Skip to main content

10 of the best clarifying shampoos for super soft and silky hair

10 of the best clarifying shampoos for super soft and silky hair
Team LF
Writer and expert1 year ago
View Team LF's profile

Clarifying shampoo might not sound like the nicest thing to use in your haircare routine, but if you want big, bouncy and healthy locks, it's something you need.

What is a clarifying shampoo?

Our hair strands cling onto anything and everything. Pollution particles, chlorine, shampoo, conditioner and hair masks can all build-up and leave locks limp, oily and looking less than healthy.

Clarifying shampoos are designed to deep-clean the hair and scalp, and leave locks revitalised and refreshed. They often contain purifying ingredients like tea tree and witch hazel, which remove excess sebum, oil and impurities.

How often should I use a clarifying shampoo?

How often you use a clarifying shampoo really does depend on your hair type and condition.

Finer hair types might find they need to use it once a week to remove product build-up, while coarser, thicker hair types might get away with using one once per month.

Additionally, your environment can have a big impact on how often you use a clarifying shampoo. Swimmers for example might need to use them twice per week to remove chlorine, and anyone living in a built-up city will need to use them once per week to remove pollution particles.

Clarifying shampoo vs dry shampoo

People often confuse clarifying shampoo with dry shampoo, as they associate them both with removing excess oil.

While they do, clarifying shampoos are designed to be used on wet hair and provide longer-term benefits to hair health, while dry shampoos instantly absorb excess oil for a short period of time and are perfect for travelling and heading to festivals.

Which is the best clarifying shampoo for me?

  1. Christophe Robin Clarifying Shampoo
  2. Pureology Purify Colour Care Shampoo
  3. Bumble and Bumble Sunday Shampoo
  4. L'Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Instant Clear Shampoo
  5. System Professional Purify Shampeeling
  6. Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo
  7. Joico K-Pak Clarifying Shampoo
  8. AMELIORATE Clarifying Shampoo
  9. ESPA Purifying Shampoo
  10. Kérastase Specifique Bain Divalent Shampoo
  • 1.Pureology Purify Colour Care Shampoo

    Pureology Purify Colour Care Shampoo
    4.35 Stars 26 Reviews
    Anyone with coloured hair wishing to clarify their hair and scalp should use the Pureology Purify Colour Care Shampoo. Their Zerosulfate formula helps to gently cleanse coloured locks without disrupting dye or highlights, while a blend of triple chelators (witch hazel, baking soda and tea tree oil) helps to effectively eliminate product build-up and excess sebum in the hair. It also contains a blend of organic botanicals like aloe and rosemary, along with their signature fragrance blend of peppermint to fragrance the hair. Perfect for: Coloured hair
  • 2.Bumble and Bumble Sunday Shampoo

    Bumble and Bumble Sunday Shampoo
    4.42 Stars 19 Reviews
    Like its name suggests, Bumble and Bumble's Sunday Shampoo is perfect for that Sunday night cleanse when you want revitalised locks for the week ahead. Formulated with rosemary, ginseng and sage, the clarifying shampoo not only has a herbal and earthy fragrance, it gently cleanses away impurities and excess oil to leave locks revitalised and refreshed. The only thing to be conscious of with this shampoo is that it isn't suitable for coloured hair as it will remove dye and pigment. Perfect for: Removing colour / non-coloured hair
  • 3.L'Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Instant Clear Shampoo

    L'Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Instant Clear Shampoo
    3.33 Stars 3 Reviews
    Not only does the L'Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Instant Clear Shampoo bottle look great on the bathroom shelf, it really works to gently cleanse away impurities and build-up for a revitalised scalp. It contains the key ingredient zinc pyrithione, which clarifies whilst also soothing itchy and irritated scalps and helping to prevent flakiness from dehydrated hair and skin. Perfect for: Flaky and irriated scalps
  • 4.System Professional Purify Shampeeling

    System Professional Purify Shampeeling
    A unique clarifying shampoo alternative, the System Professional Purify Shampeeling is a treatment designed to cleanse hair whilst also fighting against dandruff and scalp problems. If you suffer with an especially oily or irritated scalp, this treatment will help to calm and rebalance. It contains the brands unique Dermapure Complex which eliminates dandruff-causing bacteria for a revitalised and healthy scalp environment. Perfect for: Dandruff and oily scalps
  • 5.Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo

    Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo
    5 Stars 1 Reviews
    If you have dehydrated hair in need of some TLC, but you're also noticing lack of volume and a little more oil at the roots than usual, you will love Moroccanoil's Clarifying Shampoo. Free from sulphates, parabens and phosphates, the shampoo is suitable for coloured locks, and contains moisture-rich argan and avocado oils, alongside keratin, jojoba and chamomile to nourish and calm down irritated hair and scalps. Perfect for: Dehydrated hair
  • 6.Joico K-Pak Clarifying Shampoo

    Joico K-Pak Clarifying Shampoo
    4.7 Stars 23 Reviews
    If you're a swimmer, or live in an area with hard, unfiltered water, then you will love the Joico K-Pak Clarifying Shampoo. Rich in amino acids, aloe vera and Vitamin E, the shampoo doesn't weigh the hair down, but it does provide gentle moisture to keep hydration levels balanced and hair healthy. It's also great for weakened locks, especially if they are subjected to chemicals like chlorine, and not only need to be purified, but also well moisturised. Perfect for: Swimmers and hard-water areas
  • 7.AMELIORATE Clarifying Shampoo

    AMELIORATE Clarifying Shampoo
    Offering soothing relief to flaky, itchy and dry scalps, AMELIORATE’s mild and pH-balanced Clarifying Shampoo performs a deep and effective cleanse on hair, lifting dirt, skin and impurities for a purified feel. Perfect for: Itchy, flaky scalps
  • 8.ESPA Purifying Shampoo

    ESPA Purifying Shampoo
    4.25 Stars 8 Reviews
    If you have a sensitive scalp which doesn't react well to traditional clarifying shampoo formulations, you will love ESPA's Purifying Shampoo. Enriched with moisture-loving ingredients like coconut, jojoba and olive oils, the clarifying shampoo gently conditions as it purifies the hair and scalp. It helps to remove product build-up, and leave your locks cleansed and bouncy. Plus, it's free from silicones, SLS and SLES. Perfect for: Sensitive scalps
  • 9.Kérastase Specifique Bain Divalent Shampoo

    Kérastase Specifique Bain Divalent Shampoo
    4.23 Stars 65 Reviews
    The silicone-free formula of Kérastase's Specifique Bain Divalent Shampoo is ideal for hair types that have oily roots and dry ends; think combination skin in hair. It helps remove excess sebum from the scalp so that hair appears less oily and has more volume and bounce. Yet, it also helps to balance out dehydration thanks to its blend of glycerine and Vitamin E which moisturise without weighing hair down. Perfect for: Oily roots and dry ends
Team LF
Writer and expert
View Team LF's profile
Our team of beauty experts cover everything from makeup to skincare, picking out the most effective products from the best brands and latest trends. Stay up to date on everything beauty with the LOOKFANTASTIC blog, and find all your essentials in one place.