When I made the switch from curly coils to straight, relaxed hair, I had to get used to a lot of new things.
One of them is getting product build-up faster, since oils and grease travel down straight locks faster than textured hair.
I shampooed my hair way more than when I had curly hair, but sometimes, my regular wash just didn’t cut it.
My hair still felt weighed down and almost way too straight and lifeless.
That’s when I discovered clarifying shampoo – a non-negotiable when it comes to caring for relaxed hair.
In this post, I’ll be discussing a few brands of my go-to clarifying shampoo for relaxed hair.
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What Is Clarifying Shampoo?
While your relaxed hair might love the feeling of moisturizing serums and frizz-defying gels, it might be doing your locks more harm than good over time.
You could end up with product build-up that clogs your follicles and coats your hair.
Silicones and other waxy ingredients could accumulate and build up on the surface of your hair strands.
When that happens, you can’t get the most out of your hair products, because the hair-loving ingredients and oils might not be penetrating the hair shaft properly due to the blockage.
Clarifying shampoos aim to detoxify and deeply cleanse your locks by removing all the product build-up that’s too stubborn for your regular shampoo to wash away.
They lift all those nasty minerals from your hair too, like chlorine from your pool and calcium from hard water.
Why It’s Important To Condition Your Hair After Using Clarifying Shampoo
Clarifying shampoos strip all the deposits and grease in your scalp.
Unfortunately, this also means getting rid of the natural moisture and sebum that conditions your hair.
These shampoos can be super drying, so it’s important to follow up with a hydrating conditioner.
It helps replenish all the lost moisture, which is especially important for relaxed hair that is chemically processed and prone to dryness, to begin with.
Plus, the extra shine, elasticity, and bounce won’t hurt.
When Can You Tell It’s Time To Clarify Your Relaxed Hair?
If you have relaxed hair, clarifying once or twice a month is something you can’t afford to miss.
Remember, getting your hair relaxed is a chemical process that leads to a certain degree of damage.
To nourish and repair your chemically processed hair, you need to make sure it’s properly cleaned.
If not, it won’t be able to drink up all the moisture and protein your products contain to strengthen and repair your locks.
There are signs you can look out for to know whether it’s time to give your relaxed hair a detox to eliminate build-up.
It’s Greasy And Weighed Down
One tell-tale sign that your hair needs clarifying is that it’s greasy and weighed down, no matter how much you wash it.
Heavy leave-in conditioners and creams can build up over time and make your hair so heavy that it looks like it’s sticking to the sides of your head.
A good clarifying shampoo will strip that gunk out of your hair and give it volume and bounce.
An itchy scalp is another sign that it’s time to get rid of all that build-up in your locks.
When products accumulate on your scalp, they can leave your roots clogged and congested, which can lead to itching.
One wash with a clarifying shampoo should be able to refresh your scalp.
Best Clarifying Shampoo For Relaxed Hair
The following are some of the clarifying shampoos that have worked well for me:
Kenra Clarifying Shampoo
This clarifying shampoo by professional brand Kenra is so good at eliminating minerals and product build-up from the hair that it’s used in salons to wash the hair before chemical treatments.
It zaps away up to 99% of build-up suffocating your strands.
You’ll also enjoy this shampoo if you have bleached and highlighted hair.
The color-safe formula increases the vibrancy and brightness of your color to make it look more alive.
The shampoo is also infused with humectants like aloe and honey to lightly condition the hair and add some shine back.
- Zaps away 99% of mineral deposits and product build-up
- Enhances the vibrancy of bleached and colored hair
- Contains aloe and honey to add shine to the hair
- Has a strong smell
Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo
Wash away the icky impurities in your hair while providing it the protein and moisture it needs with this luxurious clarifying shampoo by Moroccanoil.
It cleanses the hair deeply, allowing you to get weightless volume and body back.
At the same time, it nourishes your hair with hydrating argan oil, avocado oil, chamomile extracts, panthenol, and more.
The formula is also rich in keratin proteins to help rebuild the bonds of your hair that were damaged by your relaxing process.
- Cleanses the hair deeply to make it look weightless again
- Nourishes the hair with argan oil and other botanical extracts
- Has keratin proteins to repair damaged hair
- Doesn’t contain sulfates and parabens
Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two
Bring back that clean, fresh feeling in your hair with Paul Mitchell’s legendary Shampoo Two.
It cleanses deep in your scalp and hair to get rid of hard minerals and product build-up that makes your hair look dull and lackluster.
This formula helps minimize excess sebum production so that your hair won’t look super greasy throughout the day.
It also has a sharp and invigorating lemon scent to add extra freshness on wash day.
- Removes product and mineral build-up that makes the hair look dull
- Minimizes excess sebum production on the scalp
- Has a fresh lemon scent for an invigorating wash day
- Safe to use on colored and chemically treated hair
- It takes long to create a rich, foamy lather
Ion Hard Water Shampoo
If you live in an area with hard water or need to rely on well water for your baths, try out this shampoo.
It washes away any stubborn mineral deposits, consequently getting rid of dryness and roughness in your locks.
This shampoo even reverses any discoloration caused by minerals, be it a green tinge from chlorine or brassiness from hard water.
It also leaves your tresses shinier, more hydrated, and more manageable.
The formula is vegan and sulfate-free, making it suitable for relaxed and chemically treated hair.
- Washes away stubborn mineral deposits from hard and well water
- Reverses mineral discoloration in light-colored hair
- Leaves the hair shinier and more manageable
- The formula is vegan and sulfate-free
- Has a very watery consistency, which can be messy
Bumble and Bumble Sunday Shampoo
Make clarifying your hair a weekly habit with this Sunday Shampoo by Bumble and Bumble.
It purifies your hair, removing all the toxins and dirt from all your heavy creams and products from the week.
It’s infused with botanical extracts from ginseng, rosemary, and sage to stimulate and strengthen the scalp.
This helps refresh and rejuvenate your scalp, bringing it back to life from being congested and suffocated by build-up.
- Detoxifies your hair of the week’s grease and product build-up
- Contains ginseng, rosemary, and sage extracts to refresh the scalp
- Doesn’t contain irritating ingredients like parabens, mineral oil, and phthalates
- Not suitable for color-treated hair because it contains sulfates
Hask Charcoal Clarifying Shampoo
Charcoal is a powerhouse ingredient for zapping away excess oil and build-up in your hair.
That’s precisely why it’s the hero ingredient of this clarifying shampoo by Hask.
The charcoal in this shampoo is derived from coconut shells and works to absorb all the gunk and grime stuck in your scalp.
It also has lemon and grapefruit oils to refresh your congested scalp.
The formula is gentle and sulfate-free, so it’s perfect for your relaxed hair that shouldn’t tolerate harsh ingredients.
- Coconut-derived charcoal absorbs all the gunk and grime in your hair
- Formulated with citrus extracts to refresh your congested scalp
- Sulfate-free and gentle enough for relaxed and colored hair
- Leaves the hair very dry, so you always need to follow up with conditioner
Zotos Quantum Clarifying Shampoo
Clarifying shampoos get a bad rap for drying out the hair too much.
If you want to wash away all the build-up and minerals in your relaxed hair while still maintaining softness, you’ll love this shampoo.
It eliminates all the nasty build-up weighing your sleek locks down, bringing back shine and volume.
The formula contains the brand’s unique EQL-3 Complex, made up of vitamin E, sweet almond extracts, and proteins to strengthen and condition your hair.
That way, your locks will feel smooth and silky, never dehydrated and stripped.
- Washes away product build-up to add shine and volume
- Vitamin E, sweet almond extracts, and protein strengthen the hair
- Leaves the hair soft instead of drying it out
- Can leave a film on your scalp if not thoroughly rinsed out
Neutrogena Anti-Residue Clarifying Shampoo
If you’re looking for a simple, no-fuss clarifying shampoo that gets the job done, check out this one by personal care giant Neutrogena.
It’s made to instantly zap away 90% of the deposits and product build-up that are making your hair look dull and heavy.
By getting rid of this unwanted grime, it boosts volume, bouncy, and body in your locks.
- Instantly eliminates 90% of product build-up and grease in your scalp
- Boosts volume and bounce in your hair
- Gentle formula is perfect for all hair types, including chemically-treated hair
- Very affordable for the amount of product you get in a bottle
- Has a strong, incense-like fragrance that can be overwhelming to some users
Suave Naturals Daily Clarifying Shampoo
Detoxify your hair without breaking the bank with this non-stripping clarifying shampoo by Suave Naturals.
It works to eliminate all the icky residue in your scalp without being too drying.
Instead, it leaves your hair looking shiny, glossy, and subtlely hydrated.
The formula is also hypoallergenic and pH-balanced, so it’s perfectly gentle on sensitive scalps.
It’s terrific for delicate, relaxed hair like yours.
- Eliminates icky residue on your scalp without being too drying
- Makes your hair look shiny and glossy
- Hypoallergenic and pH-balanced, so you know it’s gentle on your scalp
- Leaves your hair with a fresh and clean scent that lingers
- The fragrance may be too long-lasting for those with a sensitive nose
Avalon Organics Clarifying Lemon Shampoo
For a fresh and fruity scent, try out this natural shampoo by Avalon Organics.
It’s infused with lemon essential oil to help remove product build-up in your scalp, giving your hair more shine again.
The lemon also leaves your hair smelling sweet!
This shampoo also contains aloe and vitamin E to soften and condition your hair, as well as quinoa proteins to strengthen and repair hair damage from your relaxing treatments.
- Removes product build-up to give your hair luminosity
- Aloe, vitamin E, and quinoa proteins strengthen and condition your hair
- Doesn’t contain sulfates, artificial fragrances, and dyes
- Lemon essential oil leaves your hair smelling fresh and fruity
- Doesn’t give much of a foamy lather
As I Am Curl Clarity Shampoo
Just because your hair is relaxed, it doesn’t mean it should always look flat and lifeless.
Bring shine and gloss back to your tresses with this clarifying shampoo by As I Am.
It eliminates product build-up to make your tresses look more lustrous.
Simultaneously, it hydrates your hair lightly to make detangling the new growth easier while in the shower.
It even has coconut, amla, and tangerine extracts for nourishment and to add a fruity scent to your mane.
- Eliminates build-up to bring the shine back to your hair
- Hydrating enough to make detangling locks easier
- Has coconut, amla, and tangerine extracts for a sweet and fruity scent
- Free of sulfates, which is perfect for chemically treated hair
- Has a very runny consistency that makes it hard to use
Just because your hair is smoother and less frizzy than it used to be now that it’s relaxed, it doesn’t mean you should slack on your wash days.
Incorporating a high-quality clarifying shampoo will do wonders for your hair’s volume, silkiness, and body.
If you’ve been looking for a clarifying shampoo for relaxed hair, I hope this review will be helpful.
Check out any of these holy grail clarifying shampoos to refresh stressed-out hair and bring flat, limp locks back to life!