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Chelating vs. Clarifying: What’s the Difference?

We’ve all experienced it, you hair is losing its natural sheen, products don’t seem to have the same styling effect, and your hair is feeling pretty…meh.

What’s the deal? You prepoo, cowash, shampoo, use only the best products and moisturize regularly. You think it’s time to strip your regimen down to the basics and rebuild. But, what about stripping your hair down???


When you have buildup coating your hair fibers, it will be makes your styling products less effective and make your strands look dull and lackluster. But before you break out the stripping agents you have to first determine what your buildup is, knowing will help you figure out what type of stripping agent you need.

Product or Mineral: Clarifying vs. Chelating

Product buildup comes from, well repeatedly putting product in your hair. If you’re a cowash only curly, or you style your hair often, your shampoos aren’t cleansing your hair of ALL of the product, and after some time you will experience buildup on your hair. This situation calls for a clarifying shampoo (sulfate-containing shampoos can do the trick as well), which are designed to remove product, dirt and oil from the hair.

Mineral buildup comes from  hard water (if you’re reading this from the southern AZ region, you already know…).  Mineral buildup sucks the moisture from your hair, leaving it extra dry and prone to breakage. Regular charifying shampoos simply won’t remove mineral deposits from your hair, only chelating (KEE-LAY-TING) shampoo can do that. If you’re an avid swimmer, chelating shampoos are a great option for your monthly maintenance as well.

Considering textured hair is naturally prone to dryness, you should limit the use of these products to no more than once a month, and always follow up with a deep conditioning treatment.

When was the last time you stripped (your hair)? Do think your hair now needs clarifying or chelating?


To Your Beauty,



3 thoughts on “Chelating vs. Clarifying: What’s the Difference?

  1. […] though I’ve been deep conditioning and had added steaming to my regimen. If you read our last post about shampoos that remove buildup from your hair, you know that in hard water areas clarifying […]

  2. […] itching and flaking that can be mistaken for dandruff. It’s a good idea to incorporate a clarifying  session every so often to make sure you’re removing product […]

  3. […] Chelating vs. Clarifying: What's the Difference? […]

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