Have you noticed extra product buildup on your scalp, and regular shampoo just won’t help no matter how many times you lather, rinse and repeat? Maybe your hair is a bit more dull than usual, and you can’t get rid of the excess oil even after you’ve sprayed on layers of dry shampoo. These may be your signs to grab a clarifying shampoo. While some cleansers focus on hydrating and combating brassiness from hair dyeing, clarifying shampoos “remove excess dead skin buildup and dirt,” Dr. Kseniya Kobets, a New York City-based, board-certified dermatologist, tells Seventeen. Along with combating build-up from grime, the best clarifying shampoos remove leftover minerals from exposure to hard water and “restores the hair’s natural pH,” she says.
How are clarifying shampoos different than standard ones?
There’s no denying it, all shampoos are not created equally, but clarifying shampoos are supercharged with “stronger detergents,” Dr. Sanjay Batra, PhD, and founder WeThrivv explains. “They are intended to give a deep clean, almost like a glass or surface cleaner, but for hair.” Along with different formulas, clarifying shampoos do more than just cleanse. “Clarifying shampoos exfoliate the scalp,” which helps clear clogged hair follicles Dr. Kobets, Director of Cosmetic Dermatology at Montefiore Einstein Advanced Care adds. Similar to the way clogged pores on the skin cause acne on the skin and body, blocked follicles contribute to the formation of breakouts and blemishes on the scalp. Exfoliating the scalp keeps your follicles clear of grime that could lead to dull strands and painful breakouts.