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How to Choose the Best Clarifying Shampoo for Natural Hair

7 mins

Andela Patrnogic

Why does your natural hair need clarifying shampoo, and which one to use? Keep reading to find out the answer.

Natural hair has a unique beauty to it, and it deserves the proper care to maintain. Natural hair maintains lively curls without any added chemicals or products and takes special attention to keep the curls vibrant and voluminous.

Properly treating natural hair requires using moisturizers, conditioners, and oils, among other products. Therefore, when washing natural hair, you want to use a product that will remove all product residue and give the hair a fresh start, which is where a clarifying shampoo matters.

Table of contents:

  • What Is Clarifying Shampoo?
  • Why Use a Clarifying Shampoo for Natural Hair?
  • How To Tell When You Should Clarify Your Hair
  • Residue
  • Dull Appearance
  • Scalp Discomfort
  • Dull Texture
  • What To Look for in a Clarifying Shampoo
  • How To Use Clarifying Shampoo
  • How Often Should I Shampoo Natural Hair?
  • What Are Good Shampoo Options for Natural Hair?
  • WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo
  • WOW Activated Charcoal & Keratin Shampoo
  • WOW Green Tea and Tea Tree Shampoo
  • How To Support Natural Hair Health
  • Hair Oil
  • Hair Mask
  • Micellar Water

What Is Clarifying Shampoo?

Clarifying shampoos are more powerful than standard shampoos, which makes them great for removing extensive oil or product build-up. Because they have such strong cleansing power, you should use a clarifying shampoo much less frequently than a standard shampoo. Still, periodic use of a clarifying shampoo allows you to remove all contaminants from the scalp, cleanse your curls and restore shine.

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Why Use a Clarifying Shampoo for Natural Hair?

Natural hair is voluminous, bouncy, and beautifully curly and needs a shampoo that will be able to cleanse each strand and deep into the scalp. Because of its volume and curls, natural hair can trap in oils and dirt all the way down to the scalp.

Natural hair often uses a lot of products to keep it beautifully maintained. The downside to this is that these products can start to build up and remain in the curls and on the scalp over time. The excessive build-up is harmful as it can irritate the scalp, dry out your hair, cause frizz, and lead to a dull appearance.

Clarifying shampoo is the perfect solution as it can penetrate the hair follicles and down into the scalp to keep natural hair healthy, lustrous, and lively. Removing build-up from the hair can encourage growth and cleanse deeply for a softer texture and shinier appearance. Therefore, a clarifying shampoo should be a consistent part of an effective hair care routine.

How To Tell When You Should Clarify Your Hair

Maintaining beautiful natural hair takes a lot of work. Sometimes it takes a lot of guesswork as you try to figure out how often your hair needs certain treatments. A lot of these decisions depend on paying attention to your hair and seeing how it responds to your care. 

The same often goes for determining when to do a deep wash. Once you notice any of the following factors, it is probably time to clarify your hair.

  • Residue

If you run your fingers through your hair and feel a film or residue coating your hair, then it is not as clean as it should be. This residue may be from dirt, pollutants, or built-up hair care product remnants. The right shampoo will remove this residue right away.

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  • Dull Appearance

Although naturally, curly hair does not have the same natural shine as other hair types, you can tell when it is missing its luster. If your hair does not seem as vibrant as it usually does, then dirt and oil build-up may be playing a role in reducing the shine of your hair. Removing the build-up with a good shampoo will restore its shine.

  • Scalp Discomfort

There are several conditions that can create an uncomfortable scalp, like dandruff, itching, flaking, or sensitivity. If you notice any of these, and it is a consistent problem, then you should do a deep shampoo of your hair. For a very irritated scalp, consider choosing a shampoo that has soothing ingredients, like aloe, green tea, or tea tree oil.

  • Dull Texture

Natural curls have a natural spring or bounce to them. When your hair seems to lack the liveliness that you are used to, it may be missing key nutrients, affected by dirt build-up, or in need of a pick-me-up. Cleaning your hair with a nutrient-rich shampoo will help introduce nutrients, repair damage, and bring back your hair's bounce.

What To Look for in a Clarifying Shampoo

Before starting the process, you want to pick the right shampoo to maximize the benefits of the clarifying process. 

What To Look for in a Clarifying Shampoo, best clarifying shampoos for natural hair

Choosing a clarifying shampoo can take time because ingredients matter a great deal, but it is important to ensure you choose a product that will provide your hair with vital nutrients and not damaging filler ingredients. When looking for a clarifying shampoo to include in your routine, you should choose a product with the following:

  • No Harsh Chemicals

As with any hair care product, there are a few ingredients you should look out for and avoid. Harsh ingredients can dry out your hair, cause damage, and irritate your scalp. A good shampoo should nourish your hair, not harm it. Some of the most important ingredients to avoid include:

  1. Parabens
  2. Sulfates
  3. Unnecessary fragrances
  • Natural, Nutritious Ingredients

Not only do you want to avoid harsh ingredients, but you will also want to choose a product that has nourishing ingredients. A product that includes natural ingredients will provide your hair with important vitamins and nutrients that provide far more additional benefits than just cleaning your hair. Vitamin-rich ingredients to search for include the following:

  1. Almond oil
  2. Apple cider vinegar
    detox shampoo for natural hair
  3. Olive oil
  4. Jojoba oil
  • Hydrating Power

The key to maintaining healthy, voluminous natural hair is hydration. Shampoos can have a drying effect on the hair as they wash out the natural oil produced by the scalp, called sebum. However, a formula composed of moisturizing ingredients can limit the dehydrating effects of shampoo.

washing the hair, clarifying shampoo natural hair

Some great hydrating ingredients include those that incorporate antioxidants or essential fatty acids, like the following:

  1. Argan oil
  2. Aloe vera
  3. Coconut milk
  4. Rose hydrosol

How To Use Clarifying Shampoo

Clarifying shampoo is easy to incorporate into your hair care routine and is, for the most part, the same as washing your hair with any other shampoo. To deeply cleanse your hair, just follow a few key steps.

1. Rinse Your Hair

Prepare your hair by rinsing it well with water. Rinsing will start removing some of the dirt and contaminants. More importantly, wet hair will be much easier to work with and allow for a better lather once you apply shampoo.

2. Apply the Shampoo

Once the hair is nice and wet, prepare a generous amount of shampoo in your palm. Then, apply it throughout the hair, from the roots to the ends, and massage it onto your scalp using your fingers.

3. Allow the Shampoo to Absorb

After the shampoo has reached all parts of your hair, you should let it sit in your hair for about three to four minutes so that it can target and remove all dirt and oil. If your hair is particularly oily, allow it to sit for one to two more minutes before rinsing.

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4. Rinse the Shampoo Well

Rinse your hair well and work out all of the product to prevent any residue from being left behind.

5. Use a Strong Conditioner

The key to natural hair is keeping it hydrated. After washing with shampoo, you should always use a nutrient-rich, powerfully moisturizing conditioner to prevent the hair from drying out. One good example is WOW's Coconut Milk Conditioner.

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How Often Should I Shampoo Natural Hair?

There are a lot of factors that go into deciding how often you should shampoo your natural hair. Shampooing too often may leave your hair dehydrated and dull, while not washing your hair enough can cause harmful build-up.

Typically, you can use a clarifying shampoo anywhere between once a week and once a month without damaging your hair. Using a powerful clarifying shampoo more frequently will likely dry out your hair and scalp and pull the life out of your curls.

When it comes down to it, you will be the best decision-maker in determining how often to shampoo your hair. Only you can see how your hair responds to your clarifying shampoo process. Pay attention to the texture and appearance of your hair in the days after you shampoo to determine if you are happy with the result. Adjust your shampooing routine until you find one that leaves you with the vibrant, moisturized hair that you hope for.

What Are Good Shampoo Options for Natural Hair?

For a clarifying wash to be effective, you need to use an effective shampoo. An effective product should provide a deep clean while also incorporating nourishing and hydrating ingredients. The following are some great options for your clarifying routine.

  • WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo

This clarifying shampoo contains antioxidant-rich, antimicrobial apple cider vinegar in combination with vitamin-rich almond oil and moisturizing argan oil. With soothing nettle leaf extract, this shampoo is as gentle as it is strong. Use WOW's powerful Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo to deeply clean your natural hair.

Charcoal is a powerfully effective clarifying and purifying ingredient. In WOW's Activated Charcoal & Keratin Shampoo, charcoal digs deep to remove dirt and oil and provide your hair with a complete detox. Since this formula includes a blissful blend of almond oil, jojoba oil, argan oil, and aloe vera extract, it provides your hair with the necessary moisture to keep it fresh even after washing.

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  • WOW Green Tea and Tea Tree Shampoo

Another perfect blend of powerful and soothing ingredients, WOW's Green Tea and Tea Tree Shampoo works to cleanse your hair down to the scalp, removing dandruff, dirt, and other contaminants. The combination of green tea, tea tree oil, shea butter, and argan oil allows this shampoo to moisturize and hydrate as well as clean. Enjoy soft and lively hair once you finish washing your hair with this formula.

How To Support Natural Hair Health

A clarifying shampoo is an excellent addition to a hair care routine, but there are several other ways you can treat your hair as well. As with most shampoos, clarifying shampoos can remove a considerable amount of the natural oils in your hair, which can lead to dehydration and dull hair if you are not mindful of moisturizing. Fortunately, there are several ways that you can restore moisture to your hair while also providing great nutrients.

  • Hair Oil

The occasional hair oil treatment can do wonders for your hair, especially if it is dry or dull. Consider using an oil treatment once or twice per week, as oils provide many great nutrients for your hair to lock in hydration and repair damage.

  • Hair Mask

A hair mask is a great option for providing nutrients deep into your hair strands and scalp. Hair mask treatment allows vitamins, proteins, and healthy fats to penetrate deep into your hair follicles and scalp for hydrating and refreshing results. WOW's Moroccan Argan Oil Hair Mask is an excellent choice for nourishing your hair.

best hair mask, clarify natural hair
  • Micellar Water

Another great way to support the health and hydration of your hair and scalp is micellar water. Micellar water is often used on the skin to gently remove makeup and other contaminants from the skin. These benefits are transferrable to the scalp and hair, hydrating the hair, soothing the scalp, and removing impurities.  

Although it should not be used as a replacement for shampoo or conditioner, it can be used as a nourishing treatment before washing to supplement your current natural hair care routine. Include WOW's Coconut Micellar Water in your hair care to see its nourishing power.

micellar water

Incorporating a clarifying shampoo in your routine can restore your hair's natural texture, lively appearance, and bounce. To maximize the benefits, it's essential to find a clarifying schedule that works best for your hair and choose a product with the right ingredients.

As you look for the perfect shampoo to cleanse your natural hair, trust WOW Skin Science to provide you with a product that will make a difference. Our shampoos are 100% plant-based and completed with all-natural, nutrient-rich formulas to clean your hair while providing deep hydration and rejuvenation.

WOW Skin Science is proud to offer an extensive collection of hair care products so you can craft a routine that revitalizes your hair. Try our products for yourself and see how they transform the health and appearance of your hair.

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