Best Clarifying Shampoo – Which One Is For Me?

 Quick pick  Best clarifying shampoo to buy now

1. Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo

Much-loved brand Moroccanoil have now added a clarifying shampoo to their range. It claims to thoroughly cleanse the hair and scalp whilst helping to restore the moisture balance. It’s formulated with essential oils and removes impurities including chlorine.

Check it out now on Amazon

2. Paul Mitchell Shampoo 3 Clarifying

This product claims to remove build-up from hair to stop it from looking dull, strengthen hair and minimise future build-up. It removes chlorine, iron and minerals and is therefore a great choice for swimmers as it helps to prevent chlorine from giving hair that dreaded green tinge.

Check it out now on Amazon

3. Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo

This shampoo claims to remove 90% of the residue that leads to dull hair. You should use it once a week for best results and it’s suitable for all hair types.

Check it out now on Amazon



Modern life is hard on hair and experts will tell you that a good clarifying shampoo is an essential part of an effective hair-care regime. This post will tell you about clarifying shampoos and offer a guide to the best clarifying shampoo for you.

What are clarifying shampoos?

All shampoos clean your hair, right? So why would you need a clarifying shampoo, and how is it different to your regular shampoo?

Clarifying shampoos are specially formulated to remove the build up that can affect your hair over time. They contain more surfactants (which is a fancy word for a detergent) and less conditioners.

Pollution, hard water, hair products, your hair’s own oils, all these combine to create a layer that coats your hair, making it dull and sometimes lank. Dry shampoos, which have been having ‘a moment’ can also build up in your hair and create a dull look.

In addition to affecting the way your hair looks, this build up can affect the condition of your hair too. If you have a built-up coating on your hair, your conditioner will struggle to penetrate the hair shaft, which is how it does its important job. As a result, you may not be getting the full benefit of your conditioner either.

You might see shampoos that call themselves “purifying”, “detoxing” or “deep-cleansing” and these are really clarifying shampoos too.


What will the best clarifying shampoo do for my hair?

By gently stripping away the build up around your hair strands, your hair will be lighter, silkier and shinier. You should also find it easier to style your hair, with blow-dries looking fuller and styling tools and products working better.

If you swim regularly, there’s an added bonus for you. Many clarifying shampoos are formulated especially to strip away chlorine, protecting your hair from its effects and minimising the risk of that green tinge your hair can take on if you swim with highlighted or coloured hair.

A good clarifying shampoo will not dry your hair or damage it. Many are designed to not only gently cleanse your hair of any build-up, but also to nourish and feed your hair to help it achieve its maximum potential.

You might also consider using a clarifying shampoo before having your hair coloured – some hairstylists will tell you that a colour will ‘take’ better if your hair has been stripped of build-up a couple of days before the colouring is done.

How often should I use a clarifying shampoo?

Many clarifying shampoo instructions will advise you to use the product once or twice a week, with some even advising only fortnightly use.

There’s a trend for moving away from daily washing of hair due to the adverse effects it can have on your hair’s appearance and health. Unfortunately for hair, washing tends to be followed by styling. This means that frequently-washed hair is often also frequently-styled hair, which can lead to poor hair condition.

Some people have moved towards more infrequent washing with a clarifying shampoo and a good, nourishing conditioner to give their hair a break in between and keep it in tip-top condition.


Here is a fan of clarifying shampoo talking a bit about it and some of her favourite shampoos, two of which have been highlighted in this review:



Moroccanoil are a very popular salon brand these days and they also have a clarifying shampoo in their range now. There have been lots of positive reviews of this particular shampoo and here is a short video from Moroccanoil talking about this product:





What are the pros and cons of clarifying shampoo?


  • Remove the “dulling” effect of product and pollutant build-up
  • Help other products such as conditioners and styling products to work better
  • Reduce the need to wash hair so often, preserving hair condition


  • Some clarifying shampoos can be somewhat drying. If you have dry or damaged hair you might need to use them with more caution, or more infrequently than is recommended.
  • Some shampoos, especially salon products, can be quite expensive. This is especially true if you’re also buying the partner products, such as conditioners, to go with them.

Hopefully, this review has helped you to understand clarifying shampoos a little better and decide which is the best clarifying shampoo for you. You can find many different clarifying shampoos, including the top picks above, at Amazon.

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