Signs It's Time To Clarify Your Hair

Hi hi, happy Friday everyone!

Who's looking forward to the weekend? I most certainly am.

Sulfate shampoos are often shunned in the hair care community because of the stripping nature of the sulfates they contain. However these same sulfates are necessary from time to time to give our hair a thorough clean down of products that cause build up. Think of it as spring cleaning your hair. The same you would do in your house or room.

How do I know it's time to use a sulfate aka clarifying shampoo? If one or more of these factors are present, it's a good indication you need a deep clarifying clean.

  • If you have been using products that contain silicones especially the type that are not water soluble e.g. gels, stylers, heat protectants, setting lotions, hairsprays.
  • If you have just taken down a long term protective style. Even though you were faithful with washing during the period you were protecting your hair, it's still necessary to give your hair and scalp a thorough clean down. This will remove excess gunk and give you a clean slate to moisturise and condition effectively.
  • If you have used a sulfate free shampoo/cleanser for the past 4 weeks. Sulfate free shampoos are good, but as stated earlier, they may not be able to get ingredients like silicones and excess product completely off. After all they are hailed for their gentle cleansing. Over time you just need to a fresh start.
  • If you have been using a lot of products and are experiencing trouble moisturising. Sometimes our hair gets overloaded with products, which makes it harder for it to absorb moisture. You may just need  to clarify your hair and you'll solve the moisture issue.
  • If your products are not penetrating your hair as they normally do. This is once again rooted in build up. They will work more effectively once the surface area is clean again.
  • If you cowash often. Cowashing is great but sometimes it can leave residue on the scalp. And yet again the silicones in the conditioners need to be removed. So if cowashing is a regular part of your regimen, make it a habit to clarify every 3 to 4 weeks.
  • If you have dandruff. One of the causes of dandruff is an accumulation of excess skin cells on the scalp. Part of eradicating the problem lies in using a good clarifying shampoo that will eliminate the flakes, then you can take proactive steps to prevent the issue from arising again. In this instance i'm talking about dandruff that  is not as a result of an underlying medical condition. If it is a recurring issue ,please see a specialist like our lovely Atilola at the AN Hair Clinic, who can give you specialist treatment.
Clarifying shampoos can be identified by their ingredients. Look for the following on the ingredients list: ammonium laureth sulfate, ammonia lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, or sodium lauryl sulfate.
These are also the same ingredients you want to ensure are not on the ingredients list if you want to buy a sulfate free shampoo.

When was the last time you clarified, and how do you know when it's time for you to clarify your hair?


  1. I make sure I clarify after taking down a protective style especially if I added attachments to my hair.

  2. This is the first post I'm seeing ever that is encouraging sulphate shampoos and I read a lot about hair. It's cool to learn something new and interesting

  3. I clarified a couple of weeks ago after taking down my crochet braids.

    Berry Dakara Blog

  4. Mine is the last reason. Not dandruff though, but Seborrheic dermatitis for which I use a medicated shampoo. I just make sure I try to keep it away from my hair as much as possible, and concentrate on the scalp.

    1. The focus should be on the scalp not the hair strands so we don't strip the hair of its sebum.

  5. I don't think I've ever clarified before - infact this is my first time of hearing that word lool
    And I really should because I have e recurring dandruff - I don't know why!!! So annoying

  6. Sorry dear. African Naturalistas is here for you to ask your questions.


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