattern
  • Makes the hair always soft and shiny after using the product
  • Not a deep clean

Any product that’s marketed as organic should be carefully considered, simply because many companies try to market organic products without doing the work.

But Acure goes above and beyond with this product, a shampoo and conditioner bundle with lemongrass and argan stem cell keratin boosting complex.

Both are sulfate-free and paraben-free, leaving you with clean, healthy hair while promoting healthy growth.

When I gave this product a shot, I was instantly impressed with how rich and heavy it was. The almond smell was fabulous and the shampoo gave me the perfect amount of lather.

If you’ve been trying to make your own shampoo and just haven’t found a recipe that works, give Acure a try. You’ll love the ingredients and the results.

Key Features:


Acure Organics
Lemongrass and Argan Stem Cell Volume Natural Shampoo and Conditioner
8 Oz
  • It cleans well and has a pleasant smell
  • It’s great that it is eco-friendly
  • Great product for fine, or thick, and static-ridden, wavy hair
  • May cause buildup in hair that makes it look dirty
  • Pricy

What is Clarifying Shampoo?

We put our hair through a lot. Between volumizers, hair sprays, leave-in conditioners, perms and highlights, our hair comes into contact with a ton of compounds and chemicals.

Over time, they can begin to build up in hair, leaving it feeling weighed down, greasy and unmanageable.

So if you’ve noticed that your hair just doesn’t seem to look and feel the way that it once did, a clarifying shampoo can be the best treatment.

These shampoos are designed to remove the build-up and leave your hair in a more natural state.

Clarifying shampoos mean business though. They’re typically not made for everyday use as they can begin to strip your hair of its natural oils and leave it brittle and damaged.

If you’re unsure of how your hair will react to a clarifying shampoo, speak with your hair stylist first.

What are the Benefits?

So what exactly does clarifying shampoo do? Plenty! Take a look at the benefits of using this awesome hair product.

  • Removes Build Up: The most obvious benefit of clarifying shampoo, these products help to remove years of build up and leave your hair cleaner than ever before.
  • Rejuvenates Hair: Once your hair is clean, it can really shine. It will smell better, feel better and look better, all after one treatment.
  • Boosts Volume: If your hair was full of build up, it was probably being weighed down. Once you remove it all, hello volume! If your hair is on the thinner side, a clarifying shampoo treatment is a must.
  • Promotes a Healthy Scalp: Hair health begins at the scalp. If your scalp is dirty, you can expect to have hair growth issues in the future. Clarifying shampoo keeps the scalp clean and prevents hair follicles from becoming blocked.

How Do I Use It?

Using clarifying shampoo isn’t much different than regular shampoo. Depending on the length of your hair, massage a nickel or quarter sized amount into your scalp.

Lightly massage your entire scalp for at least a minute. Some clarifying shampoos lather more than others. Just keep massaging it into your scalp.

Now squeeze out a tiny bit more of the shampoo and work it into your hair. You might notice more lather, which is a sign that the shampoo is really working overtime to cleanse your hair.

Once your hair is covered in lather, let it sit for a few minutes. When you’re ready, rinse your hair very well.

Then condition as normal. If you notice that your hair feels extra dry after clarifying, which can happen, use a bit extra conditioner and let it sit for a little longer than you normally would.

For most people, you shouldn’t clarify your hair every day. In fact, most can get by with using clarifying shampoo only once or twice a week.

If you have hard water or spend more time than most in a pool, you might clarify a bit more often.

If you don’t use a ton of product in your hair, you might be able to get by with clarifying once or twice a month.

It takes a bit of time to figure out the best clarifying schedule but once you begin to wash your hair the right way with your new shampoo, your hair will benefit dramatically.

Does a Clarifying Shampoo Make my Perms Last Shorter?

Most stylists will recommend using a clarifying shampoo before getting your hair permed. After that, it should be avoided for the first 48 hours (no shampoo at all should not be used).

While some may experience a loosening of their perm after using a clarifying shampoo, this is rare. The longer you wait after having your hair permed, the more rare that it is.

Most are able to continue their clarifying treatments without shortening the life of their perm.

Does This Type of Shampoo Strip Out Hair Color?

If used improperly, a clarifying shampoo can strip hair color. It is recommended to clarify your hair before coloring your hair and then avoiding the treatment for about three weeks.

After that, you can clarify your hair safely about once a month with colored hair. There are some clarifying shampoos that are marketed towards women with colored hair.

Some women might be able to clarify more using these shampoos.

If your hair just isn’t the same, a single shampoo treatment can make all the difference. If you’ve tried coconut oil, jojoba oil or essential oils with no luck, it’s time to get serious.

When your hair seems dull or heavy, grab a bottle of clarifying shampoo and watch the transformation happen right before your eyes!