10 Best Shampoos For Dreadlocks That You Should Try In 2023

Try these hair care formulations specially designed to nourish your dreadlocks.

Reviewed by Alicia Igess, Hairstylist
Written by Medha Deb
Edited by Shiboli Chakraborti, Certified Skin Care Coach
Fact-checked by Arshiya Syeda  • 

One thing is for sure, dreadlocks are not for the faint-hearted. It needs a lot of dedication and patience. If you have taken the big step to get it done on your hair, you have to maintain them correctly with the best shampoo for dreadlocks. Dreadlocks immediately add a wild and carefree look to your hair, but most people don’t realize it needs way more maintenance than normal hair. It turns into a style statement that needs a lot of care to grow healthy. If your dreadlocks are not appropriately nourished, they will grow gaps and eventually fall off. Another problem it can add is the unwanted frizz that will make it look like a nest. While you need to roll the locks with your palm regularly and crochet the new hair growth to tighten the roots, you also need to find the right products to ensure your hair does not run out of nutrition. If you are unsure what products to look for, we got it all. Go through our list of 10 shampoos specially crafted to meet the needs of dreadlocks.

Top Picks
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Best Gentle Formula:Jamaican Mango And Lime Tingle Dreadlock Shampoo
Price on Amazon
Best Fragrance:Knotty Boy Dreadlock Shampoo BarPrice on Amazon
Best Moisturizing Formula:Knotty Boy Dreadlock Shampoo
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Best For Sensitive Scalp:Dreadhead Dread Soap
Price on Amazon
Best pH-Balanced:Dollylocks Tea Tree Spearmint Liquid Dreadlock Shampoo
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Best For All Hair Textures:Knatty Dread Loc Shampoo
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Best Nourishing Formula:Twisted Sister Luxurious Clarifying Shampoo
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Best Hypoallergenic:Dollylocks Coconut-Lime-Grapefruit Dreadlock Shampoo Bar
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Best For All Hair Types:Dollylocks Dark/Brown Dry Shampoo Locking Powder
Price on Amazon
Best For UV Protection:Loc Medic Hydramint Shampoo
Price on Amazon

10 Best Shampoos For Dreadlocks

1. Best Gentle Formula:Jamaican Mango And Lime Tingle Dreadlock Shampoo

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

Made of ancient Jamaican recipes and nourishing natural and herbal ingredients, this dreadlock shampoo helps you achieve clean, healthy, and well-groomed locks. It penetrates the scalp and massages it, relieves itching, and also helps in reducing dandruff. Lather up a generous amount of this mango and lime shampoo and watch how it gently washes away dirt, build-up and other particles from your hair. Formulated with tea tree extracts, you will notice a cool, tingling sensation on your scalp while taking a shower. Along with the lime and mango fragrance, it also comes with a whiff of menthol. Check out this YouTuber’s review of this hair care product to know about the reviewer’s experience of using it.


  • Massages the scalp and reduces dandruff and itching
  • Relieves itchy scalp
  • Gently cleans dreadlocks
  • Pleasant fragrance
  • Nourishes hair
  • Also good for extremely curly hair


  • Contains sulfate and parabens

protip_icon Quick Tip
Wash off the shampoo with lots of water as the residues may affect the scalp adversely.

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

More than 729 Amazon users have vouched for this amazing product.

2. Best Fragrance:Knotty Boy Dreadlock Shampoo Bar

Are you one of those people who are doing their bit to save the world by reducing the use of plastic bottles? If yes, this dreadlock shampoo bar will not disappoint you. This formula claims to be the world’s 1st shampoo formulated for dreadlocks and doesn’t contain any conditioners to delay the locking process. It is enriched with rosemary, tea tree, and peppermint which not only keeps the dreadlocks healthy but also soothes the scalp. This shampoo is also non-toxic and biodegradable. As it is a shampoo bar, you can easily carry it in your travel bags without having to worry about spillage.


  • World’s 1st shampoo bar for dreadlocks
  • Does not delay the locking process
  • Contains rosemary, tea tree and, peppermint
  • Non-toxic
  • Biodegradable
  • Pleasant minty-fresh fragrance
  • Soothes the scalp
  • Suitable for undreaded hair also


  • May leave some residue in the long run

3. Best Moisturizing Formula:Knotty Boy Dreadlock Shampoo

If you haven’t yet opened up to the idea of using a shampoo bar for your dreadlocks, you need not fret. Knotty Boy Dreadlock Shampoo also comes in liquid form. This moisturizing shampoo cleans dreadlocks thoroughly and invigorates the scalp. It is infused with a host of enriching mineral oils, such as castor, hemp seed, tea tree, rosemary, cannabis sativa seed, peppermint, and olive oils. This shampoo is not just a fantastic option for dreadlocks, but for naturally curly types of hair as well. It’s also non-toxic and biodegradable.


  • Tea tree and peppermint formula soothes the scalp
  • Non-toxic
  • Biodegradable
  • Great for 4C type hair
  • Pleasant mint fragrance


  • May not be suitable for people with an extremely sensitive scalp

4. Best For Sensitive Scalp:Dreadhead Dread Soap

Dread Head Dread Soap Image: Dreadheadhq

Keep your dreadlocks tight, clean, and thick with this shampoo by Dreadhead. Residual build-up from haircare products is one of the top complaints from people who have dreadlocks. But with this dreadlock tightening shampoo, you can expect 0% residue. It doesn’t contain any oily perfumes, dreadlock thinning conditioners, and the most impressive thing about the shampoo is how it doesn’t irritate even the most sensitive scalps. It also tightens your dreadlocks by washing excess oil from your hair. So, what are you waiting for? Get your hands on this win-win product, right away! You can also check this video out to get a brief review of the product and the tester’s experience of using it.


  • Oil-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Suitable for sensitive scalps
  • Non-residual
  • Tightens the dreads


  • Does not control frizz

protip_icon Quick Tip
Once you shampoo your dreadlocks, make sure to air dry them.

5. Best pH-Balanced:Dollylocks Tea Tree Spearmint Liquid Dreadlock Shampoo

Do you know why tea tree oil is good for you? For starters, it tackles major issues like hair loss and dandruff heads on. It unclogs hair follicles and has many antibacterial properties as well. This dreadlock shampoo contains tea tree, spearmint, and organic coconut extracts for a pure botanical experience. It’s weightless, residue-free, and pH-balanced as well. As it is also hypoallergenic, people with a sensitive scalp can use it as well. Not only will this lather-free, clarifying shampoo for dreadlocks leave your dreads nourished with a clean scalp, but it will also make them smell like fresh mint leaves.


  • Non-irritating
  • Made with pure botanicals
  • Weightless
  • Residue-free
  • pH-balanced
  • Free from animal testing


  • Does not lather well

protip_icon Pro Tip
Shampoo every 2-3 weeks to maintain the pH and healthy growth of dreadlocks. If you workout a lot or if you are into athletics then make sure to wash your dreadlocks every week to protect the scalp.

6. Best For All Hair Textures:Knatty Dread Loc Shampoo

Knatty Dread Loc Shampoo Image: Knattydread

It doesn’t take an expert to distinguish between some fine dreadlocks and some not-so-fine ones. When your dreads are cleaner, you can expect fuller and thicker dreads that dry faster too. This hair shampoo by Knatty Dread will take your dreads to the highest quality in no time. It is unscented, completely residue-free, and made with a renewable coconut-based formula. It gets into action during the first wash itself and tightens your dreadlocks while helping it lock better. No matter what texture of hair you have, it will work wonderfully for your dreadlocks. Several reviewers on Amazon claimed that their dreadlocks looked tighter and healthier after using the formula.


  • Tightens dreadlocks
  • Prevents matted hair
  • Residue-free
  • Not scented
  • Coconut-based formula
  • Suitable for dreadlocks of all hair types
  • Not tested on animals


  • Slightly expensive

Buy Now FromAmazon 

7. Best Nourishing Formula:Twisted Sister Luxurious Clarifying Shampoo

Twisted Sister Luxurious Clarifying Shampoo Image: Twisted Sister

This luxurious clarifying shampoo hits the jackpot with this troika of nourishing ingredients. Infused with nourishing ingredients such as coconut, avocado, and almond oils, this deep cleansing shampoo cleanses, hydrates, and nourishes the scalp and the strands. Although it was formulated especially for thick curly hair, it also weaves its magic on dreadlocks. This sulfate-free shampoo is extremely light, non-sticky, non-drying, and tightens your dreadlocks while cleaning it out. The scalp care shampoo also purifies the hair and dry scalp while adding moisture, serving as the perfect addition to your daily deep cleansing routine. If you need more convincing, feel free to take a look at this YouTuber’s video and learn about what the reviewer has to say about the product.


  • Sulfate-free
  • Lightweight formula
  • Contains coconut, avocado, and almond oils
  • Cleanses and purifies the hair and scalp
  • Non-greasy
  • Doesn’t dry the hair out


  • Some may find the fragrance a little strong

8. Best Hypoallergenic:Dollylocks Coconut-Lime-Grapefruit Dreadlock Shampoo Bar

Dollylocks Coconut-Lime-Grapefruit Dreadlock Shampoo Bar Image: Dollylocks

At first glance, this shampoo for dreadlocks looks like a homemade chocolate bar and tempts you to bite into it. But, save it for your hair, because your dreads are going to love it! Dollylocks manufactures an impressive range of professional organic dreadlocks products, and this shampoo bar contains organic coconut, lime, and grapefruit as its hero ingredients. This gentle shampoo also contains Hawaiian sea salt and mango butter. All these ingredients work together to soothe and heal scalp irritations, while improving hair elasticity. As a surprising added benefit, it also fights against acne, blemishes, and breakouts too. This product received positive reviews on Amazon from its users claiming that it leaves the hair smelling great all day long.


  • Infused with coconut, lime, and grapefruit
  • Hypo-allergenic
  • pH-balance with vitamins and proteins
  • Improves scalp condition
  • Works on acne and blemishes also


  • Slightly expensive

9. Best For All Hair Types:Dollylocks Dark/Brown Dry Shampoo Locking Powder

Dollylocks Dark/Brown Dry Shampoo Locking Powder Image: Dollylocks

Another ingenious solution for healthy and clean dreadlocks, this dry shampoo locking powder will have you raving about it. Yes, shampooing dreadlocks and washing it off takes time and an even longer time to dry. With this dry shampoo, you can get the same experience as though you washed your hair. It is made with a combination of dry organic and natural ingredients designed to absorb excess oil. It also stimulates the scalp and helps in locking loose, unruly hair in place. All you need to do is lightly sprinkle the dry shampoo directly onto the scalp or and gently rub it in a circular motion.


  • As it is a dry shampoo, there is no need to wash it off
  • Contains dry organic ingredients that absorb excess oil
  • Suitable for all hair types
  • Tightens dreads
  • Not tested on animals


  • Expensive

10. Best For UV Protection:Loc Medic Hydramint Shampoo

A gentle remedy for natural hair care with natural ingredients, this shampoo is considered to be one of the best ones for dreadlocks. Enriched with peppermint and tea tree oils, it invigorates and clarifies hair from root to tip. It lathers up quickly and removes excess oils from hair. This helps the dreads tighten faster and better. It is completely build-up free and helps in strengthening hair while improving body and shine. Free from parabens, it is also safe for colored, straightened, and chemically-treated hair. Apart from these qualities, this shampoo for natural hair also protects your hair from the harsh rays of the sun.


  • Doesn’t leave any residue
  • No parabens
  • UV protection
  • Safe for color and chemically-treated hair
  • Removes excess oils


  • Some may find the fragrance overwhelming

Dreadlocks can be challenging to maintain. They lose moisture easily and look dull and damaged. So, the right shampoos are essential to eliminate product buildup and moisturize the locks. Many shampoo brands claim to be the best for dreadlocks. Do not believe them. Instead, go through the buying guide below and choose shampoos for your dreadlocks wisely.

Things To Consider While Choosing Shampoos For Dreadlocks

  • Must-Have Ingredients: Opt for shampoos containing all-natural and plant-based ingredients for dreadlocks. Search for formulas with natural oils like jojoba and raw coconut oil to keep your scalp hydrated. The other good ingredients for dreadlock shampoos are tea tree oil, rosemary, and peppermint oils. These essential oils release soothing fragrances that rejuvenate your senses. You can also choose nourishing ingredients that do not dry out the dreadlocks.
  • Ingredients To Avoid: Do not buy shampoos containing surfactants, phthalates, and parabens. These irritants dry out your scalp, weaken your strands, and turn your hair brittle.
  • Hair Type: Know your hair type before choosing a dreadlocks shampoo. If you have dry scalp and hair, buy a shampoo rich in moisturizing ingredients to offer enough hydration for maintaining hair health. On the other hand, for oily hair, select an effective cleansing shampoo that can remove excess oil and dirt and keep your hair fresh and bouncy.
  • Residue-Free: Always use residue-free shampoos for dreadlocks. Ingredients like silicones accumulate between your tresses and leave a nasty product residue, contributing to product build-up. Furthermore, while the residue is not very beneficial for any hair, this issue considerably worsens your dreadlocks’ structure. Residues also add slippage to your hair, preventing it from locking.
  • Hair’s Need: Consider products that fit your needs when buying shampoo for your dreadlocks. For instance, if your locks require repair, pick a shampoo with healing ingredients like castor oil and peppermint. On the other hand, if you have dandruff issues, choose anti-dandruff shampoos.

Infographic: Hair-Nourishing Ingredients In Shampoos For Dreadlocks

It is important to look for gentle and nourishing shampoos to keep your dreadlocks clean and healthy. These shampoos contain ingredients that cater to your hair needs and keep your locks looking smooth and shiny. Take a look at the infographic below to understand more about the role of these ingredients that improve your hair’s overall health.

Hair-Nourishing Ingredients In Shampoos For Dreadlocks (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Save the high-quality PDF version on your device now.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version

The Bottom Line

Dreadlocks are not easy to maintain. But the best shampoos for dreadlocks can ease the process of maintaining them. The Jamaican Mango And Lime Tingle Dreadlock Shampoo reduces dandruff, while the Twisted Sister Luxurious Clarifying Shampoo has a non-greasy formula. The Dollylocks Coconut-Lime-Grapefruit Dreadlock Shampoo Bar improves hair elasticity and fights acne. These shampoos are enriched with effective cleansing and nourishing ingredients that take care of the scalp as well as the strands. The listed shampoos gently cleanse the locks and help to reduce itching, tingling sensations, and odor. They also help to remove excess oil from the dreads and tighten the strands. Some of the products are also suitable for sensitive scalp and have a chemical-free formulation that maintains your dreads without drying them out. Alicia Igess Jones, an accomplished and award-winning stylist says, “Don’t use conditioner on your dread locs.”

Why Trust StyleCraze?

Medha Deb, the author of this article, is a hair care enthusiast who knows exactly what your hair needs and loves. Her recommendations for the best shampoos for dreadlocks are based on in-depth research of the products and reviewing online user feedback. The shampoos mentioned in this article ensure your hair does not run out of nutrition and help you improve your scalp condition.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use any shampoo on dreads?

Yes, you can use any shampoo in case of emergencies. But do not use regular shampoo on your dreads repeatedly, as it will stop the dreads from matting and loosen the knots.

How often should I wash my dreads?

Depending on how active your lifestyle is, wash your dreads two to three times a week.

Can dry shampoo be used for dreadlocks?

No, avoid using dry shampoo on your dreads, as this causes buildup that is difficult to remove later.

What shampoos should not be used on dreads?

Avoid regular shampoos that contain sulfates, silicones, dyes, and artificial fragrances, as they can loosen your knots and cause dandruff and scalp buildup.

Can you wash dreadlocks with soap?

Yes, you can wash dreadlocks with soap. But rinse your dreads carefully to get rid of every bit of soap.

Can I use baby shampoo for dreads?

Yes. You can use baby shampoos dreads occasionally, but they contain conditioning agents that can loosen the knots. So, it is recommended not to use baby shampoos regularly.

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