Unlocking the Mysteries: What Does Clarifying Shampoo Do to Colored Hair?

Female pointing at two shampoo bottles

Having your hair professionally dyed is a truly exceptional experience. Observing that remarkable combination of self-assurance, charisma, and genuine excitement all in a single look is truly remarkable. However, it can be quite difficult to consistently maintain salon-quality hair color, given the numerous hair care products competing for your attention.   There is a lack of consensus on whether a clarifying shampoo is necessary in this context.   Does the thorough cleansing ability of the product affect the vibrancy of dyed hair in any way? Let’s explore this matter thoroughly.

A Quick Intro

Clarifying shampoos are specially formulated to effectively cleanse the hair and scalp by removing accumulated dirt, oil, and styling products. While regular shampoos are suitable for everyday use and upkeep, clarifying shampoos provide a more thorough cleansing. These shampoos are often called “deep cleansers” because they are highly effective at removing buildup from the hair and scalp.

  • Deep Cleanser: A clarifying shampoo is expertly crafted to eliminate build-up from both your scalp and hair. Its effectiveness shines in the removal of residues left behind by styling products, hard water minerals, chlorine, and excess oils that regular shampoos might overlook. Following a thorough cleanse, your hair emerges with a renewed and revitalized appearance;
  • Occasional Use: It’s important to exercise caution and avoid using a clarifying shampoo on a daily basis. Due to their potent cleansing properties, excessive use can strip your hair of its natural oils and disrupt the scalp’s delicate balance. As such, it’s advisable to incorporate them into your routine only periodically, ranging from once every two weeks to once a month. Regular usage may result in dryness or an overproduction of scalp oils;
  • Wide Range: The realm of clarifying shampoos offers a diverse array of options, each designed to address specific hair concerns. Some are gentle enough for use on dyed hair, while others pack the punch needed to obliterate stubborn residues. When in search of a clarifying shampoo, it’s essential to consider your hair type, unique requirements, and any prior color treatments you’ve undergone.

Clarifying Shampoo & Colored Hair

The difficulties with colored hair include fading, dryness, and keeping the original color vivid. Here’s where the role of clarifying shampoos comes into play. What, if anything, does a clarifying shampoo do to dyed hair? Let’s dissect that:

  • Fading Color: It’s crucial to recognize that clarifying shampoos can have an impact on dyed hair. These shampoos, with their deep-cleansing properties, have the potential to wash out a portion of the pigment in dyed hair. Consequently, semi-permanent colors may fade more rapidly than they would with gentler alternatives;
  • Removes Build-up: On a positive note, clarifying shampoos excel in the removal of build-up from styling products that can weigh down dyed hair, restoring its vitality and volume;
  • Can Cause Dryness: Individuals who frequently color their hair often contend with dryness as a common concern. Due to their potent cleansing capabilities, clarifying shampoos may exacerbate this issue by stripping the hair of its natural oils, resulting in a dry and brittle texture.

Table: Pros & Cons of Using Clarifying Shampoo on Colored Hair

Removes build-up, making color pop.Can strip away color.
Prepares hair for recoloring.Might lead to increased dryness.
Can reduce product-related scalp issues.Not suitable for frequent use on dyed hair.

Tips for Colored Hair

A clarifying shampoo can be used on colored hair, but there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Usage Frequency: When it comes to using clarifying shampoo on colored hair, it’s essential to maintain a balanced approach. To prolong the life of your hair dye and retain natural oils, limit the use of clarifying shampoo on your dyed hair to once a month;
  • Hydration: After washing your hair with clarifying shampoo, follow up with a generous application of conditioner. Opt for a conditioner specifically formulated for colored hair to safeguard and extend the vibrancy of your dye;
  • Patch Test: Prior to applying clarifying shampoo all over your colored hair, perform a patch test on a small, concealed section of hair. This test allows you to assess whether the shampoo has any noticeable effects on the color or texture of your hair;
  • Choose Color-Safe Shampoos: To prevent excessive fading of your hair color, seek out clarifying shampoos that are labeled as “color-safe” or “color-protecting” on the bottle. These formulations are tailored to minimize the impact on your dye;
  • Tailor Frequency: Recognize that each of us possesses a unique hairstyle and hair type. Prioritize the health and beauty of your hair by adjusting the frequency of clarifying shampoo usage to suit your individual needs and how your hair responds to washing.

Additional Tips for Colored Hair Care

In addition to using a clarifying shampoo regularly, here are some more things you can do to keep your colored hair healthy and looking great:

  • Use Sulfate-Free Shampoo: To preserve the brilliance of your colored hair, opt for sulfate-free shampoos. Sulfates, found in some shampoos, can strip both color and natural oils from your hair;
  • Wash with Cold Water: Hot water can open the hair cuticle, making it easier for color to wash out. To prevent this, rinse your hair with cool or lukewarm water;
  • Limit Heat Styling: Excessive heat styling can accelerate color fading and harm the hair’s cuticle. If you must use heat styling tools, apply a heat protectant spray and keep the temperature as low as possible;
  • Protect from UV Rays: Shield your hair from the sun’s UV rays to prevent color fading. Consider using UV-protective hair products or wearing a hat when spending time outdoors;
  • Regular Trims: Schedule regular trims every 6-8 weeks to maintain healthy and stylish-looking hair. Trimming helps remove split ends and promotes overall hair health;
  • Use Quality Hair Products: Invest in hair care products specially designed for colored hair. This includes shampoos, conditioners, and styling aids tailored to nourish and protect your vibrant hair color.


You may now answer the question, “What does clarifying shampoo do to colored hair?” This thorough washing may enhance and verify the quality of previously applied hair dye. You can incorporate it into your routine for preserving your dyed hair provided you use it sparingly and give your hair enough water. Consider your hair’s specific needs in making a purchase of hair care products.


What does clarifying shampoo do to colored hair?

Some of the color may be removed along with any buildup, and the hair may become dry as a result.

How often should I use clarifying shampoo on dyed hair?

The recommended frequency of use is once every month at most.

Can clarifying shampoos help before coloring my hair?

Yes, they can make the hair more amenable to color by eliminating buildup first.

Are there color-safe clarifying shampoos available?

Absolutely. There are a number of brands that make clarifying shampoos that are milder on dyed hair.

Will clarifying shampoo completely strip my hair color?

While it won’t totally remove permanent dyes, it can hasten the fading of semi-permanent ones.

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