One of the most conflicting products in the curly girl world is shampoo. Because our curly hair tends to be dryer than the other hair types, many curlies opt to forego shampoo altogether. They might favor doing a cowash, which is using conditioner only for washing hair. I am here to tell you that clarify curly hair should be an important part of your curly hair routine.
A clarifying shampoo is like your shampoo, but with more cleaning power. They are made to remove all of the dirt, debris and product buildup that you develop on your hair over time.
You're probably reading this and thinking, "I'm not using any products that have silicons or mineral oil, why do I need to clarify my curly hair?". Our hair is constantly being assaulted by pollutants in the air, plus our sweat and other toxins can build up in our scalp and hair. All of these contaminants plus the oils in our hair products can cause our hair to become dull.
I will share with you my top 5 reasons why you should clarify your hair.
1. It cleans your scalp
Sometimes we forget that scalp is skin. If we don't clean our scalp, we can risk a whole host of problems from getting fungus to hair loss. When you take a shower, you don't just run your body under the water. You would use some sort of soap to wash away the dead skin cells. It's the same thing for your scalp and why you want to clarify your curly hair. We have our natural oils, sebum, which come from our glands and can get trapped because these oils can't run down the length of our curly hair. This can mix with our dead skin cell and dandruff. Using a good clarifying shampoo will help to loosen and remove these contaminants.
2. Removes product build-up
Along with all the contaminants that build up on your scalp, so does products build up on your hair. Even if you're using the most natural ingredients on your hair, strands will tend to hold onto some of these oils and butters which can cause build up on your hair. When this happens, your cuticles are unable to open to allow moisture into the hair shaft. In this case, you want to clarify curly hair to remove all of that build up so your cuticles will be able to open up again.
3. Clarify curly hair for a good silk press
Believe it or not, a good silk press starts on fresh clean hair. When you clarify curly hair and remove any debris from your strands, you end up with hair that has movement and shine.
4. Clarify curly hair to make color more vibrant
Did you just get a new color? If you did, then you will want to clarify your curly hair every once in a while to help bring out the color. The same way we discussed product build up, is the reason why your hair color can appear dull. When you use a good clarifying shampoo, you help to bring the life back to your hair color.
How often should you clarify curly hair?
This depends on the types of products that you use, how often you wash your hair and also the temperature outside. If you're using commercial products with a lot of synthetic ingredients, then you might want to clarify at least once a month. You could clarify your hair more often in the summer since it's more humid. And use harsh shampoos less often in the winter.
Overall, you should look at the condition of your hair. If your usual products don't seem to be as effective, then you might have build up. That would be when you should clarify your curly hair.
Want more tips?
Read all about sulfates and how they affect your curls.
How co-washing can lead to hair loss.