Why I Won’t Use The Kenra Clarifying Shampoo on My Color-Treated Hair

Written by Laura Ellis

Updated on

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Why I Won’t Use The Kenra Clarifying Shampoo on My Color-Treated Hair

Here’s what you need to know about the Kenra clarifying shampoo:

Do not use it:

  • On color-treated hair
  • On dry and sensitive scalp

Use it:

  • For hard water
  • For well water
  • Before a keratin treatment
  • Before a color treatment
  • To fade hair color
  • Or to remove a keratin treatment or hair color

Why I Don’t Recommend The Kenra Clarifying Shampoo For Color Treated Hair

Kenra Clarifying Shampoo

Although it’s considered a good clarifying shampoo, it can be too harsh for color-treated hair.

I was naive to go with their marketing “color-safe” label and instead overlooked what’s in the ingredients list.

When I did, I noticed 2 ingredients that looked suspect:

  • Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate
  • Sodium Chloride (Salt)

And it made sense why my color was looking a bit dull and flat.

If you don’t know what the above ingredients do, allow me to explain …

The Kenra Clarifying Shampoo Is Not 100% Sulfate-Free

Nowadays, pretty much every brand has joined on the SLS-free shampoo bandwagon because it’s the buzzword for modern health-conscious consumers.

Yes, you won’t find the notorious Sodium Lauryl or Sodium Laureth sulfate ingredients in the Kenra clarifying shampoo, but there’s another sulfate derivative:

Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate

Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate is a surfactant, and if you use it frequently on your hair, it will fade color and strip your hair’s natural oils.

To make things worse:

The Kenra clarifying shampoo also contains salt (Sodium Chloride). Salt breaks down the chemicals in your hair color.

Let’s take a close look at what’s in the ingredients:

Kenra Clarifying Shampoo Ingredients

Ingredient Description
Aqua Water
Sodium myreth sulfate An inexpensive and effective foaming agent similar to Sodium Laureth sulfates.
Cocamidopropyl betaine Organic compounds derived from coconut oil.
Sodium c14-16 olefin sulfonate A detergent or surfactant that can be very drying to your scalp.
Cocamide MEA A mixture of fatty acid produced from coconut oil when mixed with a colorless viscous liquid.
Polyquaternium-10 An antistatic agent water-soluble substantive conditioner for hair care.
Hydrolyzed wheat protein A low-molecular weight protein derived from soft wheat.
Hydrolyzed wheat starch Micro molecules of wheat starch derived by acid and hydrolysis.
Aloe Barbadensis Aloe leaf juice Aloe Vera leaf juice extracts.
Hamamelis virginiana (Witch Hazel) Witch Hazel extracts.
Disodium EDTA A strong chelating agent used to remove hard water minerals.
Sodium chloride Also commonly known as salt.
Parfum fragrance Scent and fragrance.
Dehydroacetic acid An odorless, colorless to white crystalline powder, insoluble in water and slightly soluble in organic solvents.
Benzyl alcohol Aromatic alcohol that gives pleasant smell.
Citric acid Naturally occuring Citrus fruits acids.
D & C Red no.33 A red azo dye used as colorants.

But overall, it’s not a bad shampoo.

Before you banish it from your bathroom shelves, you may want to check out why we still recommend this shampoo and other Kenra hair care products.


Every shampoo has a purpose.

And Kenra’s deep-cleansing shampoo’s job is to:

  • Draw out impurities
  • Banish mineral buildup
  • Break down stubborn dirt
  • Purge congested pores on your scalp
  • Dissolve stale sebum that clogs your pores

I know that’s some pretty intense deep-cleansing shit!

As long as you don’t have color-treated hair or sensitive scalp issues, the Kenra clarifying shampoo is good for removing dirt, and strip your hair clean.

Typical examples of why you should use it are:

Unfortunately, not all of us have soft water running in our homes, and if you are like me, living in a hard water area, you’ll understand why I hate wash days.

Read: How hard water affects your hair »

This is where the Kenra chelating and clarifying shampoo comes handy.

Calling upon chelating agents which binds to hard water nasties to flush them out, Kenra does a solid job to protect your hair from hard water.

But wait, there’s more to it.

Kenra also helps to prep your hair for keratin treatments and color services.

Think of it as a primer.

The Kenra chelating shampoo removes everything in between your hair to make it absorb keratin and color better.

Just make sure you condition your hair after washing to rebalance the moisture.

Follow Up With The Kenra Moisturizing Conditioner

Use the Kenra moisturizing conditioner to rehydrate and impart moisture back into your hair after an intense deep cleansing wash.

Smear it onto your head, slather your roots and ends and let it melt the goodness of its moisture-loving ingredients deep into your hair.

This great-smelling conditioner rinses out to leave your strands glossy, frizz-free, and smooth like you’ve never felt before.

The Kenra moisture conditioner will leave your hair glowing from every angle.

Use The Kenra Shampoo For Low Porosity Hair

Low porosity hair is known for accumulating buildup because of its inability to absorb moisturizers and serums.

This shampoo opens up the cuticles after every wash to make your hair work like a sponge so that it can seep in nutrients from your favorite hair products.

Blast Your Oily Roots And Rebalance Your Scalp

The Kenra clarifying shampoo dissolves dead skin and unclogs oils from your roots to eliminate that yucky feeling that keeps you reaching for your dry shampoos.

Just use it once a week and feel the difference!

And to help you even further with your oily scalp troubles, Kenra also has a root spray to keep things more swishy and freshly scented all day long.

Kenra Root Lifting Spray

The Kenra thickening spray lifts each root and thickens every strand right from the first spritz.

Kenra Professional Root Lifting Spray

Use The Kenra Clarifying Shampoo Before Keratin or Color Treatments

If you want the best results for your keratin treatment, then this shampoo does the job.

No wonder why you’ll see them stacked up in most professional hair salons.

Kenra is the pre-keratin treatment shampoo of choice for many top salons, and rightly so.

You won’t find a better formula that clears impurities as good as Kenra does.

Sure, It may not be color-friendly, but it can help you get the best out of new color treatments.

Here’s how …

When you do a color treatment, it’s essential that your hair is super clean. This helps color pigments to force their way right into the cuticles instead of getting blocked by layers of dirt and residues on top of your hair.

Check out the illustration below to see how buildup and residues affect hair color treatments:

how to use kenra clarifying shampoo
How Kenra hair color preparation shampoo works

The Kenra anti-residue shampoo removes this barrier to allow your hair to seep in color pigments for maximum absorption and more vibrant results.

And to help you add more glam to your hair, Kenra has a range of pro styling products that will give your hair a good makeover.

Other Kenra Hair Styling Products You’ll Love

The Kenra Platinum Blow Dry and Hot Spray

Speed up your blow dry time by half the time it usually takes you in the morning?

The Kenra blow dry spray is a lightweight formula that:

  • Detangles wet hair
  • Smoothes your strands
  • Softens and eliminates frizz

Instantly after washing your hair.

You can also use it as a thermal defense spray when flat ironing your hair.

How’s that for a multi-purpose product?

Kenra Platinum Hot Spray

Platinum Volumizing Kenra 25 Hairspray

The Kenra volume spray gives your hair maximum hold for up to 120 hours!

It also has a 24-hour humidity resistance shield that doesn’t leave residues.

If you want to amp up your hair volume, this fast styling hairspray is just the product you need.

Kenra Volume Spray

Kenra Platinum Silkening Gloss Mist

The Kenra platinum silkening mist adds a touch of shine and glow to your finished hairstyle and makes sure it’s locked in place for maximum impact all day long.

No need to check your mirror every hour to see if your hair needs a quick touch up.

You can rely on Silkening gloss from Kenra. I’ve tried it, and it’s brilliant.

Kenra Silkening Mist

My Verdict

Yes, the Kenra clarifying shampoo is way more intense than your average-joe shampoo, but if your hair and scalp need a good ol’ scrub, this is the product you need.

To rebalance the moisture in your hair, follow up with Kenra’s professional hair styling products.

As long as you avoid it on colored hair and dry scalp, you won’t be disappointed with the results.

Bonus point: This shampoo comes in a rather large bottle.

It will easily last you for a good 2 months, and price wise it’s an absolute bloody steal.

About the Author

Laura EllisLaura Ellis

Laura is a UK-based freelance writer who occasionally writes for this blog.