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The Surprising Product This Hairstylist Uses To Revive Flat Hair

Alexandra Engler
mbg Beauty Director
By Alexandra Engler
mbg Beauty Director
Alexandra Engler is the Beauty Director. Previously she worked at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com.
Image by Marija Savic / Stocksy
January 9, 2022

Hair professionals always say that styling starts in the shower. What shampoo you use can alter the final product: Pick something too harsh, and you run the risk of frazzled, frizzy strands—but if your wash can't adequately remove the debris, your style may look dingy and greasy. For this reason, I'm an advocate of having a shampoo arsenal. On some wash days, I stick to a very hydrating co-wash. On others, I opt for a softening sulfate-free number. Or when my scalp is feeling a bit oily, I'll grab for a detoxifying scrub. When my blond highlights are looking a bit yellow, I grab a purple shampoo.

And when my hair is lifeless and my curls are flat? Well, according to hairstylist Sunny, founder of the wellness and hair salon Lumiere Vive, it's time to reach for a clarifying shampoo. 

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How to use clarifying shampoo for flat hair.

When we think of big, bouncy hairstyles, most people think of sprays and styling creams to get some hold and lift. Certainly, there's nothing wrong with leaning on those products to help you achieve your final look—but you really should be utilizing a deep wash before the process starts. 

"Buildup is something that can loosen your curl pattern and flatten hair," she says. "If you have a lot of oils, sweat, dirt, and product on your scalp, it's going to pull the hair down. You'll see flat roots and a looser texture. If your hair is heavy, it's not going to have that bounce." 

The easiest way to remove buildup on the scalp and strand is via a clarifying number. Clarifying shampoos are extra strong washes that blast open the cuticle to remove any buildup trapped on the strand—as well as deep cleaning the scalp.

Essentially: These are the shampoos turned way up. There's really nothing too different in the formula that makes it clarifying, specifically other than a higher concentration of the surfactants. In the clean space, they may also include astringent and detoxing ingredients like charcoal, tea tree, and salicylic acid in the place of sulfates. 

We should also note here that clarifying shampoos are not for daily use: In fact, only whip these out when you need a seriously thorough cleanse. Because they are so strong, they will be too stripping for hair and may bother the scalp. Ultimately, you'll be the judge of how often you need one based on your hair type or scalp condition, but just know that these likely shouldn't be your go-to.

Looking for one to add to your routine? Check out our favorite clarifying shampoos here

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Alexandra Engler
Alexandra Engler
mbg Beauty Director

Alexandra Engler is the Beauty Director at mindbodygreen. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department. She has worked at many top publications and brands including Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com. In her current role, she covers all the latest trends and updates in the clean and natural beauty space, as well as travel, financial wellness, and parenting. She has reported on the intricacies of product formulations, the diversification of the beauty industry, and and in-depth look on how to treat acne from the inside, out (after a decade-long struggle with the skin condition herself). She lives in Brooklyn, New York.