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Do Your Curls Need Clarifying?

Posted on 01 August 2018

What is Clarifying?

Clarifying is a deep cleaning of both your hair and scalp that's meant to give your curls a fresh start.

The result? Curls that feel weightless, look shiny and are easier to style. More importantly, clarifying improves the overall health of your hair because a healthy scalp = healthy hair follicles! And healthy hair follicles means faster growth and more luscious curls.

When should I Clarify?

Your hair still feels dirty after washing.

Your hair shouldn’t be filling gritty on wash day. If you find that your hair feels filmy or greasy right after washing it, you could be experiencing product build-up (especially if you come from the world of piling multiple styling products on your hair). Residual product coating your strands can cause increased oil production at your roots. Clarifying can help get rid of any residual product in your hair that your regular wash routine can’t tackle.

Your curls are looking dull.

This one is different for everyone because the level of shine or sheen of hair will vary from person to person. Curly hair doesn't normally shine as much as straight hair because of all the twist and turns. But that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with dull curls! If you’re having a hard time achieving a little shine, try clarifying to get rid of any filminess—your curls will be poppin’ in no time!

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You've been swimming.

If you’ve been hanging poolside to beat the summer heat you may need to clarify. When you take a dip in chlorinated water, the chemicals can stick around in your curls even after rinsing with fresh water. This will cause your hair to look dry and lacklustre. Clarifying is good way to makes sure that chlorine is gone for good! 🙅🏽

Your products stop working.

Have you ever been using a product for soooo long and always gotten bomb results, and then suddenly, out of nowhere, your curls don’t seem as magical? Or have you ever tried out a new product and can’t manage to nail the results that other curly girls have?

Often times if you’re trying a new product after using a cocktail of different products, the residual build-up from previous styles can affect your results with the new product. Clarifying is a good way to give your curls a clean slate.

You've been co-washing your curls.

In fear that most shampoos are too drying for their curls, some curlies choose to co-wash their hair, aka use a conditioner to wash instead of a shampoo. Sometimes, though, the conditioner can be the exact cause of build-up after using it for an extended time (especially if the intended use of that conditioner was not meant for co-washing). Clarifying is the perfect way to make sure that your hair gets a fresh start every now and then before resuming your regular wash routine.

Your curls aren't bouncing back.

What happened to those springy curls??? As much as we complain about the shrinkage that comes from bouncy curls we know that it’s a sign of happy and healthy hair. If you know that the lack of life in your curls isn’t caused by the usual culprits such as heat or color, it may be a sign of product build-up weighing them down.

Your scalp is itchy, dry, or flaky.

If your scalp is feeling itchy the same day after washing, this is a major sign of build-up (either product or dead skin—eeek!). Clarifying will help lift dirt, dandruff, and residual product from your scalp and leave it feeling squeaky clean.

How do I Clarify?


Our sulfate-free shampoo, while very gentle, is still very cleansing and clarifying. Adding an extra 'rinse and repeat' will help to get your curls and scalp extra clean. But for those days where your curls are feeling extra gunky, try this home remedy:

DIY Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

Mix 1 part of raw apple cider vinegar to 2 parts warm water in a spray bottle (a bottle with an applicator tip can work too). Shake to mix well. Apply directly to the scalp, making sure you’ve covered the entirety of your head. Then begin massaging it in with your fingers to lift dirt and build up. Once you've got your scalp clarified, you can also spritz a little bit on the actual hair shaft. Rinse the mixture out with warm water and follow up with a sulfate-free shampoo + silicone-free conditioner.

Ready to give it a try? Grab your spray bottle and towel and follow along with this amazing step-by-step tutorial from our girl, Aster.

How often should I Clarify?

While clarifying is a great way to give your curls a fresh start when they've fallen into a bit of a slump, it's definitely not something you want to do every day.

Clarifying too often can strip moisture from your hair and scalp and disrupt the natural oil production that keeps your curls nourished and healthy. Try clarifying once a month or on a need-to basis—this should be enough to do the trick in helping to maintain the health and look of your curls!

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