Here is a simple guide to clarifying wavy hair with natural methods like apple cider vinegar and using clarifying shampoo.
Have you ever felt your hair was getting too greasy without you having an oily scalp? Or that your hair products have suddenly stopped working?
Sometimes, you might even feel that your wavy hair is losing its shape and becoming more frizzy. All of this is due to buildup.
You see whenever you use any hair product some part of it might stay on hair strands and not get washed off. This is especially true for products like leave-in conditioners, hair creams, etc. that are formulated with heavy ingredients and silicones.
Related: Everyday Hair Routine For Wavy Hair
Related: How To Take Care Of Wavy Hair
Due to this buildup, the cuticles on your hair are closed up and are not able to take in any moisture or absorb any serums, oils or creams that you are applying on your hair.
If this buildup gets too much it might even mingle with sweat and heat produced in the body to create the perfect environment for fungal and bacterial growth.
So how do you remove this buildup from hair? Simple. You use some clarifying rinse to wash it off. Here’s my guide on how to do this!
Guide To Clarifying Wavy Hair
Why Is Clarifying Wavy Hair Important
Wavy hair is more prone to product buildup than straight hair. This is because the general hair care routine for wavy hair involves the use of a lot more products including hair gels, hair creams, curl defining creams and more.
A lot of these products often contain silicones (in the form of amodimethicone or dimethicone) that is the leading cause of buildup as they are not water soluble.
The following issues that can occur due to too much product buildup on hair:
- Firstly, it can cause excess greasiness and weight hair down, making wavy hair less noticeably “wavy” and ruin its texture.
- Secondly, the buildup coats the hair strand and prevents any hair product from touching the hair. This decreases the effectiveness of hair gels, serums, etc.
- Excess product buildup can also cause bacterial growth that causes or exacerbates a dandruff problem
- If the buildup is on your scalp it can clog hair follicles leading to issues such as folliculitis, scalp acne, etc. and also contribute to hair breakage.
What Are The Natural Methods To Clarify Wavy Hair
If you’re worried about the process of clarifying being too harsh on your hair, then don’t be. There are several natural methods that you can use to remove buildup from hair. Let me tell you about a few of my favorite home remedies for removing buildup from wavy hair.
Use Apple Cider Vinegar To Rinse Hair
I know, I know. Apple cider vinegar is just about everywhere is it not? But hey, if it works, it works!
Apple cider vinegar or ACV as it’s occasionally called is really good for removing all sorts of buildup and gunk from your hair. And it does so without any damage to your tresses.
The low, acidic pH of the ACV rinse will help remove buildup as it functions as a chemical exfoliant and also smoothens the hair cuticles making wavy hair look less frizzy.
All you need to do is mix 1 part of ACV with 1 part of water (that is, if you take 200ml of ACV you’ll need 200ml of water). Rinse your hair with this solution after you have shampooed your hair and before using conditioner.
Use A Lemon Hair Mask
As with apple cider vinegar, lemon juice is also great for clarifying your hair. It also reduces excess oiliness on your hair and can help reduce bacterial infections to a certain extent.
However, lemon juice has a lower pH than ACV so it’s harsher. So you shouldn’t use lemon juice on hair directly as it can cause irritation, dryness, and it can even lighten your hair to some extent.
If you want to use lemon juice to clarify your hair then you should dilute it with water. Use 2 parts of water with every part of lemon juice.
Exfoliate Hair With Baking Soda Paste
This is one of the more extreme “natural” clarifying methods. I suggest this only if you don’t have a sulfate-based shampoo at hand and want some home remedy at hand.
Make a paste of baking soda and water and wash your hair with it. The baking soda is abrasive and acts as a physical exfoliant that scrubs out the product buildup from your hair strands.
I should warn you that this method can be harsh on your hair and open your hair cuticles, making your hair more prone to frizz.
Wash Hair With Clarifying Shampoo
A clarifying shampoo isn’t some fancy product. It’s just something with a strong surfactant. This means your regular shampoo with sodium laureth sulfate and sodium lauryl sulfate will work excellently on your hair.
The strong foaming and detergent agents in the shampoo will help clarify hair and remove dandruff and grease as well. However, the downside is that sulfate-based clarifying shampoo will dry hair and remove color from dyed hair.
So you can either reduce the number of times you use clarifying shampoo on your hair or you can use a sulfate-free one.
There are ingredients such as activated charcoal, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, tea tree oil, etc. that clarify your hair without the use of sulfates.
So What Is The Best Shampoo For Clarifying Wavy Hair?
I personally use the Moroccanoil Clarifying shampoo to wash my hair every 15 days to clean buildup.
What I like about this shampoo is that it doesn’t contain the harsher surfactants like sodium laureth sulfate and sodium lauryl sulfate. It instead has a mix of milder surfactants like Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, and Sodium Polystyrene Sulfonate.
These won’t clean out the natural oils from your hair but it will remove the excess silicones, gunk, and other product buildup on your hair.
Another reason why I think this shampoo is great for wavy hair is because it contains argan oil which is very lightweight. This will help hydrate your hair but it won’t make it greasy.
So it’s perfect for type 2 hair textures that need moisturization but not in the same level type 3 and type 4 curls need moisturization.
The only downside I could find to this shampoo is that it’s very expensive. I bought it for $26.0 for 8.5 fl. Oz bottle which is quite much in my opinion.
However, I hardly use this shampoo twice a month and as it lathers very well, you won’t need a lot of the product to wash your hair.
If you have wavy hair and you need a clarifying shampoo to wash your hair I suggest going for the Moroccanoil Clarifying shampoo.
How Often To Clarify Wavy Hair
How often you clarify your wavy hair depends on what your hair texture is and what your hair care routine is like.
If you use a lot of hair creams, conditioners, gels, serums, etc. then you need to clarify your hair more often. Also, if you use products that contain silicones you might need to clarify wavy hair more often.
I would suggest using a strong clarifying shampoo twice a month or once a month to reduce buildup on your hair.
Alternatively, you can even use an apple cider vinegar rinse on your hair every week instead of using the clarifying shampoo once a month. This also depends on your hair routine, how easily you can fit it into your routine, etc.
How Often To Clarify Curly Hair
Cleansing curly hair can be a bit tricky, but there are a few guidelines that you can follow to ensure that your locks stay healthy and frizz-free.
When washing your curls, use sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner. So it can be confusing how to clarify your curl.
I think using sulfate-based shampoos once a month can actually help your curls. But if you’re not up for it you can try clarifying curls every week with an apple cider vinegar rinse.
Summary on Clarifying Wavy Hair
If you have wavy hair, you need to clarify your hair more often as the products designed for wavy hair are heavier and often contain silicones.
Also you’ll need to use more products on wavy hair such as curl enhancing creams and hair gels that will hold your waves. So there’s more chance you’ll get product buildup on your hair strands if they have a wavy texture.
You can choose natural methods of clarifying your hair like apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. Or you can simply use a clarifying shampoo instead.
A clarifying shampoo can be a sulfate-free shampoo containing naturally clarifying ingredients like the ones I’ve listed above. Or you can simply use a sulfate-based shampoo once a week or twice a month as your hair needs.