Why Everybody Needs Clarifying Shampoo

Our hair and scalp accumulate sebum (a natural protective oil), hair products, dead skin cells, sweat, and other buildup in the course of everyday living. Over time, the buildup can weigh our hair down, making it look dull or feel heavy. Here, the best (clean) ways to clarify your hair, leaving it fresh with renewed volume and shine.

Why Everybody Needs Clarifying Shampoo

Written by: Matigan King

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Published on: September 22, 2022

woman washing her hair

Our hair and scalp accumulate sebum (a natural protective oil), hair products, dead skin cells, sweat, and other buildup in the course of everyday living. Over time, the buildup can weigh our hair down, making it look dull or feel heavy.

Washing with a clarifying shampoo is akin to giving your scalp a detox: It’s not meant to be an everyday ritual. How often you use a clarifying shampoo depends on both your hair type and your lifestyle. Gwyneth, for example, uses the goop scalp-scrub shampoo several times a week. “It feels so good, and it leaves my hair so soft,” she says. Others might go for once a week, while people who have oily hair might even use it once a day.

As with everything, balance is key.

  1. For the Occasional Itch or Flake

    Dr. Barbara Sturm Balancing Shampoo
    Dr. Barbara Sturm Balancing Shampoo goop, $60
    SHOP NOW
  2. For Softness and Shine

    goop Beauty G.Tox Himalayan Salt Scalp Scrub Shampoo
    goop Beauty G.Tox Himalayan Salt Scalp Scrub Shampoo goop, $55/$38 with subscription
    SHOP NOW
  3. For Your Bounciest-Ever Hair

    Rahua Voluminous Shampoo
    Rahua Voluminous Shampoo goop, $36
    SHOP NOW

Follow every shampoo (but especially clarifying shampoo, since it cleanses so thoroughly) with a really moisturizing conditioner and/or hair mask—using it only on the midlengths to the ends—for the softest, shiniest results.

  1. For Breakage-Prone Hair

    Grown Alchemist Nourishing Conditioner
    Grown Alchemist Nourishing Conditioner goop, $49
    SHOP NOW
  2. For Moisture and Gleam

    Innersense Hydrating Hair Masque
    Innersense Hydrating Hair Masque goop, $30
    SHOP NOW
  3. For Softness and Bounce

    Crown Affair The Ritual Conditioner
    Crown Affair The Ritual Conditioner goop, $38
    SHOP NOW

Related Reading

What Can I Do about Dull, Dry Hair?

How Often Should I Wash My Hair?

For Sexy, Shiny, Healthy Hair, Moisturize