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Clarifying Shampoos for Preserving Color and Removing Buildup Full Guide of 2023

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clarifying shampoo for colored hairYou’ve colored your hair and want it looking vibrant. But buildup from products can make it look dull.

They remove gunk so your color stays fresh. We’ll cover:

Let’s dive in and unlock the secrets to keeping your colored hair looking amazing!

Benefits of Clarifying Shampoo for Colored Hair

Benefits of Clarifying Shampoo for Colored Hair
If you color your hair, a clarifying shampoo can be invaluable for preserving vibrancy and shine. By removing buildup and impurities, clarifying shampoos help maintain the integrity of dye.

They also detoxify hair and scalp, promoting healthy strands that better absorb color.

Removes Buildup and Impurities

You’ll find clarifying shampoos remove buildup and impurities from your colored hair.

How to Clarify Hair:

  • Use weekly or monthly, follow with conditioner

Choosing a Shampoo:

Frequency of Use:

  • 1-2 times per month maximum to avoid drying hair

Color Preservation:

Preserves Vibrancy and Shine

Using a clarifying shampoo can help you maintain the vibrancy and shine of your colored hair.

Look for sulfate-free formulas to gently cleanse hair without stripping color.

Focus on scalp health to promote shine.

Opt for brands using safe, non-stripping ingredients.

Regular clarifying keeps hair vibrant between coloring.

Detoxifies Hair and Scalp

A clarifying shampoo can detoxify your hair and scalp by removing buildup from products, hard water, chlorine, and excess oils.

  1. Helps remove hard water mineral deposits that dull hair.
  2. Eliminates chlorine residue after swimming that fades color.
  3. Detoxifies oily hair and scalp from excess sebum.
  4. Removes flaky scalp buildup when used regularly.

Preserves Vibrancy and Shine

A clarifying shampoo can help preserve the vibrancy and shine of color-treated hair. It removes product buildup from styling products, conditioners, and hair sprays that can make hair look dull. Regular clarifying keeps color looking rich and hair feeling clean. Choosing a sulfate-free formula protects color from fading.

Using a clarifying shampoo once a week or every two weeks will remove dulling residue without stripping hair color.

Detoxifies Hair and Scalp

Clarifying Shampoos for Preserving Color and Removing Buildup

Causes of Buildup on Hair and Scalp

Causes of Buildup on Hair and Scalp
With frequent applications of styling products and dry shampoo, your hair and scalp can develop stubborn buildup over time.

This table outlines common causes of hair and scalp buildup:

Cause Description Prevention Tips
Product Buildup Heavy use of hairsprays, gels, mousse can leave sticky residue. Use a clarifying shampoo 1-2 times per week.
Hard Water Mineral deposits from hard water can dull hair. Use a shower filter and chelating shampoo monthly.
Dry Shampoo Overuse leads to chalky residue. Alternate with regular shampoos and clarify monthly.
Chlorine Frequent swimming can cause greenish buildup. Rinse hair after swimming and use a chelating treatment.
Pollution Environmental toxins settle on the scalp. Massage scalp while shampooing to lift debris.

To avoid buildup, limit product use, rinse thoroughly, use clarifying shampoos, and exfoliate the scalp regularly.

This keeps hair clean, shiny, and vibrant.

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Choosing the Right Clarifying Shampoo

When it comes to choosing the right clarifying shampoo for colored hair, you’ll want to look for options that are specifically formulated to be gentle.

Clarifying shampoos like Kevin Murphy Maxi Wash Detox Shampoo, Scalp Detoxifying Serum With Zinc PCA, and Kenra Clarifying Color Safe Shampoo are great options that deeply cleanse while preserving hair color.

Using a clarifying shampoo made for color-treated hair allows you to remove buildup without stripping your color.

Kevin Murphy Maxi Wash Detox Shampoo

Kevin Murphy Maxi Wash: DetoxView On Amazon
Choose Kevin Murphy’s Maxi Wash Detox Shampoo to deeply cleanse your hair and scalp without stripping color. This sulfate-free shampoo utilizes AHAs from fruits like papaya, grapefruit, and citrus to gently exfoliate and detoxify.

It brightens dull, limp hair by removing buildup from styling products, chemicals, and minerals. The natural antiseptics soothe irritation and balance excess oils for a refreshed, healthy scalp. Users praise it for leaving hair clean without drying it out. Consider using it weekly before coloring for optimal results.

  • Sulfate-free, gentle formula
  • Natural ingredients like AHAs and botanicals
  • Detoxifies and brightens hair
  • Balances and soothes scalp
  • Doesn’t work for some with extremely oily hair
  • May not create enough volume for some
  • Requires following up with conditioner

Scalp Detoxifying Serum With Zinc PCA

VEGAMOUR GRO Scalp Detoxifying Serum,View On Amazon
Rejuvenate your scalp with Vegamour’s Scalp Detoxifying Serum as you choose the right clarifying shampoo.

Formulated without harmful ingredients like parabens and sulfates, it eliminates buildup, absorbs excess oils, and soothes and refreshes.

Zinc PCA, willowherb, and nourishing oils are key ingredients that work to balance the scalp.

  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Removes buildup and balances oils
  • Soothes and refreshes scalp
  • Color-safe formula
  • Potential leakage issues
  • May cause allergic reactions
  • Some users didn’t see results

Kenra Clarifying Color Safe Shampoo

Kenra Clarifying Shampoo | DeepView On Amazon
Look to Kenra’s Clarifying Color Safe Shampoo when you need a deep cleansing shampoo that removes buildup before color services without stripping hair. This professional shampoo is specially formulated to be color-safe and provide a clarifying cleanse that preps hair for color and removes dulling mineral deposits.

Ideal for those dealing with hard water residue or swimmers battling chlorine buildup, it creates a rich lather to eliminate impurities and leave hair looking shiny, bouncy, and vibrant. The affordable alternative to pricey salon clarifying treatments also contains mica for radiant shine.

  • Color-safe formula won’t strip color
  • Removes dulling buildup from hard water and chlorine
  • Restores shine and vibrancy
  • Issues with bottle/pump reported
  • Changes in product appearance noted
  • Can cause scalp irritation if overused

How Often to Use Clarifying Shampoo

How Often to Use Clarifying Shampoo
While choosing the right clarifying shampoo is important, you’ll also want to pay attention to how often you’re using it.

  • Don’t overdo it! Using clarifying shampoo too often can dry out your hair and strip color.
  • Time it carefully. Use a clarifying shampoo a few days before you get your hair colored for the best color vibrancy.
  • Observe your hair’s needs. If you use lots of products or have buildup issues, you may need to clarify more frequently – but not more than once a week.

Moderation is key for preserving your hair color and removing buildup. Clarifying too often does more harm than good!

Does Clarifying Shampoo Remove Color?

Does Clarifying Shampoo Remove Color
Does using a clarifying shampoo negatively impact your hair color?

While clarifying shampoos provide numerous benefits like removing buildup and restoring shine, these deep cleaning formulas can also strip color from colored hair. This is especially true if the shampoo contains sulfates. Sulfates, while effective at removing oils and product residue, are harsh and can cause fading.

To protect hair color, opt for sulfate-free clarifying shampoos. Additionally, avoid overusing clarifying shampoos as this can accelerate color loss.

When used sparingly with sulfate-free formulas, clarifying shampoos can remove dulling buildup without stripping vibrant color. Focus on nourishment and hydration between clarifying washes for optimal hair health and color retention.

With the right products and routine, you can clarify hair without causing excessive color fading.

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Tips for Using Clarifying Shampoo

Tips for Using Clarifying Shampoo
You should limit your use of clarifying shampoos to avoid over-drying your hair and scalp.

  • Choose a gentle, sulfate-free formula made for color-treated hair.
  • Use cool water when applying clarifying shampoo.
  • Focus application on the scalp area and lengths, not ends.
  • Rinse thoroughly and follow with a hydrating conditioner.
  • Limit clarifying shampoo use to 1-2 times per month maximum.

Clarifying shampoos serve an important purpose in hair care routines by removing product buildup. However, overuse can damage hair – especially color-treated strands. Carefully choose a formula designed for colored hair and containing moisturizing ingredients.

Use cool water, focus on scalp and lengths only, rinse thoroughly, and condition after each use. Limit clarifying washes to 1-2 times per month at most to avoid drying out your hair while still benefiting from a deep cleanse.

Top 5 Clarifying Shampoos for Colored Hair

Top 5 Clarifying Shampoos for Colored Hair
When it comes to caring for color-treated hair, using the right clarifying shampoo is key.

We’ve rounded up the top 5 options that deeply cleanse hair and scalp while being gentle enough for dyed strands.

From Scalp Detoxifying Serum With Zinc PCA to Suave Naturals Daily Clarifying Shampoo, these are the best clarifying shampoos for keeping color vibrant.

2. Scalp Detoxifying Serum With Zinc PCA

Rejuvenate your scalp with Vegamour’s Scalp Detoxifying Serum as it helps remove impurities for a healthier-looking scalp. This 100% vegan and citrus-scented serum helps eliminate buildup, absorb excess oils, and soothe and refresh.

Use this serum 1x/week before shampooing for best results.

Vegan, cruelty-free, and made in the USA.

3. Kenra Clarifying Color Safe Shampoo

Deep clean your hair of color-fading residue by opting for the Kenra Clarifying Color Safe Shampoo. This paraben-free shampoo removes buildup from hard water and chlorine without stripping color.

Its mica shine enhancer leaves hair looking freshly cleansed and vibrant.

Use 1-2 times per week for optimal color preservation and removal of dulling deposits.

4. Matrix Total Results High Amplify Root Up Clarifying Volumizing Cleanser

Matrix Total Results High AmplifyView On Amazon
Give your hair a boost with this volumizing clarifying cleanser from Matrix. The silicone-free formula deeply cleanses to remove product buildup while adding lightweight volume.

Ideal for weekly use on all hair types, this root-lifting shampoo leaves hair soft without residue.

Users praise its cleansing power and affordability.

  • Adds volume
  • Prevents discoloration in gray hair
  • Deeply cleanses
  • Not suitable for daily use
  • Potential leaky bottle

6. OUAI Detox Clarifying Shampoo Sulfate Free

OUAI Detox Shampoo - ClarifyingView On Amazon
You’ll thoroughly cleanse your hair while removing buildup with OUAI’s sulfate-free detox clarifying shampoo. Formulated with apple cider vinegar, this vegan shampoo exfoliates the scalp to eliminate flakes and buildup.

It restores volume, bounce, and shine by removing heavy metals, minerals, and chlorine from hard water. Customers praise this shampoo for its ability to eliminate scalp issues like itchiness and flakiness.

The easy-to-use foam dispenser makes this clarifying treatment a breeze. It noticeably cleanses your hair after just one wash without stripping color.

  • Eliminates scalp issues like itchiness
  • Restores volume and shine
  • Easy to use foam dispenser
  • Noticeable results after one wash
  • Vegan and sulfate-free
  • May strip hair color
  • Not for daily use
  • Light citrus scent not universally liked

7. Suave Naturals Daily Clarifying Shampoo

Suave Naturals Daily Clarifying ShampooView On Amazon
Suave Naturals Daily Clarifying Shampoo provides an affordable, deep cleanse that removes product buildup, oils, and toxins without stripping hair. This shampoo contains no harsh sulfates or parabens yet offers a thorough cleanse, leaving hair fresh, clean, and touchably soft.

With its light, subtle fragrance, it can be incorporated weekly or monthly into any hair care routine.

Suave Naturals is ideal for all hair types, effectively removing grease, toxins, and product residue. Users praise it for cleansing without drying, making it a customer favorite that delivers salon-quality clarifying at a drugstore price.

  • Affordable
  • Deep cleansing
  • Suitable for all hair types
  • Fresh, subtle fragrance
  • Leaves hair soft
  • Can dry out some hair types
  • May require conditioner for some users
  • Fragrance not long-lasting
  • Not a daily use shampoo


Coincidentally, clarifying shampoos are like a breath of fresh air for your hair. By regularly using one formulated for color-treated hair, you’ll remove buildup so your color pops.

Follow our tips to choose the right clarifying shampoo and use it properly. With vibrant, shiny locks that turn heads, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without clarifying shampoo for colored hair.

Keep your color true and your hair healthy. The power is in your hands.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and beard care expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and get fatter. His work has been mentioned in countless notable publications on men's care and style and has been cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.