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Clarifying Wavy Hair: Signs & Solutions (2024)

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clarifying wavy hairAre you struggling with your wavy hair? Does it feel dull, heavy, and lifeless no matter how much time and effort you put into caring for it? The answer may lie in clarifying.

Clarifying is the process of removing buildup from your scalp or hair. Think product residue, minerals from hard water, or sweat.

To help restore the luster to your waves, we’ve compiled this comprehensive guide on signs and solutions for clarifying wavy hair! Here’s everything you need to know about identifying when clarification is needed, as well as best practices for restoring balance to unruly tresses.

Let’s get started!

Key Takeaways

  • Clarifying is essential for wavy hair, removing buildup like product residue and hard water minerals.
  • Natural ingredients like peppermint extract or tea tree oil can be used instead of harsh sulfates.
  • Specific clarifying products like chelating shampoos, ACV rinses, and bentonite clay masks can address scalp buildup.
  • Deep conditioning after clarifying is crucial to maintain moisture, especially for color-treated hair.

20 Best Clarifying Shampoos for Wavy Hair

20 Best Clarifying Shampoos for Wavy Hair
Are you looking for the best clarifying shampoo for wavy hair? Look no further as we have compiled a list of twenty top-rated shampoos, such as Avalon Organics Clarifying Lemon Shampoo, Head & Shoulders Supreme Shampoo and Conditioner, Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo, Twist Hit Reset Light Clarifying Shampoo, and many more.

Each one is specially formulated to remove product buildup without stripping away natural moisture or vibrancy from your curls.

Avalon Organics Clarifying Lemon Shampoo

For wavy hair, Avalon Organics’ Clarifying Lemon Shampoo provides a deep cleanse to remove product buildup and hard water deposits without stripping your locks of their natural moisture. This vegan shampoo is enriched with essential oils that promote scalp health and hydrate the strands.

It helps: 1) clarify oily roots; 2) reduce dullness; 3) restore curl definition; 4) eliminate itchiness; 5) dissolve mineral buildup. For optimal results, use it in proper clarifying techniques every four to eight weeks depending on hair type and cleansing routine frequency.

Head & Shoulders Supreme Shampoo and Conditioner

Try Head & Shoulders Supreme Shampoo and Conditioner to give your waves a healthy boost of nourishment while gently clarifying any build-up. This sulfate-free shampoo is designed to promote scalp care for all hair types, textures, and porosities.

It helps remove product residue from the scalp while protecting the natural curl pattern of your hair.

With its unique blend of ingredients such as rosemary extract, aloe vera juice, lavender oil, and tea tree oil, it fights dandruff without sacrificing moisture levels or hydration retention in your curls.

Pair it with the matching conditioner for softer strands that are also better protected against water quality issues like hard minerals found in tap water or chlorine exposure from swimming pools.

Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo

Experience the power of Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo, like a cleansing wave washing away buildup and restoring your hair’s natural vibrancy. This shampoo is specially formulated to reduce product buildup on wavy hair while also targeting hard water minerals.

With its unique blend of botanical extracts and essential oils, this clarifying shampoo helps repair damaged strands for added shine and manageability without stripping your color-treated locks. It is suitable for all porosity levels and works best when used every 4-8 weeks as part of an overall curly girl routine tailored to your individual needs and preferences.

The result? Soft curls that are full of life!

Twist Hit Reset Light Clarifying Shampoo

Discover the benefits of Twist Hit Reset Light Clarifying Shampoo, designed to provide an intense cleanse and restore moisture for all hair types. Its silicone-free formula helps remove product buildup while its gentle ingredients condition the scalp and help prevent itching.

Perfectly suited for wavy hair, it also aids in preventing future buildup by removing heavy minerals like chlorine that can cause damage over time.

Curlsmith Vivid Tones Vibrancy Shampoo

Rejuvenate your waves with Curlsmith Vivid Tones Vibrancy Shampoo, a sulfate-free formula that cleanses and refreshes while restoring life to dull locks. Its color maintenance techniques help keep hair vibrant and prevent breakage from harsh sulfates found in other shampoos.

Blended with toning ingredients like mallow flower extract and chamomile, it soothes dryness of the scalp while helping maintain hair’s natural balance for healthier-looking locks. This shampoo is perfect for wavy or curly tresses that suffer from an itchy scalp due to product buildup or hard water deposits.

Enjoy revitalized curls without worrying about damage caused by traditional clarifying treatments!

Anomaly Clarifying Shampoo

Unlock the potential of your wavy hair with Anomaly Clarifying Shampoo. It’s formulated to gently rid your scalp and strands of buildup while still providing hydration for soft, bouncy curls. Its sulfate-free and paraben-free formula is Curly Girl Method approved. This shampoo works hard to remove product buildup without stripping away natural oils or drying out hair.

To prevent future buildup, use an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse before conditioning low porosity hair and after deep conditioning high porosity locks.

With its nourishing ingredients and ability to reset curls, this shampoo will give you healthy-looking waves with renewed bounce that lasts!

Bumble and Bumble Sunday Shampoo

Indulge in Bumble and Bumble Sunday Shampoo for a deep cleansing experience to help get rid of product buildup, hard water minerals, and residue. Its sulfate-free formula is perfect for wavy hair types (2A – 4C) as it gently cleanses the scalp without stripping away moisture or color vibrancy.

It also features clarifying agents such as tea tree oil that help remove impurities while balancing your scalp’s pH levels. Use this shampoo to effectively break down dirt, sebum buildup, and chlorine deposits from swimming pools/hot tubs.

Plus, its rich lather ensures that every strand gets evenly nourished, leaving you with healthy curls and waves after each wash day!

Eden BodyWorks Natural Shampoo in Peppermint Tea Tree

Cleanse your locks with Eden BodyWorks Natural Shampoo in Peppermint Tea Tree for an invigorating, refreshing wash. It’s formulated with natural ingredients like peppermint tea tree and aloe vera. This shampoo clarifies the scalp while providing wavy hair care. It’s curly girl approved and perfect for oily curly hair or scalp buildup from hard water or product residue.

With its chelating properties that target mineral deposits caused by hard water, this shampoo will leave your curls bouncy and refreshed! It’s also free of sulfates, parabens, and phthalates to ensure a gentle cleanse without stripping away moisture.

Now you can achieve salon-quality results at home. Nourished waves with improved manageability and freshness that lasts all day long!

R+Co Oblivion Clarifying Shampoo

Ion Clarifying Shampoo, Removes Build-UpView On Amazon
Revitalize your wavy hair with R+Co Oblivion Clarifying Shampoo. It features a unique blend of ingredients to help remove product build-up and restore shine. The shampoo is formulated with strengthening proteins and moisturizing oils that deeply cleanse without stripping away natural moisture.

This vegan-friendly product is free from sulfates, parabens, gluten, and fragrances, making it suitable for all hair types, including color-treated or chemically processed hair.

It also features an anti-frizz complex of botanical extracts designed to keep frizz at bay while maintaining curls’ bounce and definition.

  • Free from sulfates & parabens
  • Formulated with strengthening proteins & moisturizing oils
  • Features an anti-frizz complex of botanical extracts
  • Not ideal for oily scalp as it may increase oiliness
  • Pricey compared to other brands

Acure Curiously Clarifying Shampoo

Try Acure Curiously Clarifying Shampoo to gently remove debris and buildup while nourishing your hair with antioxidants for a healthy shine. It’s designed specifically for wavy hair, helping clarify without harsh sulfates or chemicals.

Its key ingredients include sea kelp, argan oil, and pumpkin seed extract. These ingredients provide anti-inflammatory benefits that help protect the scalp from hard-water buildup and product residue.

This shampoo works great in combination with other haircare products to create a variety of styling possibilities! Scalp health is improved after each wash day thanks to its clarifying yet gentle properties that leave no residue behind on the strands or skin after rinsing out completely.

Enjoy maximum cleansing power combined with an invigorating scent perfect for any clarifying wash day routine!

Camille Rose Sweet Ginger Cleansing Rinse

Experience the luxurious lather of Camille Rose Sweet Ginger Cleansing Rinse for a refreshing scalp and bouncy curls! This vegan-friendly shampoo is infused with sweet ginger extract, honey, marshmallow root oil, and aloe to help nourish hair.

It’s perfect for wavy hair types as it helps preserve the curl pattern while providing moisture.

The gentle formula clarifies without stripping or drying out your locks, so you can enjoy its benefits without worrying about product buildup. With regular use, this clarifying rinse will keep your waves hydrated and healthy, with improved porosity levels.

Enjoy ethical haircare brands that are free from sulfates while maintaining softness in a swimmer’s hair care routine!

Dove Clarify Charcoal & Hydrate Shampoo

Dive into Dove’s Clarify Charcoal & Hydrate Shampoo to give your waves an intensely hydrating cleanse that gently removes product build-up and hard water deposits. It’s Curly Girl Method approved, so it won’t damage dry or damaged curls. Key ingredients like vitamin B5 nourish the hair, while charcoal helps purify roots and eliminate dirt, oil, and buildup without stripping away natural oils.

This shampoo can be used as part of a regular weekly cleansing routine or as needed based on clarification frequency – depending on your hair type and environmental factors.

MopTop Detox Shampoo Citrus Medley

Reinvigorate your locks with MopTop Detox Shampoo Citrus Medley, a natural coconut cleanser free of harmful chemicals that restores moisture and shine to hair. Its sulfate-free formula is Curly Girl Method approved and contains honey, aloe vera, and sea botanicals for gentle cleansing without stripping away essential oils or fading color-treated curls.

It’s perfect for low porosity hair as well as those dealing with product buildup from heavy ingredients like butters and waxes. Clarifying every 4-8 weeks can help manage these issues while still keeping the scalp healthy.

For extra protection on color-treated strands, use Malibu C Hard Water Wellness Shampoo before coloring.

Pattern Clarifying Shampoo

Discover the power of Pattern Clarifying Shampoo to revitalize your wavy hair and restore its natural shine! This sulfate-free shampoo is designed specifically for curls, coils, and waves.

98% of users noticed fewer split ends after just one use. So, you can enjoy healthier locks with every wash! This shampoo is perfect for color-treated hair or fine strands that need a boost. It helps remove product buildup from swimming or exposure to hard water. Plus, it’s gentle enough not to strip away essential moisture.

If you’re experiencing scalp issues like dryness or itching due to buildup, this clarifying shampoo can help remedy them too.

Ouai Detox Shampoo

Rejuvenate your wavy locks with Ouai’s Detox Shampoo! This clarifying shampoo helps to remove buildup, dirt, oil, and product residue from the hair without stripping moisture. It’s gentle enough for daily use and is a great option for color-treated or highlighted hair.

Its natural ingredients include rice amino acids and tomato fruit ferment that help seal cuticles while providing moisture to the scalp. To properly use this shampoo, avoid shampoos with heavy oils, waxes, or butters as they can lead to build-up.

Use this detox shampoo at least once every 8 weeks to reset washes and restore shine back into the hair!

Aunt Jackie’s Purify Me Moisturizing Co-Wash Cleanser

Cleanse your hair with Aunt Jackie’s Purify Me Moisturizing Co-Wash Cleanser, a sulfate-free and gentle option for removing product residue without stripping away moisture – all while nourishing your curls with natural ingredients like shea butter and avocado oil.

This co wash provides the same clarifying benefits of shampooing but is more moisturizing due to its unique blend of oils that help maintain 4c hair’s hydration levels. Its olefin sulfonate formula has been shown to effectively remove build up from styling products while being mild enough for everyday use.

Key benefits include:

  • Decreasing scalp dryness
  • Enhancing curl definition
  • Improving softness & shine
  • Increasing manageability

Verb Reset Clarifying Shampoo

Revitalize your wavy hair with Verb Reset Clarifying Shampoo, a unique blend of natural ingredients that removes product buildup and restores moisture without stripping the strands. Its clarifying benefits eliminate hard water deposits and protect your color-treated hair, while its revitalizing properties refresh curls for softness and shine.

This shampoo is perfect for daily use or weekly resetting. For best results, follow with a deep conditioner to lock in hydration.

The table below shows how this shampoo can help manage hard water buildup:

Hard Water Buildup Benefits Usage Instructions
Chlorine Removal Eliminates bad minerals from scalp Massage into wet scalp & rinse off
Strengthens weak strands & cuticles Prevents breakage caused by chlorine Use at least once every two weeks

Briogeo Superfoods Mango Cherry Oil Control Balancing Shampoo

Reap the benefits of Briogeo Superfoods Mango Cherry Oil Control Balancing Shampoo, which is 97% naturally derived and contains a blend of ultra-hydrating shea butter and avocado oil to seal in moisture.

This shampoo can keep your wavy hair looking and feeling healthy for longer by reducing breakage by up to 40%. It’s ideal for color-treated or highlighted hair, helping you balance clarifying frequency with product usage.

Additionally, it protects from hard water buildup. Enjoy a tingly sensation as it refreshes your curls between washes while also targeting scalp issues like dandruff.

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Triple Detox Shampoo

Experience total hair transformation with Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Triple Detox Shampoo – the ultimate clarifying solution for wavy hair! This sulfate-free, color-safe shampoo is specially designed to remove buildup from styling products and hard water deposits.

It also helps restore moisture balance so that strands aren’t weighed down by excess oils.

Plus, it’s safe even for those with color-treated or keratin-treated tresses. Here’s three ways this triple detox shampoo can work wonders:

  1. Remove buildup without stripping away natural oils.
  2. Strengthen strands while controlling frizz.
  3. Restore shine and elasticity while providing hydration to locks.

Get ready to experience a new level of softness and definition in your waves!

Dream Lengths Curls No Build-Up Curls Micellar Shampoo

Give your wavy locks the ultimate makeover with Dream Lengths Curls No Build-Up Curls Micellar Shampoo – it’ll leave you feeling like a million bucks! The micellar formula lifts away product residue, dirt, and oil while maintaining essential moisture.

It’s free of sulfates and silicones, so curls are lightweight and bouncy without build-up.

Plus, its unique blend of herbs helps to clarify myths around wavy hair care by nourishing strands for long-lasting definition. Goodbye product residue – hello perfect curls! Get ready to set yourself apart from the crowd with Dream Lengths’ incredible clarifying solution that leaves you feeling liberated, powerful, and masterful in every way.

What is Clarifying?

What is Clarifying
Are you looking for ways to take your wavy hair to the next level? If so, clarifying may be just what you need! Clarifying is a process that removes unwanted build-up of product, dirt, and oil from the scalp, which can weigh down curls and cause dullness.

It’s important to note that regular shampoo won’t do this – it only cleanses the surface of your hair. The benefits of clarifying include improved curl definition, boosted shine and volume, increased manageability, as well as relief from itching or flaking due to buildup on the scalp.

When choosing a clarifier for your wavy hair, look out for natural ingredients like peppermint extract or tea tree oil, rather than harsh sulfates, which can strip moisture away. Also, check if it’s suited specifically towards curly/wavy textures, such as Kinky Curly Come Clean Shampoo Moisturizing or MopTop Gentle Shampoo Volumizing.

Generally speaking, how often you clarify should depend on factors such as water type (harder water requires more frequent clarification), product usage (heavy products require more frequent washes), porosity levels, etcetera.

Natural methods like apple cider vinegar rinses are also great alternatives, although they should be used with caution when coloring treated locks.

With these tips in mind, give yourself permission today to start enjoying beautiful bouncy waves once again.

Signs You Need to Clarify Your Wavy Hair

Signs You Need to Clarify Your Wavy Hair
If you’re noticing dullness, weighed-down locks, loss of curl definition, product residue, and/or oily roots and itchiness on your head, it’s time to take action. Wavy hair needs regular cleansing and clarifying with the right products for optimal health.

Product buildup can weigh down strands or leave an uncomfortable film on the scalp. Frequent use of heavy butters or oils can lead to this issue as well. Clarifying methods such as chelating shampoos target mineral deposits from hard water, while ACV rinses dissolve stubborn buildup without stripping away moisture.

Tailoring your routine to match porosity levels is also recommended. High porosity hair should use ACV before conditioning, whereas low porosity requires it after deep conditioning sessions for maximum benefit.

For those with wavy hair types in particular, consider incorporating a gentle shampoo followed by a moisturizing conditioner into the weekly haircare routine. Additionally, monthly clarification every 4-8 weeks is recommended, depending on individual factors like usage habits and water type.

Causes of Buildup in Wavy Hair

Causes of Buildup in Wavy Hair
Buildup in wavy hair is often caused by the use of heavy products, hard water, and ingredients that are not Curly Girl Method approved. Heavy product usage can lead to a buildup of oils, butters, or waxes on your scalp and strands, which will weigh down curls.

Hard water can cause mineral deposits around faucets and showerheads, as well as affecting overall porosity levels in curly hair.

Avoiding certain ingredients, such as polyquats, helps prevent buildup from occurring while using CG friendly products like Max Green Alchemy’s vegan shampoo may also help keep buildup at bay. Scalp care should be tailored to each individual’s needs based on their skin type and curl pattern.

For example, high porosity hair types may benefit from an ACV rinse before conditioning, whereas low porosity curls need this after deep conditioning instead.

Clarifying frequency depends upon many factors, including how much you wash your waves.

How to Properly Clarify Curly and Wavy Hair

How to Properly Clarify Curly and Wavy Hair
If you’re looking to properly clarify your wavy hair, there are a few things to consider. Scalp buildup can be managed with remedies like bentonite clay masks and apple cider vinegar rinses. For hard water buildup in particular, chelating shampoos may help dissolve mineral deposits for improved curl definition and shine.

Scalp Buildup Remedies

Taming your itchy scalp starts with one simple step – finding the right remedies. A Bentonite clay mask, an ACV rinse, or a sugar scrub can help remove product buildup and stimulate the scalp. For hard water issues, try chelating shampoos to dissolve mineral deposits. Don’t forget to massage clarifying shampoo into your scalp for maximum effect! To avoid over-clarifying hair and stripping away essential oils, use these solutions every 4-8 weeks as needed—but always follow up with deep conditioning afterwards for optimal results.

Dealing With Hard Water

Hard water can wreak havoc on your curls, so try using chelating shampoos or an apple cider vinegar rinse to manage mineral buildup. Chelating shampoos target hard water deposits and remove minerals from the hair shaft without stripping moisture.

Depending on your porosity level, ACV rinses may be used before conditioning for high porosity hair or after deep conditioning for low porosity.

Clarifying every four to eight weeks is recommended, but adjust the frequency depending on product usage and other factors associated with scalp buildup and hard water effects.

How Often Should You Clarify Your Wavy Hair?

How Often Should You Clarify Your Wavy Hair
If you’re serious about keeping your wavy locks looking their best, then it’s time to get regular with that clarifying action! How often should you clarify? It depends on several factors: hair type, water type, cleansing routine, and product usage.

Recommended frequency is every 4-8 weeks; tailor the routine according to porosity level for maximum effect.

Hard water affects 85% of US households; chelating shampoos or an ACV rinse can help dissolve mineral buildup without fading color-treated hair. Product ingredients like polyquats and heavy oils can lead to build-up too – so consider clarifying more often if this is the case.

Scalp buildup requires a massage with a clarifying shampoo plus remedies such as bentonite clay masks or sugar scrubs.

So don’t forget these essentials: MGA Vegan Hair Shampoo, Kinky Curly Come Clean Moisturizing Shampoo, INAHSI Clarifying Curly Hair Shampoo, Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Oil shampoo for dreadlocks support, plus Briogeo Curl Charisma Shampoo & Aztec Secret Indian Clay Mask when deep cleaning scalp required.

For all-round nourishment, use Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar & Ion Clarifying Shampoo plus Malibu C Hard Water Hair Remedy for shiny curls in top condition!

Clarifying Shampoos for the Curly Girl Method

Clarifying Shampoos for the Curly Girl Method
Whether you have low porosity or hard water issues, finding the right clarifying shampoo is essential for embracing your natural curls with the Curly Girl Method. Recommended clarifying frequency varies from 4-8 weeks depending on hair type and product usage.

Hard water can be managed by chelating shampoos, while product buildup requires avoiding heavy oils, butters, and waxes. Color-treated hair care should include using Malibu C Hard Water Wellness Shampoo before coloring and waiting at least a week after coloring before clarifying to prevent fading of color.

There are effective solutions for scalp buildup, such as bentonite clay masks. Apple Cider Vinegar rinses can help remove mineral deposits.

How to Clarify Color-Treated Wavy Hair

To keep your color-treated wavy locks looking beautiful and vibrant, incorporate a clarifying shampoo into your routine at least every 8 weeks.

  • MGA Vegan Hair Shampoo – vegan friendly, pH balanced with botanical extracts & vitamins.
  • Kinky Curly Come Clean – sulfate free specifically designed for curly hair; low porosity/hard water issues.
  • INAHSI Clarifying Shampoo Curly Hair – remove product buildup & stimulate scalp without stripping hair moisture away; Curly Girl Method approved.

When selecting a clarifying shampoo to protect against fading or damaging your color-treated tresses, look for ingredients like peppermint oil. Peppermint oil helps restore vibrancy by removing unwanted buildup from hard water or products that contain heavy oils and waxes.

These substances can accumulate on strands over time, causing dullness or weighed-down curls.

Be sure to follow up any clarifying regimen with deep conditioning treatments. This will help lock in optimum hydration levels while providing essential nutrients needed to maintain healthy colored hair over time!


You can now confidently tackle buildup on your wavy hair and keep your curls looking their best! If you’re a curly girl, you know that clarifying can be a tricky process. But with the right products and routine, you can remove product buildup, hard water deposits, and other impurities from your tresses.

Thanks to the 20 best clarifying shampoos for wavy hair listed in this article, you can easily get rid of scalp buildup, restore moisture, and keep your curls looking vibrant and healthy. Don’t forget to deep condition after clarifying and remember that color-treated hair should be treated with extra care.

Clarifying your wavy hair regularly is essential for maintaining the health of your curls, so don’t forget to make it part of your regular routine!

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and beard care expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and get fatter. His work has been mentioned in countless notable publications on men's care and style and has been cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.