Top Shampoos For Dreadlocks

10 Best Shampoos For Dreadlocks 2022

Dreadlocks are one of the coolest hairstyles with cultural and spiritual significance. They are matted or braided chunks of hair that usually look like a rope. 

However, unlike conventional hairstyles, they do not need to be brushed or trimmed on a regular basis.

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Maintaining them can be a little tedious and they are prone to dandruff, irritations and can even cause bacterial infections on the scalp and hair. 

If you’re planning to opt for dreadlocks, then make sure you use the right shampoos for dreadlocks to keep them clean and build-up free.

Shampoos For DreadlocksBest ForChief Ingredients
Jamaican Mango and Lime Tingle ShampooDry scalpsMoringa Seed Oil, Manuka Honey
Dreadhead HQ Dread Dreadlock SoapSensitive scalpsOrganic Coconut-based Surfactants
Knotty Boy Dreadlock ShampooType 4 hairSaponified Oils of Olive, Castor Bean & Hemp Seed
Knotty Boy Dreadlock Shampoo BarDandruff-prone scalpsRosemary Oil, Tea Tree Oil, Peppermint Oil
Dollylocks Coconut Lime Grapefruit Shampoo BarType 3 hairCoconut Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Castor Oil, Grapefruit Extracts
Knatty Dread Dreadlocks ShampooDaily use Coconut Extracts
Dollylocks Tea Tree Spearmint Dreadlock ShampooOily scalpsTea Tree Oil, Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Spearmint
Twisted Sista Luxurious Clarifying ShampooProduct build-upCoconut, Avocado, Almond Oil

How I tested the best shampoos for dreadlocks?

With a little help from our hair care experts, I tested out 10 of the top shampoos for straight hair based on the following 3 factors. After testing I rated them on a scale of 1-5.

Residue free: Always go for residue free shampoos for dreadlocks. Some products, especially if they contain silicones can leave residue behind that adds to product build-up.

Mildly cleansing: A harsh, sulfate-rich formula can dry and damage your dreadlocks. You need something mild that clarifies your scalp without removing its natural oils.

Moisturizing: Dreadlocks are mostly done on type 4c hair that requires more hydration. So a shampoo rich in nourishing ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, castor oil, or jojoba oil is a good pick.

So it is important to use the right products to make sure that your hair is well maintained and healthy.

Top Shampoos For Dreadlocks 2022

Jamaican Mango and Lime Tingle Shampoo

Best Shampoos For Dreadlocks

The first shampoo I tried out on my dreads was the Mango and Lime shampoo by Jamaican. I found this shampoo one of the best ones I’ve used as it manages to be both clarifying and nourishing at the same time.

So this products top priority is to moisturize your scalp and keep it flake-free.

Mango seed oil is also rich in vitamins and minerals and provides numerous benefits to your hair such as preventing dandruff, nourishing your hair, accelerating hair growth etc.

And the manuka honey helps in hydrating your hair by absorbing and retaining moisture. 

I could feel the effects of these ingredients on my hair on the first wash itself.

hydrating shampoo for dreadlocks

If you have a dry and flaky scalp, this is one of the best products for you.

I also found this shampoo to be excellent at cleansing my dreads and removing any product buildup that might be present on your scalp. 

One of the most interesting things I found was the inclusion of menthol in the shampoo. Now this ingredient is really good at any infections or irritations on scalps.

So summarizing, I liked this shampoo as it contains a lot of natural ingredients that will nourish your scalp.

I also give it extra points for being suitable for all types of hair (type 4a, 4b and 4c curls).

If I had one issue with this shampoo it’s the inclusion of sulfates. Why just why! If you have coloured hair, I suggest you avoid this one as the sulfates will strip hair color.

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Also folks with really sensitive scalps should try something milder like the sulfate-free Dollylocks shampoo.


  • Relieves dandruff and itching thanks its mango seed oil formula
  • Soothing fragrance that is not overwhelming


  • Contains sulphates that strip hair color and moisture

My Ratings:

  • Residue-Free – 4/5
  • Mildy Cleansing – 3.5/5
  • Moisturizing – 4/5

Dreadhead HQ Dread Dreadlock Soap

best shampoo for dreads

This is a cult favourite for many people with dreadlocks. And one of my go-to products when I wear my hair in locs or other protective styles.

The one problem I’ve always faced with dreadlocks is keeping clean and make sure that there are no product residues on them. This can get difficult as most products for 4c hair are very nourishing and heavy.

So thank goodness for this shampoo! It left my dreadlocks squeaky clean and nourished. I really liked that the shampoo is free of oil and residue which actually made my dreads even tighter! 

There’s also good news for sensitive scalp folks as this shampoo does not contain harmful ingredients such as dyes, fragrances, phosphates and oxidizers. Phew! That was a long list!

Also, this is also a 100% vegan product.

I would suggest using this shampoo if you have a sensitive scalp or want a clarifying product that will remove product build-up.

This shampoo took some time to show effects on my hair. It doesn’t contain silicones so you won’t find that immediate glossy, smooth shine on your dreads after the first wash.

But don’t give up on it and use it for a few wash cycles as it helps dreads considerably.


  • Does not leave residue on hair as it’s silicone-free
  • Oil-free formula is lightweight on hair
  • Tightens your dreads and locks hairstyles in place


  • Doesn’t help with frizz immediately as it doesn’t contain silicones

My Ratings:

  • Residue-Free – 4.5/5
  • Mildy Cleansing – 4/5
  • Moisturizing – 4/5

Knotty Boy Dreadlock Shampoo

knotty boy dreadlock shampoo

I was looking for a thoroughly clarifying shampoo for my dreads that doesn’t contain sulfates and that’s when I stumbled across the Knotty Boy shampoo.

I simply loved it! It’s guaranteed to give you mint fresh, sparkling clean dreadlocks as it contains saponified oils (which act like a milder form of surfactants).

Most people with African American hair either use a curly-hair shampoo or a clarifying scalp cleanser. So it was nice to use a product that has been specifically made for dreaded hair.

Oh, and it left my hair smelling amazing as it is formulated with a blend of rosemary, peppermint and tea tree essential oils. No perfumes here!

So all those sensitive scalp folks can use it without a hitch! I found the shampoo removes any itchiness, irritation, flakiness and inflammation from your scalp. 

There is more to it, you can also use it as a body wash! I’ve actually tried this in the shower. But found the cost of using this product for both hair and body was not at all feasible. But hey, you can do it as the shampoo’s really moisturizing on skin as well.

Oh, and bonus points to this shampoo for being biodegradable and non-toxic. It’s good to see the environment being cared for!


  • Biodegradable shampoo is good for environment
  • Specifically created for dreadlocks so it suits your hair’s needs
  • Pleasant smell that is not artifically added
  • Can be used at a body wash too
  • Does not contain SLS so it’s safe to use on colored hair


  • Not recommended for extremely sensitive scalp
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My Ratings:

  • Residue-Free – 4/5
  • Mildy Cleansing – 3.5/5
  • Moisturizing – 4.5/5

Dollylocks Coconut Lime Grapefruit Shampoo Bar

black owned shampoo for locs

This shampoo bar is created using plant-based ingredients. 

The ingredients include coconut, which is a nourishing ingredient for the hair. It provides hydration to the hair and prevents scalp inflammation. 

It also has sea salt which helps in relieving irritation, dryness, flakiness, dandruff and bringing volume to your hair. It also assists in tightening the dreadlocks. 

The shampoo is lightweight, residue-free and cleans your dreadlocks thoroughly.

It also has a very refreshing scent that will make you feel fresh the whole day. 

This is also a sustainable option for those who want to make the switch from bottled shampoos.


  • Sustainable packaging
  • Pleasant smell
  • Contains coconut oil and mango seed oil
  • Lightweight
  • Hypoallergic


  • Expensive

My Ratings:

  • Residue-Free – 4/5
  • Mildy Cleansing – 4/5
  • Moisturizing – 4/5

Knotty Boy Dreadlock Shampoo Bar

knotty boy dreadlock shampoo bar

This is another sustainable option for your dreadlocks. 

This is the world’s first shampoo bar that is exclusively formulated for dreadlocks and keeps your scalp free from dandruff, itchiness, flaky scalp, irritations etc.

It is a 100% natural shampoo bar that leaves no residues. 

The main ingredients are essential oils of rosemary, peppermint and tea tree that fights inflammation on the scalp. 

What I found interesting about this product is that it can be also used on your body.

shampoo bar for dreads

This soap bar does not contain SLS or any chemical agents. It is also biodegradable and mountain-stream friendly. 

The bar is high-foaming as compared to the liquid shampoo because of the difference in formula.


  • Biodegradable
  • 100% natural
  • Non-toxic
  • Pleasant fragrance
  • Soothes scalp


  • Prolonged use may leave some residue

My Ratings:

  • Residue-Free – 3.5/5
  • Mildy Cleansing – 4/5
  • Moisturizing – 4/5

Dollylocks Tea Tree Spearmint Dreadlock Shampoo

best shampoo for locs

This shampoo is available in four different sizes and for first-time users, you can buy the smallest one, 30 ml to see if it work for you or not. 

Dollylocks has some great products for dreadlocks and this is one of them.

The shampoo has tea tree essential oil which is useful in getting rid of any kind of scalp irritations such as itchiness, flakiness, dryness, irritation etc. 

It is an antibacterial agent and helps in unclogging hair follicles. It also leaves your hair feeling fresh after the wash.

tea tree shampoo for dreads

The Spearmint essential also acts as a soothing ingredient that relieves irritations. This is a clarifying shampoo made up of plant based ingredients.

It also leaves a pleasant smell that makes you smell fresh throughout the day. 

If you have a sensitive scalp that is easily prone to inflammations, this shampoo will not aggravate your tissues since it is hypoallergenic.


  • Hypoallergenic
  • Contains tea tree
  • Eliminated dandruff
  • Weightless
  • Residue-free


  • Does not lather well

My Ratings:

  • Residue-Free – 4.5/5
  • Mildy Cleansing – 3.5/5
  • Moisturizing – 3.5/5

Knatty Dread Dreadlocks Shampoo

best shampoo and conditioner for dreadlocks

There are high chances that your dreads might can develop a coating of a thin layer of oil or other ingredients from hair products. 

This shampoo helps in cleaning your dreads by focusing on removing these residues.

This shampoo provides numerous benefits to your locks such as tightening the lock, making it thicker and fuller and helps your dreads dry faster and cleaner. 

It will also help in locking the dreads at the roots easily by cleaning them thoroughly. 

This shampoo does not contain coconut surfactants or saponified oils. 

I liked how iIt is unscented so it leaves your hair smelling fresh and natural. And this means its safe for sensitive scalp folks too.

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It can be used on all types of dreadlocks and accelerates the growth of locks.


  • Unscented
  • Tightens your locks
  • Residue-free
  • Does not contain saponified oils
  • Suitable for all types of dreadlocks


  • Expensive 

My Ratings:

  • Residue-Free – 4/5
  • Mildy Cleansing – 4.5/5
  • Moisturizing – 4/5

Dollylocks Locking Powder

black-owned shampoo for locs

This is for those days when you are too lazy to wash your hair but you need to get rid of that greasy unwashed look. 

This dry shampoo works perfectly to mask your unwashed dreads. It contains organic ingredients and essential oils that provide nourishment.

This product is best suited for dreads that are brown coloured. It absorbs the excess oils on your dreads and tames unruly strands.


  • Time-saving 
  • Contains organic ingredients
  • Tightens dreads
  • Suitable for all hair types


  • Expensive

My Ratings:

  • Residue-Free – 4.5/5
  • Mildy Cleansing – 3.5/5
  • Moisturizing – 3.5/5

Twisted Sista Luxurious Clarifying Shampoo

best shampoo for dreads and dandruff

This is a sulphate-free clarifying shampoo. 

This shampoo is infused with the goodness of nourishing ingredients such as coconut oil, avocado oil and almond oil that help in locking in moisture on your hair.

You will also notice that your hair grows faster and your scalp has become healthier. 

The shampoo thoroughly cleanses your hair and leaves it squeaky clean. 

It also has a non-sticky, non-drying and lightweight formula that helps in tightening your dreadlocks.


  • Sulphate-free
  • Non-drying
  • Non-greasy
  • Contains Coconut, avocado and almond oil
  • Improves scalp health


  • The scent might be overpowering for some

My Ratings:

  • Residue-Free – 4/5
  • Mildy Cleansing – 5/5
  • Moisturizing – 3/5

Neutrogena Anti-residue Clarifying Shampoo

best shampoo for freeform dreads

This clarifying shampoo is free from artificial colours and dyes. It works effectively to remove any dirt, grease or product buildup in your dreadlocks. 

It claims to remove up to 90% of heavy, dulling residue caused by hair products like shampoos, conditioners, styling creams etc.

I suggest you use it once a week to remove the buildup that has gathered over the week instead of making it a daily use shampoo. Otherwise, it can get too drying.

clarifying shampoo for dreadlocks

This can be used on all hair types and it also helps in boosting the volume of your hair.


  • Does not contain artificial colours and dyes
  • Removes buildup
  • Gentle formula
  • Boosts volume


  • Can get drying if used everyday

My Ratings:

  • Residue-Free – 5/5
  • Mildy Cleansing – 3.5/5
  • Moisturizing – 3/5
Best Shampoos For DreadsJamaican Mango and Lime Tingle Shampoo
Dollylocks Tea Tree Spearmint Dreadlock ShampooKnatty Dread Dreadlocks ShampooTwisted Sista Luxurious Clarifying ShampooKnotty Boy Dreadlock Shampoo
Gentle On Scalp4/53.5/54/54.5/53.5/5
Is It Sulfate-FreeYesYesNoYesNo

What is the best shampoo to use on dreadlocks?

After looking at several shampoos in the market and testing them out on factors like ingredients, gentleness, etc. I’ve found that the Knotty Boy Dreadlock Shampoo is the best shampoo for dreadlocks.

The Knotty Boy Dreadlock Shampoo does not leave any residue on the hair. It contains a blend of herbal ingredients that are gentle on the scalp. The product helps control inflammation too. This shampoo helps keep dreadlocks looking great.

And there you have it! My list of the top shampoos for dreadlocks. 

Before you buy any product make sure it suits your scalp type and other needs. A good dreadlock shampoo should be cleansing without drying out hair.

And there is the matter of it fitting in your budget as well.  

Also Read:

Best styling gel for black women’s hair

Best human hair wigs for African Americans

Knotty Boy Dreadlock Shampoo

Using the best shampoos for dreadlocks can help keep them clean. The Knotty Boy Dreadlock Shampoo is gentle, sulfate-free and suitable for most scalp types.

Product SKU: BJ460YY2552

Product Brand: Knotty Boy

Product Currency: USD

Product Price: $10.00

Price Valid Until: 2022-06-12

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating: