In the realm of hair care, clarifying shampoos are hailed for their potent cleansing properties, effectively banishing build-up and residues that lurk on your scalp and strands.
But amidst the clarifying buzz, a question emerges – do these deep-cleansing concoctions contain protein, a revered ingredient known for its hair-strengthening prowess?
This article embarks on a quest to unravel this protein mystery, shedding light on the composition of clarifying shampoos and how they interact with the protein component. Dive in to discover the intricate relationship between clarifying shampoos and protein, and why this knowledge is a game-changer in your hair care journey.
- Clarifying shampoos help remove product buildup from hair.
- They don’t contain conditioning ingredients like proteins.
- Using a clarifying shampoo too often can dry out your hair.
- Look for gentle clarifying shampoos without sulfates.
- Follow up with a nourishing conditioner after clarifying.
What Are Clarifying Shampoos?
Clarifying shampoos are formulated to deeply cleanse hair and remove residue that can build up over time. This buildup comes from things like hair products, hard water minerals, chlorine, and pollution. ### Why Use a Clarifying Shampoo?
There are a few reasons you may want to use a clarifying shampoo:
- To remove product buildup – Using lots of styling products can leave a coating on your hair over time. A clarifying shampoo can remove this buildup so your hair feels clean and lightweight again.
- For hair that feels dull or heavy – Buildup on your strands can make hair look dull, feel weighed down and lack volume. Clarifying removes the gunk so your hair can bounce back.
- If you swim often – The chlorine in pools can build up on hair leaving it dry and brittle over time. Using a clarifying shampoo regularly helps remove chlorine buildup.
- To prep hair before a chemical process – Clarifying before getting a perm, relaxer or color treatment helps open up the cuticle so the chemicals can penetrate most effectively.
- For scalp buildup and flakes – Product residue, hard water and other contaminants on the scalp can clog follicles and lead to irritation and flaking. Clarifying shampoos cleanse the scalp deeply.
How Often Should You Clarify Your Hair?
Most people only need to use a clarifying shampoo once a week or every other week. People with finer or drier hair may only need to clarify once a month.
Signs that it’s time to clarify include:
- Dull, lifeless hair
- Strands feeling coated or heavy
- Increased tangling or knots
- Product buildup at the roots
- Flaky or itchy scalp
Over-clarifying with harsh sulfates too frequently can dry your hair out. Only do it as often as needed to remove buildup.
Do Clarifying Shampoos Contain Protein?
Clarifying shampoos are formulated to deep clean, not to condition or nourish hair. So they don’t contain protein or most other conditioning ingredients.
Why Clarifying Shampoos Don’t Have Protein
There are a couple reasons why clarifying shampoos don’t contain protein or conditioning agents:
1. To avoid coating hair:
Clarifying shampoos are designed to strip everything off your hair without leaving behind any residue. Protein can sometimes leave a coating on the hair that could interfere with removing buildup.
2. Protein can counteract cleansing agents:
Many clarifying shampoos contain surfactants like sulfates that help break down and remove buildup from the hair. These surfactants work best on hair in its virgin state. Protein could potentially bind to the hair and make it more difficult for the surfactants to do their job.
3. To prevent protein overload:
Getting too much protein can actually damage hair and make it brittle and dry. Most people follow up clarifying shampoo with a moisturizing conditioner containing protein. Adding more protein to the actual clarifying shampoo could throw off that balance and lead to protein overload.
So in summary, clarifying shampoos avoid protein and conditioning ingredients in order to work as effectively as possible to deep clean and remove buildup without leaving behind residue.
What Ingredients Are in Clarifying Shampoos?
While containing no protein or moisturizing ingredients, clarifying shampoos utilize the following types of ingredients to thoroughly cleanse hair:
- Surfactants – Such as sulfates to break down and dissolve buildup. Common ones are sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate.
- Chelating agents – Such as EDTA to help remove mineral deposits from hard water.
- Citric acid – Helps break down product residue.
- Antioxidants – Help counteract damage from cleansing agents. Look for vitamin E or green tea extract.
- Tea tree, mint, lemon – Help naturally cleanse and purify hair and scalp.
Are Sulfates Bad?
Sulfates like sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate are very effective at removing buildup from hair. However, they can be harsh and stripping, especially for dry or color-treated hair.
Look for clarifying shampoos labeled “gentle” that use milder or alternative surfactants. Or try sulfate-free natural clarifying shampoos. Just know they may not deep clean as thoroughly.
|Surfactants||Sodium lauryl sulfate, cocamidopropyl betaine||Remove buildup|
|Chelating agents||EDTA||Remove mineral deposits|
|Acids||Citric acid||Break down residue|
|Antioxidants||Vitamin E, green tea extract||Counteract damage from cleansing|
|Botanicals||Tea tree, mint, lemon||Naturally cleanse and purify|
Tips for Using Clarifying Shampoo
Here are some tips to use clarifying shampoo safely and effectively:
- Don’t clarify daily – Once a week or every 2 weeks is usually sufficient
- Rotate with a gentle shampoo – Use your clarifying shampoo only when needed
- Avoid getting on colored hair – Clarifying can cause color to fade faster
- Follow with a nourishing conditioner – To add moisture back after clarifying
- Rinse thoroughly – Make sure to remove all traces of shampoo
- Give hair a break if feeling dry – Clarify less often if hair is parched
- Check the ingredients – Look for gentle options without harsh sulfates
- Apply to scalp and roots – Concentrate on areas most prone to buildup
Should You Use Protein After Clarifying?
It’s a good idea to follow up a clarifying shampoo with a moisturizing conditioner containing protein. Here’s why:
Clarifying removes protein:
The deep cleansing agents in clarifying shampoo can strip away some of the protein naturally found in your hair.
Hair needs moisture and strength:
Clarifying shampoos lack oils and conditioners that help nourish hair and keep it strong. The protein in conditioners helps restore moisture and strength.
Prevents damage and breakage:
Without replacing any lost protein, hair is more prone to breakage and damage, especially when wet. Conditioning after clarifying helps prevent this.
Look for moisturizing conditioners containing ingredients like:
- Hydrolyzed wheat or keratin protein
- Argan, coconut or olive oil
- Natural butters like shea or cocoa butter
- Honey, glycerin or aloe vera
Using protein conditioner after you clarify helps replenish your hair with moisture and strength so it feels soft, manageable and full of shine!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I use a clarifying shampoo daily?
A: No, you should only use a clarifying shampoo once or twice a week at most. Using it daily could dry out your hair by stripping too much of the natural oils.
Q: Do all clarifying shampoos have sulfates?
A: No, there are sulfate-free natural clarifying shampoos although they may not cleanse as deeply. Look for options with gentle cleansers like coco betaine.
Q: Can clarifying shampoo damage your hair?
A: Overuse of harsh clarifying shampoos can damage hair over time by drying it out. Limit use based on your hair type and condition.
Q: Should you condition before or after clarifying?
A: Always condition after using a clarifying shampoo. Conditioning first can prevent the shampoo from properly removing buildup.
Q: Does clarifying help with dandruff?
A: Yes, by removing residue and oils on the scalp, clarifying shampoos can help reduce dandruff and flakes. Use weekly or as needed.
The Bottom Line
While clarifying shampoos are great for deeply cleansing hair, they don’t contain protein or nourishing ingredients that can weigh hair down. Be sure to follow up clarifying with a moisturizing conditioner to replace any lost protein and oils so hair stays strong, shiny and healthy. Limit clarifying to once a week or every other week based on your hair’s needs.