What’s the best shampoo and conditioner for dreadlocks? Instead of a liquid, should you use a shampoo bar on new locs? What about synthetic dreads? These are the questions we’ll answer as we review the best products to use for dreadlocks.
It’s essential to keep dreads clean as they can get itchy and even moldy if they aren’t cared for properly. Try using a sulfate-free shampoo that doesn’t leave a residue. In fact, the best conditioner for locs doesn’t leave a residue, either. Check out the top picks below:
|The best shampoo and conditioner for dreadlocks||Why we love them|
|Dollylocks Dreadlock Shampoo Bar|
|Dollylocks Dreadlock Cleansing Spray|
|Dollylocks Liquid Dreadlock Shampoo|
|Dollylocks Dreadlock Conditioning Oil|
|Jamaican Mango & Lime Tingle Shampoo & Protein Conditioner + Sproil Oil|
|Taliah Waajid Refresh & So Clean Dry Gel Shampoo|
|Lion Locs Shampoo and Conditioner, 2 in 1 Co-Wash|
Table of Contents
- How to wash dreadlocks
- How to choose the best shampoo and conditioner for dreads
- Best Shampoos & Conditioners for Dreadlocks in 2021
- Dollylocks Dreadlock Shampoo Bar
- Dollylocks Dreadlock Cleansing Spray
- Dollylocks Liquid Dreadlock Shampoo
- Dollylocks Dreadlock Conditioning Oil
- Jamaican Mango & Lime Tingle Shampoo & Protein Conditioner + Sproil Oil
- Taliah Waajid Refresh & So Clean Bamboo, Avocado & Peppermint Dry Gel Shampoo
- Lion Locs Shampoo and Conditioner, 2 in 1 Co-Wash
How to wash dreadlocks
Not everyone has a loctitian to give them advice about washing dreadlocks. Happily, there are some general rules that apply (1).
First, you’ll need to shampoo at least once or twice per week. This keeps the scalp from getting too oily and flaky and the dreads from being smelly. In between shampoos, feel free to use a refreshing spray or a dry shampoo made for dreadlocks. You’ll see a couple of options in a moment.
Next, if you’re trying to tighten the locs, use a shampoo bar instead of a liquid soap. Those are always sulfate-free and tend to rinse clean. All you have to do is work up a lather in your hands and pat the shampoo into your scalp and the hair. There’s no need to scrub or rub the dreads.
Unless you have very thin hair, let the shampoo work for a couple of minutes. It will break down the excess oil and loosen the grime. Then rinse with lukewarm water, gently squeeze out excess moisture, and pat the hair with a microfiber towel. This prevents roughing up the cuticle and keeps the locs smooth.
Those with dry hair or a dry scalp can use conditioner. There are different types, so be sure to choose one made for dreads to avoid loosening the locs. Many regular conditioners are likely to weigh down the hair and make it slippery.
How to choose the best shampoo and conditioner for dreads
Let’s start by reminding you that a good old apple cider vinegar rinse can get rid of product build-up. Stir a tablespoon of vinegar in a cup of lukewarm water and pour it slowly over the scalp. Don’t let it sit for long, but you can pat it into the hair if you wish. Do not let it get into your eyes! Rinse again with clean lukewarm water and you’re done.
On the other hand, if you’re using shampoo made to care for dreadlocks, you might not need to rinse with vinegar. That’s because it will be residue-free and not packed with greasy oils or extra moisturizers. Any conditioning ingredients will be natural and easily absorbed.
Also, the best shampoo for dreads is sulfate-free – it doesn’t have those harsh detergents that can dry out the hair and scalp.
On the off chance that you develop dandruff, you can use a conventional dandruff shampoo like Nizoral. Otherwise, try a tea tree oil shampoo as it’s naturally antimicrobial.
Best Shampoos & Conditioners for Dreadlocks in 2021
Dollylocks Dreadlock Shampoo Bar
Dollylocks are recognized experts when it comes to dreadlocks. Not only do they have their own brand of specialty products, but they also operate a salon. They have everything from shampoo for loc virgins who want to tighten locs to old-timers who can’t imagine living without their dreads.
Furthermore, they offer a variety of natural fragrances like lavender, rosemary peppermint, Coconut lime grapefruit, tea tree spearmint, and the all-time favorite Nag Champa (which smells like incense). All the scents are phthalate-free.
For example, check out this earthy floral Nag Champa shampoo bar. It has Hawaiian Sea salt to tighten new dreadlocks.
Surprisingly, it’s not at all drying. Organic coconut oil and shea butter keep the scalp moisturized and the hair shiny and soft. It lathers nicely, too. Then it rinses squeaky clean and leaves no residue behind.
If you take a closer look at the ingredients, you’ll see other nourishing ingredients like grapefruit seed, cocoa seed butter, hemp seed oil, and neem. Some of these are quite good at keeping dandruff at bay.
- Lightweight, moisturizing shampoo bar that leaves no residue
- Has Hawaiian Sea salt to help tighten new dreadlocks
- Organic and natural ingredients cleanse without drying
- No sulfates, parabens, or harsh chemicals
- Available in a variety of scents that all make a nice lather
- From an experienced brand that caters to loc virgins and old-timers alike
Dollylocks Dreadlock Cleansing Spray
What about those days when you don’t have time or don’t want to shampoo? That’s when you need this cleansing spray that will leave your hair looking and smelling refreshed. It’s available in various scents including the classic Nag Champa.
What’s in it? It’s a water-based product with lightweight natural oils like coconut and castor seed.
How do you use it? Shake the bottle and spray the liquid directly onto the scalp. Wait a few minutes then use a damp washcloth to soak up any excess. You’ll be wiping away the sweat, oil, and dirt as well.
Also, check out the Refreshing Spray and the Tightening Spray from Dollylocks.
- Functions like a dry shampoo without the need for brushing
- Removes oil, dirt, and odor from the scalp and hair without washing with water
- Available in a variety of scents
- You’ll still need a damp washcloth to blot the hair and scalp after a few minutes
Dollylocks Liquid Dreadlock Shampoo
What about the best shampoo for synthetic dreads? We recommend the Dollylocks liquid shampoo for synthetic and mature dreadlocks. It’s good for naturally curly and coily hair, too.
What’s interesting is that the most popular scent, Nag Champa, is said to endure for days on the hair. But you can also choose from other options like the tingly rosemary and peppermint. All are free of phthalates, sulfates, and parabens.
- Ideal for mature dreads and synthetic dreadlocks
- No residue, no sulfates, no parabens or phthalates
- Available in various scents including scalp-tingling rosemary and peppermint
Dollylocks Dreadlock Conditioning Oil
So far, we’ve been focusing on washing dreadlocks. But what about conditioning them? Take a look at this oil made for mature dreadlocks and synthetic dreads. It’s non-comedogenic to prevent scalp acne, plus it contains no phthalates, mineral oil, or parabens.
Why is it only for mature dreads? When you’re trying to tighten locs, conditioner can make the hair slippery and cause them to unravel.
The formula is based on quickly-absorbed natural oils like avocado, coconut, hemp seed, and jojoba. It smooths the hair and tames frizz, leaving the locs soft and manageable.
- Natural oil blend that’s free of phthalates, parabens, and mineral oil
- Non-comedogenic conditioner for mature dreads and synthetic locs
- Eliminates frizz and smooths and softens the hair
- Experienced users suggest using it on the hair, not the scalp, and not for palm rolling
Jamaican Mango & Lime Tingle Shampoo & Protein Conditioner + Sproil Oil
Instead of purchasing hair care products piecemeal, this set has everything you need for dreadlocks. Unlike the Dollylocks formulas, however, a significant portion of the ingredients are artificial, including parabens.
On the bright side, the shampoo alleviates itching. It features tea tree extract that combats dandruff. Don’t expect a lot of lather, but just know it gets the job done if you leave it work for a couple of minutes.
Then, the rinse-out conditioner is designed to prevent breakage and reduce frizz.
Last of all, the Sproil Oil is a leave-in conditioner that makes dull hair shiny and smooth.
- Complete set for maintaining dreadlocks
- Low-lather shampoo tingles the scalp and combats dandruff with tea tree
- Conditioners prevent breakage, reduce frizz, and add shine
- Effective products, but not as natural as other options
Taliah Waajid Refresh & So Clean Bamboo, Avocado & Peppermint Dry Gel Shampoo
What in the world is a dry gel shampoo? You’ve heard of dry shampoo, the powder that needs to be brushed through the hair. Obviously, that won’t work for dreadlocks.
Instead, here’s a formula with water, corn-derived alcohol, and witch hazel. It dissolves oil and grime to cleanse the scalp. All you have to do is let it work for few minutes then clean your head with a damp cloth.
While it’s working, you’ll feel the tingle from the menthol and peppermint oil. Don’t worry, it’s not as drying as you might expect. The astringent witch hazel moisturizes as do bamboo, avocado, and castor oil.
Users say it leaves their hair refreshed on days when they can’t shampoo. They love how it soothes an itchy scalp.
- No-wash shampoo clears away oil and grime and relieves itching
- Tingles as it works and leaves the scalp minty fresh
- Lightweight moisturizers soothe the scalp and leave the hair soft and shiny
- You’ll still need a damp cloth to wipe off excess product and dirt
Lion Locs Shampoo and Conditioner, 2 in 1 Co-Wash
This is a unisex product for anyone who has dreadlocks. It’s sulfate-free and vegan. Unlike some leave-in conditioners for dreads, it has no mineral oil or parabens.
They call it a co-wash, but we think of it as a product that refreshes the scalp and locs in between shampoos. You can also use it like a regular shampoo and rinse it out after a couple of minutes.
Here’s how you use it as a leave-in conditioner. Dig a dab out of the tub and let it melt in your hands like body butter. Pat it into the hair in sections. Just a thin layer is enough to leave the hair shiny and frizz-free. You can also apply it to soothe a dry scalp.
Some of the highlighted ingredients include organic aloe, jojoba, argan, and castor oil, activated charcoal, and green tea leaf extract. The pleasant fragrance is naturally-derived.
- Multi-purpose formula can be used as a shampoo and/or a conditioner
- Doesn’t need to be rinsed when used as a leave-in conditioner
- Refreshes the hair with a pleasant fragrance, soothes a dry scalp, and leaves the hair shiny and frizz-free
- Contains no sulfates, parabens, or mineral oil
- We weren’t able to view the full list of ingredients
With all the work you’ve gone to maturing your dreads you deserve to have the best shampoo and conditioner for them. Clean and condition them with natural ingredients that keep the hair and scalp healthy.
We hope our reviews helped you find your new favorite hair care products today. If so, we’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below.
1. https://www.wikihow.com/Maintain-Dreadlocks published October 2, 2019, accessed June 29, 2021