These are the best clarifying shampoos for natural hair

Forget the Stranger Things Demogorgon, clarifying is the scariest thing in my life rn. The fear of drying out my hair, causing excess breakage, and totally destroying all my progress makes The Upside Down look like a walk in a (very dark) park.

Even if you’re #TeamCowash, a clarifying shampoo is necessary every few washes to cleanse your scalp and sort of push the reset button on your hair. Beware — clarifying shampoos can be super strong and strip hair of moisture. Here are three that are gentle, natural hair-friendly, and won’t stunt growth.

Dr. Bronner’s 18-in-1 Hemp Peppermint Pure Castile Soap

Okay this stuff is pretty strong. If you’re heavy-handed and just cant help but overuse products, try diluting this with water. It’s effective, smells great, and works like a charm, but use too much and you’re in dangerous territory. Grab it here for $10.79

Madam CJ Walker Beauty Culture Curl Enhancing Jamaican Black Castor Oil and Murumuru Oils Pure Clarifying Shampoo with ACV

In case you didn’t know, the geniuses over at Shea Moisture worked with Madam CJ Walkers great-great-granddaughter to bring back her historic haircare recipes. The clarifying shampoo is gentle, sulfate-free, and has a gentle scent. It’s designed for curly/coily hair types and is available exclusively at Sephora. Click here to buy a bottle for $24.

Suave Daily Clarifying Shampoo

Yeah, I know I took it back to the old-school with this one, but it works and you can’t beat the price. I just wish they would come out with a sulfate-free formula! In the meantime, I’ll stick to using it on my extensions but if you’re cool with using sulfates from time to time, go ahead and “splurge” on this $2 wonder.

No matter which brand you decide to trust with your precious coils, always start with a pre-poo before using any shampoo. A pre-poo is when you coat your hair with a oil to protect it from shampooing. There’s no rhyme or reason to it, just slather on some coconut oil, pop on a shower cap, and turn on the Netflix. Perhaps postpone a third Stranger Things rewatch — clarifying and The Upside Down in one night? Nahhhh.

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