If you’ve never heard of clarifying shampoo, listen up! According to Iris Rubin, M.D. (via Byrdie), dermatologist and the founder and chief medical officer of SEEN Haircare, “it’s like a hair detox,” and your hair may desperately need it. Basically, clarifying shampoo is a deep cleaning shampoo that removes product build-up you didn’t even know you had. Think of it as a more heavy-duty shampoo than your regular shampoo to really get your hair and scalp in tip-top shape.
As Dr. Jamuna Pai, founder of SkinLab, explained to Vogue, “A clarifying shampoo comes in as a deep cleansing therapy for the hair. It helps remove any kind of residual product and remnants of hard or chlorinated water, thus making it an essential staple in your haircare routine.” Byrdie recommends shampooing with the product a few times and then finishing it off with a moisturizing treatment to get its full effects. But, what exactly are the signs of product build-up? And more, importantly, what signs should you be looking for that indicate you need to make the switch to a clarifying shampoo?
If you style your hair, consider using a clarifying shampoo
As hairstylist Cash Lawless told Allure, “Do you use leave-in hair products? Do you heat style? Most importantly, does your hair feel dull, limp, heavy, or dirty after washing it? If so, then it’s time to clarify.” In other words, if you style your hair in any way, shape, or form, there’s a good chance you’re going to need to use one.
However, it’s worth noting that your hair type matters. “Clarifying shampoos can strip the natural oils produced by the scalp, thereby making the strands dry. If someone is already dealing with dry hair, it should not be used more than once in three to four weeks,” Dr. Pai told Vogue. Those with fine hair or sensitive scalps should also keep usage to a minimum. If you’re not sure, talk to your hairstylist about it — they probably know your hair better than you do.
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