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How to Clarify Curly Hair

How to Clarify Curly Hair

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Clarifying hair has been a hyped topic in the curly girl world. But what exactly does it mean to “clarify?” It is a process that involves deep cleaning of the scalp and hair, often used to prepare the mane for chemical treatments. Before looking for a clarifying shampoo for curly hair, let’s dive into the idea of clarifying your hair and why it is important.

Hairstylist Sharley Butcher told InStyle, “If you live in an area with hard water, mineral deposits can accumulate on your hair, making it feel sticky and weighed down. Over time, these residues can make the hair appear dull, greasy, and weighed down.” Similarly, the need to clarify arises when your hair is exposed to chlorinated water, harsh chemicals, gels, serums, and other styling products.

Simply put, if your regular shampoo isn’t going the extra mile for your hair, it may be time to press the “reset” button and clarify. Clarifying products are deep cleansers that work differently than your normal shampoo, bridging the gap between you and your healthy mane. They eliminate product buildup, hard-water minerals, excess oil, grime, and dust. The best clarifying shampoo for curly hair addresses the following concerns perfectly and prepares your hair for color and chemical treatments.

  • Low porosity — Applying heat to damaged curls may cause low porosity. Such a condition decreases the effectiveness of chemical treatments you may opt for.
  • Oily scalp — An oily scalp is most damaging to curls. It makes tresses look greasy due to residue reserves.
  • Limp, dull curls — If your curls lack volume and bounce, it may be because of damaged roots. Waxy or flaky roots and scalp directly affect the health and appearance of strands.
  • Product buildup — Using styling products frequently can accumulate buildup on your scalp, clog pores, and degrade the texture of your curls.
  • Loose curls — Humidity, dust, and dirt can damage hair and diminish its natural characteristics.
  • Itchy scalp — Scalp irritation may be caused by dust, dirt, pollutants, and grime, leading to flakiness. It is common in people who don’t wash their hair frequently.

There aren’t any specific rules to determine the need for clarifying products for your curly hair. If any of these conditions look like yours, read on to find the clarifying shampoo for curly hair and some expert tips.

Invest in clarifying shampoo for curly hair


A clarifying shampoo gently cleanses the scalp and hair to remove unwanted buildup, leaving damage-free hair ready for chemical treatments. Hairstylists recommend cleansing shampoo before hair treatments to lay a cleaner foundation for styling. It also helps eliminate product buildup and unclogs pores to improve the efficacy and longevity of the process. Having said that, choosing the right clarifying shampoo for curly hair is crucial. Dermatologist Dr. Jessie Cheung told NBC News, “Some shampoos can strip color-treated hair, so you should opt for a gentle, color-safe clarifying shampoo.” Thus, look out for sulfate-free clarifying shampoo that’s gentle on your hair and doesn’t strip off the color too soon.

Read More - Guide to Clarifying shampoo
  1. Work an adequate amount of clarifying shampoo on your palm and apply it to your damp scalp.
  2. Massage it on the scalp and lather into the nape of your neck, then let it sit for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Rinse off thoroughly with cold or lukewarm water and follow up with a hair conditioner as your stylist advises.

Pro Tip: Use Moehair Clarifying Shampoo to cleanse and prepare your hair for chemical treatments. Its sulfate-free formulation is gentle on the scalp and sloughs off unwanted buildup from the mane.

Co-wash your curly hair like a pro

Co-washing or conditioner-only washing is a go-to method that brings your lackluster curls back to life. While you experiment with a few clarifying shampoos, you may find that some may dry out your scalp and tresses. It is normal to be ditched searching for an effective clarifying shampoo for curly hair; situations that call for deep cleansing. Thus, co-washing is a simple yet effective method that involves no poo (as in shampoo) and thoroughly conditions your mane with emollients. It involves the use of only conditioner and water.

  1. Apply a desired amount of conditioner to your wet hair.
  2. Lather into the nape of your neck and massage for about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Rinse off properly to avoid product buildup and style as usual.
Pro Tip: Spend twice as much time washing your hair as you did massaging. This helps remove the product entirely from the scalp to avoid a greasy look.

Read more - How to use Clarifying Shampoo on colored hair

Prepare a DIY clarifying shampoo for curly hair


With evolving trends, your curls demand a fresh way of tackling damage. You can do much beyond using a clarifying shampoo for curly hair. If you are a DIY enthusiast, here are some recipes you must try occasionally to cleanse your curly tresses before color or chemical treatments.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar — Put one tablespoon of baking soda in an empty bottle. Add warm water to the bottle and ensure the baking soda dissolves completely. Take one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, add it to the mixture, and stir it well. Shake before using the DIY shampoo, massage for 2-3 minutes, then rinse off.
  • Sea Salt — Take five tablespoons of sea salt and one tablespoon each of lemon juice and tea tree oil. Mix these ingredients into a bowl and apply to your scalp. Scrub and keep it on for 10 minutes, then rinse off and follow up with a mild shampoo.
  • Rhassoul Clay — Take half a cup of rhassoul clay and aloe vera juice each, two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and vegetable oil each, and a few drops of tea tree oil. Mix these ingredients well and apply the solution to your scalp. Massage and leave it on for 10 minutes, then rinse off and follow up with a shampoo.
  • Rosemary — Boil some dried rosemary herbs. Strain and remove the larger pieces. Let the solution cool for 10-15 minutes. Massage and leave it on for a desired time before washing it off.


How we reviewed this article:

Our experts continually monitor the fashion and beauty space, and we update our articles when new information becomes available.

    • Current Version

  • April 2, 2024

Written By -

Upasana Kakati is a lifestyle writer with 7+ years of experience in writing in the beauty and haircare industry.

Edited By -

Saima Ahmed with 8+ yrs of experience, specializes in crafting engaging content focused on Hair care, lifestyle, and beauty.

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