The Best Clarifying Shampoos

Unlike regular shampoo, clarifying shampoos are made with stronger cleansing ingredients to better slough off dirt and oil. From shampoos that are meant for color-treated hair to choices that are strictly sulfate-free, there's a clarifying shampoo for every head of hair. But because it can be a bit overwhelming when choosing the right shampoo for you, we've put together a list of a few of our favorites. So if you're ready to get fresh, clean, healthy hair, keep reading to find your new go-to shampoo.

Kenra Clarifying Shampoo

Keep it professional

This high-quality cleansing shampoo is sure to give you stellar results.
Best Overall

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Eliminating up to 99% of dulling deposits like dirt and oils, this clarifying shampoo by Kenra can deliver. Great for those in hard water areas, this shampoo not only cleanses your hair and scalp but also enhances shine and promotes natural restoration. This shampoo also brightens color-treated hair for added benefits. You’ll receive ten fluid ounces of this creamy cleanser suitable for any hair type or texture. Enjoy the professional experience in the comfort of your own home with this high-end formula.


  • Offered in different sizes
  • High-quality formula
  • Smells pleasant


  • The packaging could be improved

Redken Detox Hair Cleansing Cream

Color-safe shampoo

Feel confident knowing your color-treated locks will stay true after using this clarifying shampoo.
Best For Dyed Hair

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Worried about damaging your hair color? This choice by Redken is completely color-safe. It leaves your color looking brighter and richer while cleansing and clarifying your hair. This shampoo is excellent in removing product build-up, excess oil, and pollution residue after just one wash for quick and convenient results. This formula also uses AHA fruit acid to strengthen the hair cuticle, which improves your tresses’ overall look and feel. The scent is very light, and the shampoo itself lathers without feeling too harsh.


  • Color-safe
  • Improves the strength of your hair cuticle
  • Suitable for all hair types


  • We wish there were a bit more in the bottle

Nothing But Clarifying Shampoo

Honest ingredients

This shampoo gets your locks fresh and clean without harmful or drying chemicals.
Best Sulfate-Free

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Clear out sulfates, parabens, and colorants from your wash routine with this clarifying shampoo. This sulfate-free shampoo gently deep cleans your hair and scalp to get rid of any contaminants while restoring moisture and manageability with natural ingredients. The formula is also free of petrolatum, mineral oil, and phthalates to ensure a comfortable, non-irritating washing experience. So if you’re searching for a gentle shampoo that can still give you a deep clean, this is it.


  • Great value for the price
  • Sulfate-free formula
  • A list is available of each ingredient and its benefits


  • It’s recommended to use this shampoo once a month or before a hair strengthening treatment

Nexxus Clean and Pure Clarifying Shampoo and Conditioner

The total package

This clarifying set offers a shampoo and conditioner so you'll have everything you need.
Best Set

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This set by Nexxus will both nourish and detox your lovely locks. This salon-quality set is crafted to provide a deep clean with no silicones, parabens, or dyes. The shampoo gently cleanses your hair, while the lightweight conditioner helps restore your hair’s natural shine. Both contain Nexxus’ ProteinFusion to aid in repairing and rebalancing hair. Plus, we love the pump design for easy dispensing.


  • Comes with a clarifying shampoo and conditioner
  • Large 33-ounce bottles
  • Unscented formula


  • This set might be best for oily hair

The Seaweed Bath Co. Detox Shampoo

Be kind to your hair

This clarifying shampoo contains organic and sustainably harvested ingredients you can feel good about.
Best Organic

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If you eat organically, why not shampoo organically? This detox shampoo is made with bladderwrack seaweed containing over 65 vitamins and minerals to naturally detox, cleanse, and protect your hair. Apple cider vinegar helps restore your hair’s pH balance to add shine and prevent moisture loss from your scalp. This clarifying shampoo also includes soothing tea tree oil to refresh your scalp and hair. So if you’re all about natural, organic, and sustainable choices, we’d say give this shampoo a try.


  • Sulfate and paraben-free
  • Made from organic ingredients
  • Great for dry hair


  • May not be suitable for everyday use

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between clarifying shampoo and regular shampoo?

The difference between clarifying shampoo and regular shampoo is that the clarifying shampoo is intended to deep clean your hair by getting rid of product buildup from the hair and scalp. The ingredients are typically more intense and can remove chemical build-up from chlorine and hard water. Regular shampoo is much milder and has a lower level of cleansing ingredients. While both can be great, if you need a deeper cleanse with detox properties to remove excess buildup, we would suggest a clarifying shampoo.

How often should I use my clarifying shampoo?

It will usually depend on your hair type, how often you use products in your hair, and whether you have an oily or dry scalp. Ideally, you should be deep cleaning your hair with a clarifying shampoo about once a week or even once a month. But if you tend to get more buildup, you should be fine using these shampoos more often. And likewise, if you have a dry scalp or dry hair, you may not need to use a clarifying shampoo very often.

What are the benefits of using a clarifying shampoo?

There are quite a few benefits to using a clarifying shampoo. For example, it removes buildup, hard water deposits, and chlorine while rejuvenating and refreshing your hair. It also helps prevent bacterial growth on your scalp, restores your hair’s natural pH balance, prepares your hair for coloring, and can be a volume booster for fine and straight hair.