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  3. How to Use Clarifying Shampoo on Colored Hair – Tips and Precautions
How to Use Clarifying Shampoo on Colored Hair – Tips and Precautions

How to Use Clarifying Shampoo on Colored Hair – Tips and Precautions

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Clarifying shampoo restores the vitality of your strands and gives the much-needed reset to your scalp and hair. It goes an extra mile in extending its benefits as a deep cleansing shampoo. Imagine your hair subjected to everyday pollutants, dirt, dust, grime, and styling products – it turns your hair into a mess, doesn’t it? This is where clarifying shampoo removes the horror of clogged pores and product buildup and promises a complete detox.

Although clarifying shampoo thoroughly removes dust, dirt, and buildup, it should be carefully used on colored or chemically treated hair. So, does that mean it’s not meant for treated or colored hair? Let’s find out the answers, and learn the essential tips and precautions for using the cleansing shampoo correctly.

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Clarifying Shampoo – What is it, and what are its benefits?


From time to time, the use of clarifying shampoo is what you need for your tresses to live their best life. As told by expert colorist Lucille Javier to Elle – “Clarifying shampoo rids your hair of the follicle-clogging scalp buildup. It helps stimulate hair follicles, allowing healthy hair growth, and clears the scalp of scabbing and dandruff.” It works on deeply cleansing hair and scalp and preps for chemical treatments like keratin, hair botox, etc. A thorough wash with a clarifying shampoo before coloring hair improves its efficiency and helps keep it salon-fresh for a long time.

The clarifying shampoos are formulated to remove excess sebum from the hair shaft. As a result, it also helps keep scalp infection, inflammation, and dandruff at bay. It eliminates the polymer film created by haircare products and undo the dullness. Most deep-cleaning shampoos contain lauryl sulfates that break down and wash off the polymer layer.

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Here is how your hair can benefit from the use of the best cleansing shampoo:

  • Eliminating buildup – Frequent use of styling products often leads to its accumulation on the scalp. As a result, it clogs the pores and causes stunted hair growth. Using the shampoo once or twice a month helps remove buildup, refreshes the scalp, adds luster, and boosts growth.
  • Remove chlorine accumulation – If you are a swimmer, you might have, at times, noticed a green tint on your hair. This is due to chlorine deposits that dull and damage hair. Clarifying shampoo washes off the chlorine sediments and rejuvenates hair.
  • Washing off dust, dirt, and grime – Your hair is subjected to external aggressors daily. The accumulation of dust and dirt makes hair greasy and rips off the shine. The deep cleansing shampoo degreases hair, washes off grime, and gives a complete reset.
  • Prepares hair for treatments/color – Washing your hair with a clarifying shampoo gives a wholesome reset. As a result, it improves chemical treatments' efficiency or ensures better color absorption into strands.

How is clarifying shampoo different from regular shampoo?

There is a substantial difference between regular and clarifying shampoo. While the regular shampoo can be used twice or thrice a week, clarifying shampoo use should be limited to a maximum of twice a month. Regular shampoo cleans hair on a surface level, while clarifying shampoo ensures deep cleansing and complete buildup removal. The clarifying shampoo contains chelating ingredients that break down the buildup and wash the particles for complete removal. After using the best cleansing shampoo, it is always recommended to use a hydrating hair mask to nourish and moisturize hair.

Using clarifying shampoo on colored hair – Is it safe?

There is a lot of confusion about whether it is safe to use a clarifying shampoo on colored hair. A lot of information indicates that harsh formulations in cleansing shampoo might dull or fade color. However, it depends on several things – like hair texture, product formulation, and type of hair dye. Despite its bad reputation of fading color and stripping natural oil, we say the use of clarifying shampoo is safe for colored hair. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Look for a milder formulation

Whether the shampoo fades color or not depends on the formulation. Always look for ingredients that are kind and gentle on your hair. Opt for a paraben and sulfate-free clarifying shampoo infused with natural oils. This keeps the color intact without lifting it from the strands. Avoid using clarifying shampoos that are formulated with a high percentage of heavy surfactants. Keep an eye on the milder formulation of surfactant that gently breaks down dirt, buildup, and other impurities. If you have a sensitive scalp, look for ingredients like salicylic acid in the shampoo.

Limit the usage

While the cleansing shampoo thoroughly washes off the grime and dirt, excessive use might strip off the color and natural oil. After getting your hair freshly colored, it is recommended to wait for a few days before using the clarifying shampoo. Start by shampooing your hair once a month in order to dull the salon-fresh tones.

Use it as a pre-color shampoo

While it might not be a good idea to use clarifying shampoo after coloring hair, it works great as a pre-color cleanser. Often, the hair is shampooed before any chemical treatment or application of hair color. The cleansing shampoo helps with the elimination of buildup and thorough removal of grime, dust, and dirt which helps in improving color efficiency. Applying hair color on clean hair helps in better color molecule absorption into the shaft and cuticles.

Add color-safe and pigment depositing products

Protect your colored tresses from fading by adding color protectant shampoo, conditioner, and hair masks to regular haircare regime. Infused with antioxidants and UV filters, these products lock-in the color and protect hair from free radicals. Also, using hair toner and pigment depositing products like purple shampoo keeps the color from fading. These products add pigments to strands after every wash keeping color salon-fresh.

Precautions to keep in mind while using clarifying shampoo

Precautions_clarifying_shampoo While you might be using the best cleansing shampoo, it might still dull the hair color. Here are a few precautions to reap maximum benefits from clarifying shampoo without compromising on the color:
  • Avoid overusing clarifying shampoo as harsh surfactants or ingredients might start breaking down color molecules. To start with, use it once a month to preserve the color vibrancy.
  • Do not use clarifying shampoo on temporary hair color. As the semi-permanent or temporary colors only deposit pigments without absorption into cuticles, the color dulls faster.
  • The cleansing shampoo can strip natural oil from the scalp, making strands dry. Keep a hydrating and moisturizing hair mask handy after every wash. This helps to fortify strands with nourishment and restore oil balance.
  • If you have a sensitive scalp that’s prone to infection or inflammation, consult an expert before using a clarifying shampoo.

When used the right way and keeping in mind the precautions, clarifying shampoos are safe for use on colored hair. As it is not meant for regular use, a thorough wash once a month is enough to get rid of dirt, grime, grease, and buildup. Whether you have colored or chemically-treated hair, give your hair and scalp with a renewed feeling, a complete reset for wholesome health.


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

  • Feb 9, 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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