"It's important to use a clarifying shampoo to rid the hair of all product and natural buildup," says Neil Weisberg, co-owner of the highly anticipated (and just opened) Meche Salon. "Buildup can cause your hair to look dull and weighed down." In fact, a hair 'deep cleaning' is as important as haircuts and deep conditioning, plus it's easy and affordable (a bottle will last forever). Not a styling product fanatic? It's still important to wash away mineral deposits from tap water, pollutants, and oil buildup.
Clarifying shampoo can be used on any hair type, but Weisberg warns that those with color-treated hair should use it less often. "It can make the color fade faster than a normal shampoo," he says (blondes can ignore this warning). Whatever you do, don't ditch your deep conditioning routine; a clarifying formula is more drying than regular shampoo.
Product junkies and those with oily hair can benefit from weekly use, while those with dry or chemically-processed locks should stick to once every few weeks. Once you start using one you'll know when it's time to clarify, because your hair will start to feel weighed down.
Weisberg's favorite is Davines' Solu Refreshing Solution Shampoo ($22), which packs barley extract to protect strands as it deep cleans. It's clever marketing, but making Bumble & bumble's Sunday Shampoo ($21) your lazy-day ritual really does make sense. (Especially if you spend all week layering on their amazing products.) Our office swears by Neutrogena's Anti-Residue Formula Shampoo ($5)--the no-frills formula has been a brand staple since 1980--it creates a rich lather and gets tresses very clean. For a luxurious experience pick up Philip B's Peppermint and Avocado Volumizing & Clarifying Shampoo ($28), which has aromatic peppermint to soothe the scalp. If you suffer from excessively oily hair try a gentle version, like Garnier Fructis' Pure Clean Fortifying Shampoo ($3) or Herbal Essences' Drama Clean Refreshing Shampoo ($4)--both of which you can use every day! Sachajuan's Scalp Shampoo ($25) kills an itchy scalp, and removes dandruff with rosemary and menthol. Paul Mitchell's Shampoo Three ($11) is especially formulated to remove minerals and chlorine, making it perfect for swimmers. So lather up to strip down!