Just like your skin, your hair and scalp sometimes need a good detox. For your skin, that’s called exfoliating. For your hair and scalp, it’s called clarifying. This is not, unlike the name suggests, a way to lighten your hair color.
No, instead it’s a kind of detox and deep clean for your hair. It removes product buildup, oil, dirt, deep cleans, and makes your hair look healthier. It also gives your hair volume and shine. So what’s not to love? You can say goodbye to dull, lifeless, damaged hair if you clarify your hair.
There are natural ways you can use at home to clarify your hair, or you could go for more mainstream methods, like clarifying shampoo. So if you want professional salon-quality hair, keep on reading. You’ll know everything there is to know about hair clarifying and how to get great results!
Here’s an initial Q&A so you can have all the answers to your Q’s about what clarifying your hair is exactly.
What Exactly Is Clarifying Your Hair?
As mentioned above, clarifying your hair means deep cleaning and remove product buildup from your hair and scalp. It has nothing to do with lightening your hair. Instead, you make your hair ‘clear’ from all the dirt and product buildup.
The buildup is a natural thing, and if you don’t take proper care of your hair, you’ll most likely get that. There are many things that could provoke buildup: dirt or natural oils in your scalp (aka sebum). And it can even come from product buildups, such as regular shampoos, styling products, and other hair products you might use in your hair care routine.
So if you want healthy, shiny hair instead of dull, lifeless, oily, and tired hair, you should definitely give clarifying ago!
What Are The Benefits Of Clarifying Your Hair?
As said above, it’s important to clarify your hair to remove dirt, product buildup, and natural oils that make your hair oily and grease it faster. This also rejuvenates your hair, makes it shiny and less fragile. And it keeps your hair follicles healthy. So what’s not to love?
So if you’re sick of greasy, dirty, lifeless, and dull hair, you definitely should try to clarify your hair!
Why Can’t You Use Your Regular Shampoo To Clarify Your Hair?
Your regular shampoos won’t be able to remove all the product buildup from the styling products from your hair care routine. Dust and dirt naturally form, and it’s not necessarily the fault of your hair products. That’s why you can’t just use your regular shampoo to clarify your hair.
Why Can Your Hair Get Damaged?
As mentioned previously, product buildup, your hair care routine, and natural oils in your hair and scalp could damage your hair follicles. So talk to a licensed dermatologist to know if the hair products you’re using work for your specific hair type. They might even recommend you to use a clarifying shampoo.
Another thing that could cause your hair to feel out of shape is hard water. It can leave chlorine traces and other minerals on your hair and scalp. This can really hurt your hair follicles and leave product buildup.
So, to sum it up, if you combine the production build of your regular shampoo, hair styling products, and the hard water, your hair can easily get damaged. That’s because its pH can be altered by all these factors. A clarifying shampoo should be able to fix that and restore your hair. You’ll feel like you just left the hair salon!
Stress could also be another factor, but you should talk to a licensed professional if that’s the case, so they can advise you best on what to do.
When Should You Clarify Your Hair?
There are a few things that can help you when it’s time to clarify your hair, as well as all the factors mentioned in the previous section. If you’re someone who often swims, like in the ocean or even in a swimming pool, your hair follicles can get damaged quicker. Also, if the water is hard where you live, you’ll have a lot of chlorine buildup in your hair and scalp.
Also, if you feel like your hair products aren’t working anymore, or you don’t get results, it could be another sign that you need to clarify your hair. Especially if you normally have fine hair and the natural oils are more and more present. If your hair feels oily, weighed down, or your scalp is flaky or even itchy, you should definitely clarify your hair.
Other signs include important hair loss, dull or lifeless hair, or frizzy hair. Also, if you often have to use deep condition products, you probably need to clarify your hair every two weeks. You shouldn’t clarify it more often than that.
Dry hair is also a sign that you should clarify your hair. In general, if your hair hasn’t been feeling like itself lately, it’s probably because you need to clarify it.
How Can You Clarify Your Hair?
You can either clarify your hair with a clarifying shampoo or with natural treatments you can DIY from your home. Just make sure that whatever you decide to use to clarify your hair will not damage or dry your hair. So avoid harsh products.
You need a targeted clarifying product that will break the natural oils and hair products apart, so the buildup can simply be washed away with water. A good clarifying product won’t damage or dry your hair out, as it’s targeted for the buildup residue in your hair.
In fact, most clarifying products are hydrating to compensate for the loss of natural oils (the sebum) in your hair. And some clarifying shampoos can even improve your hair’s level of hydration. You don’t want your hair to go dry, as dry hair can get buildup too, just like oily one.
How Do You Pick A Good Clarifying Shampoo?
As said above, you need a good clarifying product that won’t damage or dry your hair and will ideally hydrate it. So you need a clarifying shampoo that will at the same time clarify your hair and that deep conditions it and leaves it nourished.
The more research you do on a product, the better. And you’ll notice that good ingredients often make a good clarifying shampoo. Ideally, choose natural ones, and avoid harsh chemical components like parabens, phthalates, Laureth or lauryl sulfates, and others.
Harsh chemicals will clarify your hair and deep clean it but really damage it too. So avoid harmful products. A good clarifying shampoo with natural ingredients will also remove the product build, if not better than a chemical one.
How Do You Properly Use A Clarifying Shampoo?
You use clarifying shampoos just like regular shampoos. But there are a few extra tips to help you deep clean, deep condition, and remove product buildup in your hair. First, you should use more shampoo than what you would normally with regular shampoos. Otherwise, it won’t remove the product build as much, and it can even leave some residue.
Then, when you figure out what the right amount of hair product works for your hair and scalp, make sure you apply it properly. If you want to clarify your hair, you’ll have to scrub your wet hair hard to remove product build, dirt, and natural oils. Be thorough!
If you naturally have very oily hair, you should shampoo another time until it feels like the natural oils aren’t there anymore. Finally, you can follow your shampoo with a clarifying hair conditioner. This will help your hair to stay hydrated and even create more hydration.
Your other regular shampoos and styling products aren’t necessarily bad for you. It’s just that sometimes your hair needs a little bit of love and clarifying. If you’re worried about your regular hair care routine, you can always talk to a dermatologist. This way, they can tailor a perfect routine for you and your type of hair!
Natural Ways To Clarify Your Hair
In the Q&A, we’ve talked a lot about clarifying shampoos and how to use them best to achieve great results, salon-quality results. A clarifying hair conditioner could also be beneficial.
But now that you know about these products, let’s dive into all the natural ways to clarify your hair. You can do all of these with natural ingredients that you probably have at home already. Of course, these are just suggestions, and there are a lot more natural homemade recipes you could use. Just make sure it uses natural and safe products.
How To Clarify Your Hair With Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a wonderful ingredient to keep around at home, as it has a lot of health benefits. But it’s also great for homemade beauty products, including for clarifying your hair naturally. There are three ways you could use it:
- With bentonite clay. Bentonite clay is a fine natural clay with a soft texture. It’s great to remove excess oil and to clarify. All you need for this recipe is half a cup of apple cider vinegar, half a cup of bentonite clay, and half a cup of water.
You just need to mix the clay and the water until it forms a paste. Then, put it on your hair and scalp for five to ten minutes. Rinse it as normal, and then apply a mixture of half a cup of apple cider vinegar and half a cup of water. Apply it on your hair and leave that mixture in for five minutes. And then rinse your hair as normal again.
Not only will your hair be clarified with the bentonite clay, but it will be shiny with the apple cider vinegar mixture!
- With ghassoul clay. If you can’t find bentonite clay, ghassoul clay is a great alternative. It’s also good against oil and has to clarify properties. Just make sure you test all the ingredients on your elbow before you make any natural recipe to check you’re not allergic to anything.
To use this, mix half a cup of ghassoul clay with half a cup of aloe vera juice, two tablespoons of vegetable oil, two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, and 10 drops of essential oil if you want a nice smell.
Mix these together, apply to your hair, and massage for about 10 minutes. Then leave it on for another 10 minutes. Rinse the mixture and then shampoo as normal.
- With baking soda. Hair professionals don’t always recommend baking soda, so be aware of that. For this recipe, use half a cup of water, one tablespoon of the baking spoon, and two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Mix all of these and apply the paste to your hair. Let it sit for two minutes, rinse it off and shampoo your hair.
How To Clarify Your Hair With Sea Salt
If you don’t have apple cider vinegar, you can also clarify your hair with sea salt. Instead of a rinsing mixture or a mask, this recipe is for a hair and scalp scrub. You’ll need six tablespoons of sea salt to exfoliate, one tablespoon of olive oil or any other oil to keep the moisture, and one tablespoon and a half of lemon to make your hair shiny.
Mix these, then apply to damp hair and scrub the mixture on your hair and scalp for then minutes. Then, leave it for ten minutes and rinse with a gentle shampoo.
How To Clarify Your Hair With Baking Soda
As said above, baking soda isn’t always recommended by hair professionals. Especially if you use it long-term. But you can try if you have dandruff, you can use two drops of tea tree oil with one tablespoon of baking soda and a quarter cup of liquid castile soap. Mix these ingredients, apply on wet hair and leave it for ten minutes. Then rinse it off.