Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two Review – The Clarifying Cleanser

Written by Charlene Latreuille

Updated on

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Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two

Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two is a clarifying shampoo that removes buildup, oil, dirt, and impurities from the hair and scalp.

It’s part of The Originals line of hair products from John Paul Mitchell Systems.

In this review, we’ll take a closer look at the ingredients, how to use it, how safe it is for color-treated hair, and what real users have to say about it. We also compare it to other products in its category to assess whether or not this shampoo is right for you.

Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two Review

Product Summary


  • Big bottle that lasts long.
  • Clean fresh scent.
  • Paraben-free.
  • Color-safe formula.
  • Enhances shine.
  • Helps hair masks and oil treatments penetrate the hair.
  • Works best for minimizing oil production to prevent greasiness.


  • Poor packaging.
  • Does not work with hard water.

The Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two thoroughly cleanses the hair and scalp and minimizes oil production. Compared to the Paul Mitchell Shampoo One, which is gentle and designed for everyday use, Shampoo Two must be used once or twice a week due to its higher concentration of surfactants.

Lather Quality and Scent

When you use the Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two, you can expect a luxurious lather that envelops your hair and scalp. The shampoo is designed to create a rich and abundant foam that unclogs the scalp and leaves the hair squeaky clean.

As you work it into your hair, you’ll notice how the lather creates a satisfying and stimulating sensation, leaving you with a refreshed and revitalized scalp.

It also leaves behind a sharp, crisp, and energizing citrus scent that lingers on throughout the day. The shampoo’s fragrance is designed to be bold and assertive but not overpowering. It also has a fresh, clean scent that is also good for men who want to smell good without being too feminine or sweet.

Who Is It For?

Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two is a unisex shampoo. It can be used by men, women, and teenagers but is not recommended for children under 6 years.

It can be used on straight hair, curly hair, African American hair, relaxed hair, color-treated hair, thick hair, fine hair, and hair extensions.

Who Is It Not For?

This shampoo is not for people who suffer from very dry hair, dry scalp, dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, scalp acne, hair breakage, and hair loss.

Such conditions require customized hair treatments and shampoos. Using a clarifying shampoo can potentially make these conditions worse. So, it’s better to consult your doctor before using this product.

Benefits of Using Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two

It Deep Cleanses

Think of all the styling products you put in your hair. Waxes, gels, hairsprays, dry shampoos, mousses, styling creams, and pomades. Sure, these products can make your hair look great, but they also leave residue that regular shampoos cannot break down and remove.

That’s where Shampoo Two swoops in with a strong surfactant formulation designed to break down stubborn buildup and residues.

It Can Normalize Greasy and Oily Hair

Shampoo Two is a clarifying cleanser that contains surfactants such as Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Salts, and Cocamide MEA (foam booster). These surfactants reduce surface tension of water, allowing the shampoo to penetrate the hair more easily. As a result, the shampoo can break down and dislodge excess oil and dirt between the hair cuticles and scalp pores, which helps reduce oil production to rebalance the scalp.

It Can Eliminate Scalp Odor

The primary cause of scalp odor is bad bacteria that feed off the greasiness and dirt on the scalp. By eliminating the source of the problem, the Paul Mitchell clarifying shampoo helps to neutralize the odor-causing bacteria, further eliminating the source of the odor. The shampoo also has a light citrus scent that helps to mask any remaining odor.

Related: Best shampoos for smelly hair and scalp.

It Can Prep Hair for Color and Keratin Treatment

By removing dulling buildup and making the surface of the hair squeaky clean, the clarifying shampoo helps to improve effective absorption of hair treatments like color and keratin.

That’s why you often see the Paul Mitchell Clarifying Shampoo Two used in professional hair salons. It is used to prime the hair to maximize service value.

It Can Be Used to Remove Color

If you want to correct a dye job that’s gone wrong, this clarifying shampoo can be used to strip color if you wash your hair daily with it.

Because it contains Sodium Chloride, it can fade hair color when used frequently in a short period.

Related: Clarifying shampoos to fade hair color.

It Can Be used Before a Hair Mask or Hot Oil Treatment

The Paul Mitchell Two Shampoo can be used before deep conditioning or hot oil treatments as a clarifying cleanser that removes product buildup. It preps the hair to become more receptive to the treatments.

Read: Should you use a hair mask before or after shampoo?

Is it Color-Safe?

The Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two is considered color-safe if you use it once or twice weekly. If you use it daily, it may cause color fade because it contains mild sulfates (SLES).

Can It Be Used for Hard Water?

The shampoo has chelating agents (Tetrasodium EDTA), which indicates that it can also remove hard water deposits like calcium, magnesium, and iron from the hair. When we tried it for 2 weeks, we noticed it was less efficient than a hard water shampoo like Malibu C Hard Water Wellness.

We suggest the Paul Mitchell Shampoo Three from the Originals line, instead of Shampoo Two if you live in a hard water area.

Does It Work for Dandruff?

The Paul Mitchell clarifying shampoo is not an effective treatment for dandruff because it does not contain anti-dandruff ingredients like Salicylic acid, Zinc pyrithione, Coal Tar, Ketoconazole, or Tea Tree Oil.


Full ingredients list of Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two:

Aqua (Water, Eau), Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Chloride, Cocamide MIPA, Panthenol, Hedychium Coronarium (White Ginger) Flower/​Leaf/​Stem Extract, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Leaf Extract, Algae Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Tetrasodium EDTA, Citric Acid, Polyquaternium-44, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Bisamino PEG/​PPG-41/​3 Aminoethyl Pg-Propyl Dimethicone, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Magnesium Chloride, Magnesium Nitrate, Parfum (Fragrance), Limonene, Benzyl Benzoate, Citral, Linalool.

Key ingredients to note:

Sodium Laureth Sulfate
Sodium laureth sulfate is a common foaming agent and detergent in many personal care products. It’s often used to create bubbles and act as an emulsifier to break down and rinse out dirt and buildup.
Cocamide MIPA
Cocamide MIPA is a fatty acid amide of coconut oil used as a surfactant and foam booster in hair cleansing products.
Tetrasodium EDTA
Tetrasodium EDTA is a chelating agent that binds to metals, including copper, iron, and calcium. Shampoos often use it to neutralize and remove hard water buildup like calcium, magnesium, and iron. However, shampoo Two does not contain enough concentration of the chelating agent to make it as effective as a hard water shampoo.
Wheat-Derived Conditioners
The shampoo also contains wheat-based hydrolyzed keratin that can help to improve the hair’s strength and elasticity.

Vegan, Cruelty-Free, and Sustainable

This shampoo is 100% vegan and cruelty-free, like all Paul Mitchell shampoos and conditioner. Since the company was founded in 1980, John Paul Mitchell Systems has shared a passion for creating sustainable and ethical hair care products.

Their products do not contain animal-derived ingredients and are not tested on animals at any stage of the production process. The company also uses sustainable and environmentally-friendly practices in its manufacturing process, including using recycled materials and reducing waste.

How to Use It?

  • Apply to wet hair.
  • Massage and leave it in for 2 minutes.
  • Rinse thoroughly.
  • Follow up with a moisturizing conditioner.

How Often to Use It?

The Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two must be used once or twice a week. It must not be used more than that, as it’s formulated to deep cleanse and purify. It will leave your hair feeling clean and refreshed but may cause dryness if used too frequently.


Packaging may vary depending on where you buy the product from. We bought it from Amazon, and the product came in a large box with the shampoo wrapped up in plastic. It wasn’t the best.

Although we didn’t experience any leaks, some customers reported that the product leaked and the lid wasn’t properly secured.

How Does It Compare to Other Clarifying Shampoos?

We compared it to our best-rated clarifying shampoos, and here’s a comparative analysis:

Paul Mitchell Clarifying Shampoo Vs. Moroccanoil Clarify

Criteria Paul Mitchell Clarifying Moroccanoil Clarify
Key benefits Thoroughly cleanses hair and scalp Clarifies and moisturizes
Hair types All hair types, especially oily hair Works across all hair types
Active ingredients Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Chloride, Citric Acid Rosemary Leaf, Tetrasodium EDTA, Disodium EDTA
Fragrance Fresh, lemon scent Sweet floral
Packaging Some issues with leaking reported Leak-proof packaging
Price range Mid-range High-end

Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two and Moroccanoil Clarify Shampoo are both clarifying shampoos designed to remove buildup from the hair and scalp. However, Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two is more targeted towards oily hair and scalp, while Moroccanoil Clarify Shampoo suits all hair types.

The active ingredients differ, with Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two containing Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Sodium Chloride, while Moroccanoil Clarify Shampoo contains Argan and Avocado Oils, Keratin, Lavender, Chamomile, and Rosemary.

The fragrances are also different, with Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two having a fresh, citrus scent and Moroccanoil Clarify Shampoo having a signature Moroccanoil scent.

Regarding packaging, some customers have reported issues with leaking with Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two, while Moroccanoil Clarify Shampoo has leak-proof packaging.

Finally, Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two is mid-range in price, while Moroccanoil Clarify Shampoo is high-end.

Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two Clarifying Vs. Nexxus Clean and Pure

Criteria Shampoo Two Paul Mitchell Nexxus Clean and Pure
Key benefits Thoroughly cleanses hair and scalp Detoxifying, cleansing, hydrating
Hair types All hair types, especially oily hair Dry and damaged hair
Active ingredients Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Chloride, Citric Acid Elastin protein, Marine minerals
Fragrance Fresh, citrus scent Citrusy gender-neutral cologne
Packaging Some issues with leaking reported Leak-proof packaging
Price range Mid-range Mid-range

Paul Mitchell Clarifying Shampoo Two Clarifying is more targeted towards oily hair and scalp, while Nexxus Clean and Pure Clarifying Shampoo suits dry and damaged hair.

The active ingredients differ, with Paul Mitchell Shampoo Clarifying Shampoo Two Clarifying containing Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Sodium Chloride. In contrast, Nexxus Clean and Pure Clarify Shampoo contains Elastin Protein, Marine Minerals, and no sulfates.


The Paul Mitchell clarifying shampoo is available in the following sizes:

  • 300 ml.
  • 500 ml.
  • 1000 ml.

Where to Buy?

You can buy it from Amazon, Target, Ulta, Sephora and the Paul Mitchell official website.

Final Thoughts

Clarifying shampoos are a must-have in any hair care routine. But you must not forget to follow up with a conditioner as these shampoos are strong and can leave your tresses dry.

Use the Paul Mitchell Clarifying Shampoo Two once or twice a week to keep your hair squeaky clean and your scalp balanced.

Paul Mitchell Clarifying Shampoo Two

Paul Mitchell Conditioner

About the Author

Charlene LatreuilleCharlene Latreuille

Charlene Latreuille has been blogging for over 10 years and has a background in digital marketing.

Specializing in women's hair health, she blends scientific insight with practical advice, crafting easy-to-follow guides.