The 30 Best Clarifying Shampoos

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Maybe you’ve been hiding under a bushel for years so you’ve never heard of the term “Clarifying Shampoo” or perhaps you already use clarifying shampoo but you’re not sure what it means? Well, if this sounds familiar we’ll take you on a clarifying shampoo journey so you know everything you need to and you’re sure to buy the right type for your hair.

What is clarifying shampoo?

The definition of clarifying is to make something “clear” and the same applies to clarifying shampoo. It really cleans and clears your hair and scalp from dirt, pollution, grease and product build-up.

Think of it as an exceptionally deep cleanser for your scalp and hair.

So, while regular shampoo cleans your hair – a clarifying shampoo goes the extra mile and gets right deep down into the scalp and the hair follicles. This frees them of any blockages so hair grows healthily.

What does clarifying shampoo do?

Now, if you do suffer from oily hair or grease, you probably know about clarifying shampoos already because they are notoriously good at discouraging oil production and cleaning the scalp, getting rid of excess sebum from the sebaceous glands.

Actually, a clarifying shampoo every once in a while is good for all hair types because even those of you out there with normal hair will get some build-up in your scalp.

Even if you have dry hair, you can still use a clarifying shampoo; just use it once a month. Equally, if you only wash your hair once a week – you might want to add in a clarifying shampoo to your routine to make sure you shift all the dirt, styling product build-up and oil.

So now you know – clarifying shampoo means deep cleansing, squeaky-clean hair, and scalp.

Clarifying Shampoo: Before & After


How to use clarifying shampoo?

You know that feeling when your hair is heavy and loaded up with days of styling product? Or perhaps it’s super-oily so after just a couple of days post-washing it looks dull and lifeless.

Well, when you get into the shower and choose one of our recommended clarifying shampoos from the list below, you’ll feel and see a remarkable difference.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • If you have dry hair you can still use a clarifying shampoo, just drop a little coconut oil into the roots and massage it into dry hair for a few minutes pre-washing. If you have time, leave it on for twenty minutes as a treatment then jump into the shower and rinse it out.
  • Follow-up with your new clarifying shampoo. Place a little in the palms of your hand and starting at the root, massage it deeply into the scalp taking care not to rub too hard. You should feel your scalp tingling pleasantly, that’s the clarifying action!
  • Allow the shampoo suds to run down your root area to the mid-length and beyond.
  • Be careful not to pile your hair up as this is when it gets tangled – which makes it difficult to comb through post-washing.
  • What’s very important is to condition your hair after washing, whether using a clarifying shampoo or not. So take a good quality conditioner suited to your hair type or use a hair mask.
  • Rinse your hair free of shampoo, towel dry and apply a mask from the root if your hair is dry. If your hair type is oily, just condition from the mid-length through to the ends and be sure to rinse out thoroughly so there’s no residue left.
  • Comb out before styling and apply your favorite styling product. Style as normal for gloriously clean, shiny and silky hair. 

DIY Homemade Clarifying Shampoo Recipe

Some clarifying shampoos can be expensive or have lots of chemicals in them so you could even try and make your own. Lots of hair products are made using fruit, vegetables and essential oils so why don’t you take a look in your kitchen to see if you have anything suitable?

If you take a visit to your local health food shop look for the following essential oils which have excellent cleansing and soothing properties, ideal for hair that needs a boost. You could even blend a few drops with your own shampoo at home for excellent results:

  • Rosemary
  • Peppermint
  • Lemon
  • Cypress

Try the following clarifying shampoo DIY recipe for super-soft, really clean bouncy hair. This recipe won’t affect hair color or strip your hair of its natural hydration:

You will need:

  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 45ml warm water
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon essential oil

Instructions:

Blend the baking soda with the warm water and allow it to completely dissolve. Add the other ingredients and stir well (or use an empty water bottle and shake it together well). Then shampoo your hair using the mixture. Don’t forget to use conditioner afterward and rinse thoroughly.


The Best Clarifying Shampoos

The following shampoos are our tried & tested favourites so you know what to choose for your hair type and desired results:

Suave Clarifying Shampoo

1.  Suave Clarifying Shampoo

This is a very inexpensive clarifying shampoo which deeply cleanses the scalp removing styling product build-up such as mousse, gel, hairspray, wax etc. It is also PH balanced so restores hair’s natural PH and it’s ideal for normal to oily hair. Additionally, it is wonderfully fragrant so gets rid of any hair odour too!

We found this shampoo excellent for giving hair plenty of bounce and shine. Hair feels unbelievably clean after using and the feeling really lasts.

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Neutrogena Clarifying Shampoo

2. Neutrogena Clarifying Shampoo

This one is best used alongside your regular shampoo once a week. Just add a few drops to what you already use and feel the difference. Neutrogena is a brand you can trust and with years of haircare experience, they know what they’re doing!

This shampoo is proven to remove 90% of residue instantly and is formulated to get deep into the scalp, reducing oil production from the sebaceous glands. It’s also ideal for all hair types – even dry hair.

We love this especially after a long gym session or after swimming in chlorinated water.

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For Dry, Itchy Scalp: Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo

3. For Dry, Itchy Scalp: Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo

If you suffer from a dry, itchy scalp, this dermatologist-recommended Neutrogena shampoo works after just one use. It controls redness, itchiness, and scalp flakiness so stops you scratching and you don’t have to worry about embarrassing white flecks on your clothes.

It’s suitable for those who have dandruff, psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis and it keeps scalp flake and itch-free for hours after cleansing. Hair feels marvelously clean and manageable.

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Neutrogena Replenishing Clean Conditioner (Dermatologist Approved)

4. Neutrogena Replenishing Clean Conditioner (Dermatologist Approved)

We particularly recommend this conditioner if you have a dry, itchy scalp because it’s really hydrating without leaving a residue. It’s ideal for dry and damaged hair and is infused with moisturizing ingredients that penetrate every strand.

Your hair feels lightweight and clean without being weighed down with the product. It also has an exceptionally pleasant fragrance and gives hair plenty of manageability when you dry it.

Your hair will be shiny and silky with no dry scalp, even after just one use.

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Pantene Pro-V Weekly Deep Cleanse Purifying Shampoo

5. Pantene Pro-V Weekly Deep Cleanse Purifying ShampooSuitable for oily, color treated hair this Pantene shampoo promises to detox your hair. It is a thorough deep-cleanse with anti-oxidants promising to rid hair of all the nasty dirt, pollution, and product build-up, especially on the chemically-treated hair.

It encourages sheen, vitality, and volume and is a refreshing shampoo that delivers a beautiful finish without stripping hair of its color.

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Runner Up: Color Proof Clear It Up Detox Shampoo

6. Runner Up: Color Proof Clear It Up Detox ShampooThis completely vegan shampoo is often found in salons and is excellent for detoxing hair of oil, grease and styling product build up. It contains baking soda and vitamins C & E, both of the latter are excellent anti-oxidants.

Hair is left super soft, shiny and vibrant with complete color protection. The most important aspect of this shampoo is that it is a thorough deep cleanser and discourages oil production so hair and scalp is in better health with continued use.

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Runner-Up: Ion Clarifying Shampoo

7. Runner Up: Ion Clarifying ShampooThis is excellent for color saving and still strong enough to remove deep dirt in the scalp and at the roots. It penetrates into the hair follicle to get rid of excess sebum but it is still gentle on hair so it feels soft, manageable and bouncy once it’s dry.

You do need to use a little more to lather up but it’s worth it for the great results. Even if you have very fine hair it won’t leave any residue so you’ll enjoy that lightweight feeling once you’re style!

 

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Best Clarifying Shampoo For Sulphate Free Cleansing: DeGrease By Maple Holistics

8. Best Clarifying Shampoo For Sulphate Free Cleansing DeGrease By Maple Holistics

This is a remarkably inexpensive shampoo which promises a deep cleanse with no sulphates whatsoever. It gets rid of oil build-up while discouraging sebum production and it restores hair’s natural PH balance.

With plenty of hydration, it really penetrates deep to moisturize hair and it also helps to remove Dandruff so no more flakiness! Additionally, it strengthens hair as it is infused with basil and cypress oils and it’s formulated with hair’s natural protein, Keratin.

We recommend this as a wonderful nourishing all-over clarifying shampoo that won’t break the bank or your hair.

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Best Clarifying Shampoo For Designer Hair: Paul Mitchell Clarifying Shampoo Two

9. Best Clarifying Shampoo For Designer Hair Paul Mitchell Clarifying Shampoo Two

When you only want the best, seek out Paul Mitchell. This designer clarifying shampoo has the price tag but promises an outstanding finish. Used over time, it guarantees oil production reduction so it’s every oily hair girl’s best friend.

It gets deep into the scalp to cleanse hair and rids it of any toxic impurities and styling product build-up. Hair is left remarkably fresh and full of volume and shine.

 

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Kenra Clarifying Shampoo

10. Kenra Clarifying Shampoo

This shampoo is excellent for getting rid of chemicals especially in chlorinated pools. It gives hair plenty of vibrant radiance and restores the natural PH in the hair and scalp.

Promising to remove styling product build-up and grease from the scalp, it’s ideal for a deep cleansing shampoo and it’s gentle enough to use on color-treated hair.

 

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Natural Clarifying Shampoo: Rapunzel Organic Clarifying Shampoo

11. Natural Clarifying Shampoo Rapunzel Organic Clarifying Shampoo

Sometimes hair that’s prone to styling product build-up or too much oil can seem like it never grows. That’s where this shampoo comes in. Infused with natural ingredients that are believed to really encourage hair growth it helps to stimulate hair follicles while nourishing hair and protecting it from day to day damage.

It’s full of gorgeous ingredients: jojoba, chamomile, and rosemary which are all fabulously fragrant and full of boosting anti-oxidants. While it’s organic it still really lathers up and leaves hair feeling unbelievably clean and luxuriously soft.

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Best Clarifying Shampoo For Once-In-A-While Clarifying: Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo

12. Best Clarifying Shampoo For Once-In-A While Clarifying Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo

Recommended for use every now and then, this clarifying shampoo goes a long way to deep cleanse hair and scalp removing build-up and grease. It also restores hair’s natural PH and moisture.

Made with essential oils, this is a great shampoo to choose if you swim or live in a hard water area.

 

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Best Clarifying Shampoo For Everyday Cleansing: ACURE Clarifying Shampoo, Lemongrass

13. Best Clarifying Shampoo For Everyday Cleansing: ACURE Clarifying Shampoo, Lemongrass

This sulphate-free vegan shampoo is ideal for deep cleansing on a daily basis and it’s completely cruelty-free. It’s safe to use on all hair types, even on colored hair as it retains moisture and doesn’t strip hair of its natural hydration.

Infused with organic Argan oil, avocado oil, and lemongrass, hair is left feeling remarkably clean and soft. With regular use, this shampoo will help to improve the health of your hair.

 

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Best Clarifying Shampoo For Budget Friendly: Beautiful Nutrition Grapefruit Detox Shine Repair Shampoo

14. Best Clarifying Shampoo For Budget Friendly: Beautiful Nutrition Grapefruit Detox Shine Repair Shampoo

If you’re on a budget, you need something that can really deep-cleanse but still leave you with a change in your pocket! We love this phthalate and paraben free clarifying shampoo which ticks all the boxes without leaving you too broke to afford conditioner.

It’s very gentle and removes all the nasty product-build up and grease without stripping hair of its natural moisture. It also promises to boost hair giving it a vibrant shine and plenty of bounce so hair looks healthy and full of life.

It’s even gentle enough for use on color treated hair and with a revitalizing grapefruit scent, hair feels cleaner for longer.

 

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Best Clarifying Shampoo For Salon Quality Results: Redken Hair Cleansing Cream Shampoo

Redken is one of those names that the hair industry really respects so if you’re looking for penetrating clarifying shampoos, this one is one of those professional shampoos that goes a long way to deliver outstanding results. It’s also the perfect shampoo for all hair types and often used in salons to prepare hair for chemical processing.

If you suffer from styling build-up and excessive grease, the Redken shampoo clarifies and purifies hair. Once dry, you’ll notice remarkable softness, plenty of luster and incredible bounce!

The best way to use this is to use a very little and just add to it to get a lather. Then really rinse thoroughly and finish with some conditioner.

Best Clarifying Shampoo For Natural Hair: Pantene Pro V Shampoo

16. Best Clarifying Shampoo For Natural Hair: Pantene Pro V ShampooHere’s another vote for good old Pantene, a name synonymous with great hair. This clarifying shampoo won’t strip hair but will get rid of styling product build-up and excess grease to leave hair soft, supple, shiny and most of all – manageable.

It’s also an inexpensive shampoo so it won’t break the bank either and it’s extremely gentle and kind so won’t aggravate your scalp. In fact, it’s so gentle that even if you wash your hair every day you won’t dry it out.

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Best Clarifying Shampoo For Afro-Caribbean Hair: Shea Moisture African Black Soap Deep Cleansing Shampoo

17. Best Clarifying Shampoo For Afro-Caribbean Hair: Shea Moisture African Black Soap Deep Cleansing ShampooIf you’ve got curls, frizz and difficult to manage hair that needs deep cleansing, this shampoo will work wonders! It goes a long way to deep-cleanse the scalp and it removes product build up so there’s no dry, itchy scalp or excess oil.

The Shea butter ingredient really adds superb hydration so hair feels moisturized and intensely clean. It also eliminates Dandruff and gives hair an enviable sheen once it’s dry.

Best used once a week, it’s not really a daily shampoo but it is wonderful for discouraging sebum and even suitable for dermatitis and psoriasis sufferers. 

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Best Clarifying Shampoo For Organic Lovers: Audrey Organics Green Tea Clarifying Shampoo

18. Best Clarifying Shampoo For Organic Lovers Augrey Organics Green Tea Clarifying ShampooIf you’d rather go organic and avoid chemicals (and who can blame you?) then this invigorating shampoo will still deliver great looking hair – even after just one use. It works really hard to remove any excess oil and grease.

It gently gets rid of styling product build-up that lurks at the roots so hair feels completely clean and revitalized.

The Green Tea ingredient is excellent for really cleansing hair and scalp and once dry, hair is shiny, full of plenty of bounce.

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Best Clarifying Shampoo For Daily Use: Nothing But Clarifying Shampoo

19. Best Clarifying Shampoo For Daily Use Nothing But Clarifying ShampooWhen you’ve got very oily hair or hair that is prone to Dandruff you probably want to wash it every day in which case this is the right shampoo for you.

Equally, if you swim regularly or you go to the gym and really work up a sweat, this shampoo will work well to cleanse your scalp without drying out your hair. It’s kind and gentle to hair and scalp and leaves hair very easy to manage.

The results? Soft, shiny and hydrated hair that feels exceptionally clean and refreshed – every time!

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Best Clarifying Shampoo For Instant Re-fresh: Herbal Essences Drama Clean Refreshing Hair Shampoo

20. Best Clarifying Shampoo For Instant Re-fresh Herbal Essences Drama Clean Refreshing Hair ShampooWhen you want squeaky clean hair that literally glows with good health then this clarifying shampoo is the ideal purchase. It’s made with Botanical Silk extract, designed to boost your hair’s natural shine.

This shampoo is especially deep cleansing and gets right to the root of the matter to get rid of dirt, grease and product build-up. Hair is left feeling unbelievably lightweight, super-soft and hydrated plus this shampoo keeps oil at bay for a while.

Suitable for daily use, it’s one of those shampoos you need to keep close by!

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Best Clarifying Shampoo For Bad Hair Odour: Pureology Clarifying Shampoo

21. Best Clarifying Shampoo For Bad Hair Odour: Pureology Clarifying Shampoo

If you suffer from hair that smells unpleasant, this shampoo is designed to get rid of that odour and keep it at bay in-between washes. It’s gentle enough to use on colored hair too and goes a long way to really deep-cleanse your scalp, banishing oil and discouraging excessive sebum production.

Extra-gentle, it’s ideal for regular use and it’s formulated to cope with chlorine so it’s especially suitable for swimmers. Hair is left refreshed, full of life and incredibly vibrant with plenty of enviable shine.

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Best Clarifying Shampoo For Unbeatable Daily Shine: Tresemme Purify & Replenish Clarifying Shampoo

22. Best Clarifying Shampoo For Unbeatable Daily Shine: Tresemme Purify & Replenish Clarifying ShampooIf your hair looks dull and lifeless then it needs a boost and this shampoo by Tresemme guarantees to deliver unbelievable shine, even on the flattest hair. It works by penetrating deep into the scalp to remove excess sebum and it gets rid of toxins and impurities so hair feels amazingly soft and lightweight.

Even if you use plenty of styling product, this shampoo will remove any residue and it’s gentle enough for daily use. Formulated with anti-oxidant Vitamin C it’s a replenishing shampoo designed to restore your hair’s natural PH and hydrate it from root to tip.

This one gives great salon results and gets the thumbs up from us!

 

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Best Clarifying Shampoo For Stronger Hair: Nexxus Aloe Rid Gentle Clarifying Shampoo

Even the dirtiest hair will feel radiantly clean and revitalized after using this winning clarifying shampoo! Infused with natural Aloe Vera it’s a deeply refreshing clarifying product that penetrates into the hair follicles removing all trace of environmental pollution, chlorine, hard water build-up and styling product build-up.

It also reduces sebum production from the sebaceous glands and de-greases. The Aloe Vera is excellent for strengthening hair so this is excellent for oily, dirty yet damaged hair.

Your hair will feel like it has a new lease on life with plenty of bounce, shine, volume, and softness.

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Best Clarifying Shampoo For Sensitive Oily Hair: Rusk Sensories Detoxifying Clarifying Shampoo

24. Best Clarifying Shampoo For Sensitive Oily Hair: Rusk Sensories Detoxifying Clarifying ShampooWhen your hair feels dull, lifeless and heavy even when it’s just been washed then it’s time to bring in the brigade and this shampoo does just that. It really attacks dirt and pollution, both of these weigh down your hair and this shampoo really gets deep into the scalp to remove it.

It also banishes oil and grease, discouraging sebum production so hair feels weightless yet full of billowing volume and plenty of generous bounce. Use this shampoo every other day for best results and finish with conditioner to get an enviable finish.

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Best Clarifying Shampoo For Fine Hair: Keratin Protein Hair Care Shampoo (HY Vitamins)

25. Best Clarifying Shampoo For Fine Hair: Keratin Protein Hair Care Shampoo (HY Vitamins)If you look at your fine, limp hair with frustration and wish it could be fuller, thicker looking and really clean then you need this Clarifying Shampoo which is infused with hair’s natural protein, Keratin and smoothing Moroccan Argan Oils.

It’s also completely sulphate and paraben free so gives hair the deep cleanse you want. Even if your hair is dry, this is the perfect shampoo because it won’t strip your hair of its natural moisture, rather replenishing it with plenty of hydration so hair looks and feels remarkably soft and silky smooth.

 

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Best Clarifying Shampoo For Oily Hair: Fekkai Apple Cider Shampoo

26. Best Clarifying Shampoo For Oily Hair: Fekkai Apple Cider ShampooOily hair needs TLC which means you can’t just use any shampoo, you need to choose carefully or you could exacerbate your greasy problem. Clarifying shampoo should be the solution but choose wisely and you’ll reap the benefits.

We especially recommend this Fekkai Apple Cider Shampoo because it is formulated to deep cleanse and remove dirt, pollution and styling product-build-up. At the same time, it controls sebum production so with prolonged use, your hair will stop its excessive oiliness.

It also has the heady fragrance of apples and pears and the scent lasts for days post-washing.

You can use this daily if you have very oily hair but it’s also suitable for other hair-types, just use it less frequently to enjoy silky, smooth, revitalized hair.

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Best For Retaining Hair Dye: Sulphate Free Color Treated Hair Shampoo By Arvazallia

27. Best For Retaining Hair Dye: Sulphate Free Color Treated Hair Shampoo By ArvazalliaInfused with vitamin-rich Moroccan grade Argan Oil and Macadamia Oil this is an intensely moisturizing yet deeply clarifying shampoo. It is specially formulated to really lock in your color, seal it and protect it so you don’t have to keep re-visiting your hair salon because your hair has faded.

It is extremely hydrating so doesn’t strip the hair meaning it won’t dry hair out so it’s suitable for lots of different hair types. If your hair is damaged it has a special patented restorative technology which repairs hair, bringing it back to good condition and it further protects it from chemical processing.

The Moroccan oil content gives hair lasting shine, body and bounce. It’s suitable for bleached, chemically processed, permed, curly and even virgin hair.

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Best For Curly Hair: Jonathan Product Curly Hair Solutions Coconut & Jojoba Oil Shampoo

28. Best For Curly Hair: Jonathan Product Curly Hair Solutions Coconut & Jojoba Oil ShampooSulphate free and color safe, this is the ideal shampoo for hair that is curly but needs deep cleansing. It is fortified with delicious coconut and jojoba oil designed to restore moisture balance in hair.

The shampoo penetrates the scalp and gets right into the roots, cleaning them so they’re free from styling product build-up, pollutants, and excess sebum production. For curly girls, this shampoo enhances curl and bounce, banishing frizz so hair is much more manageable when it comes to styling.

It is also light so it won’t weigh hair down and if you constantly find yourself in a humid atmosphere, this shampoo helps to control frizz in the long term and keep flyaway hair at bay.

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Best Clarifying Shampoo For Relaxed Hair Types: After Straightening Argan Shampoo & Hair Oil Kit By HY Vitamins

29. Best Clarifying Shampoo For Relaxed Hair Types: After Straightening Argan Shampoo & Hair Oil Kit By HY VitaminsPost straightening or relaxing sometimes hair can get greasy so if you’ve already got oily hair this can really cause extra frustration. That’s why we love this luxuriously thick and creamy shampoo by HY Vitamins which is a salt-free shampoo designed for relaxed hair.

It cleanses thoroughly and deeply nourishing as it penetrates each hair follicle. The shampoo is also designed to reverse any damage caused by chemical processing, restoring the hair and scalp’s natural PH balance.

Once dry, hair is full of volume, lustrous and has plenty of bodies. We can recommend this shampoo if your hair is straight without chemical processing, it still works wonders to promote healthy, hydrated and nourished hair.

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Those are our top choices when it comes to clarifying – with careful use your hair will always look radiant and glowing with good health, not a drop of oil in sight!

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