Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo Review + 12 Alternatives

If you’re looking for a Neutrogena Anti Residue Shampoo Review or if you want to know more about anti-residue shampoos, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll give you an in-depth review of the Neutrogena Anti-Residue shampoo and other clarifying shampoos available on Amazon today.

Anti Residue, Purifying and Clarifying Shampoo

What is Anti Residue Shampoo?

Anti-residue, residue-free, clarifying or purifying shampoos are stronger shampoos that deeply cleanse your hair and scalp, get rid of dirt and oil. It removes scalp buildups and sometimes dandruff. Because of its strong formula, they are usually recommended for occasional, usually after using large amounts of hair serums and treatments or after swimming in chlorinated pools.

Neutrogena Exfoliating Healthy Scalp Clarify & Shine Shampoo for Oily Hair and Scalp, Anti-Residue Shampoo with Pink Grapefruit, pH-Balanced, Paraben & Phthalate-Free, Color-Safe, 12oz

Clarifying shampoos are the ultimate cleaners for scalps and hair strands that have accumulated lots of remnants from most of the hair products you use. Hair serums, chemical treatments, conditioners, dead skin, and even some dry shampoos leave behind some remnants that accumulate in your scalp over time. Also, the use of hard water can introduce other residues in your hair. In the end, these residues make your hair greasy and limp. It also causes dandruff and hair fall in some people.

What Does Anti Residue Shampoo Do?

Clarifying shampoo provides some form of deep cleansing that you cannot get from regular shampoos or coconut oil.  They shift and lift even the most stubborn residues from your scalp and hair strands, leaving your hair sparkling. That’s precisely why we’ve created this Neutrogena Anti Residue Shampoo Review.

How do I know if my shampoo is clarifying? Residue-free?

Regular shampoos often use detergents, such as sulfates, to scrub the surface of your hair clean. On the other hand, clarifying shampoos have unique formulas that give them deep cleansing abilities.

A powerful cleansing agent is essential to any clarifying shampoo. Most clarifying shampoos use surfactants to clean your scalp. These soap-like substances offer a much deeper and more thorough cleanse of your scalp. Some examples of surfectants are ammonium-sodium lauryl sulfate, chloride or bromide (or derivatives of these two), or cetyl-fatty alcohols.

Clarifying shampoos are often also labeled as anti-residue. This is because these shampoos have been specially formulated to wash out all residue in your hair. The high water content in anti-residue shampoos means that the shampoo itself is easy to rinse off, and won’t leave any gunk in your hair.

Anti-residue vs Detoxifying Shampoo

Clarifying or anti-residue shampoo relies on synthetic materials to provide its signature deep cleanse. Detoxifying shampoos fulfill a similar role, but tend to use natural ingredients over synthetic formula.

Clarifying Shampoo vs Dandruff Shampoo

Clarifying shampoos are made for deep cleansing, not for treating dandruff. Unless the clarifying shampoo in question has ingredients that help control dandruff, you should stick with dedicated dandruff shampoo.

You may like to read:

What is Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo

Neutrogena Anti-Residue Clarifying Shampoo, Gentle Non-Irritating Clarifying Shampoo to Remove Hair Build-Up & Residue, 12 fl. oz

Neutrogena Anti-residue Shampoo Review

Neutrogena is a well-recognized and trusted American skin and hair care brand dedicated to producing products suitable to all skin and hair types. They are considered one of the pillars of the hair and skincare industry as they have been producing high-quality products for over 90 years! That’s why if you’re looking for an anti residue or clarifying shampoo then your top choice should be Neutrogena’s Anti Residue shampoo. As a matter of fact, with over 8000 products sold, this shampoo is Amazon’s best-seller in the clarifying and anti-residue shampoo category.

If you are operating on a really tight budget, then this is the right pick for you. The Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo is tough on residues and impurities but very gentle to the hair. The shampoo can remove up to 90% of heavy residues coming from conditioners, styling products, and other shampoos, leaving you with clean and vibrant hair.

Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo, Gentle...
  • 6-fluid ounce bottle of Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo to help remove up to 90% of heavy, dulling residue caused by shampoos, conditioners & styling products

Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo Ingredients:

The Neutrogena Anti-Residue shampoo has 9 ingredients. The first four in this list are surfactants and cleansing agents responsible for thoroughly cleaning your hair and scalp.

  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate
  • Cocamidopropyl Betaine 
  • PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil
  • Sodium Hydroxide
  • Propylene Glycol: This compound helps your scalp absorb all the ingredients by attracting and locking in moisture to your scalp.
  • Glycerin: It attracts moisture and helps in moisturizing your hair too.
  • Sodium Chloride: Table salt is usually added to enhance the viscosity of the shampoo.
  • Citric Acid: This weak inorganic acid helps in reducing your hair’s PH, making it less frizzy or  more manageable
  • DMDM Hydantoin: This additive is used to prevent spoilage and preserve your shampoo.

Neutrogena Shampoo Uses

Neutrogena is also known as a deep cleansing, anti-hair residue and color stripping shampoo. It has other benefits aside from a deep cleanse. By rinsing away build-up from other hair products, you can expect to see an increase in your hair’s volume. Its scouring properties can strip away discoloration caused by items such as hair spray or hair gel but is gentle on color-treated hair.

How to Use Neutrogena Anti Residue Shampoo:

Apply the shampoo on wet hair and massage it throughout the hair and scalp. Start from the scalp and roots going towards the ends then rinse it off thoroughly. The Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo should be used once per week.

Neutrogena Shampoo for Dreadlocks

While dreadlocks are undoubtedly a very striking and stylish hairstyle, they require constant upkeep. Due to how they’re bound, dreadlocks easily trap dirt, buildup, and residue and can lead to stinky hair. Because of the amount of contaminants that dreadlocks can contain, a clarifying shampoo like Neutrogena is vital for keeping dreadlocks clean and healthy.

Neutrogena is one of the the best shampoo for dreadlocks because it completely removes dirt and residue.

How to Shampoo Dreadlocks Using Neutrogena

  1. Wet your dreadlocks. Scalp well.
  2. Add some Neutrogena shampoo to your hands and work it gently into your hair.
  3. Massage your scalp gently but thoroughly with your finger tips.
  4. Rinse with lots of water. Let the shampoo flow through your dreadlocks and avoid touching new locks as much as possible so they retain their shape and style.
  5. For those with mature dreadlocks, you can opt to squeeze them to wring out the Neutrogena shampoo.
  6. Repeat the entire process once more or until satisfied.

Where to buy Neutrogena Anti Residue Shampoo?

Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo, Gentle...
  • 6-fluid ounce bottle of Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo to help remove up to 90% of heavy, dulling residue caused by shampoos, conditioners & styling products

Neutrogena Anti-residue Shampoo Reviews

Neutrogena Anti-residue Shampoo receives mixed reviews. Some users love the scent and the way it leaves their hair feeling clean and bouncy. Others find that it makes their hair fall out. Still, others find that it can be a bit drying if used too often. Overall, the shampoo seems to work well for most users, leaving hair feeling clean and residue-free.

Does Neutrogena Anti residue Shampoo Work?

Neutrogena shampoo is one of Amazon’s best seller when it comes to anti-residue and clarifying shampoos. It will give your scalp and hair follicles a very thorough cleanse. A lot of people use it to clean their dreadlocks and it works on every type of hair including thin and curly hair types.

Neutrogena Shampoo Side Effects

No side effects have been directly linked to Neutrogena Shampoo. However, like all clarifying shampoos, users should be wary of overuse, which can lead to dry, dull hair. The sulfates in clarifying shampoos can also cause adverse effects on people with sensitive scalps or allergies.

And just like any other clarifying shampoos, Neutrogena has a very strong formula that may cause irritation and hair loss when used regularly. Use clarifying shampoos only when specifically needed like, washing dreadlocks, removing build-up or stripping hair color.

Neutrogena Anti-residue Shampoo Lawsuit

The end of 2021 saw a sudden class lawsuit leveled against several prominent hair product manufacturers. The issue was the inclusion of DMDM hydantoin, which people believed was causing their hair to fall out. This led to many hair product manufacturers to change the formula of their cleansing products.

DMDM Hydantoin Side Effects

To understand the potential side effects of DMDM hydantoin, one needs to know what the substance is. DMDM hydantoin is a preservative added to personal care products which prevents them from spoiling. DMDM hydantoin does this by releasing trace amounts of formaldehyde to protect against microbial rot.

Formaldehyde is a colorless gas that’s often associated with preservation. One thing to remember about formaldehyde is that it’s produced naturally. We’re exposed to a little of it every day, from the fruits we eat to our natural body chemistry.

Scientists that examined the hair products in question found that the amount of formaldehyde produced by DMDM hydantoin to be negligible. However, sufficient exposure to large amounts of formaldehyde can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation, and long-term exposure can lead to cancer.

What’s a good substitute for clarifying shampoo?

It’s possible to create a baking soda and vinegar shampoo in lieu of a clarifying shampoo. However, this is risky since baking soda is an alkaline substance that can mess up your scalp’s pH.

Purchasing a premade clarifying shampoo substitute on the market is a much safer and faster option. There are multiple kinds of clarifying shampoo and clarifying shampoo substitutes that address many customer problems, from just wanting to remove hair color to being allergic to certain substances.

12 Best Rated Clarifying Shampoo Reviewed

Clarifying and Anti Residue Shampoos are the best shampoos for people with thick build up and those with dreadlocks and microlocs. Neutrogena may be one of the best, but it may not be the best for you. If you’re looking for Neutrogena anti residue shampoo alternatives, here are some other top-rated clarifying shampoos. I’ve added their best features to help you easily choose which is best for your hair type or hair problem.

Best Anti Residue Shampoo for Removing Build Up

#1 Larry King Hair Care

Larry King Hair Care

Larry King Shampoo Review

The Larry King Hair Care is an amazing shampoo that works perfectly well with curly, dry, and colored hair. Coming from one of the most popular stylists around, this refreshing shampoo packs antibacterial Centella Asiatica and other ingredients that get rid of all the residues and toxins trapped inside your hair.

The shampoo contains gentle Zinc PCA and Vitamin E, which have proven to be very useful for the scalp. They maintain healthy oil production in the scalp, making sure that your scalp is neither too dry nor too oily.

The Larry King Hair Care Shampoo can also double up as your anti-pollution shampoo. This is particularly important for everyone living in the city and other similar areas where your hair is exposed to lots of pollutants.

How to Use

Using the Larry king Hair Care Shampoo is very easy. Just lather it onto your wet hair and scalp properly and then rinse it off.

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Best Clarifying Shampoo for Colored or Blonde Hair

#2 VIRTUE Purifying Shampoo

VIRTUE Purifying Shampoo | Alpha Keratin Detoxifies, Resets, Clarifies Hair | Sulfate Free, Paraben Free, Color Safe, Vegan

The Virtue Refresh Purifying Shampoo features a unique formula that cleanses and nourishes your scalp and hair at the same time. This has been achieved through a blend of key ingredients such as charcoal, Keratin, and coconut oil. The charcoal is very useful when it comes to extracting excess oils and whisking away stubborn residues and impurities from your scalp and hair strands. The Alpha Keratin 60ku resembles the Keratin found in your hair, and that’s why it works so effortlessly. The protein helps with repairing damaged hair without weighing them down. Coconut oil breathes life into your hair and scalp by moisturizing them.

The virtue Refresh Purifying Shampoo contains additional ingredients like Hops Extract, Cynara Scolymus Leaf Extract, and White Horehound Extract that assist with the cleansing.

How to Use

To use this shampoo, add a little water and apply it to your wet hair. Massage it throughout the hair and scalp and then rinse it off.  You should use a conditioner afterward.

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Best Rated Clarifying Shampoo

#3 Oribe Clarifying Shampoo

Oribe The Cleanse Clarifying Shampoo, 7.1 Fl Oz (Pack of 1)

Oribe The Cleanse Clarifying Shampoo is, without a doubt, one of the best curly hair products on the market. This shampoo is formulated with key ingredients such as Green Tea Extract, Volcanic Ash, Sea Kelp Extract, Eucalyptus, and the Oribe Signature Complex blend. These work together to clean and moisturize your hair and scalp.

The Volcanic Ash and Sea Kelp Extract work together to exfoliate dirt and impurities from your scalp and hair strands. The Sea Kelp Extract goes the extra mile to clear up the pores. Needless to say that this is achieved without removing the useful natural oils.

Oribe Signature Complex protects your hair from oxidative stress, and it also prevents the breakdown of natural Keratin.

How to Use

Massage the shampoo in your hair and scalp and then rinse it off.

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Best Shampoo for 4c Low Porosity or Fine Hair

#4 Pattern Clarifying Shampoo

Pattern Hydration Shampoo 9.8 Fl. Oz! Blend Of Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Coconut Oil & Honey! Creamy And Luxurious Shampoo For Curlies, Coilies & Tight Textures! Gently Cleanses & Hydrates Hair!

The Pattern Clarifying Shampoo is yet another incredible option for everyone with curly hair as it is very friendly to curls and coils. It does all the necessary deep cleansing without affecting the natural oils and moisture of your hair, thanks to a collection of keenly selected ingredients.

Some of the key ingredients present in this formula are Aloe Vera, Matcha Green Tea, and Panthenol.

The shampoo does a tremendous job in both cleaning and hydrating your scalp and low porosity hair.

How to Use

Massage the Shampoo onto your freshly cleaned hair and scalp thoroughly and then rinse it off. Follow it with a conditioner.

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 All-Natural & Sulfate-Free: Best Vegan Clarifying Shampoo

#5 Avalon Organics Clarifying Lemon Shampoo


Avalon Organics Clarifying Lemon Shampoo – Best All-Natural ShampooThe Avalon Organics Clarifying Lemon Shampoo is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a gentle deep cleanser. This EWG-certified shampoo is sulfate-free, non-GMO, vegan-friendly, biodegradable, and free from synthetic fragrances and parabens.

The Avalon Organics Clarifying Lemon Shampoo contains powerful natural ingredients like lemon essential oil, Vitamin E, quinoa protein, and Aloe Vera. Not only do these ingredients exfoliate residues, but they actually go as far as hydrating your hair, giving it a remarkable glow.

How to Use

Massage the shampoo gently throughout your wet hair and scalp. Rinse it off and then follow it with a Lemon Clarifying Conditioner.

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Best Clarifying Shampoo for Sensitive Scalp

#6 Head & Shoulders Supreme Detox & Hydrate


Head & Shoulders Supreme Detox & HydrateThe Head & Shoulder Supreme Detox & Hydrate Shampoo is free of parabens, phosphates, dyes, ethanol, and phthalates. It is a gentle shampoo containing coconut water, Argan oil, and other ingredients that detoxify and hydrate the scalp while moisturizing the hair at the same time.

In addition to cleaning your hair, this Head & Shoulders shampoo is also very effective in getting rid of dandruff.

How to Use

The shampoo should be used on wet hair. Massage it throughout your hair and scalp and then rinse it off. It should be used every time you shampoo if you want to remove dandruff effectively.

Does Head and Shoulders have DMDM hydantoin?

Head and Shoulders doesn’t have DMDM hydantoin.

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Best Clarifying Shampoo for Dry Hair

#7 Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo

Moroccanoil Clarifying ShampooPeople with dry hair have a hard time finding the ideal clarifying shampoo because most shampoos will only make matters worse. If that’s you, then you don’t have to struggle anymore. The Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo is hands down the best clarifying shampoo for dry hair.

The shampoo features an amazing collection of ingredients that clean and hydrates your hair and scalp simultaneously. For cleaning purposes, the shampoo uses lavender, chamomile, avocado, and rosemary extracts, among other ingredients. As this is taking place, the other ingredients, including Keratin, jojoba seed extract, and Argan oil, will be moisturizing and strengthening your dry hair.

It has a remarkable formula that everyone with dry hair can benefit from.

How to Use

Apply the shampoo on wet scalp and hair. Add enough, but not too much, water to get the best out of each ingredient. Rinse it off thoroughly.

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Best Clarifying Shampoo for Oily Hair

#8 Acure Curiously Clarifying Shampoo

Acure Curiously Clarifying Shampoo – Best for Oily HairThe Acure Curiously Clarifying Shampoo is a gentle shampoo that can be used daily.

The shampoo is free of parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, petrolatum, and formaldehyde. It is also cruelty-free and vegan-friendly.

It contains acai, blackberry, pomegranate, avocado, and lavender oils. These provide gentle but super effective cleaning. The Acure Curiously Clarifying Shampoo also hydrate and moisturize the scalp and hair lightly.

How to Use

Apply it on wet hair, massage it throughout the hair and scalp, and wash it off thoroughly.

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Best Clarifying Shampoo for Dandruff

#9 Sachajuan Anti-Pollution Shampoo

Sachajuan Anti-Pollution Shampoo

The Sachajuan Shampoo is specifically formulated to tackle pollutants that our hair is exposed to on a daily basis.

Think about it, every time you step out of the house, your hair comes into contact with all sorts of pollutants ranging from dirt, smoke, smog, etc. These will accumulate in your scalp, making your hair to lose its color and look.

The Sachajuan Anti-Pollution Shampoo contains green tea extracts, lactic acid, and other ingredients that fortify your hair and protect it against impurities.

Besides protecting your scalp and hair against pollution, this shampoo will also improve your hair’s manageability.

How to Use

Apply the shampoo on wet scalp and hair and massage it gently before rinsing it off.

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Best Shampoo for Stripping Hair Colour

#10 L’Oreal Paris Hair Care Colorista Reset Shampoo

L'Oreal Paris Hair Care Colorista Reset Shampoo, 6.8 Ounce

Pros: Smells nice, removes hair color after several washes. One of the best clarifying shampoo to fade hair color.

Cons: Can take roughly 6 washes to see results, made specifically to remove L’Oreal Colorista Semi-Permanent colors, can bleach hair, doesn’t lather well

L’Oreal Paris Hair Care Colorista Reset Shampoo Review:

This clarifying shampoo is made specifically for stripping hair color. While it’s lighter and gentler than other clarifying shampoos, you can still expect to get a thorough wash with L’Oreal Paris Hair Care Colorista Reset Shampoo. However, its main draw – color removal – isn’t a definite result. Customers have indicated mixed reviews, ranging from complete color removal to hair bleaching to no results at all.

Bottomline: If you like experimenting with L’Oreal’s Colorista product line, then this clarifying shampoo is definitely for you. The catch – it only works flawlessly with Colorista colors.

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Best Clarifying Shampoo and Conditioner 

#11 Herbal Essences Clarifying Shampoo & Conditioner


Herbal Essences, Clarifying Shampoo and Purifying Conditioner, Tea Tree and Jasmine, 20.2 Fl Oz Bundle

Pros: Low synthetic material content, controls oily hair, makes hair feel soft, works with colored hair

Cons: Doesn’t work for textured hair

Herbal Essences Clarifying Shampoo and Purifying Conditioner Review:

Herbal Essences Clarifying Shampoo is a light shampoo with a very rich lather. Made without silicone or mineral oil, this clarifying shampoo will remove any kind of build-up from your hair and give it weightless volume. The accompanying conditioner helps keep your hair moisturized and healthy after the shampoo’s thorough cleanse.


This is an excellent clarifying shampoo for people who have adverse reactions to mineral oil or silicones. It’s complemented by a nice (some say overpowering) tea tree scent that leaves your hair feeling citrusy and airy.

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Best Budget Clarifying Shampoo

#12 Redken Detox Hair Cleansing Cream

Redken Detox Hair Cleansing Cream Clarifying Shampoo | For All Hair Types | Removes Buildup & Strengthens Hair Cuticle | 1.7 Fl Oz

Pros: Very affordable, can be used on color-treated hair, can be used on permed hair, very gentle

Cons: Too much use can quickly dry hair

Redken Detox Hair Cleansing Cream Clarifying Shampoo Review:

This affordable shampoo gives even Neutrogena a run for its money. Offering all that a clarifying shampoo can do without the high price tag, Redken Detox Hair Cleansing Cream Clarifying Shampoo is widely endorsed by its many happy customers.

Bottomline: Redken Detox Hair Cleansing Cream Clarifying Shampoo is best described as simple, but effective. This shampoo has no particular standout features (aside from a somewhat harsh orange cleanser smell, according to some) – which means that it works like a charm.

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FAQs About Neutrogena Anti-Residue Clarifying Shampoo

Is Neutrogena anti-residue shampoo sulfate-free?

Neutrogena isn’t sulfate free, one of its main cleansing agent is Sodium Laureth Sulfate. Sulfates are powerful cleansing agents, they should be used occasionally as it causes dry scalp and brittle hair.

Does Neutrogena anti-residue shampoo have Formaldehyde?

Neutrogena is absolutely formaldehyde-free. It uses other cleansing agents to remove oil and dirt from your scalp and hair.

Is Neutrogena anti-residue shampoo a clarifying shampoo?

When it comes to their use, anti-residue shampoos works the same as clarifying shampoos. They both provide more intense cleaning and can remove scalp buildup and other hair products residue.

Do you use conditioner after Neutrogena anti residue shampoo?

Because anti-residue shampoos are powerful cleansers they can remove even your hair’s natural oils. That’s why it is important to use a deep conditioner to bring back moisture and prevent your hair from drying.

Does Neutrogena anti residue shampoo strip color?

Neutrogena anti-residue shampoo can effectively remove dirt and build-up without stripping your hair color. The ingredients used in its formula will not bleach or lighten your hair like what hydrogen peroxide or strong acids will do.

Does Neutrogena Anti residue Shampoo cause hair loss?

Some users report hair loss after using Neutrogena regularly. Please note that because of their strong formula, clarifying shampoos are not meant to be used daily.

Is Neutrogena Shampoo Good for Hair Loss?

Neutrogena can help remove product build-up and dandruff that sometimes cause hair loss. If this is the main cause of your hair loss, clarifying and anti residue shampoos like Neutrogena can help.

FAQs About Anti-Residue Clarifying Shampoo

Does Redken have DMDM hydantoin?

Redken doesn’t use DMDM hydantoin.

Does Maui Shampoo have DMDM hydantoin?

Maui Shampoo doesn’t have DMDM hydantoin.

Is T Gel a clarifying shampoo?

No, it is not. T-Gel shampoo is an anti-inflammatory shampoo that helps deal with auto-immune skin disorders like seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis.

Does Olaplex have a clarifying shampoo?

While it’s not exactly a clarifying shampoo, Olaplex bond 4 works just like a clarifying shampoo.

Is Head And Shoulders a clarifying shampoo?

Yes, some Head and Shoulders shampoos are classified as clarifying shampoos.

Is Mane And Tail a clarifying shampoo?

Yes, Mane and Tail has Mane and Tail Gentle Clarifying Shampoo. As its name suggests, it’s a gentle clarifying shampoo that not only cleans your hair, but also washes out residue from other hair products or contaminants. Mane and Tail Gentle Clarifying Shampoo also doesn’t dry your scalp or leave your hair frizzy.

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