7 Best Clarifying Shampoos For Dreadlocks In 2021

Written by Shiboli Chakraborti
All products recommended on StyleCraze are independently selected by our editorial team. If you make a purchase through any of these links, we may receive a commission. Learn more about our product selection process here.

Whether you are a big Bob Marley fan or a practicing Rastafarian, you know that dreadlocks are undoubtedly a beautiful hairstyle but hard to maintain. Since you cannot comb your hair, it becomes a challenge to keep your locs and scalp clean. The sticky waxes, dust, daily pollution, and dandruff can make your scalp itchy and hair frizzy and smelly. Therefore, it is necessary to use a clarifying shampoo that is specifically formulated for locs to maintain their beauty. Scroll down to check out the 7 best clarifying shampoos for dreadlocks.

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.

TOP 7 PRODUCTS
CHECK PRICE
Best Shampoo Bar: Dollylocks Nag Champa Shampoo Bar
Check Price
Best For Mature Dreadlocks: Dollylocks Nag Champa Liquid Shampoo
Check Price
Best Unscented: Knatty Dread Loc Shampoo
Check Price
Best Non-Toxic: Knotty Boy Dreadlock Shampoo
Check Price
Best For Itchy Scalp: Stylin' Dredz Spray Dreadlock Shampoo
Check Price
Best For Color-Treated Locs: Bb Tropical Roots Clarifying Shampoo
Check Price
Best Gluten-Free: Nothing But Clarifying Shampoo
Check Price

7 Best Clarifying Shampoos For Locs

1. Best Shampoo Bar: 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

Buy Now From Amazon

2. Best For Mature Dreadlocks: 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

Buy Now From Amazon

3. Best Unscented: 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

Buy Now From Amazon

4. Best Non-Toxic: 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

Buy Now From Amazon

5. Best For Itchy Scalp: 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

Buy Now From Amazon

6. Best For Color-Treated Locs: 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

Buy Now From Amazon

7. Best Gluten-Free: 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

Buy Now From Amazon

Clarifying shampoos for locs are available in many forms – bars, liquid shampoos, and sprays. They offer deep cleansing and mostly contain natural ingredients that are hydrating and safe for your dreads. Pick the right product according to your needs and flaunt your gorgeous locs.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ 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.

Recommended Articles

The following two tabs change content below.
Shiboli has a Master’s degree in English Literature and is proficient in French. She believes that words have a healing power and considers poetry her lifeline. Her writing background and editorial dexterity help her guide her team members to create crisp and authentic content. Shiboli is also a trained Bharatnatyam dancer and has a fascination for traveling. She is passionate about cooking and dreams of opening a restaurant of her own.