How to use clarifying shampoo on colored hair

Updated April 17, 2017

Clarifying shampoo is a great treatment for your hair. It adds shine and removes excess oils and build-up from styling products. But because of its composition, clarifying shampoo can cause coloured hair to fade. Follow the steps below to learn to use clarifying shampoo on coloured hair safely.

Choose a good clarifying shampoo. Some brands are made specifically for coloured hair. The common ingredient in most clarifying shampoos is acetic acid. This is a mild acid that occurs naturally in vinegar and is known for removing build-up from household appliances, like coffee pots. It’s likely your hair will fade if you use a product that contains acetic acid on your coloured hair. However, most good clarifying shampoos for coloured hair don't contain acetic acid. Read the label to make sure you get the right one.

Use clarifying shampoo once a week, at the most. Remember, these shampoos are higher in pH, which is why clarifiers are known to dry out the hair and scalp. So use sparingly! If you have dry hair to begin with, use once every two weeks. Use cool to lukewarm water to cleanse your hair. Lather up your head and be sure to rinse out all the shampoo.

Condition! A deep-conditioning treatment is essential after clarifying. Use a special shampoo made for colour-treated hair. Or make your own deep conditioner using this recipe: Combine 2 cups mayonnaise with 1/2 avocado in a bowl. Mix well and apply to your hair. Wrap your head with a warm towel. Leave on your hair for 20 minutes and rinse with cool water.

Things You'll Need

  • Clarifying shampoo (made for colour-treated hair)
  • Towel
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