12 Best Clarifying Shampoos to Remove Buildup

12 Best Clarifying Shampoos to Remove Buildup

Experts’ Picks for the Best Clarifying Shampoos to Remove Buildup. When your hair needs a deep clean—enough to remove a week’s product buildup—the best-clarifying shampoo will do the trick. These deep cleansing products (such as our top pick from Ouai) are far more effective than your average hair shampoo. They are created with ingredients that help remove excess oils, flakes, pollution, and layers of style creams, heat-protectant sprays, gels, and powders from the hair and scalp. “They are intended for people who use a lot of hair care products that leave residue,” explains Dr. Karan Lal, an adult and pediatric dermatologist with a fellowship in cosmetic dermatology. “And they’re great for people with oily hair.”


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Best Clarifying Shampoo Overall

A Do-It-All Product With A Beautiful Scent

Ouai Detox Shampoo


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Ouai’s Detox Shampoo smells great on top of its impressive strengthening and cleansing qualities, owing to apple cider vinegar and keratin. It’s scented with the brand’s trademark Melrose Place smell, which includes bergamot, lychee, cedarwood, and white musk notes. Aside from the delectable smell, the clarifying shampoo will appeal to people with greasy hair and dry, flaky scalps.

Best Drugstore Clarifying Shampoo

An Affordable Formula That Gives Visible Results

Aveeno Apple Cider Vinegar Blend Shampoo

$7$11Save $4 (36%)

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Like many other Aveeno products, this sulfate-free clarifying shampoo employs colloidal oat extract and apple cider vinegar to soothe the scalp. The potent blend of ingredients balances the hair and scalp without leaving it dry. Reviewers also appreciate it for leaving their hair silky, soft, and shining. And at $8 a bottle, it’s a hard bargain to pass up.

Best Clarifying Shampoo For Colored Hair

A Superstar Formula that Saves Color And Repairs Bonds

Olaplex No. 4C Bond Maintenance Clarifying Shampoo

$25$30Save $5 (17%)

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This clarifying shampoo removes all signs of buildup, grime, and other harmful factors that cause strands to become dull. The award-winning formula employs a patented clarifying method to wash the scalp while avoiding irritation and dryness thoroughly. It also has a proprietary method for repairing broken bonds and making hair stronger and shinier. It could be the best feature. Colored strands retain their vibrancy and radiance.

Best Clarifying Shampoo For Scalp Health

A Scalp-Focused Top Pick

TPH By Taraji Honey Fresh Clarifying Shampoo



Some clarifying shampoos have a terrible reputation for drying out hair, but Taraji P. Henson’s gel version contains honey, which helps to increase hair moisture levels. Another major focus of this exceptional formula is scalp health—willow bark extract exfoliates while aloe soothes.

Best Clarifying Shampoo For Natural Hair

A Celeb-Approved Formula That Cleanses And Strengthens

Pattern Clarifying Shampoo


Tracee Ellis Ross’ Clarifying Shampoo gently cleanses natural hair, including curls and coils, without depleting the hair of moisture. It’s also well-known for its delicate jasmine, bergamot, and sandalwood scent. The formula contains a triad of ingredients to strengthen the hair: matcha green tea, aloe vera, and panthenol.

Best Clarifying Shampoo For Curly Hair

A Luxuriously Scented Shampoo That’s Great For Curls

Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo


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Moroccanoil is recognized for its distinct perfume; this clarifying shampoo offers the same scent and a laundry list of haircare advantages. The wash removes the buildup that causes hair to appear limp and lifeless, revitalizing it. It is best for those with thicker or wavy hair because the shampoo contains ingredients like argan and avocado oils.

Best Clarifying Shampoo For Oily Hair

A Great Match For Excess Oil And Limp Strands

Paul Mitchell Shampoo Three


Not only may chlorine cause hair to become dry, brittle, and prone to breakage, but it can also cause brassiness or tint lighter tones of green. If swimming is a frequent part of your weekly routine, consider incorporating a chlorine-removing shampoo into your wash routine, such as this cult favorite formula from Paul Mitchell. You might also like the bright, zesty pink grapefruit smell, which invigorates your haircare routine.

Best Clarifying Pre-Shampoo

A Speedy Pre-Shower Treatment For Softer Hair

Color Wow Dream Filter Pre-Shampoo Mineral Remover

$18$24Save $6 (25%)


While officially a pre-wash clarifying treatment, this spray-on product is ideal for eliminating pollutants and minerals that develop on hair from hard water. The formula is suitable for most hair types, from straight to curly to coily, and should be applied to dry hair and left on for three minutes. Hair feels much lighter and softer after rinsing, shampooing, conditioning, and styling.

Best Clarifying Shampoo For Buildup

An Excellent Option For Removing Product Buildup, Pollution And Metals

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Triple Detox Shampoo


The product from Living Proof is called “triple detox” for a reason. The powerful formula removes product buildup, pollution, and metals left on hair by hard water. Oil-absorbing charcoal and a witch hazel-infused complex that forms a lipid layer to soothe and strengthen the scalp’s barrier is also included. It’s ideal for deep cleansing once weekly when dry shampoo consumption has peaked. Furthermore, it does not leave hair feeling as if it has been robbed of moisture.

Best Clarifying Shampoo For Chemically Treated Hair

A Gentle Yet Detoxifying Formula


IGK First Class Detoxifying Charcoal Shampoo


With so many charcoal shampoos on the market, choosing which one is worth taking up valuable shower space can be difficult. Many reviewers report the activated charcoal and tea tree oil-infused formula leaves hair feeling exceptionally clean and soft. Therefore, IGK comes out on top. Rose centifolia extract and marine hydrogel technology (packed with glycerin) are also included on the ingredient list, which protects the scalp, minimizes frizz, and adds moisture to the hair.

Best Clarifying Shampoo For Volume

A Dermatologist-Recommended Shampoo

Kristin Ess Deep Clean Clarifying Shampoo


“This is a great residue remover,” says Lal. Kristin Ess’s immensely famous formula removes excess oil, product buildup, and minerals from hair and adds volume and shine. Customers also like the clarifying shampoo, labeling it a “hair blessing.”

Best Gentle Clarifying Shampoo

An Anti-Residue Formula That Also Boosts Volume

Neutrogena Anti-Residue Clarifying Shampoo


Dr. Lal recommends Neutrogena’s clarifying shampoo. “This is a clear shampoo that is color-safe for colored hair.” “It’s inexpensive and gentle enough to use twice a month,” he explains. It’s also gentle enough for all skin types and free of artificial dyes and colorants. This clarifying alternative has a lesser-known benefit of increasing hair volume.

How We Chose The Best Clarifying Shampoos

Buying a used car is the best way to get your money’s worth. We conducted research and discovered that the best-clarifying shampoos perform critical duties such as removing buildup from hair products and providing added benefits such as volumizing strands and imparting moisture. We also investigated the ingredients in these formulas. Also We read hundreds of customer testimonies to ensure that they live up to their claims and test several of them ourselves. We also enlisted the assistance of a board-certified dermatologist with years of experience to back us up.

To provide you with the best picks on the market, we keep this article updated with new product selections, pricing, and availability. We also consider adding new quotes and thoughts from reviewers to the story.

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