Good evening lovelies!
I have at least 50,000 hair products in my routine at any given time – not because I need them, but just because I’m a product junkie. Even though I alternate them frequently, I can’t avoid that period of time (usually by the end of the week) where my hair feels heavy, flat, and just kinda icky. That’s when I know it’s time for my favorite hair day of the week: clarifying day!
Contrary to popular belief, normal shampoo (especially sulphate-free ones) doesn’t clean all the gunk out of your hair, even if used on a daily basis. In fact, shampoo itself can build up on your hair, how counterproductive is that?! This build up can cause hair to appear dull, weighed down, greasy, and tangled.
A clarifying shampoo can help remove all of the nastiness and give your hair a fresh start but it’s important to choose the right one for your hair. One of my personal favorite clarifying shampoos is the Bumble and Bumble Sunday Shampoo, retailing for about $25 at Sephora. Now, I know that price might make you gape in horror, but if you look at the name of this product, it’s pretty obvious you only need to use it once a week (I’m gonna take a shot in the dark and say they recommend doing it on Sunday, but that’s just me).
Following that instruction, my first bottle lasted me over a year with only 8 ounces per bottle. It’s like I really only spent like a dollar a month on it rather than buying a truckload of cheaper ones that don’t do the job as effectively as the B&B.
The big question for most people is determining how often they should clarify. I personally only do it once a week, but if you use a metric ton of styling products on a daily basis or have super hard water you may find it helpful to clarify twice per week or more. As a rule of thumb, swimmers that are in the pool every day may need to clarify even more often, like, every other shampoo. But, if you use minimal hair products or have soft water you may only need to clarify as little as every other month. I would say that the average person should clarify their hair weekly, or at least once or twice a month.
I usually start with a quarter sized amount (I recommend this if you have longer than shoulder length hair) and work it into my roots and scalp for a good minute to minute and a half. If you have lots of buildup don’t expect the shampoo to lather much, but don’t be alarmed by that. I personally like to let the shampoo sit for a few minutes, usually while I’m exfoliating. The longer you let it sit, the more build-up will be removed. Finally, rinse really, REALLY well.
Condition your hair as you normally do. This is the perfect time to use a protein treatment or deep conditioner, as they’ll sink in a lot better and be considerably more effective without the buildup in the way.
On the subject of colored hair, it is usually safe to use a clarifying shampoo on colored hair. The B&B has a warning on it stating that it shouldn’t be used on colored hair, but from what I’ve seen, it seems like that’s just them trying to cover their butts if someone’s color DOES come out, but the majority of people say it doesn’t affect their color either way. That said, clarifying colored hair too often can cause your hair color to fade faster (especially red), and may turn brassy depending on your shade.
If your hair is feeling kinda grungy, or it’s starting to look more like the BP oil spill and less like silky strands, it’s probably time to clarify.