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Revitalize Your Curls with These 25 Bounce-Boosting Clarifying Shampoos for Curly Hair

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Table of Contents

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Dealing with the challenges of curly hair often involves using numerous products, leading to frustrating issues like build-up, damage, and lifeless, dull curls that resist bouncing back despite various attempts. Navigating through potential solutions can be perplexing, but a promising starting point is incorporating a clarifying shampoo into your routine. Drawing from years of personal experimentation, I’ve identified the top 25 clarifying shampoos that can help address the specific pain points of limp, weighed-down curls, offering a path to revitalization.

Clarifying shampoos are a deep cleansing agent that removes build-up from the hair and scalp. Some of the best options are Bouncecurl Gentle, Schwarzkopf Professional Blond Me+, Oribe Gold Lust, L’Oreal Paris EverPure, Avalon Organics, Ouai Detox, and Righteous Roots, clarifying shampoos. 

In this blog, with the expert insights of my friend, a Cosmetic Formulator and PhD holder in Chemistry specializing in hair science, we’ll delve into the essential ingredients that should top your list when it comes to clarifying shampoos (stay until the end). From well-established favorites to emerging brands, we’ll explore the science behind the ingredients, aiding you in making informed choices for your curly hair care routine.

What is a Clarifying Shampoo?

Image of the Giovanni 50:50 Balanced Hydrating Clarifying Shampoo bottle with a magnifying glass focused on the word,"Clarifying".

A clarifying shampoo is designed to eliminate product build-up, excess sebum, and debris, including residues from curly hair products.1 These deposits, such as polymeric ingredients and oils, can make hair greasy, sticky, and heavy, leading to a limp-down effect. Whether from styling products or environmental pollutants, clarifying shampoos effectively cleanse the hair, leaving it clean, hydrated, and with a natural appearance.

The choice of using gentle formulas for weekly cleansing or more potent ones for monthly use depends on your hair type, scalp condition, and the extent of residue accumulation. Curly hair products often leave behind persistent residues, diminishing volume and bounce.

The accumulation of particles over time dulls the curls and weighs down the hair, potentially causing damage and hair loss. Regular deep cleansing with clarifying shampoos is crucial to restoring your curls’ natural luster, bounce, and softness by eliminating accumulated product build-up.

The Importance of Clarifying Curly Hair 

Understanding the significance of clarifying unveils a dual meaning: a thorough “deep cleansing” and detoxification for both hair and scalp and the use of cleaning products, like shampoo, to remove accumulated build-up and impurities.

On a daily basis, environmental pollutants and hair care products create a barrier around the hair, depriving it of essential moisture. This build-up compromises the effectiveness of subsequent products, akin to how neglected skin exfoliation dulls and unevenizes the skin. Regular clarification becomes paramount for curly hair, which often involves daily use of curl creams, leave-in conditioners, and styling products.

Optimizing the results of curly hair products requires their penetration into the hair’s surface. However, excessive residue or impurities can impede this process, hindering curls from reaching their full potential.

To learn more about clarifying curly hair, check this blog post: How To Clarify Curly Hair: The Ultimate Guide

The 25 Best Clarifying Shampoos For Curly Hair 

To enhance your convenience, we’ve provided the ingredient lists for each product. Please be aware that these lists may not be the most up-to-date. For the most accurate and current details, we recommend checking the information on the product bottle. Also, make sure to verify the size of the bottles, as it may differ on each site.

Image of Pinterest pint titled "25 Best Clarifying Shampoo for Curly Hair"

1. Bounce Curl Gentle Clarifying Shampoo

This shampoo is super gentle for any hair type and can be used weekly. It is an excellent option for curlies who use a lot of products daily and tend to get more build-up than others.

Pros: Gently moisturizes and cleanses hair with a small amount. Vegan formula, suitable for colored hair.

Cons: It may not effectively tackle excessive product build-up due to its mild strength.

Ingredients: Water, **Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate, **Decyl Glucoside, **Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, **Glycerin **Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, **Propanediol, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), Polyquaternium-10, **Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Biotin, **Vanillin, **Hydrolyzed Adansonia Digitata (Baobab) Seed Protein, *Nigella Sativa (Virgin Black Cumin) Oil, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Lactic Acid, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, **Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, **Boswellia Carterii Oil, **Lactobacillus/Punica Granatum Fruit Ferment Extract, **Lactobacillus/Pumpkin Ferment Extract, **Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, **Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, **Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, **Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil, **Geranium Maculatum Oil, **Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Seed Oil, **Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, **Pogostemon Cablin Oil, **Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Seed Oil, ** Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, Caprylyl Glycol.

*Certified Organic **Plant Derived 100% Oil Scent (no synthetic fragrance).

Bounce Curl Enzyme Gentle Clarifying Shampoo
$35.00 ($4.38 / Fl Oz)

Use 'muse' at Bounce Curl's checkout for a discount.

Buy at Amazon Buy at Bounce Curl
03/19/2024 02:59 pm GMT

2. Schwarzkopf BlondMe All Blondes Detox Shampoo

This clarifying shampoo is perfect for those with light blonde hair. It has a gentle formula that helps to remove any unwanted yellow tones from the hair and is, therefore, great for color-treated hair. 

Pros: Effectively eliminates unwanted yellow tones from the hair.

Cons: It may be too gentle for those with very oily scalps.

Ingredients: Aqua, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Coco-Glucoside, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Methyl 2-Sulfolaurate, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Lanthanum Chloride, Glycine, Succinic Acid, Eriophorum Spissum Flower/​Stem Extract, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Moringa Oleifera Seed Extract, Malic Acid, Panthenol, Caprylyl/​Capryl Glucoside, Parfum, Glycerin, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Disodium 2-Sulfolaurate, Coconut Acid, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Sodium Sulfate, C12-18 Fatty Acids Methyl Esters, Glycol Distearate, Limonene, Phenoxyethanol, Linalool, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Acetate, Potassium Sorbate, Sorbic Acid, Benzyl Alcohol, Polyquaternium-10, Laureth-4.

3. Oribe Gold Lust Shampoo

The Oribe Gold Lust Shampoo is a luxurious clarifying shampoo that is perfect for those with dry or damaged hair. It has a gentle formula that helps to restore the hair’s natural shine and luster. It can be used daily or weekly, depending on the needs of your hair. 

Pros: It leaves behind a beautiful shimmery gold finish. It is gentle enough to use on color-treated hair. 

Cons: Relatively higher price compared to other clarifying shampoos. Contains silicones, which may not align with the preferences of those following the Curly Girl Method.

Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Cocamide MIPA, Dimethicone, Capryloyl/Caproyl Methyl Glucamide, Lauroyl/Myristoyl Methyl Glucamide, Glycerin, Acrylates/Beheneth-25 Methacrylate Copolymer, Coconut Acid, Parfum/Fragrance, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, Amodimethicone, Pentylene Glycol, Propanediol, Sodium Isethionate, Propylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Hydroxyacetophenone, Sodium Benzoate, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Polyquaternium-7, Ethylhexylglycerin, Disodium EDTA, Laureth-23, Laureth-4, Panthenol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Trideceth-15, Trideceth-3, BHT, Rice Oil Glycereth-8 Esters, Shea Butter Glycereth-8 Esters, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Silicone Quaternium-22, Sorbitol, Phenoxyethanol, Salicylic Acid, Quaternium-95, Citric Acid, Caffeine, Citrullus Lanatus (Watermelon) Seed Oil, Dipropylene Glycol, Polyglyceryl-3 Caprate, Butylene Glycol, Alcohol, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Acetic Acid, Chondrus Crispus Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Flower Extract, Ribes Nigrum (Black Currant) Fruit Extract, Cystine Bis-PG-Propyl Silanetriol, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein PG-Propyl Silanetriol, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Niacinamide, Palmitamidopropyltrimonium Chloride, Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Extract, Leontopodium Alpinum Extract, Tin Oxide, Vegetable Amino Acids, Cupressus Sempervirens Seed Extract, Potassium Sorbate, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Seed Protein, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Phytic Acid, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract, Gluconolactone, Adansonia Digitata Seed Oil, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Biotin, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Litchi Chinensis Pericarp Extract, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Sodium Hydroxide, Sorbeth-230 Tetraoleate, Decyl Glucoside, Calcium Gluconate, Sorbitan Laurate, Limonene, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool, CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide).

4. L’Oréal Paris EverPure Scalp Care + Detox Shampoo

The L’Oreal Paris EverPure Clarifying Shampoo is an excellent choice for color-treated hair users. If you have bleached or colored hair and are worried a clarifying shampoo might mess it up, this product is your solution. 

Pros: It’s sulfate-free and excellent for cleansing the scalp and hair.

Cons: Some individuals may not like the scent. It contains silicone, making it less suitable for those adhering to the Curly Girl Method.

Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Ethanolamine, Citric Acid, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Glycol Distearate, Parfum/Fragrance, Decyl Glucoside, Sodium Chloride, Polyquaternium-10, Amodimethicone, Ppg-5-Ceteth-20, Coco-Betaine, Peg-55 Propylene Glycol Oleate, Propylene Glycol, Carbomer, Linalool, Acrylates/Beheneth-25 Methacrylate Copolymer, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Hexyl Cinnamal, Benzoic Acid, Trideceth-6, Limonene, Hydroxycitronellal, Salicylic Acid, Magnesium Nitrate. Geraniol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil/Sunflower Seed Oil, Citronellol, Sodium Benzoate, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract/Rosemary Leaf Extract, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Centella Asiatica Extract, Magnesium Chloride, Methylisothiazolinone, Potassium Sorbate, Tocopherol Fil Code C251094/1.

5. Avalon Organics Clarifying Shampoo

The Avalon Organics Clarifying Shampoo is a great option for those with sensitive scalps. It has a gentle formula that helps to remove any build-up or residue from the hair. 

Pros: Certified organic formula. Made with plant-based botanicals and essential oils. Non-GMO. No parabens, harsh preservatives, synthetic colors or fragrances, or phthalates. 

Cons: It may be too gentle for those with very oily scalps.

Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (1), Water (Aqua), Sodium Coco-Sulfate, Sodium Laurylglucosides Hydroxypropylsulfonate, Decyl Glucoside, Cedrus Atlantica Bark Oil, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Litsea Cubeba Fruit Oil, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract(1), Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract (1), Chenopodium Quinoa Seed (1), Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Extract (1) , Styrax Benzoin Resin Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Babassu Oil Polyglyceryl-4 Esters, Bisabolol, Citric Acid, Coco-Glucoside, Glyceryl Oleate, Inulin (1), Sodium Chloride, Sodium Phytate, Sodium Sulfate, Alcohol, Benzyl Alcohol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Citral, Limonene. 

(1) Certified Organic Ingredient. The product is preserved with Sodium Benzoate.

6. OUAI Detox Shampoo

This clarifying shampoo deeply cleanses dirt, oil, and product build-up by detoxifying apple cider vinegar and hair-strengthening keratin. It is perfect for those who enjoy apple cider vinegar rinses but don’t want the hassle of making the solution at home. 

Pros: It smells amazing.

Cons: You’ll notice a difference after the first use.

Ingredients: AQUA (WATER, EAU), SODIUM C14-16 OLEFIN SULFONATE, SODIUM LAUROYL METHYL ISETHIONATE, COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE, DECYL GLUCOSIDE, ACRYLATES COPOLYMER, COCAMIDE MIPA, PARFUM (FRAGRANCE), POLYSORBATE 20, HYDROLYZED KERATIN, HYDROXYPROPYL GUAR HYDROXYPROPYLTRIMONIUM CHLORIDE, VINEGAR, PEG-150 DISTEARATE, POLYQUATERNIUM-7, GLYCERIN, BENZOPHENONE-4, SODIUM CHLORIDE, SODIUM HYDROXIDE, TETRASODIUM EDTA, TRISODIUM ETHYLENEDIAMINE DISUCCINATE, ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, CITRIC ACID, DISODIUM EDTA, CHLORPHENESIN, SODIUM BENZOATE, PHENOXYETHANOL, POTASSIUM SORBATE, LINALOOL, CITRONELLOL, CI 14700 (RED 4), CI 19140 (YELLOW 5), CI 61570 (GREEN 5).

7. Eden Body Works Peppermint Tea Tree Clarifying Shampoo

This scalp-tingling shampoo cleanses, clarifies, and stimulates circulation while leaving you feeling reinvigorated and renewed thanks to a potent combination of vitamin-rich peppermint and tea tree oils. 

Pros: It eliminates any signs of dirt or oil build-up from the hair. It relieves irritation caused by dryness and promotes healthy hair growth. 

Cons: There may be variations in the formula across different stores or sites. Caution is advised when selecting the purchase source for this product.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua, Eau), Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Glycerin, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Polyquaternium-10, Disodium Laureth, Sulfosuccinate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Sodium Sulfate, Dipropylene Glycol, Eucalyptol, Camphor, PEG-150 Distearate, Sodium Chloride, Citric Acid, Polysorbate 20, Tetrasodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone.

8. Alikay Naturals Moisturizing Black Soap Shampoo

This shampoo is formulated with raw black soap and is 100% organic and natural. 

Pros: Sulfate-free. It is a moisturizing formula.

Cons: The scent is not for everyone. 

Ingredients:  Water (Aqua), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice(Aloe Vera Juice, Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) Kernel Oil, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Potash(Ashes of Plantain Skins, Cocoa Pods, Shea Tree Bark), Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Fragrance (Parfum), Botanical Blend Ingredients.

9. Righteous Roots Clarifying Shampoo

This clarifying shampoo clears any product build-up, purifying your hair while preserving its nourishment.  

It is a luxury formula free of parabens, silicones, sulfates (DEA / MEA), propylene glycol, mineral oil, and phthalates – all the while being cruelty-free and vegan! 

My personal Righteous Roots Clarifying Shampoos. 25 Best Clarifying Shampoos for Curly Hair.
This product is pretty new on the market and has quickly become one of my favorite clarifying shampoos!  

Pros: Gentle for daily use. Works for any hair type. Best for low-porosity hair

Cons: None.

Ingredients: Purified Water, Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Methyl Oleoyl Taurate, Lauryl Glucoside, Coco Glucoside, Polysorbate, PEG- Methyl Glucose Trioleate, Propanediol, Citrus Paradisi Grapefruit Peel Oil, Glycerin, Adansonia Digitata Oil, Baobab Oil, Camellia Oleifera Seed Oil, Persea Gratissima, Avocado Oil, Melaleuca Alternifolia Tea Tree Leaf Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii Shea Butter, Panthenol, Allantoin, Mentha Piperita Peppermint Oil, Menthol, Urtica Dioica Nettle Root Extract, Phytic Acid, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Acrylamidopropyltrimonium Chloride, Acrylamide Copolymer, Annatto Extract, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol.

10. Aveda Scalp Benefits Balancing Shampoo

The Aveda Scalp Benefits Balancing Shampoo is an excellent choice for those with oily scalps.  

Pros: It helps remove excess oil and product buildup.

Cons: The scent is not for everyone. 

Ingredients: WaterAquaEau, Babassuamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Sodium Chloride, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Extract, Echinacea Purpurea (Coneflower) Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Arctium Lappa (Burdock) Root Extract, Narcissus Tazetta Bulb Extract, Peg-12 Dimethicone, Dimethicone Peg-8 Meadowfoamate, Glycerin, Isostearamidopropyl Morpholine Lactate, Polysorbate 20, Trisodium Sulfosuccinate, Laureth-3, Sodium Sulfate, Fragrance (Parfum), Linalool, Eugenol, Citral, Benzyl Benzoate, Limonene, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone.

11. Kiehl’s Amino Acid Shampoo

Kiehl’s Amino Acid Shampoo is a great choice for those with dry, damaged hair. Amino Acids, when combined with fatty alcohol or fatty acid, have cleansing properties. They are recognized to aid in the retention of moisture. 

Pros: Cleanses and softens hair. It helps add volume.

Cons: It is on the pricey side.

Ingredients: Aqua / Water, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Sodium Coco-Sulfate, Sodium, Chloride, Coco-Betaine, Lactic Acid, Parfum / Fragrance, Ppg-5-Ceteth-20, Sodium Lauroyl Glutamate, Propylene Glycol, Peg-55 Propylene Glycol Oleate, Salicylic Acid, Benzoic Acid, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Coconut Alcohol, Sodium Sulfate, Cocos Nucifera Oil / Coconut Oil, Coumarin, Wheat Amino Acids, Fumaric Acid, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium Edta, Potassium Sorbate.

Kiehl's Amino Acid Shampoo
$34.98 $29.82 ($3.55 / Fl Oz)
Buy at Amazon Buy at Ulta
03/18/2024 07:15 pm GMT

12. Kinky Curly Come Clean

The combination of sea kelp and mandarin orange extract ensures a gentle hair and scalp cleansing, effectively removing build-up while preserving a healthy moisture balance.

Pros: Doubles as a chelating shampoo. It’s super affordable yet still effective. 

Cons: None.

My personal Kinky Curly Come Clean Shampoo. 25 Best Clarifying Shampoos for Curly Hair.
I always keep this one stocked in my hair product arsenal  

Ingredients:  Purified Water, Organic Mandarin Orange Fruit, Organic Marigold Flower, Organic White Willow Bark, Organic Sea Kelp, C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate and Cocamidopropyl Betaine (Coconut Derived), Phytic Acid, Citric Acid, Sea Salt, Phenoxyethanol and Natural Fragrance.

Kinky Curly Come Clean Shampoo
$17.00 ($2.12 / Ounce)
Buy at Amazon Buy at Target
03/18/2024 07:18 pm GMT

13. John Masters Organics Lavender Rosemary Shampoo

This shampoo is a superb option for individuals with dry hair. It aids in balancing oil production and is formulated with naturally derived surfactants

Pros: It helps balance oil production. Has a pleasant lavender scent. 

Cons: Some people may not like the scent.

Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice*, Aqua (Water), Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Glycerin, Sodium Chloride, Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside, Hydroxypropyl Guar, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Citric Acid, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil*, Caramel, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Extract, Symphytum Officinale (Comfrey) Leaf Extract, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail) Extract*, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Root Extract*, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Oil, Borago Officinalis Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Lavandula Hybrida (Lavender) Oil*, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Achillea Millefolium (Yarrow) Extract*, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract*, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Extract*, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Linalool†

14. Carol’s Daughter Almond Milk Shampoo

This shampoo is gentle and made with almond milk and other natural ingredients that help to clarify and gently cleanse your hair. It leaves your hair feeling soft, silky, and healthy. 

Pros: Made of natural ingredients. Cleans your hair without damaging it. Excellent for significantly damaged and over-processed hair. 

Cons: It contains silicones that are incompatible with the Curly Girl Method.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Cocamide MEA, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Acrylates Copolymer, Glycerin, Coconut Oil Glycereth-8 Esters, Dimethiconol, Shea Butter Glycereth-8 Esters, Dimethicone, Amodimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Laureth-23, Laureth-4, Trideceth-12, Decyl Glucoside, Lauryl Glucoside, Cetrimonium Chloride, C12-13 Pareth-23, C12-13 Pareth-3, Polyglyceryl-4 Caprate, Glycol Distearate, Cystine Bis-PG-Propyl Silanetriol, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein PG-Propyl Silanetriol, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Fruit Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Moringa Oleifera Seed Extract, Fragrance (Parfum), Divinyldimethicone/Dimethicone Copolymer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Laurdimonium Hydroxypropyl Hydrolyzed Keratin, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Protein, Coumarin, PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Panthenol, Tocopherol, Polyquaternium-7, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, BHT, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Hydroxide, Chlorphenesin, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Benzyl Alcohol, Linalool, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Coumarin. Ingredients may vary.

15. SheaMoisture African Black Soap Deep Cleansing Shampoo

This light yet effective deep-cleaning shampoo is perfect for treating your scalp and hair. The key ingredients are African Black Soap, Bamboo Charcoal, and Tea Tree Oil. 

Pros: Sulfate-free.

Cons: The scent is not for everyone.

Ingredients: Aqua, Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycol Distearate, Parfum (Essential Oil Blend / Mélange d’huiles essentielles), Panthenol, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Sodium Benzoate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Salix Nigra (Willow) Bark Extract, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter***, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Charcoal Powder, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) Kernel Oil, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa Pod) Potash, Glycerin, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Triethyl Citrate, Caprylyl Glycol, Benzoic Acid.

16. Curl Junkie Gentle Cleansing Shampoo

This is an excellent clarifying shampoo option if you prefer a gentle product that will help soften your hair. 

Pros: It aids in hair softness. Enhances dry combing characteristics. 

Cons: It may be too costly for some.

Ingredients: WATER/AQUA/EAU, DECYL GLUCOSIDE, COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE, GLYCERIN, SODIUM LAURYL GLUCOSE CARBOXYLATE, LAURYL GLUCOSIDE**, HYDROXYETHYLCELLULOSE, BRASSICA ABYSSINICA (ABYSSINIAN) OIL, CAMELLIA SINENSIS (GREEN TEA) LEAF EXTRACT, XANTHAN GUM, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, GUAR HYDROXYPROPYLTRIMONIUM CHLORIDE, SILK AMINO ACIDS, PHENOXYETHANOL, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL, TETRASODIUM EDTA, FRAGRANCE/PARFUM, *BENZYL BENZOATE, CITRIC ACID. *Fragrance Component.

17. Aveda Shampure Shampoo

This nourishing shampoo uses natural ingredients like lavender and ylang-ylang to soothe the scalp and help to clarify your hair. It’s perfect for those with sensitive skin. The shampoo contains pure flower and plant essences that infuse the hair with a calming aroma. 

Pros: Contains no silicone, parabens, gluten, synthetic fragrance, mineral oil, petrolatum, or formaldehyde. Vegan-friendly.

Cons: It is a little bit on the pricey side.

Ingredients: WaterAquaEau, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Cocamide Mipa, Propanediol, Babassuamidopropyl Betaine, Crambe Abyssinica (Abyssinian) Seed Oil, Bixa Orellana (Annatto) Seed Extract, Glycerin, Peg-60 Almond Glycerides, Polysorbate 80, Polyquaternium-10, Sodium Chloride, Citric Acid, Fragrance (Parfum), Linalool, Geraniol, Citronellol, Benzyl Benzoate, Limonene, Sodium Phytate, Benzoic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Annatto.

Shampure Shampoo
$23.05 $20.00 ($2.35 / Fl Oz)
Buy at Amazon Buy at Aveda
03/18/2024 07:26 pm GMT

18. Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Shampoo

This shampoo is made with tea tree oil, which helps to remove any build-up or residue from the scalp and hair. It also helps to control dandruff and itching. 

Pros: Vegan-friendly. Color-safe. Easily accessible (available at Marshalls). It is inexpensive. 

Cons: None.

Ingredients: Aqua (Purified Water), Sodium Coco-Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, *Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, *Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, *Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Menthol, Glycerin, *Eucalyptus Globulus (Eucalyptus) Leaf Oil, Lauryl Glucoside, *Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, *Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate, Decyl Glucoside, Polyquaternium-7, Polysorbate 20, Fragrance, *Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Potassium Sorbate, *Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, *Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Extract. *USDA Certified Organic.

19. MopTop Detox Shampoo

This powerful shampoo clarifies and removes build-up, leaving your curls soft and clean. It will gently remove any product build-up traces while nourishing your hair with vital nutrients to keep it healthy. 

Pros: Water-soluble, paraben-free, phthalate-free, sulfate-free, silicone-free, dye-free.

Cons: A little pricey.

Ingredients: WATER, SODIUM C14-16 OLEFIN SULFONATE, COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE, COCAMIDE MEA, SODIUM PHYTATE, PANTHENOL  (VITAMIN B5), ALLANTOIN, LINUM USITATISSIUM (LINSEED) SEED EXTRACT, VITIS VINIFERA (GRAPE) SEED EXTRACT, URTICA DIOICA (NETTLE) EXTRACT, GLYCERIN (VEGETABLE DERIVED), POLYSORBATE-20, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, POLYQUATERNIUM-10, GLUCOSE, PEG-120 METHYL GLUCOSE DIOLEATE, SODIUM HYDROXIDE, PHENOXYETHANOL, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, CITRUS SENENSIS OIL, CITRUS LIMON OIL, CITRUS AURANTIFOLIA OIL, CITRUS PARADISI OIL.

20. Acure Curiously Clarifying Shampoo

The Acure Clarifying Shampoo is a fantastic product that will help you eliminate all the excess build-up and residue in your hair. This shampoo contains a double dose of beneficial oils, including lemongrass, which work to deeply nourish and hydrate your hair. 

It’s gentle enough for everyday use, so you can always enjoy clean, healthy-looking curls. This product is free of parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, petrolatum, formaldehyde, and animal cruelty. The refreshing lemongrass scent helps invigorate and refresh the senses too! 

Pros: 100% Vegan formula.

Cons: None.

Ingredients: WATER EAU, ALOE BARBADENSIS LEAF JUICE*, SODIUM LAUROYL METHYL ISETHIONATE, COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE, BETAINE, GLYCERIN, COCOGLUCOSIDES HYDROXYPROPYLTRIMONIUM CHLORIDE, CYMBOPOGON FLEXUOSUS LEAF OIL, CYMBOPOGON SCHOENANTHUS EXTRACT, ARGANIA SPINOSA KERNEL OIL*, RUBUS FRUTICOSUS BLACKBERRY FRUIT EXTRACT*, CHAMOMILLA RECUTITA MATRICARIA FLOWER EXTRACT*, EUTERPE OLERACEA FRUIT EXTRACT*, ROSA CANINA FRUIT EXTRACT*, CALENDULA OFFICINALIS FLOWER EXTRACT*, ASPALATHUS LINEARIS LEAF EXTRACT*, PUNICA GRANATUM EXTRACT*, ROSMARINUS OFFICINALIS ROSEMARY LEAF OIL, PERSEA GRATISSIMA AVOCADO OIL, HIPPOPHAE RHAMNOIDES FRUIT OIL, JUNIPERUS VIRGINIANA OIL, LAVANDULA HYBRIDA OIL, LEVULINIC ACID, UBIQUINONE, SODIUM LEVULINATE, GUAR HYDROXYPROPYLTRIMONIUM CHLORIDE, SODIUM COCOYL GLUTAMATE, SODIUM METHYL COCOYL TAURATE, POTASSIUM SORBATE, SODIUM BENZOATE, CITRIC ACID, SODIUM HYDROXIDE. *CERTIFIED ORGANIC INGREDIENT.

21. Camille Rose Sweet Ginger Cleansing Rinse

This a refreshing and nourishing hair cleanser designed to cleanse strands without stripping away precious moisture.  

This luxurious formula is infused with sweet ginger and invigorating lemon peel, leaving your locks feeling soft and refreshed. With regular use, this product helps to balance the scalp’s natural oils while providing a thorough cleansing experience. 

Pros: Contains a gourmet blend of natural ingredients. 

Cons: Quickly runs out of stock, so get it while you can.

Ingredients: Deionized Water (Aqua) Infused With Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Oil, Disodium Cocoamphodipropionate, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate (Sulfate Free Cleanser), Cocamidopropyl Betaine (Coconut Cleanser), Citric Acid, Pimpinella Anisum (Aniseed) Seed Oil, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Oil, Phenoxyethanol (Optiphen Nd), Ethylhexylglycerin, Polyquaternium-10, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (Coconut Cleanser), Decyl Glucoside (Sugar-Based Cleanser), Glycol Distearate (Vegetable Derived), Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Phthalate Free Fragrance.

22. Creme of Nature Argan Oil Apple Cider Vinegar Clarifying Rinse

This clarifying rinse removes product build-up and excessive impurities from the hair without leaving it dry and brittle. It is enriched with exotic argan oil from Morocco, which helps replenish moisture, adds shine, and leaves your hair feeling softer and smoother. 

A bonus of this clarifying rinse is that its apple cider vinegar content helps to balance your scalp’s natural pH levels, resulting in beautiful, healthy hair. 

Pros: No sulfates, silicones, or petrolatum.

Cons: Contains yellow, blue, and red dye.

Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, PEG-40 Castor Oil, Glycerin, Parfum (Fragrance), Acetum (Vinegar (Vinaigre)), Cetrimonium Chloride, Panthenol, Menthyl Lactate, Menthol, Isopulegol, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Propylene Glycol, Cocodimonium Hydroxypropyl Hydrolyzed Keratin, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Tocopheryl Acetate, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Citric Acid, Tetrasodium EDTA, Polyquaternium-4, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Yellow 5 (CI 19140), Red 40 (CI 16035), Blue 1 (CI 42090).

23. Taraji Honey Fresh

Do you know who the founder of this remarkable shampoo is? None other than renowned actress Taraji P. Henson? If her widespread fame and success are any indicators, then we can expect nothing but excellence from her products.  

Honey Fresh Shampoo is a luxurious and effective shampoo that provides your hair with deep cleansing plus added moisture. The gel formula effectively purifies the scalp and hair while preserving all the beneficial natural oils in your hair. 

This shampoo is infused with aloe, honey, and willow bark extract and gives your hair a nourishing boost of hydration, leaving it feeling healthy and refreshed with each use. 

Pros: Cruelty-free. Color-safe formula. You get 12 ounces of shampoo versus the regular 8 ounces. 

Cons: None.

Ingredients: WATER (AQUA/EAU), SODIUM C14-16 OLEFIN SULFONATE, COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE, GLYCERIN, FRAGRANCE (PARFUM), GLYCOL DISTEARATE, PHENOXYETHANOL, LAURYL LACTYL LACTATE, ACRYLATES COPOLYMER, PEG-150 DISTEARATE, PHOSPHOLIPIDS, PEG-200 HYDROGENATED GLYCERYL PALMATE, GLYCINE SOJA (SOYBEAN) OIL, POLYSORBATE 20, CHLORPHENESIN, CITRIC ACID, GUAR HYDROXYPROPYLTRIMONIUM CHLORIDE, DISODIUM EDTA, HYDROXYETHYLCELLULOSE, MENTHOL, PEG-7 GLYCERYL COCOATE, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, SODIUM HYDROXIDE, GLYCOLIPIDS, GLYCINE SOJA (SOYBEAN) STEROLS, ALOE BARBADENSIS LEAF JUICE, EUCALYPTUS GLOBULUS LEAF OIL, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, HONEY, SALIX NIGRA (WILLOW) BARK EXTRACT, CAMELLIA SINENSIS LEAF EXTRACT, LIMONENE.

24. Ouidad Twist Hit Reset Light Clarifying Shampoo

This light clarifying shampoo quickly replenishes moisture while reviving droopy, dull curls. Maintain your hair’s strength by fortifying your hair’s natural lipid barrier and balancing pH levels to ensure your curls stay strong.

Pros: Suitable for all hair types.

Cons: It contains ammonium laureth sulfate, which is not ideal if you’re following the Curly Girl Method.

Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Ammonium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Coco-Sulfate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glycerin, Sorbitol, Cocamide Mea, Decyl Glucoside, Glycol Distearate, Phenoxyethanol, Parfum/Fragrance, Benzyl Alcohol, Laureth-4, Polyquaternium-7, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Tocopheryl Acetate, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Coconut Alkanes, Coco-Glucoside, Glyceryl Oleate, Panthenol, Echinacea Purpurea Extract, Geranium Maculatum Extract, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Benzyl Salicylate, Hydroxycitronellal, Limonene.


25. SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo

This shampoo is another one of my favorites! It is the perfect solution for damaged, chemically processed, or heat-styled hair.  

The main ingredients of this shampoo are Jamaican Black Castor Oil and Shea Butter, which help revive damaged strands while nourishing and restoring moisture to your hair. This potent combination helps strengthen weakened hair, making it more resilient to further damage from styling. 

Those who regularly color (like me), straighten, perm, or heat style their hair will benefit from the nourishing properties of this shampoo as it helps restore softness and shine to dull locks. With regular use, you can expect to see a noticeable improvement in the overall health of your hair.  

Pros: Sulfate-free, paraben-free, cruelty-free. Best for high-porosity hair

Cons: I wouldn’t recommend this for low-porosity hair.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Decyl Glucoside, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein PG-Propyl Silanetriol, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Fragrance (Essential Oil Blend), Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Mauritia Flexuosa Fruit Oil, Tocopherol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Vinegar, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-3, Niacin, Dextran, Trifolium Pratense (Clover) Flower Extract, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Caramel, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract

*Certified Organic Ingredient.

Bonus GIOVANNI Eco Chic 50:50 Balanced Hydrating Clarifying Shampoo

This clarifying shampoo is the perfect solution for overworked, environmentally stressed hair. Formulated with Eco Chic Technology, it adds moisture and manageability and smooths frizz with natural botanical extracts.  

The unique blend of ingredients locks in color and pH balance, leaving hair perfectly clean. This shampoo is also gentle enough to use every day. 

Pros: Free of lauryl and laureth sulfates.100% vegetarian-friendly with no animal testing.

Cons: None

Ingredients: Aqua (purified water), sodium cocoamphoacetate, lauryl glucoside, sodium cocoyl glutamate, sodium lauryl glucose carboxylate, decyl glucoside, cocamidopropyl betaine, vegetable glycerin, panthenol, potassium sorbate, citric acid, polysorbate 20, phenoxyethanol, natural fragrance, *aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) leaf juice, *helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, *glycine soja (soybean) seed extract, *betula alba extract, *malva sylvestris (mallow) extract, *achillea millefolium extract, *chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extract, *equisetum arvense extract, *lavandula angustifolia (lavender) extract, *rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, *salvia sclarea (clary) extract, *thymus vulgaris (thyme) extract, *tussilago farfara (coltsfoot) flower extract, *urtica dioica (nettle) extract.

How to Choose the Right Clarifying Shampoo  

When choosing the best clarifying shampoos for curly hair, you want to pick one that specifically states it’s suitable for curly hair on the label/bottle. These formulas are designed to be gentle enough not to strip the hair of natural oils while removing impurities. 

It is also essential to consider your hair type and the level of clarification you need. For those with oily hair, a stronger formulation may be best, while those with dry or damaged hair should opt for a gentler option that won’t strip away the natural moisture from your curls. 

If you’re following the Curly Girl Method, carefully read each shampoo ingredient list. The CGM does not recommend silicone-based products, sulfates, or other components. That way, you can ensure it will work perfectly with your curls and routine. 

What are Active Surfactants in Clarifying Shampoos?

Surfactants, or surface-active molecules, play a crucial role in cleansing formulations by reducing water’s surface tension, making dirt removal easier.2 Formulators often choose between sodium lauryl and sodium laureth sulfate for clarifying shampoos or opt for sulfate-free alternatives for a gentler formulation.

While sulfates can strip away vital lipids and potentially cause irritation, individuals without adverse reactions may still use them, but those experiencing dryness and brittleness are advised to switch to sulfate-free options for potential improvement.

Ingredients To Look for In A Clarifying Shampoo 

Clarifying shampoos typically include cleansing agents like sulfate or olefin sulfonate, and it’s crucial to note that sulfonates are distinct from sulfates. While olefin sulfonates are mild, gentle, and biodegradable, some brands may blend sulfates with them or other sulfate-free surfactants for cost reduction or increased foam production, still containing sulfates.

Consumers should thoroughly check the label for ingredients to make informed choices when selecting a clarifying shampoo for optimal results. Here are the ingredients to look for: 

Surfactants 

● Decyl glucoside, coco glucoside, lauryl glucoside (green alternatives, sugar-based nonionic, preferred). 

● Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate – mild, rich, creamy lather, hydrating (Preferred). 

● Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate – mild, hydrating (Preferred). 

● Sodium Laureth Sulfate (Avoid it). 

● Sodium Lauryl Sulfate/Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate (Please avoid). 

Hydrating Ingredients 

Healthy-looking hair requires moisture to combat frizz and dryness. Choosing a hydrating ingredient depends on its ability to work with other formulation ingredients, such as the primary surfactants. 

The top hydrating ingredients for a clarifying shampoo are: 

● Betaine is a natural water-holding molecule obtained from beetroot extract (Preferred). 

● Propanediol – is a natural, green alternative to traditional humectants (Preferred). 

Glycerin or Propylene glycol are traditional humectants. 

Cationic Conditioning Ingredients 

Cationic polymers make wet and dry combing incredibly easy. They bind to protein residues on the hair, giving them a slip and a smoother feel, making detangling easier.

It also boosts other active ingredients to adhere more effectively. 

Our favorite cationic polymers for a clarifying shampoo are: 

● Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride is a guar-derived hair conditioner. 

● Polyquaternium-10 is a cellulose-derived hair conditioner for superior wet and dry combing. 

Other additives to look for in a clarifying shampoo formulation: 

● Cocamidopropyl Betaine is a mild co-surfactant to boost foam generation. 

● Cocoamphodiacetate is another mild cleansing agent. 

● Fragrance – natural aromatic essential oils are better than synthetic fragrances. 

● Preservatives – avoid DMDM-Hydantoin and Imadazolidinyl Urea. Instead, go for green alternatives, such as Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Hexylene Glycol, etc.  

FAQs

The Difference Between Clarifying and Detoxifying 

Clarifying and detoxifying are often used interchangeably in haircare, but the primary difference lies in the ingredients. While detoxification removes accumulated toxins, like chlorine, using natural elements such as charcoal and clay, clarifying focuses on eliminating product build-up and pollutants with synthetic ingredients. Both aim to rid the hair of residue, minerals, and toxins, but their active components and results differ. 

What are Some Natural Remedies for Clarifying Curly Hair?

As a curly-haired individual, I understand how difficult it can be to keep your curls voluminous and healthy. Caring for such hair type also takes its toll on the wallet! But some fantastic natural alternatives can give your curls an effective yet affordable deep cleansing treatment. 

These components can all work to nourish your hair and strengthen your locks: 

  • Lemon juice is a natural astringent and helps to remove excess oil. 
  • Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial activity and is an astringent to help lay down the cuticle and reduce frizziness.
  • Aloe vera is believed to help with the frizziness of curls and helps to moisturize your hair. 
  • Lavender essential oil helps reduce frizziness, strengthens the hair, stimulates scalp health, and helps with hair growth. 

Can a Cleansing Clay for Curly Hair Clarify Hair?

Combatting breakage and dryness from frequent shampooing? Bentonite clay, a natural detoxifier, may be the solution. It effectively removes product build-up and environmental pollutants from the scalp and hair, aiding in the restoration of natural moisture.

Can Clarifying Shampoos Reverse Damage on Curly Hair? 

If you’re dealing with damaged hair, a clarifying shampoo can’t provide the long-term solution you’re looking for. To address broken strands and restore your curls, consider more targeted treatments. While clarifying shampoos can deep cleanse and prepare the hair for treatments, protein treatments are particularly effective in temporarily fixing damaged areas and improving the overall appearance of your curly hair.


References

1. Trüeb, R. M., Shampoos: Ingredients, efficacy and adverse effects. JDDG: Journal der Deutschen Dermatologischen Gesellschaft 2007, 5 (5), 356-365.

2. Myers, D., Surfactant Science and Technology. Wiley: 2020.

HI,I'M VERNA

I’m just a girl who transformed her severely damaged hair into healthy hair. I adore the simplicity of a simple hair care routine, the richness of diverse textures, and the joy of sharing my journey from the comfort of my space.

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