We are here to keep you abreast of all the topics, terms and products your natural hair will need. Clarifying shampoo needs to be on the top 10 list even though shampoo gets a really bad rap from naturals. I'm here to tell you that not all shampoos are bad and most certainly clarifying shampoos are not the devil.
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Natural hair needs to be cleaned...hell, all hair needs to be cleaned. The problem lies in our worry about shampoos completely stripping our hair and we can overdo it by using only cleansing conditioners all the time. Here's the breakdown on what a clarifying shampoo is, does and why you most certainly need it.
What is a clarifying shampoo?
Why do we need a clarifying shampoo?Well, for one, they rid hair of all the extra gunk, dirt, pollutants, metals and chlorine that comes in contact with our hair. They may not be needed for every wash but when hair needs that extra cleaning, it's time to pull out the big guns. Shampoos can be harsh to our natural and delicate strands because they often remove all the oils and moisture they need.
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That's why many have ditched them but they still serve a purpose and here are some reasons why we still choose to use them.
Removing non-soluble silicones
Silicones are a loved and hated ingredient in many hair care products that adds massive slip and even shine to natural hair. They make for easier detangling and movement for many naturals but the non-water soluble silicones like Cetyl, dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, and Dimethiconol can cause havoc in our hair as they sit on top and stick like glue.
Here are some popular water soluble silicones that are easier to remove from hair and do not need to clarify to remove them: Amodimethicone, Behenoxy dimethicone, Cyclohexasiloxane , Cyclomethicone.
Removing hard water deposits
Hard water is water that contains high levels of minerals and metals, mainly calcium and magnesium but also includes iron, copper, silica, lead and manganese. Many of us live with hard water and those deposits can stick to the hair shaft, can cause build up which can keep moisture out of the hair and give it a dull, almost grayish appearance. Clarifying shampoos are designed to remove them and allow moisture to get back into our strands.
Removing chlorine and saltwater
Swimming may not be on your list of things to do this winter but many of us take a dip all year long or travel around the world and taking dips in the ocean. Taking a clarifying shampoo on your trip is a necessity to fully remove everything and keep hair fully clean and not harmed further by the salt water, or chlorine. I carried my Design Essentials Oat Protein Henna Deep Cleansing Shampoo to the Bahamas last month and had no problems with the ocean water or pool water as a result.
That just means make sure to always, always, ALWAYS, deep condition or use a hair mask AFTER you clarify. Clarifying shampoos work hard at removing all those impurities but they also remove the oils and all the moisture our strands need. A deep conditioner or intensive hair mask help to get that moisture back in. I would also suggest coupling the deep conditioning with heat (like using a thermal deep conditioning cap) to help it work harder and better at penetrating the hair shaft and imparting that moisture BACK into the hair strand.
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Let me mention again, that it may not be necessary to use every wash day but I would say on average I clarify once a month. Take it from someone who hates shampoo...the right shampoo makes all the difference in the world and your hair will appreciate the fully cleaned feeling and the removal of all the gunk.
Here are some popular clarifying shampoos many naturals love:
MOROCCANOIL Clarifying Shampoo
SheaMoisture Strengthen, Grow & Restore Shampoo
Ouidad Superfruit Renewal Clarifying Cream Shampoo
Design Essentials Oat Protein Henna Deep Cleansing Shampoo
Have you tried a clarifying shampoo?