One of These Clarifying Shampoos is Exactly What Your Filthy Hair Needs Right Now

Undo the effects of salt, chlorine, too much hair dye, pollution, pollen, product, and just gunk in general.
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Publish date:
April 21, 2015
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paul mitchell, Moroccanoil, shampoo, Avalon Organics, clarifying shampoo, Nature's Gate

Whether you like pro shampoos or naturals, you can find an effective clarifying shampoo to get the job done when you really need it. There are times when, as Tim the Tool Man Taylor says, you just need MORE POWER! So ditch that shower cap and accept the fact that it's time to bathe.

Here’s five radical clarifying shampoos with different bonus effects, but one main action: super-duper-deep cleansing!


Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Lemon Sage Thickening Shampoo

I have been addicted to this shampoo for at least eight years. It has an intensely fragrant herbal and citrus scent that just hooks you from the jump.

There really is no better shampoo for those seeking volume, as it deep-cleans, which bulks up strands of all textures. Sage and tea tree oils stimulate the scalp while lemon clarifies, and panthenol surrounds each piece of hair to fill in any holes in the cuticle. This is some spa ish.

4/5 Cat Heart Eye Emojis

Avalon Organics Clarifying Lemon Shampoo

This is like Lemon Sage’s fragile-hair cousin! I really like this shampoo and the smell is excellent, and I think it's better suited as a regular cleanser, especially for blondes, who may find this to be their goldilocks clarifier.

You get a decent foam from this poo, and a second wash leaves blonde hair (yellow in my case) looking even brighter than before. Use this shampoo after the beach if you are a sun worshipper; it would leave the right amount of salt in for perfect waves!

2.5/5 Cat Heart Eye Emojis

Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo

Moroccanoil shampoos are pretty great for dry hair as it is, and their clarifying formula is a step up for those who seek clean hair that is also soft.

Unlike their original formula, this version simultaneously deep-cleans while leaving a lighter version of their familiar finish. Hair is super-clean but also soft. This one is a lot foamier than the OG, and I quite enjoyed it! Use it before a deep conditioner for a power coupling that will soften even the most parched hair.

3/5 Cat Heart Eye Emojis

Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two

Crucial cleanser! If you are a big serum or hairspray user, this is what you must reach for. Perfect for a color balance a.k.a. soap cap, Shampoo Two cleanses very deeply without stripping hair. I find it makes hair feel like you don’t have a stitch of silicone in sight, but aloe, awapuhi and henna extracts leave the hair shiny and smooth.

3/5 Cat Heart Eye Emojis

Nature’s Gate Daily Cleanse Herbal Shampoo

Mmmmmm. This scent is lush! I think its equal parts Embryolisse Lait Creme and Wella Balsam Shampoo, if you will. I think it’s the combination of chamomile and lavender, which also happen to be fab hair flowers.

This is a really great choice for vegans. It cleanses thoroughly but leaves hair in good shape, and the smell is perplexing and unique. Sulfate- and cruelty-free, this shampoo is also super cheap at just $5.49.

3.5/5 Cat Heart Eye Emojis

There's something for all of us in this selection, 4/5 of them under $14--no reason not to keep a clarifier on hand!

I suggest bi-weekly clarifying to just get the gunk out every so often, especially before a deep conditioner--it will help it penetrate even deeper. You can also use a clarifying shampoo to undo the effects of salt, chlorine, too much hair dye, pollution, pollen, and product. It's a win/win!

  • What's your fav clarifier?
  • Have you done the Pantene Ice, not to be confused with Dentyne Ice?

Photos: Darnell Scott