The Best Clarifying Shampoos For Colored Hair

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Almost anyone can benefit from using a clarifying shampoo a couple of times a month, but when you have dyed or highlighted hair, you want to make sure you’re not using just any old clarifying shampoo in the shower. Generally, the best clarifying shampoos for colored hair are sulfate-free (and sometimes labelled as color-safe) and made with gentle ingredients that effectively deep-clean your scalp without being too harsh. In a moment, you’ll find five great options that fit the bill — but first, a few tips from Rita Hazan, longtime hair colorist to Beyoncé, on how best to incorporate clarifying shampoo into your color-treated hair regimen.

In addition to choosing the right shampoo, how often you use your clarifying shampoo is just as important when it comes to maintaining your color, Hazan tells Elite Daily. She explains, “Clarifying shampoo is not great for color-treated hair on a daily basis as it can strip out your color. It is great to use one to two times a month if you have buildup of products, if you use too much dry shampoo, [or] if your water has too many minerals.” Hazan also says it’s wise to use a deep-conditioning treatment after using a clarifying shampoo, which will help replenish any moisture that was lost during the clarifying process.

To shop the best clarifying shampoos for color-treated hair, keep scrolling.

1. The Overall Best Clarifying Shampoo For Colored Hair

Suitable for just about any hair types and texture, including color-treated hair, OUAI Detox Shampoo is a highly concentrated, deep-cleaning shampoo made with apple cider vinegar to gently, but thoroughly, remove product residue from your scalp and give your hair an overall refresh. It’s sulfate-free, like all the shampoos on this list, and also doesn’t contains any parabens, a common preservative some people prefer to avoid.

Fans of the product not only rave about this shampoo’s effectiveness, but also its scent, a blend of rose, bergamot, lychee, champagne, and white musk notes, which the brand dubbed ‘Melrose Place.’ In an effort to be more eco-conscious, the brand also sells refills for this shampoo; you can keep a pouch under the sink and top up the bottle whenever you start to run out.

2. The Best Clarifying Shampoo For Dry, Colored Hair

Moroccanoil’s clarifying shampoo uses nourishing and repairing ingredients like keratin, panthenol, avocado oil, and argan oil — the brand’s star ingredient in all their products, which is rich in vitamin E and fatty acids — to restore moisture to dried-out hair as it simultaneously deep cleans your scalp. Like the OUAI shampoo, it’s free of both sulfates and parabens, and features a notable scent — this time, a blend of warm, sultry notes with a hint of sweetness.

3. The Best Clarifying Shampoo For Oily, Colored Hair

All Living Proof products, including their Perfect Hair Day Triple Detox Shampoo, are free of sulfates, silicones, parabens, and phthalates, and therefore safe for use on color-treated hair. This unique shampoo is black, thanks to the activated charcoal inside — an ingredient that’s known for its deep-cleaning/purifying abilities — though the brand uses other, innovative technologies in here, including a chelating agent and anionic polymer, to draw away impurities, excess oil, and hard water residue from your scalp. As an added bonus, this shampoo also comes with a hard water testing strip so you can test the water in your home (and care for your hair accordingly).

4. The Best Clarifying Shampoo Under $10

If you’re looking to spend less than $10, ACURE’s clarifying shampoo is a foolproof choice. Free of sulfates and parabens, and made with ingredients that are almost entirely naturally derived (like all the brand’s products), this shampoo deep cleans without being overly drying, thanks to the inclusion of argan and avocado oils in the formula. Lemongrass provides its bright, refreshing scent, and its bright green bottle provides a fun burst of color in your shower.

5. The Best Value

Love Beauty And Planet’s Delightful Detox Sulfate-Free Shampoo is another color-safe, charcoal-based cleansing shampoo, and it’s free of silicones, parabens, sulfates, and dyes. You get an impressive 32-ounce bottle of product for less than $15, so it’s an amazing value; depending on how often you clarify your hair, you may be set for a good year.


Rita Hazan, celebrity colorist and salon owner