If your curly hair feels dry, tough to manage, and no moisturizer or styler seems to be working, then you may need a clarifying shampoo.
The thing with using products for curly hair is that it needs to reach your hair for it to be absorbed, and that is not possible with a build-up of product residue and silicones in the scalp that prevents your curls from looking their best.
The idea of using clarifying shampoos is that they remove all products built up and give you a clean slate. It is sort of an advanced version of your normal shampoo that removes excess oil and residual products making your curly hair easy to style.
So let us look at our picks for the Best Clarifying Shampoo for Curly Hair. But first let us explore in what circumstances you would need a clarifying shampoo.
Why would you need a Clarifying Shampoo for your curly hair?
There are a few scenarios where clarifying shampoo becomes especially important for curly hair.
One such scenario is when your curly hair is extremely dry due to buildup of gunk on the scalp of your hair or excessive product residue. This makes it much more susceptible to breakage. Using a clarifying shampoo helps enable your hair to take in more of the moisturizing and cleansing products.
Clarifying shampoo is also helpful for people living in areas where the water is hard. Hard water contains minerals like Calcium and Magnesium that tend to glue to the shaft of your hair making it tough for moisture to seep in ultimately causing weakening of your hair due to dryness.
If you hang out in swimming pools a lot, the chlorine can damage your hair and make them fragile. In this scenario clarifying shampoo works great, especially if you have curly hair.
Our Picks for the Best Clarifying Shampoo for Curly Hair
We have tried to include products that have a strong clarifying action. While some may be strong and can only be used infrequently, others can be used regularly, but each shampoo does a great job of clarifying your scalp.
cure Curiously Clarifying Shampoo
The best thing about this shampoo has to be the gentle formula that makes it uniquely ideal for regular washes.
The reason for that are the natural infusions of lemongrass and argan, which help to restore the moisture of your hair even with the clarifying action of the shampoo.
There are no parabens or sulfates that may be damaging to some people’s hair, and it is vegan friendly and made without any cruelty to animals, which matters to many consumers and is a nice touch.
The smell is refreshingly subtle but the price may unsettle some, especially with the quantity in the bottle decreasing over the past few years. That being said, it is an acceptable price to pay for natural ingredients and safe manufacturing practices.
Buy Acure Curiously Clarifying Shampoo
R+Co Oblivion Clarifying Shampoo
The R+Co Oblivion gives your curls a smooth, moist and lustrous look. This shampoo contains beneficial ingredients from various countries. It has coconut oil from Brazil, Rosemary extract from Spain.
Once you make your curls soft and thicker it makes them easier to manage. Besides that, this shampoo removes toxins and dirt from the hair as well.
Some users say that it does quite a thorough job at the cleansing so conditioning it afterward is a must.
Another plus is that its fragrance is a mixture of tangerine, Amber, Sicilian lemon, and green tea and will give you a sense of freshness.
The price is on the higher side but so is the quality of the product, so it is a reasonable compromise.
Buy R+Co Oblivion Clarifying Shampoo
Ouidad The Curl Experts Water Works Clarifying Shampoo
This is known to be one of the ideal clarifying shampoos if you have curly hair. It will make your curls become springy.
It is made of fresh citrus extracts which can help you eliminate build-up and product residue stuck in your hair while moisturizing your hair so that it does not become too dry. Besides that, the natural ingredients also make it suitable for people with a sensitive scalp. If you are a person that loves to get their hair colored, this shampoo could be the best option as it also works for colored hair without dulling your hair color and is great for long-term use in such a case.
Buy Ouidad The Curl Experts Clarifying Shampoo
MopTop Detox Shampoo
When you talk about the best clarifying shampoo for curly hair, the Mop Top Detox Shampoo definitely leaves a mark. It is popular for good reason with women following the “Curly Hair Method” where they let their curls be without relaxing them.
It is free of paraben, silicones, and sulfates and is suitable for all hair types.
It can have a drying effect on your hair, so it is only meant to be used once a month when product build-up and sebum residue becomes too irritating and damaging for your curly hair.
So if you have curls and want a complimentary shampoo to add to your regular hair care routine, this one is a great option.
Like the Acure Cleansing Shampoo though, the quantity seems to be a cause for concern for users, but since you will be using it once a month it should last you for a sufficient amount of time.
Tresemme Purify and Replenish Shampoo
It is a perfect shampoo for removing build-up and hair product residue from your hair. If your hair is dry this shampoo would be ideal because, apart from its cleansing property, it also provides moisturizing and nourishment to your hair.
The smell of this shampoo feels pleasant and fresh because of its fruity combination of peach, apple and lemon extracts.
Another factor you would love about this shampoo is its salon-like feeling after using it. You will feel that you have got a hair treatment from professionals.
It does contain sulfates so again, you may have to look elsewhere for a milder product.
Buy Tresemme Purify and Replenish Shampoo
CurlFriends Purify Clarifying Shampoo
When you want to be sure of the clarifying action of a shampoo, then this one from CurlFriends is a great option. It does a great job of washing chlorine, hard water or residual products.
It has a gentle citrusy scent which makes it easy to get used to, and adds volume to your hair with its salon-like qualities. It is meant to be used once a week to really work at its best.
So if you have a no-poo lifestyle but still need some cleansing, this could be a good product for your curly hair to add to your oils or conditioners.
It is free of alcohol and silicones, and no product is tested on animals, which is all good.
It is not free of sulfates, though, so you may have to choose something else if sulfate containing products dry your hair too much.
Buy CurlFriends Purify Clarifying Shampoo
Nothing but Clarifying Shampoo Sulfate Free
The best quality of this shampoo is that it is exactly as advertised. There are no parabens, sulfates, petroleum or mineral oils, yet it retains its effectiveness as a clarifying shampoo.
It is especially great at clearing the chlorine build-up that makes it an excellent choice for swimmers.
It is also extremely potent at removing hair color and also helps to remove henna.
The catch is that it can only be used once a month. And since it is going to dry your hair as it removes excess oil, you may want to use a nourishing conditioner afterward.
Buy Nothing but Clarifying Shampoo Sulfate Free
Paul Mitchell Shampoo Three
It is a perfect choice for people facing hair loss problems because it strengthens the hair strands, making your hair resistant to breakage.
It is an ideal choice for regular swimmers as it cleans minerals and chlorine you might get on your hair while swimming.
For colored hair, this shampoo should be used only once in a week. It is paraben-free with vegan-friendly ingredients in its formula.
Buy Paul Mitchell Shampoo Three
Avalon Organics Clarifying Lemon Shampoo
The organic formula that this shampoo contains is purely natural and certified. While using this shampoo you do not have to worry about hair damage as no severe chemicals are present in it.
One of the chief ingredients of the shampoo is Lemon essential oil, Aloe, and Vitamin E, which makes your hair brighten.
Another point to be considered is that it is EWG certified, free from sulfate, and biodegradable, which makes the shampoo clean and pure.
One factor that you might love is that the essential oil in the shampoo is all plant sourced and prevents your hair from drying up after the clarifying action.
Buy Avalon Organics Clarifying Lemon Shampoo
Neutrogena Anti-Residue Clarifying Shampoo
Neutrogena is one of the most reputed names in the cosmetics market. And this clarifying shampoo represents a major feather in their cap.
The shampoo can rid your hair of 90% of the residue and also adds volumes to your curls. You will also style your hair in much less time.
The formula is non irritating, but the scent isn’t that popular with consumers so you may want to take a sniff before using it.
The shampoo does use a sulfate in Sodium Laureth Sulfate which is the main reason why it has such a strong cleansing action due to the sulfation process, but it can also make it a bit drying to your hair when used frequently. So if you want something to use regularly, this may not be ideal.
Buy Neutrogena Anti-Residue Clarifying Shampoo
So we hope that your quest for the Best Clarifying Shampoo for Curly Hair is complete, and you have found the one product you were looking for. We have made sure to be as thorough in our review as possible and try to include products that best reflect the needs of the curly-haired tribe. Not every product is the same, and so knowing what product is tailor-made for your hair is necessary.
If you were to ask for our favorites from the list, it would have to be the Acure Curiously Clarifying Shampoo for regular use and the Mop Pop Detox Shampoo for occasional use.