The 22 Best Shampoos and Conditioners for Dreadlocks 2021

Best Shampoos & Conditioners for Dreadlocks

I can see you have questions about how to wash your locs.

Which are the best shampoos and conditioners for dreadlocks?

Are there ingredients you should avoid?

Should you use something different on brand new dreadlocks or synthetic dreads?

I’m here today to answer these questions and review the best dreadlock care products for you.

Let’s begin with how to keep your dreads clean.

How to wash dreadlocks

Get advice from your loctician about how often to wash your dreadlocks.

In general, you can shampoo two or three times per week, depending on your hair type (1).

What matters is what you use to wash the dreads.

I’d recommend a sulfate-free shampoo that doesn’t leave a residue.

There are several clarifying shampoos that will do the trick. We’ll get to those in a moment.

Once you’ve wet your hair, pat the shampoo into your scalp and the locs. Don’t twist or rub them, though.

Let it work for a couple of minutes before you rinse. That way, it does a thorough job of removing dirt and oil.

On the other hand, if you have very thin hair, wait less time to avoid unraveling the dreads.

Rinse until the water runs clear, and then squeeze out the excess.

Next, pat your hair dry with a towel. Microfiber is absorbent and won’t rough up the cuticle.

Finally, be sure the dreadlocks dry thoroughly before you style them.

If your hair and scalp get too dry, you can do a hot oil treatment once a month. You might also try a spray-on conditioner.

Top Shampoos and Conditioners for Dreadlocks

Now, let’s begin with the best shampoo for new dreadlocks.

Dollylocks Coconut Lime Grapefruit Dreadlock Shampoo Bar

Dollylocks focuses on making organic products for dreads.

You can purchase their shampoos online or visit their hair salon in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Since they are specialists in dreadlock care, they are one of the top brands.

They recommend the shampoo bar for people with new dreads.

There are different scents available. Each one is based on natural ingredients like organic coconut, mango butter, and Hawaiian Sea salt.

The blend of vitamins and protein keeps the hair and scalp healthy. It helps clear up acne breakouts, too.

But what’s more important is that the shampoo doesn’t leave a residue. Your locks will be squeaky clean after washing with the bar.

Once you rinse, you can also apply conditioning oil to prevent dandruff.

Dollylocks Nag Champa Liquid Dreadlock Shampoo

If you have mature dreadlocks, try this liquid shampoo.

The one I selected is the invigorating Nag Champa scent. Plus, there are other fragrances available. In any case, each scent is phthalate-free.

The formula is based on saponified organic oils and botanicals like grapefruit seed extract.

It won’t leave a residue in your hair or on your scalp.

You might like it so much that you’ll continue to use it even if you give up your locs.

Dollylocks Nag Champa Dreadlock Conditioning Oil

Regular conditioner isn’t always the best choice for dreadlocks. It can make them heavy or greasy or too slippery to stay formed.

Instead, if you feel like your hair and scalp are too dry, use this conditioning oil.

It’s similar to the ingredients in the Dollylocks shampoo. In other words, it’s based on plant oils like coconut, jojoba, hemp seed, and avocado.

These oils won’t clog pores or trigger acne.

There’s also a little rosemary to purify and detox your scalp. It helps clear up itching and flaking.

Dollylocks Tea Tree Spearmint Liquid Dreadlock Shampoo

If you’re struggling with an itchy scalp, give this spearmint shampoo a try.

It soothes away the itch with a cooling sensation.

Moreover, it’s pH-balanced and hypoallergenic to prevent dryness and irritation.

Keep in mind that none of these shampoos make much lather. That doesn’t mean that they don’t work well.

Knotty Boy Dreadlock Shampoo Bar

Knotty Boy was founded three decades ago by people with dreadlocks. Theirs was the first shampoo bar for dreads.

It’s ideal for people with new locs as it helps the dreads mature.

It’s non-toxic and biodegradable, plus easy to bring along in your travel bag.

Not only that, but you can also use it to wash your entire body, not just your hair.

The plant-based formula has a soothing blend of peppermint, tea tree, and rosemary. These cleanse impurities and leave the skin refreshed.

Moreover, it leaves no residue behind.

The shampoo bar is very concentrated. Massage it with a little water to create lather in your hands before you pat it on your hair and scalp.

Choose from a variety of scents like charcoal, sandalwood, fresh-cut grass, patchouli love, and unscented olive oil.

Knotty Boy Dreadlock Conditioning Spray Purple Haze Lavender

Add shine, reduce frizz, and soften your locks with this conditioning spray. It’s made to strengthen fragile dreads, too.

Besides lavender, it’s also available in green tea and coconut scents.

Knotty Boy Every Body Ultimate Detangler

It won’t help you remove dreadlocks.

In fact, don’t use it on your dreads at all.

This spray-on conditioner will help you remove tangles. It makes curls more noticeable.

The liquid is very slippery yet lightweight. That’s no surprise as it’s based on nourishing plant oils.

Don’t be shy – use more than you think you’ll need. After all, it has an appealing tropical fragrance.

Knatty Dread Dreadlocks Shampoo

Use the shampoo to tighten your dreads and encourage hair growth.

It’s unscented, and it won’t leave a residue. That’s good as you need clean hair to get your dreads to lock faster at the roots.

Also important, it speeds up drying time so you don’t end up with mildew or rot.

The key ingredient is a coconut-based surfactant. It’s not saponified oil like some of the other dreadlocks shampoos use.

Knatty Dread Scalp Oil for Dreadlocks

The problem is a dry and itchy scalp. The answer is scalp oil.

This vegan conditioner is made from cold-pressed plant oils with no synthetic ingredients.

It absorbs quickly without leaving a greasy residue behind. Therefore, it prevents dandruff and leaves the hair glistening and soft.

Dread Soap for Dreadlocks Shampoo

I’ll be upfront with you. Some locticians will tell you to avoid sulfates. They are surfactants that can dry out the skin and hair.

Yet others will recommend this shampoo even though it contains sodium laureth sulfate. It creates lather and removes excess oil and dirt.

The trick is to consider the other ingredients to see if they balance out the drying effect of the sulfate.

It’s also crucial to avoid shampoos that leave a residue or slow down dry time. This product doesn’t have either of those problems.

Design Essentials Oat Protein & Henna Deep-Cleansing Shampoo

Although it’s not made specifically for dreadlocks, there are a lot of benefits to this shampoo.

It was created for curly, coily, and kinky hair. It’s also kind to fine and limp hair.

It’s a clarifying shampoo that gets rid of the gunk without taking away all the natural oil.

Furthermore, it conditions the hair and moisturizes it.

When you see that it contains henna, you might be concerned that it will change your hair color. But this extract is actually there to add volume and shine.

Design Essentials Natural Rosemary & Mint Stimulating Super Moisturizing Conditioner

If you’ve just taken out your dreads and you need to help your hair recover, this conditioner is a smart choice.

It’s infused with rosemary and peppermint to purify the scalp. It also makes the hair silky and manageable.

For best results, let it sit on your hair for at least five minutes. Also, try combing out tangles with the conditioner in the hair before you rinse.

Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo

Neutrogena’s clarifying shampoo is like a salon treatment for your hair.

It’s formulated to clear away residue and buildup without causing any irritation. In fact, it’s free of artificial dyes and parabens.

This product is mild enough for color-treated styles, yet potent enough to cleanse the oiliest of hair.

You won’t need to use it more than once a week to maintain a clean scalp.

SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore

Shea Moisture shampoo is the preferred choice of people with coily, curly, and kinky hair.

It’s safe for chemically-processed and color-treated styles, too.

The shampoo is very moisturizing. At the same time, it strengthens damaged strands to minimize breakage and shedding.

It’s also fun to use because it smells delicious and feels tingly on the scalp.

As you might guess, it contains shea butter from ethically traded sources in Africa. Plus, it’s free of sulfates, silicone, phthalates, parabens, and even propylene glycol.

Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Conditioner

This is a deep-conditioner that revives damaged and dried-out hair.

You might think that it would be helpful for keeping your dreads frizz-free. Unfortunately, it may leave a residue on the strands that could make it harder to tighten the locs and dry the hair.

It’s better to use a spray-on conditioner instead.

Cantu Txtr Soothing Shampoo

Cantu is another brand intended for those with textured hair.

The Txtr shampoo features two essential natural ingredients to clarify your scalp and dreadlocks. It has apple cider vinegar and tea tree oil.

They eliminate residue and impurities.

Then, shea butter, aloe, and oat extract hydrate dry skin and strands. A touch of spearmint oil makes the shampoo extra-soothing to an itchy scalp.

There’s no residue left on your hair. You don’t have to worry about silicone or parabens, either.

Cantu Shea Butter Hydrating Leave-in Conditioning Mist

Spritz a little of this on your dreads to keep them in top condition.

It repairs split ends and smooths the cuticle to leave the hair healthy. That means less frizz and more defined curls.

Jamaican Mango & Lime Tingle Shampoo & Protein Conditioner

I wouldn’t be surprised if a loctitian told you about this nourishing shampoo. It clarifies the scalp to get rid of oil and dirt but also strengthens locs.

What’s more, it tingles while it cleanses. That really helps with itching.

The accompanying conditioner fortifies each strand to prevent breakage.

Aveeno Scalp Soothing Apple Cider Vinegar Blend Shampoo

Instead of a special dreadlocks product, you could try an ordinary apple cider vinegar shampoo like this one.

When it says it clarifies, what it means is that it performs a deep cleansing to remove any residue and buildup.

Products like these restore your hair to its natural state. They make dull hair shiny once more.

In addition, Aveeno avoids problematic ingredients like sulfates, parabens, and dyes.

MARC DANIELS Professional Charcoal Clarifying Shampoo & Conditioner

Here’s a clarifying shampoo that works on any hair texture, whether it’s naturally straight or coarse.

It uses charcoal to purify the scalp and bamboo to add volume.

Then, there’s pro-vitamin B5 to make dry hair lustrous and provide protection against the sun.

Fortunately, the vegan formula is free of sulfates and parabens, too. If you aren’t pleased with it, they offer a full refund.

MAJESTIC PURE Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and Avocado Coconut Conditioner Set

Sure, you could rinse your hair with pure apple cider vinegar. It’s a natural clarifying solution.

But you really want to smell like vinegar?

Instead, try this shampoo that doesn’t reek of condiments. It clarifies and moisturizes better than vinegar could by itself.

It also contains avocado, argan oil, and coconut to nourish and condition dry scalp and hair.

Finally, there are no parabens or other harsh chemicals in it.

Carol’s Daughter Sacred Tiare Leave-In Conditioner

Spray on this conditioner on wet or dry hair to keep your dreads sleek and healthy. It gets rid of frizz while it reinforces damaged strands.

It’s handy for detangling natural curls, too.

The secret is a blend of Coprah coconut oil and gardenia flower. These give it a pleasing fragrance.

Like other products from this company, it’s paraben-free.


It takes a while to mature dreads, which is why it’s worth it to use the right shampoo on them.

You don’t want to coat them with artificial ingredients. Instead, cleanse them with natural ingredients that promote a healthy scalp, too.

If you discovered a new favorite dreadlocks shampoo today, please tell us more about it in the comments below.


1. published October 2, 2019, accessed March 28, 2020


I'm Aida and this is my blog where I write mostly about beauty & make up related stuff, but I like to spice it up a bit with lifestyle and photography posts. Or with whatever that comes to my mind. Hope you will enjoy the reading enough that we will 'see' each other more often!

One thought on “The 22 Best Shampoos and Conditioners for Dreadlocks 2021

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts