7 Best Clarifying Shampoos For Dreadlocks In 2022

Written by Shiboli Chakraborti, Certified Skin Care Coach
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If you have been looking for a clarifying shampoo for locks, we have exactly what you need. Dreadlocks have the word ‘dread’ in them for a reason, and anyone who wears dreadlocks like a pro deserves acknowledgment. Many celebrities have flaunted the locs and taken care of them the right way, but they require twice as much care and maintenance than regular hair textures. As combing your hair to keep the blood circulation on is no longer an option, you need to ensure your scalp is absolutely clean to keep infections at bay. Here are 7 clarifying shampoos specially crafted to attend to locks.

What Is A Clarifying Shampoo For Locs?

Clarifying shampoos thoroughly clean and remove dirt from your hair and scalp. They help in getting rid of stubborn buildup left by conditioners, styling products, and daily environmental factors. Clarifying shampoos for locs are a good addition to your hair care routine when you have a serious buildup of sebum and dirt.

Regular shampoos contain conditioning agents along with cleansers to help in moisturizing, but these can leave residue on your hair and scalp, which is counterproductive. Clarifying shampoos contain 80-90% water with a high level of surfactants to get rid of residue and grease in the hair.

Some examples of surfactants are ammonium sodium lauryl sulfate (deeply cleanses extreme buildup on very oily hair) and cetyl fatty alcohols, chlorides, or bromides (mildly cleanse the hair and make it soft). However, nowadays, clarifying shampoos also contain plant-based cleansers and coconut surfactants that deeply cleanse your hair and scalp without being too drying.

Now that we have understood what clarifying shampoos are, let’s look at the 7 best clarifying shampoos for locs on the market.

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Best Lightweight Formula: Dollylocks Nag Champa Shampoo Bar
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Best For Moistuizing: Dollylocks Nag Champa Liquid Shampoo
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Best Cruelty-Free Formula: Knatty Dread Loc Shampoo
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Best For Itchy Scalp: Knotty Boy Dreadlock Shampoo
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Best For Detangling: Stylin' Dredz Spray Dreadlock Shampoo
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Best For Colored Hair: Bb Tropical Roots Clarifying Shampoo
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Best For Oily Scalp: Nothing But Clarifying Shampoo
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7 Best Clarifying Shampoos For Locs

1. Best Lightweight Formula: Dollylocks Nag Champa Shampoo Bar

Do your locs need deep yet gentle cleansing? The Dollylocks Nag Champa Shampoo Bar should be your go-to. The antioxidant-rich deep cleansing formula is extremely lightweight and residue-free. It is enriched with plant-based ingredients like organic coconut oil and African shea butter that cleanse your hair and scalp for a squeaky clean feeling. The bar also contains Hawaiian sea salt that tightens your locs. The invigorating, earthy, and floral nag champa scent lifts your spirits and refreshes your senses. Just rub the product onto your hair to create a thick lather that deeply cleanses it without leaving any residue behind.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Refreshing scent
  • Long-lasting
  • Residue-free
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Preservative-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Handmade

Cons

None

2. Best For Moistuizing: Dollylocks Nag Champa Liquid Shampoo

This shampoo from Dollylocks is recommended for mature dreadlocks. Its residue-free formula cleanses and keeps your scalp refreshed and hair squeaky clean. It is formulated with pure botanical and plant-based ingredients, such as organic seed oils, that provide intense nourishment with deep cleansing. The shampoo can also be used to cleanse synthetic dreadlocks. The lightweight product has an earthy champa scent that keeps you refreshed throughout the day.

Pros

  • Weightless
  • Moisturizing
  • Long-lasting
  • Smells good
  • Phthalate-free fragrance
  • Residue-free
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Preservative-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Gluten-free

Cons

None

3. Best Cruelty-Free Formula: Knatty Dread Loc Shampoo

Your search for a truly residue-free shampoo for your locs ends here! The Knatty Dread Loc Shampoo gives you fuller, thicker dreads that instantly feel cleaner. Its special formula also dries your hair faster as the roots are cleaner. The shampoo tightens your dreadlocks and promotes new hair growth. It contains coconut surfactants, unlike other shampoos with saponified oils. The unscented shampoo makes your hair smell and feel clean and fresh. It is suitable for locs of all hair types.

Pros

  • Unscented
  • Lathers well
  • A little goes a long way
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  • May dry the hair out

4. Best For Itchy Scalp: Knotty Boy Dreadlock Shampoo

The Knotty Boy Dreadlock Shampoo is excellent for use all over the body. It contains almost no conditioning agents and is made from 100 percent pure saponified vegetable oils. It is enriched with organic tea tree, rosemary, and peppermint oils that help cleanse and soothe itchy scalps. The shampoo has a minty fresh scent and gives a sparkling clean look to your locks. It is free of chemical foaming agents and softeners, making it gentle on your locks.

Pros

  • Lathers well
  • Non-drying
  • Unscented
  • Biodegradable
  • Vegan
  • Non-toxic
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

None

5. Best For Detangling: Stylin’ Dredz Spray Dreadlock Shampoo

The Stylin’ Dredz Spray Dreadlock Shampoo is specially formulated with foaming ingredients that create a thick lather to lift and clean all the buildup on your scalp. The residue-free formula also hydrates your hair and does not tangle it. It is enriched with tea tree oil that prevents buildup and eliminates dandruff from the scalp, leaving it soothed and itch-free The shampoo promotes healthy hair growth, adds shine, and prevents fall-out. The easy-to-use packaging allows you to spray on the product for effective cleansing.

Pros

  • Refreshing scent
  • Residue-free
  • Easy to use

Cons

None

6. Best For Colored Hair: Bb Tropical Roots Clarifying Shampoo

The Bb Tropical Roots Clarifying Shampoo cleanses the hair with a relaxing and tingling sensation. It extracts residual buildup from the scalp and helps remove chlorine from your hair to offer deep cleansing. The formula also has rosemary and aloe vera that hydrate your locs and soothe an itchy and dry scalp. The shampoo is easy to rinse out and an ideal pick for color-treated dreads.

Pros

  • Residue-free
  • Weightless
  • Color-safe
  • Easy to rinse off

Cons

None

7. Best For Oily Scalp: Nothing But Clarifying Shampoo

This sulfate-free shampoo removes excess oil, deep-seated contaminants, and residue from your scalp and locs. It helps get rid of buildup that occurs due to chlorine, environmental aggressors, and styling products. The formula adds volume and removes dullness to make your locs manageable, allowing you to enjoy a good hair day. Use at least once a month and follow it up with a hair mask to lock in the moisture.

Pros

  • Refreshing citrusy scent
  • Lightweight
  • Safe for color-treated hair
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Petroleum-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Colorant-free
  • Residue-free

Cons

None

Clarifying shampoos help in getting rid of the stubborn scalp buildup left by styling products and environmental factors. They are absolutely non-negotiable if you are currently sporting dreadlocks which are immensely prone to gathering buildup. Without a clarifying shampoo, you run a high risk of getting infections. These shampoos contain plant-based cleansers that deeply cleanse your scalp without drying the hair. They are safe and available in various forms like sprays, bars, and liquid shampoos. They are cruelty-free and paraben-free.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

Shiboli Chakraborti, the author of this article, is a hair care enthusiast. Her recommendations on the best clarifying shampoos for dreadlocks are based on user feedback and product reviews on trusted platforms and brand websites. The products mentioned in this list will make your job easier while maintaining your thick locks.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often do you clean your locs using a clarifying shampoo?

The frequency between each wash depends on your hair type and lifestyle. More product or dirt buildup will result in more frequent washes. Since clarifying shampoos strip away all product buildup, it is recommended to use them once a week.

How can you avoid residue formation when conditioning your locs?

Skip the conditioner altogether. Residue is an unavoidable result of conditioning and other styling products used on your hair. Therefore, the best way to keep your locs residue-free would be to frequently wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo.

How do you tell if a shampoo is truly residue-free?

If your hair feels weighed down, flat, heavy or coated, your shampoo is definitely not residue-free. If the shampoo leaves residue, your hair will be dull and oily and will not feel or smell fresh. A strong scent post-washing also means that your shampoo leaves residue. Also, the whitish tinge of the locks disappears when they are wet and reappears once your hair becomes dry. This tinge change indicates that the shampoo is not residue-free.

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