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The Top 3 Benefits of Clarifying Shampoo

The Top 3 Benefits of Clarifying Shampoo

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Every now and then your natural curls need a fresh start. Things like oils, styling creams and even pool water can cause residue buildup in your curly hair over time. Without a proper cleanse, it can leave your naturally voluminous curls feeling a little dull and lifeless. 

The self-care solution? Add a curl cleansing shampoo into your wash day routine. 

This must-have hair care item helps to restore your curly hair’s natural bounce and shine while removing excess grease.

Plus, it’s useful in more ways than one. Curious to know more benefits of clarifying shampoo for natural hair? Stay tuned to find out. 

#1 It Thoroughly Cleans Your Scalp and Curls

Think of clarifying shampoo as a detox for your locks. 

Unlike your regular shampoo, it has special, soap-like ingredients that break down the residue in your hair for a deep clean. When looking for a quality clarifying shampoo, keep an eye out for ultra-nourishing ingredients like:

  • Panthenol, a key player in strengthening your hair type and locking in moisture
  • Aloe vera, a natural scalp-soother
  • Antioxidants, like vitamins E, C and A 

This winning combination will help to banish strand and scalp build-upwithout stripping away the essential oils that keep your hair quenched and thriving. 

#2 It Helps Your Hair to Absorb Color Evenly

If you’re thinking about switching up hair shades, make sure to clarify your curls 12 to 24 hours before your coloring treatment. This easy trick allows your hair to absorb the dye easier and evenly. 

Excess residue can stick to your curly strands and block the color treatment from fully penetrating your locks. If your hair hasn’t had a thorough wash recently, you could leave your appointment with uneven hair color and weaker hair strands. However, when your strands are healthy and clean, they're in a better state to not only absorb the hair color but to stay shiny and full of bounce—even after the treatment. 

After switching up your look, you can go back to your regular shampoo to help the color last. Then, use your clarifying shampoo once a month or every other week. 

#3 Styling Your Curls is Easier

Build up and grease can weigh down even the most gravity-defying curls. Instead of the volume and bounce that you’re used to, your curls can turn dull, limp and defiant when trying to hold a style. It can prevent you from truly embracing the versatility that your natural texture has to offer. 

So, how does clarifying shampoo make it easier to rock a twist or install box braids?

  • It strips all the dirt that’s weighing your curls down. 
  • It restores the natural pH balance of each hair strand and your scalp. 

Rinse out the shampoo and you’ll notice lighter, brighter and shinier curls. With the build-up removed, you’ll find that your curly hair stylers are better able to do their job and that you have an easier time manipulating your curls into the style you desire. 

Clarifying Shampoo: Best Practices for Your Best Self

If these benefits have got you brimming with excitement for wash day, you’ll want to be mindful of how to use clarifying shampoo. A couple of best practices before soaping up include:

  • Finding the right frequency with which to use your clarifying shampoo
  • Pairing it with an ultra-hydrating conditioner, like PATTERN’s hydration conditioner for luscious curls

Let’s start by sorting out your schedule. 

When to Use Clarifying Shampoo

The clarifying shampoo purpose is to cleanse your strands and force dirt and grime aside so that your natural radiance can take the spotlight. That said, if you clarify too often—or not often enough—you may not experience the full benefits. 

Wondering how often to wash natural hair using a clarifying shampoo? A good rule of thumb is once a month, especially for those with color treated hair. But, you may need to clarify more often. It all depends on your lifestyle and hair care routine. To help you gauge the appropriate frequency for your hair, consider these questions:

  • How often does your hair come in contact with chlorine water?
  • Do you have dyed hair and want to maintain your color for longer?
  • Do you use a ton of hair styling products in between wash days?

If you're an avid swimmer that slathers on several hair styling products each day, then you may need to clarify around once a week. If you’re not sure, try experimenting with different frequencies to find the right fit for your unique hair.

The Hydration Combo: Clarifying Shampoo and Moisturizing Conditioner

Curls thrive when they’re clean and well-moisturized. Since the best clarifying shampoo products tend to have powerful cleaning ingredients, you may need to add some hydration back in to keep your curls well-nurtured. Incorporating an additional ultra-nourishing shampoo and conditioner for curly hair can help supplement wash days when you use a clarifying shampoo.

So, after you’ve thoroughly rinsed out the shampoo, a moisturizing conditioner helps to:

  • Prevent any tangles and single strand knots
  • Keep curls frizz-free
  • Hydrate and re-soften your natural hair
  • Make it easier to brush and style

Once you have the cleaning part down pat, follow up your clarifying wash with a moisturizing conditioner.

Start Fresh with PATTERN 

Limp, lifeless curls are often the first sign that you’re due for a fresh start. Regular shampoo can only do so much, so you may need to tap into the powers of another hair care essential to restore your curls to their naturally voluminous state.

Our color-safe, paraben-free curl cleansing shampoo promises to do just that. With PATTERN, you can expect quality ingredients that nourish and cleanse curls of all textures and colors. Check out our other types of curly hair shampoo or castor oil hair products that go the extra mile by supporting organizations and programs that empower women and people of color. 

For strong, springy, breathtaking hair, choose PATTERN.


  1. Cherney, Christeen. "What Is Clarifying Shampoo?" Healthline. 8 March, 2019.  https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/clarifying-shampoo#risks 
  2. Gavazzoni Dias, Maria Fernanda Reis. “Hair cosmetics: an overview.” International journal of trichology vol. 7,1 (2015): 2-15. doi:10.4103/0974-7753.153450
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Reviewed by Ashley Ludgood

With over 12 years of experience in the beauty and fashion industry, Ashley Ludgood brings a wealth of expertise to her current role at PATTERN. Her insights have been featured in reputable publications like American Salon Magazine, American Spa Magazine, and Skin, Inc. Ashley has also shared her knowledge at conferences, including Face & Body, demonstrating her ongoing commitment to contributing to the industry. Having been an integral part of the team at PATTERN for nearly 4 years, Ashley continues to make significant contributions. Holding a degree in Journalism from Northwestern University, she remains passionate about her field. Among her favorite products, Ashley turns to the PATTERN Styling Cream, Moisture Milk, and the Cleansing Shampoo as her go-to essentials.

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