Wash Away Product Remnants and Excess Buildup With a Great Clarifying Shampoo

Ouai Detox Shampoo bottles on a
Courtesy of Amazon

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, SPY.com may receive an affiliate commission.

Any man who uses hair products knows the benefits of having the best clarifying shampoos around. The leftover gunk from gels and pomades can be a real problem, especially for men who use hair products every day.

Clarifying shampoos are designed to gently wash away the remnants of hair products, any skin, product or chemical buildup and generally bring your hair back to “normal.” Because of their de-gunking power, you only need to use these shampoos once or twice a week. For men who need a daily cleanse, just use less shampoo and you’ll still have a great cleansing experience.

So if you’re dealing with gunky and funky-feeling hair, check out some of the best clarifying shampoos below. You’ll see what you’ve been missing after only one wash and appreciate just how shiny, soft, itch-free and dandruff-free your hair will be.


1. Baxter of California Deep Clean Shampoo


Not only is the Baxter of California Deep Clean Shampoo one of the best clarifying shampoos, it’s one of the best shampoos money can buy in 2021 and a 2021 SPY Man winner (that is, one of our favorite products of the year).

Ginseng, apple cider vinegar and menthol drive the bus here to cleanse hair, get rid of product residue and leave your hair feeling renewed and refreshed.

Though the shampoo is currently sold out on Baxter’s website and on Amazon, we promise it’s worth waiting around for.

Baxter of California Deep Clean Shampoo; best clarifying shampoo Courtesy of Amazon


2. Ouai Detox Shampoo


You just know any hair product with the word “detox” in its name is going to deliver the cleanse your hair needs. The Ouai Detox Shampoo relies on apple cider vinegar to break down hard water and product buildup and cleanse dirty, oily hair while keratin works to strengthen existing hair, leaving it soft, shiny and feeling brand-new.

Ouai Detox Shampoo; best clarifying shampoo Courtesy of Amazon


3. Suave Essentials Daily Clarifying Shampoo


Once upon a time, there was a man in college. Unaccustomed to the sweaty hotness that was Baltimore, Maryland, he desperately needed a cheap clarifying shampoo to get rid of oil and product buildup. That man was me and the Suave Essentials Daily Clarifying Shampoo was my savior.

I can’t tell you what’s in this shampoo that works so well, but I can tell you that it works extremely well to cleanse almost any level of grody hair and is available at every drugstore and pharmacy in the U.S.

If you’re thinking you’ll never find the shampoo to give your head and hair that truly clean feeling at an affordable price, stop looking because the Suave Essentials is definitely the best clarifying shampoo for you.

Suave Essentials Daily Clarifying Shampoo; best clarifying shampoo Courtesy of Amazon


4. Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two


When in doubt, you can always trust hair products from Paul Mitchell. The Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two was made for oily buildup and deep cleansing and is insanely affordable for a brand-name product. Aim for the top of the head when applying and let the shampoo chill for a few minutes to allow it to work its magic. Over time, the shampoo will help to minimize oil production, meaning the more you use it, the less you’ll need it, or at least, the less shampoo you’ll have to use each time.

Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two, clarifying shampoo; best clarifying shampoo Courtesy of Amazon


5. Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo


If there’s one thing Neutrogena can authentically claim, it’s that the brand knows how to make clarifying products. If you’ve ever dealt with moderate to severe acne, you know what we’re talking about. But instead of trying to clear acne or oil from your face, the Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo is focused on clarifying your hair of oil, product buildup and really residue of any kind. Not only is this clarifying shampoo extremely budget-friendly due to its 6 oz size, it only needs to be used once a week. The rest of the time you can stick to your everyday favorite shampoo.

Sure, you’ll get better value with some other shampoos on a price-per-ounce basis, but in a pinch, there aren’t many better clarifying shampoos at this price.

Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo; best clarifying shampoo Courtesy of Amazon


6. Acure Curiously Clarifying Shampoo


Besides the Neutrogena clarifying shampoo, only one other shampoo we found came in under $6 and that was the Acure Curiously Clarifying Shampoo. Yes, it’s cheap, but it also works great, washing away buildup without stripping hair thanks to its use of essential oils.

Acure Curiously Clarifying Shampoo; best clarifying shampoo Courtesy of Amazon


7. SheaMoisture Residue Remover Shampoo


At well under a dollar per ounce, the SheaMoisture Residue Remover Shampoo easily offers the best value in a clarifying shampoo. Designed to get rid of remaining residue for people who wear wigs, it works just as well to get rid of buildup in hair while nourishing it with aloe vera, tea tree oil and borage seed oil.

SheaMoisture Residue Remover Shampoo Courtesy of Amazon


8. Paul Mitchell MITCH Heavy Hitter Daily Deep Cleansing Shampoo


If the Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two isn’t manly enough for you, the Paul Mitchell MITCH Heavy Hitter Daily Deep Cleansing Shampoo will have to be. Not only does this shampoo take care of any kind of product buildup, but it’s also highly rated on Amazon, boasting over 85% five-star reviews on over 1,000 ratings and an overall 4.8/5 star rating. It’s also a great value, offering nearly 34 ounces of shampoo for under $25, or less than $1 per ounce.

Paul Mitchell says it’s safe for daily use, but we’d recommend erring on the side of caution and starting with one or two days a week. If you love it, you can always move up toward daily use for cleansing power and awesome citrus and agave fragrance.

Paul Mitchell MITCH Heavy Hitter Daily Deep Cleansing Shampoo; best clarifying shampoo Courtesy of Amazon


9. OGX Purifying + Charcoal Detox Shampoo


There’s simply no denying charcoal’s purifying power and that makes it perfect in a clarifying shampoo like the OGX Purifying + Charcoal Detox Shampoo. Hairspray, dry shampoo and other product residues don’t stand a chance against the charcoal and kaolin clay, which promise to break up buildup and leave your hair looking and feeling way healthier.

OGX Purifying Charcoal Detox Shampoo Courtesy of Amazon


10. Artnaturals Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo


Given how great apple cider vinegar is as a detoxifying cleanser (it features in more than one product here already), you should consider an apple cider vinegar-forward shampoo like the Artnaturals Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo.

Whether you’re dealing with excess oil, product buildup, damaged hair, a dry itchy scalp or frizz, this clarifying shampoo will help.

Artnaturals Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo Courtesy of Amazon


Do DHT-Blocking Shampoos Fight Hair Loss? We Asked the Experts, and the Answer Surprised Us