Skip to Content

Best Shampoo for Dreads: Top 9 Picks to Keep Your Locs Clean & Healthy (2024)

This site is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through links.

best shampoo for dreadsFinding the best shampoo for dreads is critical to keep your locs clean and healthy. Top picks like Stylin Dredz Spray Shampoo and Jamaican Mango Lime Shampoo are gentle yet effective. Clarifying Detox Hair Growth Shampoo and Dreadlock Shampoo with Peppermint Tea Tree offer deep cleansing and promote growth.

Choose products with natural ingredients, free from sulfates and parabens, enriched with essential oils for added benefits and pleasant scents. Proper washing techniques and a good shampoo guarantee your dreads stay fresh and vibrant.

Stick around to learn how to keep your locs in tip-top shape.

Key Takeaways

  • Keep your dreads clean and healthy with the best shampoo for dreads. Opt for residue-free options that gently cleanse and nourish your scalp.
  • Avoid shampoos with harsh chemicals like sulfates, parabens, and silicones that can damage your dreads.
  • Wash your dreads regularly, but not too often, to prevent buildup and maintain their integrity.
  • Use natural ingredients like tea tree oil, aloe vera, and coconut oil to moisturize and soothe your scalp, promoting healthy dreadlock growth.

Best Shampoo for Dreadlocks

You’ll find a variety of excellent shampoos for dreadlocks in this list, each designed to keep your locs clean and healthy. From the convenient Stylin Dredz Spray Shampoo to the clarifying power of Rastta Locs Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo, these products cater to different needs and preferences.

1. Stylin Dredz Spray Shampoo

Spray Shampoo - Dreadlock ShampooView On Amazon
Looking for the best shampoo for your dreads? Stylin Dredz Spray Shampoo might be your new go-to. This residue-free formula is tough on dirt but gentle on your locs.

It’s a game-changer for soothing itchy scalps and banishing dandruff. You’ll love the thick lather that moisturizes and detangles without leaving buildup. Say goodbye to dryness and hello to healthy, clean dreads.

The spray form makes application a breeze, ensuring every inch of your locs gets the TLC it deserves. Trust us, your dreads will thank you for this one.

Best For: Those with dreads looking for a gentle and effective cleaning solution.

  • Soothes itchy scalps and eliminates dandruff
  • Thick lather moisturizes and detangles without buildup
  • Spray form makes application easy
  • Not specified
  • Not specified
  • Not specified

2. Jamaican Mango Lime Shampoo

Jamaican Mango and Lime TingleView On Amazon
You’ll love the Jamaican Mango Lime Shampoo for its ability to keep your locs clean and healthy. This paraben-free formula boasts a mesmerizing mango scent that’ll transport you to the tropics.

It effectively removes buildup while massaging your scalp and relieving itchiness. The concentrated formula means a little goes a long way, giving you more bang for your buck.

Plus, it leaves your dreads feeling refreshed and invigorated. Just be mindful not to overuse it, as it may dry out your hair.

For locs with heavy buildup, you might want to contemplate other options.

Best For: Those with all hair types looking for a refreshing and invigorating cleanse.

  • Gently removes buildup
  • Massages scalp and relieves itching
  • Concentrated formula for extended use
  • May dry out hair if overused
  • Not recommended for locs with buildup
  • Tingling sensation may be uncomfortable for some

3. Clarifying Detox Hair Growth Shampoo

Clarifying Shampoo for Build UpView On Amazon
Looking for a deep cleanse? The Clarifying Detox Hair Growth Shampoo might be your go-to. This lightweight, residue-free formula is designed to eliminate buildup while promoting hair growth.

It’s packed with plant-based ingredients that’ll strengthen your locks and leave them refreshed. Plus, it’s gentle enough for all hair types.

Handcrafted in small batches, this shampoo uses high-quality raw ingredients to maintain healthy dreadlocks.

While some users find it a bit watery, many appreciate its effectiveness. Just remember, a little goes a long way with this powerful cleanser!

Best For: Those looking for a gentle and effective clarifying shampoo that promotes hair growth.

  • Eliminates buildup
  • Strengthens hair
  • Maintains healthy dreadlocks
  • Some users find the shampoo watery
  • Some users report an overwhelming smell
  • Some users report that the shampoo does not help with itchy scalp

4. Dreadlock Shampoo with Peppermint Tea Tree

Lockology Dreadlock Shampoo with PeppermintView On Amazon
If you’re looking for a deep clean that’ll leave your locs feeling fresh, Lockology’s Dreadlock Shampoo with Peppermint Tea Tree is a game-changer. This foamy wonder doesn’t just cleanse; it promotes growth and kicks itchiness to the curb.

Packed with natural and organic ingredients, it’s like a spa day for your scalp. The semi-castile base lathers up a treat, making it a breeze to work through your locs.

And when it’s time to rinse? It’s out faster than you can say "squeaky clean." No fillers, no thickeners—just pure loc love.

Best For: Those with thick locs looking for a deep clean and refreshed scalp

  • Deep cleans locs and scalp
  • Promotes growth and reduces itching
  • Made with natural and organic ingredients
  • Not specified
  • Not specified
  • Not specified

5. Rastta Locs Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo

Rastta Locs Apple Cider VinegarView On Amazon
Looking for a powerful detox for your locs? Rastta Locs Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo might be your new best friend. This handmade, clarifying formula packs a punch with organic ACV, argan oil, and aloe vera.

It’s like a spa day for your scalp, eliminating excess sebum and balancing pH levels. The thick, luscious consistency lathers well and leaves your dreads feeling clean and refreshed.

With a hint of mint, it’ll have your scalp tingling with delight. Use it once a week to keep your locs strong, healthy, and smelling great.

Best For: People with locs looking for a powerful detox and clarifying wash.

  • Handmade in small batches
  • Thick and luscious consistency
  • Smells great with a hint of mint

6. LOCssentials Dreadlock Clarifying Shampoo

Clarifying Shampoo for Dreadlocks -View On Amazon
LOCssentials Dreadlock Clarifying Shampoo is your go-to solution for keeping your locs fresh and clean. This 8-ounce bottle packs a punch with natural ingredients like peppermint and tea tree oils.

It’s designed to remove residue, flaking, and build-up, leaving your dreads clarified and radiant. You’ll love how it promotes hair growth and strengthens follicles.

Plus, it’s free from parabens, phthalates, and gluten.

While it might be a bit pricey, the quality ingredients make it worth considering. Just keep in mind it could cause dryness for some users.

Best For: Those with locs, braids, twists, or other low-maintenance hairstyles.

  • Removes residue, flaking, and build-up
  • Promotes hair growth and strengthens follicles
  • Contains natural ingredients and is free from parabens, phthalates, and gluten
  • Can cause dryness in some users
  • May not remove all residue
  • Price point is high for the size

7. Made For Locs Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo

Made For Locs Vegan AppleView On Amazon
Made For Locs Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo is your go-to solution for keeping your dreads fresh and clean. With its powerful blend of apple cider vinegar, aloe vera, and rice water, this shampoo tackles residue build-up like a pro.

It’s gentle enough for regular use but packs a punch in purifying and rejuvenating your locs. You’ll love its apple scent and how a little goes a long way.

While it might not lather much for some users, it’s suitable for all loc types and doesn’t need diluting. Your dreads will thank you!

Best For: Those looking to cleanse and rejuvenate their locs with a gentle and effective shampoo.

  • Purifies and rejuvenates with every wash
  • Tackles residue build-up
  • Suitable for all loc types
  • May not lather much for some users
  • May not work for all scalp types
  • No need to dilute

8. Loclicious Clarifying Shampoo

Clarifying & Moisturizing Shampoo forView On Amazon
You’ll love Loclicious Clarifying Shampoo for your dreadlocks. This powerful formula safely cleanses and moisturizes, removing debris and build-up while strengthening your locs. Say goodbye to breakage and thinning!

Infused with carrier and essential oils, it moisturizes as it clarifies. Made in the USA, this 8-ounce bottle packs a punch. It’s free from phthalates, sulfates, artificial colors, and parabens.

With its tropical scent and oil-based form, you’ll feel like you’re on a Caribbean beach every time you wash. Keep your locs healthy and happy with Loclicious!

Best For: Locs and loose naturals looking for a clarifying shampoo that moisturizes and strengthens.

  • Safely cleanses and moisturizes
  • Removes debris, residue, and build-up
  • Strengthens locs
  • Not available in larger sizes
  • May not be suitable for all hair types
  • Scent may be too strong for some

9. Trader Joes Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo

Trader JoeView On Amazon
You’ll love Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo for your dreadlocks. It’s a budget-friendly gem that packs a punch without breaking the bank.

Free from harsh sulfates, this shampoo gently cleanses your locs while invigorating your scalp with its stimulating tea tree scent. It’s suitable for all hair types, including African American textured hair, and won’t leave any pesky residue behind.

Plus, it’s cruelty-free and contains certified organic botanical ingredients. With its 16 fl oz bottle, you’ll get plenty of washes to keep your dreads clean and healthy.

Best For: Those looking for an affordable, sulfate-free shampoo that cleanses and invigorates the scalp.

  • Cleans well without stripping hair
  • Invigorates the scalp with tea tree scent
  • Residue-free
  • Contains few unnatural ingredients
  • May not be effective for all hair types
  • Not specifically designed for dreadlocks

How to Find the Best Shampoo for Dreadlocks Hair?

How to Find the Best Shampoo for Dreadlocks Hair
Now that we’ve explored the top dreadlock shampoos, let’s delve into how you can find the ideal one for your locs. Selecting the right shampoo is essential for maintaining healthy, clean dreadlocks. Here’s what to consider:

  • Natural ingredients that nourish your scalp and locs
  • Sulfate-free and paraben-free formulas to prevent buildup
  • Essential oils for added benefits and pleasant scents
  • Positive feedback from fellow dreadlock enthusiasts
  • Specifically formulated for dreadlocks or locs

You’ll want a shampoo that cleanses without removing your hair of its natural oils. Look for products that balance cleansing power with moisturizing properties. Remember, your scalp health is just as important as your locs. A good dreadlock shampoo will keep both clean and healthy. Don’t hesitate to experiment with different brands until you find the one that works best for your unique hair texture and needs.

How to Wash the Dreads?

How to Wash the Dreads
To wash your dreads effectively, you’ll need to follow a two-step process: applying shampoo and using conditioner. Let’s explore how to properly execute these steps to keep your locs clean and healthy.

Step 1: Applying the Shampoo

Now that you’ve chosen the best shampoo for dreadlocks, let’s proceed to application. Begin by thoroughly wetting your locs. Apply the dreadlock shampoo to your scalp, focusing on:

  • Lather consistency: Guarantee even distribution
  • Scalp massage: Gently work it in
  • Product scent: Enjoy the aromatherapy
  • Hair texture: Pay attention to changes
  • Product quantity: Use just enough

Massage for a few minutes, then let it rest. This allows the shampoo to cleanse effectively, keeping your locs fresh and healthy.

Step 2: Using the Conditioner

After shampooing, it’s time to condition your dreads. Apply the conditioner to your wet hair, being careful not to overdo it. Leave it in for 30-60 minutes, then rinse with warm water. Let your locs dry naturally for best results.

  • Avoid over-application to prevent residue buildup
  • Use a leave-in duration that works for your hair type
  • Choose a conditioner specifically formulated for dreadlocks

Dreadlock Care Tips

Dreadlock Care Tips
Now that you know how to wash your dreads, let’s explore some essential care tips. Maintaining healthy locs goes beyond just washing. Here are three key practices to keep your dreads looking and feeling great:

  1. Embrace natural products: Opt for tea tree oil and lemon myrtle-infused shampoos to nourish your locs.
  2. Use a clarifying shampoo: Once a month, deep clean with a residue-free formula to prevent buildup.
  3. Avoid harsh chemicals: Stick to natural dreadlock washing products to preserve your locs’ health.

Dreadlock Washing Frequency

Dreadlock Washing Frequency
Now that you’ve got your dreadlock care routine down, let’s talk about how often you should wash those beautiful locs. Your washing frequency depends on your lifestyle and hair type. Here’s a quick guide to help you out:

  1. New dreadlocks (backcomb or twist and rip): Wait 6 months, then wash monthly
  2. Divine Hand & Hook dreadlocks: Wash 1-4 times monthly
  3. Sweaty or dirty dreadlocks: Wash weekly
  4. Less active lifestyle: Wash monthly

Dispelling the Smelly Dreadlocks Myth

Dispelling the Smelly Dreadlocks Myth
You’ve learned about washing frequency, now let’s tackle a common misconception. The "smelly dreadlocks" myth is just that – a myth. With proper care, your locs can smell fresh and clean. Here’s how to keep your dreads odor-free:

  1. Wash regularly with a residue-free shampoo designed for dreads
  2. Use natural products to nourish your locs and scalp
  3. Deep cleanse periodically to remove buildup and bacteria

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What shampoo should you use for locs?

For your locs, choose a shampoo that’s free from sulfates, parabens, and harsh chemicals; instead, opt for natural ingredients like avocado oil, coconut oil, and essential oils that moisturize and nourish your locks without stripping them of their natural oils.

What is best to wash dreads?

To wash your dreads, choose a sulfate-free shampoo like Giovanni’s Tea Tree Triple Treat or Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle. These options are residue-free, nourish your scalp, and keep your locs healthy and clean.

What to avoid in shampoo for locs?

Avoid shampoos for locs that contain sulfates, parabens, silicones, paraffins, dyes, and artificial fragrances. Steer clear of products entirely made of oils, as well as wax and beeswax, to prevent buildup and dryness .

Can I use normal shampoo on my dreads?

Normal shampoos can leave behind residue, causing your dreads to loosen. Always opt for residue-free, sulfate-free products designed for dreadlocks to maintain their integrity and promote healthy growth .

What is the best shampoo for dreadlocks?

For the best shampoo for dreadlocks, opt for residue-free options like Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat or Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle. These shampoos cleanse effectively, prevent buildup, and help maintain healthy, vibrant locs.

Does Dreadlock shampoo really work?

Dreadlock shampoos work like magic, gently cleansing while preserving the hair’s natural oils and moisture. They prevent build-up and promote healthy locs, ensuring your dreadlocks stay fresh, clean, and vibrant .

Should you use shampoo & conditioner for dreadlocks?

Absolutely, you should use shampoo and conditioner for dreadlocks. Choose residue-free, sulfate-free products specifically designed for dreadlocks to keep them clean and moisturized without causing build-up, enhancing their health and longevity (Source).

What is the best shampoo for removing Dread residue?

To effectively remove residue from your dreads, use a residue-free shampoo like Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat, Neutrogena Anti-Residue, or SheaMoisture Residue Remover. These shampoos specifically target build-up without stripping moisture (Source).

How to prevent dandruff in dreadlocks?

Prevent dandruff in dreadlocks by using natural ingredients like tea tree oil and aloe vera, deep conditioning weekly, avoiding harsh chemicals, and regularly cleansing your scalp and locs with residue-free shampoos .

Are organic shampoos safe for dreadlocks?

Don’t worry about residue—organic shampoos are entirely safe for dreadlocks. Look for natural, residue-free ingredients like essential oils and avoid sulfates and parabens to keep your locs clean, healthy, and residue-free (Source).

What causes dry scalp with dreadlocks?

Dry scalp with dreadlocks is often caused by lack of moisture, product buildup, or environmental factors. Regular washing, hydrating oils, and avoiding harsh shampoos can help maintain scalp health and prevent dryness .

How to deep cleanse without shampoo?

To deep cleanse without shampoo, use apple cider vinegar and baking soda. Mix them for an effective soak, submerging your dreadlocks for 15-20 minutes, then rinse thoroughly to remove buildup and impurities .

Is aloe vera beneficial for dreadlocks?

Aloe vera, the gentle embrace your dreadlocks crave, intensely moisturizes and soothes your scalp, reducing frizz and breakage. It guarantees your locs are luscious, strong, and full of life .


Wondering how to achieve the best care for your dreads? By selecting the best shampoo for dreads, you’ll guarantee your locs remain clean, healthy, and vibrant.

Use shampoos with natural ingredients and follow proper washing techniques to maintain and nourish your hair.

The right choice of products, such as Stylin Dredz Spray Shampoo or Jamaican Mango Lime Shampoo, combined with consistent care practices, will keep your dreads in top shape and smelling fresh.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and beard care expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and get fatter. His work has been mentioned in countless notable publications on men's care and style and has been cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.