Post last updated: 14/03/2023
If you want big, bouncy and healthy locks, a clarifying shampoo is a must-have in your haircare routine.
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 you 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.
What is the difference between a clarifying shampoo and a 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.
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Ever wondered how exactly dry shampoo works? Discover everything you need to know about dry shampoo, as well as our favourite dry shampoos available.
Our Picks of the Best Clarifying Shampoos for all Hair Types
- Olaplex No. 4C Bond Maintenance Clarifying Shampoo
- Christophe Robin Purifying Shampoo
- Bumble and Bumble Sunday Shampoo
- VICHY Dercos Anti-Dandruff Purifying Scalp Shampoo for Normal to Oily Hair
- System Professional Purify Shampeeling
- Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo
- Joico K-Pak Clarifying Shampoo
- AMELIORATE Clarifying Shampoo
- ESPA Purifying Shampoo
- OUAI Detox Shampoo
1.Olaplex No. 4C Bond Maintenance Clarifying ShampooDesigned to be used weekly in place of your regular shampoo, this clarifying formula removes impurities, build-up, pollutants, excess product and chlorine from the hair to leave it feeling fresh and looking healthy. The No.4C Bond Maintenance Clarifying Shampoo boasts the brand's famous Bond Building Technology that helps to repair broken strands, whilst the purifying blend allows for healthier hair growth for an overall fuller finish with more body and bounce.
- Best for: All hair types
- What do LF Customers say: "My kids swim 3x a week. Using this ensures that we get all the chlorine out." Read all reviews here
2.Christophe Robin Clarifying ShampooAn ultra-nourishing shampoo that cleanses and detoxifies the scalp helping to reduce oily roots and soften hair. Infused with baltic sea red algae and designed to keep your hair feeling fresher for longer.
- Best for: Oily to normal hair
- What do LF Customers say: "Roots are fresh for two days."
3.Bumble and Bumble Sunday ShampooLike 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.
- Best for: Non-coloured hair
- What do LF Customers say: "This shampoo is not drying out my curls. Always feels nice and clean after use." Read all reviews here
4.VICHY Dercos Anti-Dandruff Purifying Scalp Shampoo for Normal to Oily Hair
VICHY Dercos Anti-Dandruff Purifying Scalp Shampoo for Normal to Oily Hair4.54 Stars 201 Reviews£12.50Working to remove excess oil and dandruff flakes, this gentle yet effective shampoo from VICHY harnesses exfoliating salicylic acid and selenium disulfide to purify the scalp and strands. The shampoo foams up on application and helps to soothe the scalp, cleansing without stripping moisture for a more comfortable and refreshed finish.
- Best for: Flaky and irritated scalps
- What do LF Customers say: "This is by far the best fast acting shampoo I’ve used, worth every penny." Read all reviews here
5.System Professional Purify ShampeelingA 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.
- Best for: Persistent dandruff and oily scalps
6.Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special ShampooInfused with refreshing and invigorating tea tree oil, the Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo boasts antibacterial properties that help to keep the scalp and hair healthy and free from irritation. Helping to strengthen the hair, the lightweight shampoo won't weigh down strands and helps to remove impurities for a more voluminous and healthier head of hair.
- Best for: Build-up and itchy scalps
- What do LF Customers say: "Itchy scalp no more within a couple of washes." Read all reviews here
7.Joico K-Pak Clarifying ShampooIf 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.
- Best for: Swimmers and hard-water areas
- What do LF Customers say: "This is great for when I have used a lot of products in my hair for styling or it feels a little dull and needs a refresh." Read all reviews here
8.AMELIORATE Clarifying ShampooOffering 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.
- Best for: Itchy, flaky scalps
- What do LF Customers say: "After using for a week, the difference in scalp condition is very noticeable!"
9.ESPA Purifying ShampooIf 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.
- Best for: Sensitive scalps and colour-treated hair
- What do LF Customers say: "It leaves my hair clean, frizz free and very soft." Read all reviews here
10.OUAI Detox ShampooWorking on both the scalp and hair from root-to-tip, the OUAI Detox Shampoo is a gentle formula that lathers up on contact to refresh the whole head. Enriched with apple cider vinegar and keratin, the shampoo removes dirt, excess oil, hard water deposits and product build-up and helps strengthen the hair for a smoother appearance.
- Best for: All hair types
- What do LF Customers say: "I’m on my three bottles and it the best shampoo ever." Read all reviews here
Shop all Clarifying Shampoos on LOOKFANTASTIC.