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6 Best Clarifying Shampoo for Low Porosity Hair (2023)

aida turner

Published by Aida Turner

Find the best clarifying shampoo for low porosity hair with the help of this article!

Hair strands with low porosity have compact cuticles that lay flat, acting almost like a shield, preventing moisture, oils, and other hair products from easily penetrating the hair shaft. This can cause products to sit on the hair’s surface, leading to a heavy, greasy feeling, reduced absorption, and a lack of effective hydration. Such accumulation can make the hair look lifeless, limp, and dull.

Best clarifying shampoos

Why opt for a clarifying shampoo if you have low porosity hair?

Clarifying shampoos deeply cleanse, removing residues, oils, and contaminants. While most work for general hair types, low porosity hair demands a tailored approach. Regular shampoos might not effectively combat the dense buildup inherent to this hair type. Clarifying shampoos crafted for low porosity hair, however, are specially formulated to break down stubborn residues while preserving natural oils. They not only cleanse but also hydrate, preparing hair for effective nourishment, ensuring a balance between deep cleaning and essential hydration. We have selected the 6 best clarifying shampoos for low porosity hair that can help you maintain your hair’s cleanliness, nourishment, and strength.

  1. The best clarifying shampoo for low porosity hair: Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo
  2. Best for low porosity 4c hair: J’Organic Solutions 4C Chébé Shampoo
  3. Best for low porosity curly hair: SheaMoisture Low Porosity Weightless Shampoo For Curly Hair
  4. Best for low porosity natural hair: tgin Moisture Rich Sulfate Free Shampoo For Natural Hair
  5. Best drugstore clarifying shampoo for low porosity hair: OUAI Detox Shampoo
  6. Best sulfate free clarifying shampoo for low porosity hair: Nothing But Clarifying Shampoo Sulfate-Free
Best Overall

Amazon best-selling product B0089NVH5W

Our rating

Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo

  • Sulfate-Phosphate-Paraben free
  • For hair burdened by buildup
  • Best clarifying shampoo

Amazon best-selling product B0C4QP9B72

Our rating

J’Organic Solutions 4C Chébé Shampoo

  • NO Sulfates, Parabens, Alcohol, Phthalates
  • With Chébé & Pro Vitamin B5
  • Best for low porosity 4C hair
Best Value

Amazon best-selling product B084C2PC69

Our rating

OUAI Detox Shampoo

  • Cruelty Free, Sulfate Free, Paraben Free
  • With Melrose Place scent
  • Best drugstore clarifying shampoo

6 Best Clarifying Shampoos for Low Porosity Hair

1. The best clarifying shampoo for low porosity hair

Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo

Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo is a top-tier choice for those with low porosity hair, providing a rejuvenating cleanse that strips away daily buildup without depriving the hair of its natural moisture. This deep-cleansing shampoo is formulated with a potent blend of nourishing elements such as Argan oil and Avocado oil. It’s further fortified with Keratin, a vital ingredient for rebuilding and strengthening damaged or porous hair. The presence of natural plant extracts, Panthenol, and essential vitamins ensure hair remains hydrated with a brilliant glossy finish. To top it off, its signature scent, a blend of spicy amber, musk, and sweet florals, leaves the hair smelling as good as it feels.

For which hair type: Low porosity | Package: 8.5 oz (250 ml)


  • Deeply cleans without causing dryness.
  • Enriched with Argan and Avocado oils.
  • Contains hair-strengthening Keratin.
  • Hydrates and adds shine.
  • Alluring signature scent.
  • Certified cruelty-free by PETA.
  • Free from sulfates, phosphates, and parabens.


  • The high concentration might require careful dosage to avoid excessive product use

Pro Tip: To make the most of this clarifying shampoo, apply it to thoroughly wet hair, ensuring an even distribution through both the scalp and lengths of the hair. Rinse well. Given its deep-cleansing nature, consider alternating it with a regular shampoo in your routine, ensuring a harmonious balance between deep cleaning and daily nourishment.

2. Best clarifying shampoo for 4c low porosity hair

J’Organic Solutions 4C Chébé Shampoo

This comprehensive shampoo and conditioner set by J’Organic Solutions is a blend of Chébé, African Black Soap, Biotin, and Argan oil among others. Designed especially for 4C low porosity hair, this set promises a deeply cleansing experience without the usual stripping of natural oils. The Biotin conditioner promotes fuller, thicker-looking hair, fortified with vitamins, while the Black Soap shampoo offers gentle cleansing that prevents dryness and brittleness. Notably free from sulfates, parabens, and drying alcohols, this duo is crafted with the best natural ingredients.

For which hair type: 4C, low porosity hair | Package: 8 oz (236 ml)


  • Biotin-infused for thicker hair
  • Moisturizing with Aloe Vera and Argan oil
  • Vitamin E for color protection
  • Free from harmful chemicals
  • Suitable for all age groups


  • Not tear-free; caution around eyes advised

Pro Tip: For maximum benefits, after using the shampoo, apply the Biotin Moisturizing Conditioner evenly, let it sit for 2-3 minutes, and rinse with cool water.

3. Best clarifying shampoo for low porosity curly hair

SheaMoisture Low Porosity Weightless Shampoo For Curly Hair

Dedicatedly crafted for moisture-resistant, low-porosity curly hair, SheaMoisture’s Weightless Hydrating Shampoo is a testament to understanding the specific needs of this hair type. Enriched with Grapeseed, Tea Tree, Sunflower oils, and Fair Trade Shea Butter, it’s meticulously designed to cater to curls and coils which resist essential hydration. The sulfate-free formulation ensures a gentle cleanse that effectively combats product build-up without drying out your hair.

For wich hair type: low porosity, curly hair | Package: 13 oz (384 ml)


  • Ideal for protein-sensitive hair
  • Sulfate-free for gentle cleansing
  • Effectively removes product build-up
  • Cruelty-free; no animal testing
  • Legacy of community support and quality ingredients


  • Specific to low porosity hair; may not suit other hair types

Pro Tip: For the best results, after using this shampoo, follow up with SheaMoisture Lightweight Hydrating Conditioner. The shampoo’s balanced, lightweight hydration, when paired with the conditioner, ensures your curls are soft, manageable, and free from any residues.

4. Best clarifying shampoo for low porosity natural hair

tgin Moisture Rich Sulfate Free Shampoo For Natural Hair

The tgin (Thank God It’s Natural) Moisture Rich Sulfate Free Shampoo emerges as a stellar choice for individuals with low porosity natural hair. Specifically designed to cleanse without compromising hair’s natural oils, its sulfate-free formulation ensures that the hair remains hydrated and free from any damaging build-up. Additionally, with Pro Vitamin B5 infusion, the shampoo not only boosts moisture but also diminishes the potential for breakage.

For wich hair type: low porosity, natural hair | Package: 13 oz (384 ml)


  • Sulfate-free cleansing ensures hair’s natural oils remain intact
  • Infused with Pro Vitamin B5 for enhanced moisture and reduced breakage
  • Cruelty-free, with no parabens, sulfates, petrolatum, lanolin, or artificial colors
  • Contributes to soft and smooth hair with a polished cuticle surface
  • Symbolizes the vision of Chris-Tia Donaldson, promoting wellness and quality ingredients


  • Specific to low porosity hair; might not suit other hair types

Pro Tip: For enhanced moisture retention, follow up with tgin’s Triple Moisture Replenishing Conditioner. This not only complements the shampoo’s hydrating properties but also further prevents split ends and breakage.

5. Best drugstore clarifying shampoo for low porosity hair

OUAI Detox Shampoo

Boasting a unique blend of ingredients and benefits, OUAI Detox Shampoo has rightly earned its title as the best drugstore clarifying shampoo for low porosity hair. Enriched with apple cider vinegar, it not only offers a deep cleanse but also paves the way for rejuvenated hair. A product that exemplifies simplicity, luxury, and efficacy, it effectively addresses product build-up, hard water residues, dirt, and oil to ensure hair remains lustrous and free of unnecessary weight.

For wich hair type: Low Porosity | Package: 10 oz (300 ml)


  • Contains apple cider vinegar, a natural cleanser and pH balancer, ensuring hair is not only clean but also maintains its natural shine.
  • Suitable for various hair types, from straight to coily.
  • Conscientiously crafted without sulfates, parabens, and is cruelty-free.
  • Designed for occasional use (1-2x a week), ensuring hair isn’t over-stripped.
  • Comes from a reputable brand that values sustainable and high-quality ingredients.


  • The concentrated nature might require a bit of trial and error to find the right amount for your hair length and thickness.

Pro Tip: To maintain the softness and manageability of your hair after using the Detox Shampoo, follow up with any OUAI conditioner. This step ensures the hair retains necessary moisture, making it easier to style and leaving it feeling soft and refreshed. The best part? No glam squad needed, just you and your OUAI.

6. Best sulfate free clarifying shampoo for low porosity hair

Nothing But Clarifying Shampoo Sulfate-Free

Nothing But’s commitment to producing products with honest ingredients shines through in their Clarifying Tea Tree Shampoo. Designed for those with low porosity hair, this sulfate-free shampoo ensures a gentle but effective cleanse, eliminating the daily build-up from hair products, dirt, oil, and even tap water.:

For which hair type: Low Porosity | Package: 12 oz (355 ml)


  • Specialized formula designed for all hair types, including curly, color-treated, African American, and biracial hair.
  • Formulated without harmful ingredients such as sulfates, petrolatum, mineral oil, parabens, colorants, and phthalates.
  • Tea tree oil addition provides an invigorating deep cleanse.
  • Perfect for removing heavy build-up, making it ideal for swimmers to eliminate chlorine or post-hospital use.
  • Safe for both men and women, catering to a wide audience.


  • Specificity to tea tree oil might not suit everyone, especially those allergic or sensitive to the ingredient.

Pro Tip: For an even more enriching experience and maximum benefits, follow up with Nothing But’s Cleansing Conditioner after the shampoo. This aids in further nourishing the hair and retaining moisture, ensuring that your hair not only feels clean but also stays hydrated and manageable.

How to choose a clarifying shampoo for low porosity hair?

Choosing the right clarifying shampoo for low porosity hair involves finding a formula that deeply cleanses without stripping essential oils and delivers moisture in a two-step approach, ensuring minimal protein content. Here’s a detailed guide to aid your selection:

  1. Balanced Cleansing: It’s crucial for a shampoo to achieve an optimal pH balance between 4.5 and 5.5, which is close to natural hair pH. This ensures that hair cuticles remain closed, minimizing potential damage. Seek formulations that clearly specify their pH balance for effective cleansing without raising the cuticle too much.
  2. Hydration Dynamics:
    • Hydration Inducers: A study in the Journal of Cosmetic Science found that humectants like glycerin can increase hair’s ability to retain moisture by up to 26%. Ingredients such as aloe vera and honey also exhibit similar properties.
    • Hydration Preservers: Oils with smaller molecular structures, like jojoba and argan oil, can penetrate up to 25% into the hair’s cortex, ensuring internal and external hydration.
  3. Minimal Protein: While proteins are crucial for hair strength, with low porosity hair, an excess of more than 15% protein-based ingredients can result in brittleness. It’s crucial to verify that moisturizing agents outweigh protein components in your chosen shampoo.
  4. Beneficial Additives: Apple cider vinegar, with its acidic pH of around 2.5, can naturally lift the cuticle slightly for better moisture penetration. Moreover, ingredients like green tea extract, rich in polyphenols, offer protection from UV radiation, reducing potential hair damage by up to 20%.
  5. Steer Clear of Harmful Agents: Avoid shampoos with sulfates like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), which can strip away up to 47% of the hair’s natural oils. Chemicals like parabens and phthalates should also be sidestepped, as they’re known endocrine disruptors.
  6. Peer Insights: A 2019 consumer study highlighted that 78% of individuals found product reviews influential in their buying decisions. Scouring through user experiences, especially from those with similar hair types, can offer critical insights into a product’s effectiveness.

What are the key ingredients in clarifying shampoos for low porosity hair?

1. Humectants: Promote moisture retention in hair.

  • Glycerin: Naturally attracts water to the hair, enhancing moisture content.
  • Honey and Aloe Vera: Both are renowned for drawing moisture from the environment, ensuring a consistently hydrated hair shaft.

2. Natural Oils: Provide hydration and mimic natural hair oils.

  • Jojoba oil: Closely resembles the scalp’s natural sebum and deeply penetrates the hair shaft.
  • Argan oil: Celebrated for its rich hydration properties, consistently reducing hair breakage.

3. Chelating Agents: Effectively bind with mineral deposits that can coat low porosity hair.

  • Citric Acid and EDTA: Highly effective in removing mineral build-up from hair.

4. Beneficial Additives: Enhance overall hair health and appearance.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar: With an acidic pH, it gently lifts the cuticle, allowing better product penetration.
  • Green Tea Extract: Rich in polyphenols that reduce potential damage from environmental factors.

5. Safe Cleansing Agents: Clean without excessively stripping the hair’s natural oils.

  • Decyl Glucoside and Cocamidopropyl Betaine: Derived from natural sources, these gentle surfactants ensure effective cleaning.

6. Botanical Extracts: Natural ingredients that offer a variety of hair benefits.

  • Nettle and Chamomile: With their anti-inflammatory properties, they soothe the scalp and enhance natural hair appearance.

Agents to Avoid:

Can potentially harm the hair’s natural state.

  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS): Known for removing a significant portion of natural hair oils.
  • Parabens and Phthalates: Highlighted in scientific literature for potential health concerns.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is clarifying shampoo good for low porosity hair?

Yes, clarifying shampoo is good for low porosity hair as it effectively removes product buildup, which can hinder moisture absorption. Using it occasionally can help the hair better absorb moisturizing products.

How often should you use clarifying shampoo on low porosity hair?

Usually, once every 2-4 weeks. This frequency effectively removes product build-up without over-stripping the hair’s natural oils. The other times, use shampoo for low porosity hair.

How to clarify low porosity hair?

Apply the shampoo evenly, focusing on the scalp and length of the hair, and massage gently. Rinse thoroughly to ensure all product buildup is removed. Finish with a moisturizing conditioner to retain hair’s natural moisture balance.

Will a clarifying shampoo strip my hair of its natural oils?

While clarifying shampoos effectively remove build-up, they can strip some natural oils. Always follow with a moisturizing conditioner.

Can I use a clarifying shampoo on colored or chemically treated hair?

Yes, but use sparingly. Overuse can strip color or weaken chemically treated hair

How is a clarifying shampoo different from a regular shampoo?

Clarifying shampoos are designed to remove build-up and residues, while regular shampoos mainly cleanse and maintain hair health

Do I need to use a conditioner after using a clarifying shampoo?

Yes, to restore moisture and softness, always follow a clarifying shampoo with a conditioner.

Are there natural or DIY alternatives to store-bought clarifying shampoos?

Yes, a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water can act as a natural clarifier, though it may not be as effective

Can clarifying shampoos cause hair breakage or damage?

If used excessively, they can strip hair of essential oils, potentially leading to breakage. Always use in moderation.

Should I follow a clarifying shampoo with a deep conditioning treatment?

It’s beneficial, especially if your hair feels dry post-clarification. A deep conditioner restores lost moisture

aida turner

Author of this article: Aida Turner

Founder & Hair Care Consultant

Aida is a cosmetologist and hair care consultant with over 7 years of experience in the beauty industry. Aida has worked with various top salons and smaller hair care brands, offering her product development, formulation, and testing expertise.

Her extensive knowledge of hair care ingredients and their effects on hair health enables her to provide thorough, well-researched, and unbiased reviews on a wide range of shampoos and hair care products. In her spare time, Aida enjoys experimenting with new hair care routines, blogging about her experiences, and helping others achieve their hair goals.