The Difference Between Clarifying And Chelating Relaxed Hair

Pretty young woman happy on holiday with pool in backgroundSo I know exactly what you are thinking, “this post came right on time!” Am I right? Okay maybe not, but this is a super important topic for just about all of us relaxed ladies out here.

In this post we’ll be discussing a question that is asked frequently in the hair community: “What is the difference between chelating and clarifying? They both do the same thing right?”

Well not exactly, below we will ‘clarify’ (couldn’t help myself) the differences between clarifying and chelating and the role that they play in having healthy relaxed hair.

Clarifying

Most of us have a good understanding of what clarifying is, but for the purpose of his post and for us new hairlistas it wouldn’t hurt to do a quick review right?

What is clarifying?

Clarifying is basically a deep cleanse where instead of using your regular shampoo you would use a shampoo containing surfactants like sulfates or other cleansers such as baking soda to rid your hair of heavy build up.


For most women, once a every 4-8 weeks clarifying is usually the norm. But this highly depends on the individual and how much buildup accumulates for that certain person which of course depends on the products that you use.

So, how would I know when to clarify and what are the signs that I need it?

When it comes to knowing when to clarify, the biggest tell-tale sign is hair that feels coated or finding that your staple products don’t work as effectively any more.

You also know that you have a lot of buildup when after washing your hair with your shampoo it still feels somewhat “gummy”. This is especially common among those who strictly co-wash. Here are a few more signs that you may need to clarify:

  • Dull looking hair.
  • Hair doesn’t hold moisture like it did before.

What is the importance of clarifying when it comes to healthy relaxed hair?

Clarifying is extremely important for those of us who have relaxed hair. Why? Hair that is relaxed or chemically processed is already prone to being dry and fragile since bonds are broken down during the straightening process.

So adding buildup to this, which can cause extra dryness means moisture is unable to penetrate properly and conversely your hair doesn’t hold on to moisture very well either. Clarifying ensures that your strands stay strong and healthy by maintaining moisture balance as they should.

Alright y’all so with all of that said about clarifying, let’s move on to what chelating is all about.

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About Danni


Hi All! I am Danni and I am a staff writer here at BHI. I am a Graphic Design major and a long time resident of Washington DC. I have been on a healthy hair journey for 3 1/2 years. Within those years , I have went through a relaxed hair journey, a natural hair journey in which I big chopped twice(2nd big chop occurred in November 2013) texturized and now I have big chopped a THIRD TIME! I am 100% natural and here to stay. I am super excited to share information that I learn along the way to those who are just as into healthy hair care as I am and wish everyone best wishes on their healthy hair journey!

About Danni


Hi All! I am Danni and I am a staff writer here at BHI. I am a Graphic Design major and a long time resident of Washington DC. I have been on a healthy hair journey for 3 1/2 years. Within those years , I have went through a relaxed hair journey, a natural hair journey in which I big chopped twice(2nd big chop occurred in November 2013) texturized and now I have big chopped a THIRD TIME! I am 100% natural and here to stay. I am super excited to share information that I learn along the way to those who are just as into healthy hair care as I am and wish everyone best wishes on their healthy hair journey!

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Jestina CampbellLina SantosAndreanette SchafferRobin VeronicaShari Powell Recent comment authors
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Vanae Walker

I would also recommend Paul Mitchell Clarifying Products which are Shampoo 2 (deep cleansing)good oily hair & scalps also lowers oil production. & Shampoo 3 (deep cleansing& chelating) good for swimmers, removes chlorine & iron and minerals from chemicals and hard water. It also strengthen strands & lowers future buildup! KEEP in mind the PAUL MITCHELL products are available for purchase at licensed professionals Beauty Suppliers or at a Paul Mitchell School near you!

Shari Powell

Thanks for the clarification!

Robin Veronica

Could neutralizing shampoo be used to chelate hair? Is it the same?

Andreanette Schaffer

Pretty. Women. !!!

Lina Santos

This is not natural

Jestina Campbell

Thanks i did not know that…