How to Use Clarifying Shampoo on Colored Hair

by Contributing Writer ; Updated September 28, 2017

Clarifying shampoo is a great treatment for your hair. It adds shine and removes excess oils and buildup from styling products. But because of its composition, clarifying shampoo can cause colored hair to fade. Follow the steps below to learn to use clarifying shampoo on colored hair safely.

Choose a good clarifying shampoo. Some brands are made specifically for colored hair. The common ingredient in most clarifying shampoos is acetic acid. This is a mild acid that occurs naturally in vinegar and is known for removing buildup from household appliances, like coffee pots. It’s likely your hair will fade if you use a product that contains acetic acid on your colored hair. However, most good clarifying shampoos for colored hair don't contain acetic acid. Read the label to make sure you get the right one.

Use clarifying shampoo once a week, at the most. Remember, these shampoos are higher in pH, which is why clarifiers are known to dry out the hair and scalp. So use sparingly! If you have dry hair to begin with, use once every two weeks. Use cool to lukewarm water to cleanse your hair. Lather up your head and be sure to rinse out all the shampoo.

Condition! A deep-conditioning treatment is essential after clarifying. Use a special shampoo made for color-treated hair. Or make your own deep conditioner using this recipe: Combine 2 cups mayonnaise with 1/2 avocado in a bowl. Mix well and apply to your hair. Wrap your head with a warm towel. Leave on your hair for 20 minutes and rinse with cool water.