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DIY Clarifying Shampoo

Clarifying your hair should be a staple in your haircare routine. It works to remove all the gunk and buildup that has collected on your hair in the past month.

Whether you have straight or curly hair, you should always do a clarifying shampoo from time to time.

Knowing what you’re using on your hair is important as it not only affects hair health but also plays a huge role in how your hair responds to different products, treatments, etc.

When you have buildup on your hair, it can affect how well your styling products work. Many people with curly hair do a clarifying detox once a month to remove this excess buildup.

Ingredients like silicones buildup on hair without the sulfates to remove them.

So for those following the Curly Girl Method but not strictly, you may notice that your styling products aren’t working as well after a while; this may indicate that your hair needs a detox or clarifying shampoo.

But for some of us, the harsh sulfate ingredients that really get the hair clean in the clarifying shampoos can be too harsh for some hair types, so I created an article of some brilliant DIY clarifying shampoo recipes for you to try at home.

Plus, if worst comes to worst and these recipes aren’t enough for you, you only need to apply a regular clarifying shampoo once a month, so it shouldn’t damage the hair.

But those craving healthy, stronger hair that offers excellent hair growth hen you might want to consider doing one of these DIY clarifying shampoo recipes!

Let’s delve in; you won’t want to miss these incredible recipes.

clarifying your hair

What Is Clarifying Shampoo?

What is clarifying shampoo, and what does clarifying shampoo do for your hair?

A clarifying does far more than any regular shampoo; it cuts through product buildup and oils, leaving hair looking and feeling super clean. If you’ve ever had a salon relaxer or keratin treatment, it may have been used.

This is because these treatments work wonders on extremely clean hair, so by doing a clarifying shampoo beforehand, you can reap the most benefits of these treatments as they can penetrate deeper into the hair cuticle and work most effectively.

Check out my full guide on how to clarify hair.

But clarifying shampoos can be used by anyone. If you feel your hair is not cooperating or feels lifeless, then this is a sign of product buildup. Clarifying shampoo leaves a blank canvas for your products to work to their best ability.

For curly hair or dry hair, it is recommended that you do a deep conditioning treatment after you use a clarifying shampoo as it can be very drying, so restoring the moisture is key.

But the sulfates are what do the cleaning; while there are many brilliant DIY recipes that will remove most buildup, without the sulfates, it won’t remove all.

But for curly, dry, damaged, or color-treated hair, sulfates are out of the equation, really, so these DIY recipes are much more gentle on these hair types.

Why Use A Clarifying Shampoo/ Treatment?

So why should you do a clarifying shampoo? Well, if your hair products are not working as well as they used or if your hair just feels quite greasy the day after washing, then it is a key indication that there is a buildup on your hair.

Unlike your regular shampoo, clarifying shampoos cut through the toughest of buildup and grime on your hair caused by hair products containing silicones, waxes, mineral oil, and more. It also removes excess oils and dry skin from your scalp.

Hard water, dirt, and dust can also make freshly washed hair look heavy, greasy, and limp. You may notice it more in curly hair as your styling products won’t work as well as they used to as they cannot penetrate through this buildup barrier.

Stress, pollution, sun exposure, product buildup, lack of sleep, over-styling, and many other factors can contribute to poor hair health; clarifying shampoo is a non-expensive way to remove most of these issues especially product buildup.

Doing a clarifying treatment is meant to unclog your hair follicles and cuticles to restore proper nutrition and shine while also opening your hair up to natural moisture and preventing new bacteria from forming.

It will leave your hair noticeably shinier, more voluminous, and less greasy after a day of washing; clarifying shampoos can even help remove brassiness from the hair!

But there are some pretty incredible DIY recipes that can remove stubborn buildup caused by hard water, dust, dirt, and some styling products that cannot go unmissed.

baking soda

How To Make A DIY Clarifying Shampoo

So enough of me rambling of all the brilliant reasons to use clarifying shampoo, let’s delve into my favorite DIY natural clarifying shampoos to remove pesky buildup.

Baking Soda DIY Clarifying Treatment:

Baking soda is brilliant at deodorizing and removing bacteria, dust, and muck from your mattress, but it can work wonders in DIY clarifying shampoos to remove natural oils and buildup from your scalp and hair follicles.

It is a brilliant one-ingredient clarifying shampoo for those who want a quick fix for residue and buildup. Baking soda naturally breaks up residue and helps rebalance the pH of your scalp. It works wonders for those suffering from hard water buildup.

What You’ll Need:

  • – 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • – 1 ½ cups of water
  • – Shampoo
  • – Apple cider vinegar

If you have thicker hair, you might want to double the ingredients but make sure the ingredients are the right amount of each otherwise, you’ll be left with a mixture that is too grainy or watery.

You can either add it in with your existing shampoo for an intense clean or mixed with an apple cider vinegar rinse. Baking soda alone can be quite harsh as it has a pH of 9, so mixing it with acid apple cider vinegar can help balance the pH of your scalp while offering a deep, intense clean.

So here’s how you do it.

1). Pour out a small amount of shampoo into the palm of your hand and mix half of the baking soda paste in with the shampoo, emulsify well and then apply to the scalp.

Massage it into the scalp for a few minutes and then leave it to sit for around 10 minutes; this will help break down all the nasty buildup in your hair.

2). Rinse your scalp by doing an apple cider vinegar rinse and then repeat with the second half of the baking soda and shampoo, but instead of leaving it on, just massage for a few minutes and then rinse off with ACV again.

Alternatively, you can also do mix in raw apple cider vinegar within the baking soda and apply it to the scalp or wet hair using a spray bottle and use as a treatment instead of using natural shampoo along with it.

Baking soda and ACV is a brilliant homemade clarifying shampoo and should be a staple in your hair care routine for healthy hair and the removal of dead skin cells.

Bentonite Clay DIY Clarifying Shampoo:

So a brilliant alternative to using baking soda is using bentonite clay as it is far more gentle on the scalp than baking soda and works wonders for removing buildup.

Bentonite clay mask is not only good for eliminating scalp buildups, but it can also help nourish the scalp and improve hair health massively.

This natural cleansing shampoo is a good clarifying shampoo for DIY if you have damaged hair or dry hair, as it removes buildup without damaging your luscious locks.

What You’ll Need:

  • – 1/2 cup of Bentonite Clay
  • – 3 to 4 tablespoons of warm water
  • – 1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar

You’ll want to start by adding warm water to the bentonite clay and keep stirring; it should form a thick yet spreadable paste with no lumps in it. Add in the ACV and mix again, and set aside for half an hour.

Apply to wet or damp hair and cover the entire scalp and hair shaft and then wear a shower cap over the top or plastic wrap around your head to prevent it from drying out.

Rinse and condition your hair after 20 minutes or so to restore moisture, and you should notice that all that gunk is coming out with the water, plus no need for any harsh chemicals.

dried herbs clarifying shampoo

Dried Herb Clarifying Shampoo:

Herbs like rosemary, thyme, shikakai, and much more work brilliant as a natural hair clarifying. They also work to strengthen the hair follicles and promote the growth of hair fibers.

Shikakai is a brilliant herb for cleansing as it works wonders for removing the natural oils from your scalp while also balancing the natural pH of the scalp.

What You’ll Need:

  • – 4-5 tablespoons of your chosen dried hair
  • – 3 cups of distilled warm water

Start by boiling the distilled water and then add the dried herbs to the water and simmer for 15 minutes. Once it has simmered for 15 minutes, strain it into a spray bottle.

Give the spray bottle a shake and use it as a rinse after shampooing.

This should help remove excess buildup from your scalp, and it is gentle enough to be used on a weekly basis, especially on curly hair or if you use a lot of hair products.

It will deep clean your scalp and leave your hair looking and feeling squeaky clean.

How Often Should You Do A DIY Clarifying Shampoo?

For the best results, it is recommended that you do a DIY clarifying treatment to remove natural oils and buildup whenever you notice your hair becoming limp, greasy easily, and not reacting well to your hair styling products.

For baking soda and apple cider vinegar rinse, you can do this once every few weeks to prevent buildup from occurring and remove any existing buildup.

It should also help promote healthy hair as it rebalances the pH within the scalp. But doing a clarifying treatment at least once a month is recommended as you may need to do it more frequently with the DIY method over buying a clarifying shampoo.

natural diy clarifying shampoo


So there you have it, the top recipes of natural shampoo for clarifying. These natural ingredients work to deeply cleanse your hair, plus you won’t be caught out by any harsh chemicals.

A clarifying shampoo will penetrate deeper than your traditional shampoo, but something as simple as adding some baking soda to your regular shampoo and doing an ACV rinse can massively help remove buildup without having to buy another shampoo with harsh chemicals.

It is highly recommended for those with curly hair to implement this DIY recipe into your shampoo routine, as it will remove product buildup without damaging the hair.

Who knew a DIY could work so many wonders to promote a clean scalp?

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