Like the skin on your face and body, your scalp skin has a delicate microbiome as well. When there’s excessive buildup around the follicle, your scalp can’t absorb the nutrients it needs to balance the microbiome and thrive.

Clarifying shampoos can encourage a healthier scalp with proper use by clearing buildup. But, as we said, clarifying shampoos are strong products, and they can throw off the balance of your scalp microbiome if used incorrectly. 

Your scalp is full of natural oils that are like food to the microbiome—as in, extremely necessary. So when those oils are fully stripped, that’s when you run into problems. 

“When overused, clarifying shampoos can definitely push the scalp microbiome off balance, causing dryness and making the scalp more prone to conditions such as dandruff and irritation,” Reavey warns. 

This is why we recommend skipping clarifying cleansers if you do experience excessive dryness, dandruff, irritation, or if you’re prone to scalp eczema or psoriasis. Like many things in beauty, potent products call for strict regimens, and clarifying shampoo is a perfect example of such.

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