Can you use clarifying shampoo on bleached hair?

wash hair with clarifying shampoo

  • You can use a clarifying shampoo to rinse the bleach out of your hair. This way, you make sure that no residue remains.
  • Alternatively, you can use a clarifying shampoo on your bleached hair to remove the color of a semi-permanent hair dye you didn’t like.
  • Later on, I’ll tell you when a clarifying shampoo doesn’t work on bleached hair.


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Do you know what a jellyfish is?

Apart from being an invertebrate that floats in the oceans, the Medusa was a being from Greek mythology. It had the power to turn into stone those who were unfortunate enough to look into its eyes.

Today, one of my clients turned me to stone even though she wasn’t Medusa. Why?


Because she came running into the salon, begging me to see her right away.

Luckily, I had more than half an hour left to my next appointment. So, I invited her to tell me about her mishaps.

Her first words were: “Alejandra, I used clarifying shampoo to lighten my bleached hair, and nothing happened. Clarifying shampoo is a scam”.


I was shocked.

Why did she think that clarifying shampoo works to lighten bleached hair?


Not from hairdressing school, that’s for sure. If she was a hairdresser, she would’ve known that  clarifying shampoo is used to wash bleached hair thoroughly and remove any residue. 

However, it doesn’t lighten bleached hair.

What did my client want to do?


She wanted to skip a second bleaching session by using a clarifying shampoo.

Why did she want to skip a second bleaching session?


Because she’d taken her first bleaching less than three days ago.

Out of nowhere, she decided clarifying shampoo would lighten her hair without the damaging effects of a bleaching session.


Of course, the clarifying shampoo didn’t lighten her hair.

By the way, it didn’t lighten or darken it. Her hair kept the same color after clarifying shampoo.


What it did was clean her bleached hair thoroughly.

  What clarifying shampoos are designed to do is remove stubborn build-up from your hair. Think slippery silicone, waxes, gels, mousse, hairsprays, moisturizers, conditioner, or styling products including shampoo. 


So, clarifying shampoo works on bleached hair in the following two cases.

Tabla de Contenidos


Clarifying shampoo works on your bleached hair to remove traces of bleach

clarifying shampoo to wash hair

The clarifying shampoo doesn’t contain chemicals such as developer or ammonia, but it still cleans and removes residue deposits.

That’s why it deeply cleanses your hair by removing residues from hair care products that build up in your hair and turn it dull and stiff.

Of course, it also removes bleach residue.


Therefore, if you need to make sure you remove products such as bleach,  I advise you to use clarifying shampoo after a bleaching session. 

That way, you’ll prevent any residue from irreversibly damaging your hair.


Clarifying shampoo is ideal for removing residues of certain products that sit in the hair for any reason.

For example:

  • If you apply conditioner with keratin, your hair will feel soft and strong.
  • If you use a purple shampoo, the pigments will sit onto your hair to neutralize the yellow unwanted tones.
  • If you bleach your hair, the developer will open your cuticles, and the bleach powder will penetrate into the hair core.


The clarifying shampoo removes that build-up. Therefore, after applying the bleach, you can wash your hair thoroughly with it.


You can also use the clarifying shampoo on your bleached hair if you applied a semi-permanent hair dye and you didn’t like the color

You won’t be the first or the last woman to go all out after bleaching her hair and choose a striking, vibrant, and very personal semi-permanent hair dye.

Then, when you rinse the dye out, you realize that that color you dreamed of doesn’t look as good on you as it does on the model you follow on Instagram.


If this is your situation, and although semi-permanent dye fades with washes, I have good news.

You’re not attached to that color for long.


 All you have to do is wash your hair with clarifying shampoo, and say goodbye to that color. 

The clarifying shampoo will remove the dye pigments and take your hair back to the color reached after bleaching.

Still, clarifying shampoo has its limits. I invite you to know them.


When to avoid clarifying shampoo on bleached hair

match roots with the rest of the hair

Do you remember the story I told you at the beginning?

The one about my client who used clarifying shampoo to lighten her bleached hair?


We saw that it was a mishap.

 Clarifying shampoo doesn’t lighten hair because it doesn’t have lightening agents such as developer or ammonia. 


If you want to lift your hair, you’ll need to bleach it again.

You need a chemical reaction to open up the cuticles and remove the color pigments in the core.


And you do that with bleach. If you want to lighten your bleached hair, you can’t use lightening shampoo.

 Instead, you have to bleach again. In that case, I advise you to wait at least three weeks to apply it. 


Any other cases when you should avoid clarifying shampoo on your bleached hair?

When it feels dull and stiff after the process. This is a definite NO.


If your hair is dull and stiff after bleaching, it means that it’s damaged by chemicals.

In that case, forget about the clarifying shampoo and start a hair repair routine right away. And you’ll need to be very consistent.

Instead of using a clarifying shampoo on your bleached hair, you should apply deep conditioning masks at least once a week.



Clarifying shampoo on bleached hair removes the bleach or a dye applied after bleaching.

Therefore, it’s not used to lighten bleached hair or to restore shine and body after bleaching.

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