7 Best Hairstylist-Approved Shampoos For Dreadlocks (2024)

Wash away the residues from your deadlocks and maintain their form and style.

Reviewed by Jill Turnbull, Hairstylist Jill Turnbull Jill TurnbullHairstylist facebook_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach Shiboli Chakraborti MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach Experience: 4 years
Edited by , MA (English Literature), Diploma In Health & Wellness Aditi Naskar MA (English Literature), Diploma In Health & Wellness Experience: 5 years
Fact-checked by , BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Arshiya Syeda BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Experience: 7 years
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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.

Dreadlocks are one of the most iconic hairstyles of all time, but maintaining them is quite a hassle. As they require constant care and attention, you need the best shampoo for dreadlocks. While dreadlocks might be stylish and eye-catching, you need an ideal shampoo specifically formulated for dreadlocks to maintain this hairstyle. Unlike regular shampoos, dreadlock shampoos clean any build-up residue on your hair more effectively. Some shampoos even help tighten the dreadlocks and keep the style intact.

If you choose to carry this hairstyle, you will need sulfate-free and residue-free products that won’t turn your scalp oily or greasy. It will also be a good idea to choose shampoos that are infused with rosemary, peppermint, tea tree, and other botanical ingredients to help soothe dandruff and itching. Scroll down for a low-down on the best shampoos for dreadlocks available on the market! All these products have garnered positive reviews on various e-commerce platforms. Read on.

Top PicksCheck Price
Best Gentle Formula:Jamaican Mango & Lime Tingle ShampooPrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart
Best Dreadlocks Shampoo For Colored Hair:Dollylocks Nag Champa Liquid ShampooPrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart
Best For All Hair Types:Knatty Dread Loc ShampooPrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart
Best Dreadlock Shampoo For Sensitive Scalp:Dollylocks Tea Tree Spearmint Liquid ShampooPrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart
Best For Dandruff:Stylin’ Dredz Spray Lock FriendlySpray ShampooPrice on Amazon
Best For Hair Breakage:Dread Head HQ Earth Locks Organic Dread ShampooPrice on Amazon

7 Best Shampoos For Dreadlocks That Will Keep Them Intact – 2024 (Buying Guide)

1. Best Gentle Formula:Jamaican Mango & Lime Tingle Shampoo

4.4
Jamaican Mango & Lime Tingle Shampoo Image: Jamaican Mango & Lime

Jamaican Mango & Lime Tingle Shampoo cleanses your hair, massages the scalp, and removes build-up for a healthier hair growth. This gentle cleansing formula contains antibacterial and antioxidant ingredients that help in relieving itchy scalp. The shampoo works as a build-up remover and leaves your hair smelling fresh due to the presence of mango and lime extracts. Since it is made with all-natural ingredients, it is safe for your hair. The Tingle Shampoo is inspired by old Jamaican recipes that leave your dreads looking well-groomed and healthy.

Hair Type: Normal | Product Dimensions: 1.03 x 0.71 x 8.8 inches | Weight: 8.32 Ounces

Pros

  • Nourishes the hair
  • Gently cleanses
  • Anti-itch formula
  • Relieves itching
  • Removes build-up
  • Natural ingredients
  • Fresh fragrance

Cons

  • Does not lather well
  • Creates a tingling sensation
protip_icon Trivia
The world’s longest dreadlocks measure 5 feet and 3 inches on a man named ‘Sudesh Muthu.’ It took him 23 years to achieve this length and earn a place in the Guinness World Records.

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The overwhelming 729 positive reviews on Amazon show how popular this product is with happy users.

2. Best Dreadlocks Shampoo For Colored Hair:Dollylocks Nag Champa Liquid Shampoo

Best Dreadlocks Shampoo For Colored Hair

Dollylocks Nag Champa Liquid Shampoo is made with pure and organic botanical extracts. This rich shampoo cleanses your hair and scalp without leaving behind any residue. The key ingredient, coconut oil, in this shampoo gently nourishes your hair without stripping away its natural oils. The formula of this shampoo is color-treated hair. It protects the hair color from fading. This residue-free shampoo is effective and leaves your scalp feeling refreshed and invigorated! Its lightweight formula eliminates flaky scalp and gives you shiny, healthy dreads infused with the floral scent of nag champa.

Hair Type: Dry | Product Dimensions: 2.25 x 2.25 x 5 inches | Weight: 8 Ounces

Pros

  • High-quality natural ingredients
  • Phthalate-free
  • Lightweight
  • Residue-free
  • Available in different sizes
  • Pleasant fragrance

Cons

  • Slightly greasy

3. Best For All Hair Types:Knatty Dread Loc Shampoo

Knatty Dread Loc Shampoo

Knatty Dread Loc Shampoo is suitable for all hair types and hair textures. It tightens the dreads and promotes hair growth. It tightens the dreads and helps in new growth. It contains coconut extracts that nourish and condition your hair. This shampoo reduces the drying time after washing and does not leave behind any residue. It is fragrance-free and used before styling the dreads. Washing your dreadlocks with Knatty Dread Loc Shampoo leaves them looking clean and healthy. It is a great shampoo to include in your hair care routine if you have natural or synthetic dreadlocks.

Hair Type: All | Product Dimensions: 6 x 3 x 3 inches | Weight: 1 Pounds.

Pros

  • Hydrating formula
  • Tightens dreadlocks
  • Residue-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Suitable for dreadlocks of all hair types
  • Short drying time
  • Moisturizes the hair

Cons

  • Does not reduce frizz
Jamaican Mango & Lime Tingle Shampoo
Best Gentle Formula
Dollylocks Nag Champa Liquid Shampoo
Best Dreadlocks Shampoo For Colored Hair
Knatty Dread Loc Shampoo
Best For All Hair Types
Hair Type Normal Dry All
Dimensions 1.03 x 0.71 x 8.8 inches 2.25 x 2.25 x 5 inches 6 x 3 x 3 inches
Weight 8.32 Ounces 8 Ounces 1 Pounds.
Rating
Reviews729486206
Price$7.35$27.95$19

4. Best Dreadlock Shampoo For Sensitive Scalp:Dollylocks Tea Tree Spearmint Liquid Shampoo

Best Dreadlock Shampoo For Sensitive Scalp

Dollylocks Tea Tree Spearmint Liquid Dreadlock Shampoo is specially formulated for sensitive skin and damaged hair. This professional-grade deep-cleansing shampoo is made with natural organic ingredients that are hypoallergenic. It is a lightweight shampoo that balances the pH of the scalp as it gently cleanses away all the dirt and grime. It has a cool mint fragrance that leaves your dreadlocks smelling fresh. The coconut oil in this vegan shampoo helps you achieve a healthy scalp and leaves your hair feeling soft and conditioned. It does not leave behind any residue or build-up.

Hair Type: All | Product Dimensions: 3 x 3 x 6 inches | Weight: 15.04 Ounces

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Organic ingredients
  • Hypoallergenic
  • No build-up
  • Hypoallergenic
  • pH-balanced formula
  • Suitable for sensitive scalp care

Cons

  • Expensive

5. Best For Itching: Stylin’ Dredz Spray Lock FriendlySpray Shampoo

Stylin Dredz Spray Lock FriendlySpray Shampoo

Stylin’ Dredz Lock Friendly Spray Shampoo contains tea tree oil that gently cleanses your hair without leaving behind any residue or build-up. This lock-maintenance shampoo is specially formulated with foaming agents to help manage dreadlocks. They create a thick lather that cleanses your hair without detangling your dreadlocks. It clarifies and removes any build-up, leaving your dreads looking soft and shiny. It also moisturizes and conditions your scalp. Regular use of this shampoo helps in reducing itching and eliminating dandruff. It is very effective, easy to use, and remains soothing for the scalp.

Pros

  • Residue-free
  • Detangles dreads
  • Soothes the scalp
  • Lathers well
  • Relieves itching
  • Eliminates dandruff

Cons

  • May dry out your hair

Our Tester's Experience

"I noticed an immediate improvement in moisture after using this product. It's got a mild scent that's not off-putting. Using it twice a week gives me the best results. My dreadlocks are now softer, without any residue build-up."


protip_icon Trivia
Archaeologists found the first known examples of this hairstyle in ancient Egyptian artifacts. They even discovered mummified remains of an ancient Egyptian with dreadlocks.

6. Best For Hair Breakage:Dread Head HQ Earth Locks Organic Dread Shampoo

Dread Head HQ Earth Locks Organic Dread Shampoo

Earth Locks Organic Dread Shampoo moisturizes your dreadlocks, leaving them feeling soft, shiny, and healthy. The nourishing ingredients in this shampoo prevent the hair from turning brittle. It has strengthening properties that protect the hair from breaking easily. It suds well and does not leave your dreads feeling sticky or greasy. It also does not have any fragrance. Its regular use repairs matted hair and prevents hair breakage. The packaging of this shampoo is made of recycled materials.

Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 5.3 x 5.3 inches | Weight: 4.4 Pounds.

Pros

  • Nourishing properties
  • Protects the hair
  • Anti-frizz formula
  • Non-greasy
  • Fragrance-free
  • Eco-friendly packaging

Cons

  • Contains toxic ingredients

7. Best Biodegradable:Knotty Boy Dreadlock Shampoo

Knotty Boy Dreadlock Shampoo

Knotty Boy Dreadlock Shampoo is the world’s first all-natural shampoo made just for dreadlocks. This minty fresh and invigorating shampoo keeps your dreads clean and smelling great. It contains moisturizing saponified oils such as olive oil, castor oil, and hemp seed oil. It also contains essential oils of tea tree, peppermint, rosemary, and cannabis. It imparts a slight tingling sensation that refreshes your dreadlocks and cleanses your scalp thoroughly. It offers conditioning benefits and a softening effect on the dreads and eliminates the need for spraying tea tree oil for maintenance.

Hair Type: All | Product Dimensions: 2.56 x 2.56 x 7.48 inches | Weight: 1.25 Pounds

Pros

  • Anti-residue formula
  • Soothes the scalp
  • Biodegradable
  • Non-toxic
  • Available in a bar form

Cons

  • Expensive
*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

Those were our top picks for dreadlocks shampoos. Now, let us look at a few factors to keep in mind before choosing the right shampoo for your dreads.

How To Pick The Right Shampoo For Your Dreadlocks

  • Residue-Free: Choose expert-recommended products for your clean dreadlocks that are residue-free. They help keep your dreadlocks light and remove excess build-up. Ingredients like beeswax moisturize but leave behind a lot of residues, so it is better to avoid beeswax.
  • Non-Greasy: Hair shampoos with heavy oily ingredients will make your dreads greasy and dirty. Greasy products increase build-up, especially in oily hair, and make your scalp itchy and prone to dandruff.
  • Sulfate-Free: Only choose sulfate-free shampoos for your dreadlocks. Avoid sulfates like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) in shampoos as they can be harmful to your hair. They bind to hair cuticles, making them dry and brittle and leading to hair damage. Sulfates may even cause split ends and leave your dreads looking dull and lifeless, or even cause hair loss.
  • Natural Oils: Any ingredients that strip away your hair’s natural oils and make your hair strands dry should be avoided. It is advised to choose shampoos with clinically tested natural oils that nourish your hair without irritating the scalp.

Look for shampoos that provide moisture and are free of harsh chemicals. Deep-cleansing shampoos that remove product build-up are also a good option. Opt for a dermatologist-tested shampoo if you have a sensitive scalp condition and weak hair.

Infographic: How To Properly Wash Your Dreadlocks Using A Shampoo

Dreadlocks require special care and maintenance to keep them looking healthy and intact. One essential aspect of maintaining dreadlocks is washing them regularly with the right shampoo. Proper washing and maintenance of your dreadlocks can help prevent buildup, keep your scalp clean, and promote healthy hair growth. Check out the infographic below to learn how to properly wash and maintain your dreadlocks with shampoos.

How To Properly Wash Your Dreadlocks Using A Shampoo (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

The Bottom Line

Conventional shampoos are effective in cleaning and managing dreadlocks. Specially formulated dreadlocks shampoos that are sulfate-free and residue-free and contain natural oils help in keeping your dreadlocks healthy and clean. If you are looking for natural ingredients in a shampoo, the Jamaican Mango & Lime Tingle Shampoo is a perfect pick that promotes a refreshing feeling while cleansing the hair and scalp. The Dollylocks Nag Champa Liquid Shampoo works wonders for color-treated hair. If you are looking for a fragrance-free option, try the Dread Head HQ Earth Locks Organic Dread Shampoo. The listed products offer a range of benefits, from invigorating the scalp to using organic ingredients, catering to different preferences and needs for maintaining dreadlocks. Always conduct a patch test before incorporating the shampoo into your weekly hair care routine to check for allergic reactions.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I wash my dreads?

Wash dreads every two to three weeks to eliminate creams, oil, or dirt stuck in the strands and scalp.

Why do dreadlocks smell bad?

Mold can grow in your dreadlocks if your hair is left damp after washing. Scents from smoking, food flavors, and air pollution can also linger in your dreads and generate an odor.

Can you wet your dreads every day?

Washing your dreads or making them wet every day is not recommended. Persistent dampness can give way to the growth of fungus.

Can I use any shampoo on my dreads?

No, do not wash your dreadlocks with regular shampoo. Regular shampoos include fragrances, conditioners, softeners, thickeners, and other artificial substances that lubricate the hair to prevent matting and loosen knots. Use shapoos made for dreadlocks to cleanse, bind, and strengthen your dreadlocks.

How long can you go without washing dreads?

Wash your dreads every 2-3 weeks. If you want to wash them less often, you can do so as well if your lifestyle keeps your dreads clean. You can also use a dry shampoo once in a while. However, do not put off washing for more than 3 months.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

Shiboli Chakraborti, who authored this article, is a certified skincare coach, and her expertise lies in both skin and haircare. Understanding that dreadlocks are desired by many, she has done a thorough research and read many product reviews to make a list of the best shampoos for dreadlocks. The products listed below are sulfate and residue-free that will gently remove the excess oil from your hair and scalp.


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