The 7 Best Clarifying Shampoos For Relaxed Hair

Clarifying is an important step for having healthy relaxed hair and should be included in every relaxed hair regimen. To clarify your hair you need to make sure you’re using the right type of cleanser. That cleanser is a clarifying shampoo. It's sometimes called a deep cleaning shampoo.

There are many clarifying shampoos out there but not all of them are good ones to use on relaxed hair.

Keep reading to learn more about what a clarifying shampoo is, why you should use one, and find out my top 7 clarifying shampoos to use on relaxed hair.

Best Relaxed Hair Clarifying Shampoos | A Relaxed Gal
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What is a clarifying shampoo?

It is a shampoo that deep cleanses your hair to remove sweat, and heavy build-up from dirt, oils, and hair products that were left by regular shampoos. Essentially using a clarifying shampoo gives your hair a fresh start. A clarifying shampoo will have ingredients like sulfates, baking soda, or ones that have detoxifying properties.

A clarifying shampoo is different from a chelating shampoo because a chelating shampoo goes a few steps further by also removing mineral deposits and heavy metals from the hair.

Why use a clarifying shampoo?

Having a clean scalp and clean hair is so important to have healthy relaxed hair. And if you’re not removing all of the dirt, oil, and product that can build up on your hair you can end up with
  • Scalp issues that can impact hair growth
  • Dry hair which is more likely to break

How often should a clarifying shampoo be used?

There’s no set right or wrong answer as it depends on your hair and how much build-up your hair accumulates over time. For example, if you wash your hair less and/or use a lot of product on your hair you may need to clarify more often like every 4 weeks or so. If you wash your hair more often and don’t use a lot of product on your hair you could clarify less often like every 8 weeks.

I will caution that if you use a clarifying shampoo too often it can really dry out your hair. So finding the perfect balance of when to clarify versus when to use a moisturizing shampoo on your relaxed hair is key.

My top 7 clarifying shampoos

Now that we know more about clarifying shampoos I’m going to share 7 ones that are good to use on relaxed hair. Note, that some of these shampoos do contain protein somewhere in the ingredient list. So if you’re staying away from protein I‘d suggest checking out the ingredient lists before you buy.

1. ORS Olive Oil Creamy Aloe Shampoo

We’re starting off with my favorite clarifying shampoo. I was interested in this one as it’s really popular in the relaxed hair community.

The ORS Olive Oil Creamy Aloe Shampoo is a sulfate-free shampoo that is meant to deep clean the hair and remove product buildup and relaxer buildup but it has some moisturizing ingredients as well. I feel like it does a good job of giving my relaxed hair a clean slate without drying it out.

Where to purchase

2. Pattern Clarifying Shampoo

This shampoo claims to remove build-up, revive the scalp, and give hair a fresh start without stripping away the healthy oils on the hair and scalp. The Pattern Clarifying Shampoo also claims to have “antioxidant-rich Matcha Green Tea and Aloe Vera to promote strong hair.”

3. Camille Rose Sweet Ginger Cleansing Rinse

This one doesn’t call itself a shampoo but a cleansing rinse that clarifies the hair. It contains Ginger Root which naturally cleanses & clarifies the scalp with its antiseptic properties and moisturizing oils. The Camille Rose Sweet Ginger Cleansing Rinse is paraben & sulfate-free.

4. Texture ID Curl Clarifying Shampoo

This claims to be a sulfate-free cleanser that gently cleanses the hair and scalp. It also says to provide some hydration and shine via the honey and argan oil ingredients. 

5. Ion Hard Water Shampoo

This Ion shampoo is technically more in the chelating shampoo versus clarifying shampoo camp as it helps eliminate mineral build-up from hard and well water.

The Ion Hard Water Shampoo also claims to
  • Reduce dryness, damage, dullness, and discoloration
  • Be safe for color-treated hair
  • Be 100% vegan

I’ve also used this shampoo with no negative impact on my relaxed hair.

Where to purchase

6. My Black Is Beautiful Clarifying Shampoo

This shampoo has blue ginger which it says “is known for having natural antioxidants that detox and protect against damage." This is a gentle cleanser that removes impurities and resets the scalp without stripping the hair of natural oils. The ingredient blue ginger is known for having natural antioxidants that detox and protect against damage. In addition to being sulfate-free, it’s also paraben and silicone-free.

Where to purchase

7. Not Your Mothers Matcha Green Tea & Wild Apple Blossom Nutrient Rich Shampoo

This is another detoxifying shampoo. It claims to enrich the hair and scalp with antioxidants and nutrients for a deep clean. The Not Your Mothers Matcha Green Tea & Wild Apple Blossom Nutrient Rich Shampoo has no sulfates, silicones, parabens, gluten, or dyes.

Where to purchase


  1. Hi there! Thanks for posting. Can you clarify hair immediately after relaxing (to remove buildup from no-lye relaxers)? I'm thinking it's probably best to wait a while, but no idea how long.

    1. Thank you for commenting. I don't have any personal experience with that so I would suggest reaching out to a licensed hair professional as they would be able to provide advice on that.


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