Why you should try using a clarifying shampoo

In need of a hair detox? Consider this guide your holy grail.

Have you ever had a day when your hair just feels weighed down, greasy, and unruly, no matter what you do? Or maybe your trusted shampoo and conditioner aren’t working as well they used to? Well, if that’s the case, it’s probably time for you to try a clarifying shampoo.

You’ve probably heard lots about these cleansing shampoos, but do you really know what a clarifying shampoo is – and how to use it? If the answer is no, don’t worry: we’ve got the low-down and can tell you who really benefits from trying it (short answer: everyone does!). Don’t think you need one? If you’re a regular colour chameleon, someone who loads up on styling products (including oils, hairsprays, mousses and beyond), or even a frequent swimmer, you do. Here’s why…

What is a clarifying shampoo?

When a shampoo bottle has the words “clarifying”, “purifying” or “detox” written on it, it means it’s designed to give your hair a deep spring clean by removing stubborn build-up. Think of all the products you use on your hair on a daily basis to keep it under control – from serums and waxes to oils and dry shampoo –  these eventually take a toll on your locks. Even your favourite shampoo and conditioner can contribute to product build up! As soon as you notice your hair feeling weighed down, it means it’s high time for a hair detox.

Clarifying shampoos, such as the TRESemmé Cleanse & Replenish Deep Cleansing Shampoo (£4.99*) also work wonders for those who love to go swimming. Chlorine and sea water aren’t good for your locks, and while a mild shampoo won’t get rid of this chemical build up, a clarifying shampoo will.

Want to detox your tresses? Why not try a clarifying shampoo?

The difference between clarifying shampoos and regular shampoos

Many wrongly believe their normal shampoo works the same way as a clarifying version, but there’s a big difference between their formulations. A regular shampoo is mild and made to gently cleanse your scalp and tresses. In order to leave your locks glossy and healthier-looking, these shampoos will have a lower portion of surfactants (cleansing agents) and more nourishing properties, which won’t leave your hair as squeaky clean as a clarifying shampoo will.

Following that train of thought, a clarifying shampoo is all about detoxifying your hair by wiping the slate clean and removing all unwanted residues. To do so, its formulation needs higher surfactants and less conditioning properties. This makes clarifying shampoo more astringent, so yes, frequent use will strip your hair of its natural oils (which is why day-to-day use isn’t recommended). In less frequent doses, though, it’s a fantastic addition to your hair care routine. The rule of thumb? Use an ‘apply when needed’ approach (fortnightly is fine; once a week is ample), and always make sure to follow with a hydrating deep conditioning treatment, like the Dove Intensive Repair Treatment Mask (£4.59*). Using a clarifying shampoo beforehand will allow the deep conditioner to penetrate more effectively, and also revitalise strands to bring back healthy-looking shine to your hair.

Did you know that using a clarifying shampoo can help hair dyes deposit better, too?

How should you use a clarifying shampoo?

While these shampoos are not to be used at the same frequency of a regular version, using them is no different than using any other shampoo. Simply work a small amount through your roots, then massage into your scalp for one minute and rinse it out.

Clarifying shampoos actually have some other notable uses, too: consider using one if you want your new hair colour to deposit much better, for example (preferably one or two days before you get it done).

Want to kick-start a new hair care routine? Take the plunge and give your locks a clarifying wash! If you have blonde hair, keep brass at bay with the help of clarifying shampoos (alongside a silver shampoo), to help you keep vibrant blonde tones.

*RRPs are Unilever suggested retail prices only, it is at the discretion of the individual retailers to set the actual price.

Sign up to our newsletter and get exclusive hair care tips and tricks from the experts at All Things Hair.