The Hair and Scalp Benefits of Clarifying Shampoo

Woman washing her long curly hair with a clarifying shampoo in the shower.

Curly hair problems can put a kink in your day. From build-up to frizz and flyaways, curly-haired girls have learned to always expect the unexpected. Type 3 and Type 4 hair can be especially challenging when it comes to managing a simple natural hair routine. We love the versatility and movement natural hair creates, but we could do without the battle. Learn more about the fabulous benefits of clarifying shampoo for hair and scalp. We promise, your lovely curls will thank you with plenty of quick and easy morning routines.

It's time to add a little clarity to your morning routine! Shake things up and strip things down to the basics. Unclog delicate pores, liberate your roots, and empower your inner celebrity stylist to take control of your curly hair goals. Clarifying shampoo is one of the best tools you can have in your at-home hair care kit. When it comes to nourishing hair and scalp, there's no substitute for high-quality cleansing products designed specifically with your hair type in mind.

What Exactly Does Clarifying Shampoo Do for Your Do?

Buzzwords like clarifying are often thrown around in the beauty community. Without much of an explanation as to what these often hyped properties actually do for natural hair. "Cleanse" and "refine" don't add much to the conversation when it comes to selecting the best shampoos for your hair type. After all, isn't cleaning our hair the point of showering? How do clarifying shampoos differ from normal shampoos and what exactly do they do to your hair and scalp?

Think of clarifying shampoo as creating a clean canvas. Just as our trusty makeup wipes, micellar cleansers, and toners scrub away dirt and grime from our pores, restoring radiance and health. Our hair and scalp require a refresher, too. The goal of clarifying is to rejuvenate your scalp by gently cleansing away bacteria, fungal growth, and balancing your skin's pH. This while also restoring your hair's softness, shine, and movement. In addition, this keeps hair from becoming brittle and fragile over time and scrubs away residue from styling products.

Your hair is anything but average. That means average shampoo simply won't cut it. Those "regular" shampoos don't penetrate deep enough to cleanse away build-up, dead skin cells, and excess oil. With clarifying shampoo, your hair gets the fresh and clean feeling you love after each and every wash.

Build-Up Buster

Build-up along your scalp and roots is a common hair care problem for Type 3 and Type 4 curly hair. This occurs from excess deposits of sweat, minerals (hard water), residue from styling products, and general dryness that creates flakes and dandruff. Protective styles are one of the best ways to keep your curls healthy while growing out natural hair. However, the tensions from braids and twists add stress to your scalp. Which exacerbates the issue and causes your scalp to itch and become irritated.

Build-up causes breakage at the root level and clogs the pores on your scalp and hair follicles. This weakens the integrity of each strand and aggravates dryness and brittleness, while the filmy residue prevents moisture from penetrating your scalp.

Use a tried and true clarifying shampoo once a week as part of your natural hairstyle routine. The nourishing ingredients in each bottle wash away grit and grime. Strengthening the hair and restoring natural softness, bounce, and brilliance.

Follow up with heat-free, chemical freestyling. RevAir's amazing reverse air technology offers the same power and flexibility as a conventional hairdryer, without damaging your scalp and curls. This leaves you with a frizz-free finish designed to enhance and nurture every hair type, every time.


Loving your hair is a balancing act! Just like with our skincare, our scalp requires a specific pH level to stay hydrated, healthy, and free of harmful fungal growth. 5.5 to be exact. For Type 3 and Type 4 hair, stylists recommend choosing a shampoo and conditioner with a pH lower than the natural range of the hair itself. If you've ever heard of the age-old vinegar rinse, think of clarifying shampoo as your at-home curly hair remedy without the mess (or smell!). A high quality clarifying shampoo is specifically designed with your hair type in mind. These products restore a healthy pH balance and prevent your scalp from becoming too basic.

After all, there's nothing "basic" about your amazing hair. Enjoy effortless radiance without itching, irritation, and damage.


Our scalp can suffer from breakouts too. From styling to pulling, twisting, sewing. And to sunbathing and working out, curly-haired beauty gurus never let frizz, bumps, or kinks throw off their plans. Unlike our lovely faces, our scalps can sometimes go months without a proper clarifying routine. This leads to excessive inflammation and bacterial build-up that isn't always as apparent as facial acne. Think of scalp irritation as the silent, stealthy breakouts of the beauty world.

Luckily, clarifying shampoo offers the perfect solution to dull, flaky, and stressed-out skin.

Quit playing favorites when it comes to skincare. Your scalp deserves a little TLC, too! Start treating your skin right by nourishing your hair and root with cleansing formulas designed to reduce excess sebum production. Common culprits of breakouts include residue from gels and serums, stress on the root from protective styling, environmental pollution, and the build of dead skin cells. Even natural oil production can create an excess without a healthy cleansing routine.

Clarifying shampoo wipes the slate clean and unclogs pores for Instagram worthy #hairgoals. Exfoliating your scalp is especially relevant to those with active lifestyles who may be more prone to fungal infections due to a build-up of sweat and outside toxins. If you love to hit the gym as much as the beauty bar, clarifying shampoo is a must-have.

Color Me Ready

One of the most fun ways to celebrate natural hair is getting creative with colors that complement curly hairstyles. From balayage to fun fashion hues, the world is your palette when it comes to expressing your style and turning heads.

Healthy hair absorbs color best, staying true to hue and remaining soft and shiny after processing. Clarifying shampoo helps prep natural hair for color treatments. And prevents lighter tones from becoming brassy after the fact. Leftover dirt and residue block hair follicles from absorbing color, leading to a subpar result. By cleansing before color treating, you're guaranteed a clean canvas to work with. In addition to preparing your curly hair for color treatment and balancing yellow tones, the cleansing shampoo also prevents breakage and hair loss after chemical treatments.

For color-treated hair, opt for a sulfate-free option once a week designed to strip away dirt and grime without causing your color to fade.

Choosing the Best Clarifying Shampoo for Your Head

The best hair care products for at-home styling are tailored to your unique hair type and texture. For example, Type 3 hair is often categorized as the classic "s" shaped curl, where Type 4 hair is more tightly-wound and kinky, or "z" shaped. You'll also want to identify your hair goals (smoothing, volumizing, or simply cleansing?) and pay close attention to your hair's color.

As a general rule of thumb, stick with clarifying shampoos that state that they are "color-safe." And do not contain harsh ingredients like sulfates, EDTA, parabens, and phthalates. These additives tend to dry out hair and strip away your perfect hue. Purple clarifying shampoos are the best choice from ultra-light hair colors that have undergone bleach and toner or simply a high volume lightening treatment.

Key ingredients that work well for all curly hair types include rich, nourishing oils designed to restore moisture like argan oil, coconut oil, and exotic Moroccan oil. Not only do these holistic hair care must-haves restore natural hydration, but natural oils are rich in essential fatty acids and Vitamin E. Think of these as the "good fats" of the hair care world. Other fabulous, hair healthy ingredients include botanicals like rose, lavender, chamomile, and jojoba extracts. These all-natural florals are found in many cruelty-free beauty brands for eco-conscious glam gurus and leave your hair smelling wonderful while also cleansing away bacteria build-up without harming your scalp.

Lastly, focus on keratin! This naturally occurring hair protein is found in healthy hair, skin, and nails. The molecular bonds protect against breakage and strengthen the roots, then seal the follicle to prevent future damage. This is what gives hair a reflective glow and strengthens the strands to fight everything from breakage to UV damage to chemical treatments and styling.

Start seeing your health and beauty goals a little clearer with a weekly refresh. The cleansing shampoo is best paired with a holistic natural hair care routine that incorporates rich conditioner and curl-loving serums, oils, and leave-in masques on days when your hair deserves an extra treat. Your friends at RevAir are here for all those hair-raising questions on what routine is best for your unique style. Let's chat today and enjoy healthier hair tomorrow!

Looking for more reasons to love natural hair? Check out 9 Tips to Keep Your Color-Treated Curly Hair Healthy.

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