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How to Use Clarifying Shampoo to Detoxify Your Hair and Scalp

Give your mane a deep clean with a detoxifying shampoo.
December 05, 2023

If your hair sometimes looks dull, flat or oily even after you’ve washed it with your go-to shampoo and conditioner, you may have to switch up your hair care habits a bit. Perhaps you’ve gone a bit overboard with styling products, or your hair simply needs a refresh. Clarifying shampoo — a special kind of shampoo reserved for when you need a real deep clean — is where you can turn. 

It’s one of the most beneficial hair care products, but it’s often overlooked. If you're not familiar with clarifying shampoo, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading for everything you need to know about a clarifying shampoo, and how to introduce it into your hair care routine. 

What Is Clarifying Shampoo?

Over time, your hair and scalp collect a buildup of dirt, oil, styling products, and residue from your shampoo and conditioner. That’s exactly where a clarifying shampoo comes into play. Also referred to as a detoxifying shampoo, a clarifying shampoo gives your hair an extra deep cleansing to rid it of any impurities, leaving it “clarified” and ultra-clean.

Clarifying shampoo for curly hair can also help reset your curls by removing buildup and revive your natural curl pattern. This hair care product works by eliminating any residue from your hair and scalp without dehydrating your skin or strands. 

How Often Should You Use a Clarifying Shampoo?

You won’t need to use this product daily to rebalance hair. Instead, add a clarifying shampoo to your weekly or monthly hair care routine. How often you use a clarifying shampoo will ultimately depend on the amount of buildup on your scalp. 

If you have curly hair, you may need to use a clarifying shampoo more regularly (once a week or every other week) especially if you use a lot of styling products or wait several days between hair washes. Also, you can use clarifying shampoo on your color-treated hair, just be mindful of how often you’re washing your mane. 

Wash your color-treated hair with a clarifying shampoo once a month to cleanse your scalp. To combat any fading, opt for a sulfate-free clarifying shampoo to minimize fading and add an in-shower color gloss to revitalize the hues in your hair. Try L’Oréal Paris Le Color Gloss One Step In-Shower Toning Gloss in one of 15 shades (including Clear and Copper) to match the hair color you’re currently sporting. 

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How to Use Clarifying Shampoo

If you’re ready to start using a clarifying shampoo, follow the steps below to use the detoxifying hair care product the right way.


Step 1. Start With Drenched Hair

It might seem unnecessary to remind you of this step, but a good shampooing session begins with wet, saturated hair that’s ready for any hair care products going on top. This is a particularly important step for those with low hair porosity, meaning your strands don’t absorb water as well. Make sure every part of your hair is fully soaked with water before adding shampoo. 

Step 2. Apply Shampoo to Your Root

Focus your shampoo application on the scalp area and root of your hair — per the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). Avoid directly applying shampoo to the length of your hair as this part of your mane is more prone to dryness since it’s further from the oils produced from your scalp. If needed, part your hair for the most thorough hair washing and apply a dime- to quarter-size amount of clarifying shampoo to your entire head. 

If you have short or thin hair a dime-size amount should work, and for those with curly or long hair start with a quarter-size amount before adding more shampoo. Massage the formula onto wet hair — focusing on your scalp, as that’s where excess oil and buildup gathers — and then lather before rubbing the clarifying shampoo into the length of your hair. 

Step 3.  Finish With a Conditioner

To complete your clarifying hair care routine, you’ll want to follow up your shampoo with a moisturizing conditioner. Regardless of your hair type or how nourished you think your hair is, always use conditioner after shampooing your hair. While shampoo cleanses your hair of too much oil, conditioner is important for adding moisture back to your strands. 

Our Best Clarifying Shampoos

Now that you know more about what a clarifying shampoo is and how to use it, you may be itching to get your hands on one. Below, we're sharing the best picks from L’Oréal Paris that will help you revive your hair.

L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Clarifying Shampoo with Antioxidants

This shampoo detoxes all hair types — including color-treated hair — to revitalize strands for a brighter and more vibrant color. The formulation of antioxidants, vitamin C and glycine removes impurities and any stubborn product buildup for weightless, more nourished tresses. You’ll experience salon-like quality with the creamy shampoo that cleanses and locks in hydration while adding a pleasant scent of cedarwood, citrus and neroli. 

After cleansing your hair with this clarifying shampoo, add moisture with L’Oréal Patis EverPure Sulfate-Free Restoring Conditioner with Antioxidants, which locks in nourishment for brighter strands, replenished with hydrating nutrients. 

L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Micellar Shampoo

Micellar shampoo is a type of clarifying shampoo that’s gentle on the hair, making it ideal for dry hair that always needs hydration. Perfect for curly hair, coily hair and any protective style, this micellar shampoo makes it easy to target buildup with the liquid-to-foam formula and pointed nozzle.

This shampoo is infused with hyaluronic acid and fine castor oil to add long-lasting moisture while detoxifying product buildup, dirt, sweat and oil. Continue your in-shower hair care routine with L’Oréal Paris Dream Lengths Curls Moisture Seal Conditioner which detangles and adds moisture to your hair without weighing down curls or coils. 

Next: The Best Shampoo for Every Hair Type and Everyone

Photo Courtesy of L’Oréal Paris; Photo Design: Sarah Duvivier

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