There’s no shame in going on a dry shampoo binge now that you’re confined at home, but when you finally muster the will to cleanse the good ol’ fashioned way, these clarifying shampoos promise to hit the reset button for you.
Unlike moisturising shampoos which tout a commercial-worthy shine and smooth, bouncy locks by the end of your scrub, clarifying shampoos simply promise clean hair and scalp. Just as how different facial serums offer specific benefits for your skin, not every shampoo has the ability to properly remove dirt, oil, and product buildup from your scalp and roots.
Clarifying shampoos can be used weekly (some even daily) for healthy locks, but they’re also make great pre-chemical treatments (i.e. before colouring your hair or hair masks) so you start with a fresh base. If you’ve attempted to colour your hair at home during this circuit breaker, these will help remove traces of residue too.
Here’s a rundown of our favourites.
Formulated with Panax ginseng root extract as an astringent, rosemary leaf extract for its anti-inflammatory properties and sage leaf extract to cleanse and stimulate the scalp, Bumble and Bumble promises a fresh, clean start to your product-wearied hair. The ingredient list also counts chelating agents such as Tetrasodium EDTA within to negate the effects of hard water — especially useful for frequent jetsetters.
S$30.95 for 250ml
This once-a-week powerhouse includes apple cider vinegar to gently exfoliate, while chelating agents work on mineral buildup from environmental factors like pollution and hard water. Ouai used its signature Melrose Place scent for this one, and ensured its safe for all hair types, including colour- and keratin-treated hair.
S$42 for 300ml
It’s no coincidence that this was once Sephora’s best-selling shampoo in France. Christophe Robin’s clarifying scrub promises to cleanse, purify, and restore balance with only plant active ingredients. Sea salt lends a gentle grit to scrub off buildup, while also being kind to sensitive scalps. It works just as well post-colour treatment by removing chemical residues embedded on the scalp while soothing irritation along the way.
S$72 for 250ml
Oribe’s take comes in an aerosol mousse, which transforms into rich lather when mixed with water. The deeply purifying new breed of shampoo counts on volcanic ash to gently exfoliate, sea kelp extract to purify the scalp, and green tea extract to strengthen every strand. Meanwhile, eucalyptus invigorates the scalp, creating a healthy environment for your hair to thrive on.
The weekly treatment promises to restore your mane to magnificence, all without stripping natural moisture away. Besides, few shampoos can incite bathroom envy like Oribe can.
S$62 for 207ml
R+Co taps into the expertise of its own collective of experienced hairstylists for this formulation. While some clarifying shampoos have a reputation for leaving hair feeling clean but stripped of its moisture, the Oblivion is not only gentle enough to be used daily, but also manages to leave hair feeling soft and naturally lustrous after each wash. The formulation counts coconut oil from Brazil, witch hazel from Japan and tea tree oil from Australia as some of its star ingredients, which when paired with its earthy fragrance makes for a relaxing wash that you’ll look forward to everyday.
S$38 for 177ml
Drybar knows just how important clean hair is to a great blowout. Inspired by the theory that activated charcoal masks suck dirt and gunk from clogged pores on the skin, this shampoo also draws out impurities from the scalp for a deep and thorough wash without stripping natural oils. Vegetable protein is included to strengthen and reinforce chemically treated or damaged hair. Use once a week to give your mane a healthy, salon-worthy shine.
S$37 for 250ml
Armed with a soothing lavender scent and generously laden with clarifying and chelating agents, the Anti Pollution Shampoo is your defence against the elements of the modern world. To protect the hair from daily aggressors such as industrial emissions, hard water minerals, and even free radicals, the formulation contains red seaweed that creates a protective barrier over the scalp. A cocktail of fruit-derived AHAs smoothens the hair shaft to prevent unwanted particles from clinging onto the hair, keeping it clean for longer and with more bounce.
S$50 for 250ml
This non-stripping, colour-safe shampoo replaces your usual hair cleanser whenever you’re in need of a refresh thanks to a slew of innovative ingredients. Besides chelating ingredients, anionic polymers also remove product buildup while activated charcoal absorbs oil from the scalp and hair. Witch hazel also helps soothe the scalp while moisturising strands from root to tip.
S$42 for 160ml