7 Best Shampoo for Locs

Caring for your dreads can be easy with the best shampoo for locs!

Locs, also called dreads or dreadlocks, is a type of hairstyle where the hair strands are either allowed to or made to tangle, knot, and mature. These appear like rope strands or candle wicks that come in varying lengths, thicknesses, and styles. Dreadlocks date as far back as the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Ethiopia, and India. These carry spiritual, social, and cultural meanings that are continuously passed on in the present times. Today, dreads are a popular hairstyle all over the world. 

Because locs is a unique hairstyle, it also requires a special type of care and attention. There is a particular way to wash and maintain them in order to grow healthy and undamaged. Thanks to existing shampoo for dreads, locs receive the cleansing and pampering it need. If you are one of the many who are looking for the best shampoo for locs, then this article is for you.

Here, I am going to tell you what are the types of shampoo for dreads and what is the best shampoo for locs available in the market today.

[amazon box=”B01LFQYXBO,B003YR0UQA,B00LZXIU6C” items=”3″ template=”table”]

Features of Shampoo for Dreads

There are three most common features of shampoos for dreadlocks. These are the no additive formula, the anti-dandruff ingredients and the clarifying properties.

No Additives Formula

Unlike the regular shampoo for normal hair, shampoo for dreads usually does not contain additives for volume, moisture, softening, smoothing, and silkening. These additives usually build up as residues to locs. What happens then is that locs take longer to dry and begin to smell. It can develop molds as well. Regular shampoo for dreads has a rather simple and straightforward cleansing formula. 

Anti-dandruff Ingredients

Anti-dandruff shampoo for dreads usually contains natural tea tree oil and peppermint oil to relieve scalp flaking and itching. 

Clarifying Properties

Shampoo for dreads should effectively remove excess oil, dirt, dust, residues, product build-up, and mineral deposits that get stuck inside the locs and leave them super clean and fresh.

Best Shampoo for Locs Product Review 

The best shampoos for locs are usually fragrance-free, sulfate-free, silicone-free, and residue-free. They contain natural oils that help with dandruff and itching. Most importantly, they are specifically formulated for dreadlocks and not for normal hair types. 

I listed below the best shampoo for locs available in the market today that works perfectly for all types of dreadlocks. Whether you have regular dreads, microlocs, sister locs, wicks dreads, braid locs, boho locs, etc. the following products will work on you!

Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen and Restore Shampoo

Sheamoisture Strengthen and Restore Shampoo for Damaged Hair 100% Pure Jamaican Black Castor Oil Cleanse and Nourish 13 oz

The Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen and Restore Shampoo has all the qualities of the best shampoo for locs. This is a clarifying shampoo for dreads that uses apple cider vinegar to remove product build-up, residues, and impurities. It contains Jamaican Black Castor Oil for stronger hair growth and Shea Butter for damaged hair repair. This is also infused with Peppermint Oil that helps invigorate the scalp and remove dandruff. It is definitely good for the locs because it has a sulfate-free, paraben-free, phthalates-free, and silicon-free formula.

What do I like about this product?

This clarifying shampoo has everything that your locs needs. It leaves your scalp and hair thoroughly clean, removing all the product build-up and residues without stripping off the natural oils. This strengthens hair growth and repairs damaged hair strands, making your dreads strong and healthy. It relieves the scalp from dryness, flaking, and itching. This will make your scalp and starter locs or dreads clean and fresh after every wash.

What do I not like about this product?

While this product has the perfect formula for dreadlocks, it has few reviews from people with locs for more reliable feedback.

[amazon fields=”B01LFQYXBO” value=”button”]

Jamaican Mango and Lime Tingle Shampoo

Jamaican Mango and Lime Tingle Shampoo, 16 Ounce

The Jamaican Mango and Lime Tingle Shampoo is definitely one of the favorite hair cleansers in the dreadlock community. This regular shampoo for dreads gently cleanses. It contains natural ingredients like Manuka Honey and Moringa Oil that nourishes, strengthen, repair, and protect the locs. This product is also infused with Tea Tree Oil that invigorates the scalp and relieves it from itching and flaking. It has a paraben-free formula.

What do I like about this product?

This shampoo is definitely tried and tested among the people in the dreadlocks community. It not only leaves dreads clean and fresh, it is also great in strengthening and repairing damaged locs. This product also works well in treating dandruff, scalp itching and irritation. Definitely one of the best shampoos for locs in the market today.

What do I not like about this product?

There is nothing I do not like about this product. Perhaps just a word of caution that while an overwhelming majority of users love this shampoo for dreads, very few complained that this product made their scalp dry and irritated.

[amazon fields=”B003YR0UQA” value=”button”]

Lion Locs Co-Wash

2-in-1 Shampoo and Conditioner for Dreadlocks 


Lion Locs Shampoo and Conditioner, 2 in 1 Co Wash for Dreadlocks, Braids, and Dreads | Vegan, Organic, Leave-In Or Rinse | Residue Build-Up Free (8oz)

The Lion Locs Co-Wash is a 2-in-1 vegan and unisex shampoo and conditioner for dreadlocks. It is a natural substitute for the regular shampoo for dreads formula. This product has a creamy liquid texture and uses nothing but organic ingredients. It contains Aloe Vera, Jojoba Oil, Argan Oil, Castor Oil, Mustard Oil, Green Tea Leaf Extract, Ylang-ylang and Activated Charcoal. This shampoo is also sulfate-free, silicon-free, paraben-free, phthalates-free, mineral oil-free and wax-free.

What do I like about this product?

This shampoo for dreads has a lightweight and restorative formula, making it perfect for all types of locs. It gently cleanses while effectively removing product build-up, mineral deposits, residues, and impurities. The natural ingredients deeply nourish, repair, and strengthen the locs. It also prevents them from breakage and damage. This product does not contain harsh chemicals like other shampoos. It is definitely the best shampoo for locs alternative that you can find in the market today.

What do I not like about this product?

I have nothing negative to say about this product. It is a well-loved hair cleanser and conditioner in the dreadlocks community.

[amazon fields=”B08TC62158″ value=”button”]

Stylin’ Dredz Spray Residue Free

Shampoo with Tea Tree Oil 

Stylin' Dredz Spray Shampoo - Dreadlock Shampoo - Residue Free with Tea Tree Oil - 350 ml Pack of 2

If you are looking for a shampoo that is gentle on dreads but tough on dirt, then this Stylin’ Dreads Spray Residue-Free Shampoo is for you! This shampoo for dreads contains Tea Tree Oil that removes dandruff and scalp itching. It leaves the locs feeling clean and fresh. This shampoo is also great for removing product build-up and excess oil. It is sulfate-free, paraben-free, and silicon-free.

What do I like about this product?

This shampoo for dreads is best for removing dirt, dust, oil, product build-up and residues on the locs. It treats dandruff and itching well. The formula makes the scalp and hair not only super clean, but the scent leaves a feeling of freshness. The packaging of this product helps you reach the scalp and locs easily.

What do I not like about this product?

This product has a watery consistency and does not lather well.

[amazon fields=”B01KYRTF7C” value=”button”]

Knatty Dread Loc Shampoo

Knatty Dread Dreadlocks Shampoo

If you are looking for the best shampoo for locs that keeps the dreads tight and secure, go for the Knatty Dread Loc Shampoo. This hair cleanser is made from coconut surfactants minus the smell. It has a completely residue-free formula that thoroughly cleanses the scalp and dreads.

What do I like about this product?

This shampoo leaves the scalp and locs clean and fresh. It removes dirt, dust, oil, product build-up, and residues effectively. It has a simple and straightforward cleansing formula.

What do I not like about this product?

This product does not specify the complete list of ingredients. Few users find this shampoo difficult to rinse.

[amazon fields=”B00LZXIU6C” value=”button”]

Lockology Peppermint Tea Tree Loc Shampoo

Dreadlock Shampoo with Peppermint Tea Tree, Organic Loc Shampoo For Dreads | Dreadlock Hair Products by Lockology

The Lockology Peppermint Tea Tree Loc Shampoo is made with all-natural ingredients and organic oils. It contains Peppermint Oil, Eucalyptus Oil, and Tea Tree Oil. These are all effective for deep cleaning, as well as removing product build-up and residues. The formula is also great for treating dandruff, scalp itching, and dryness. This shampoo for dreads has a watery consistency that lathers very well.

What do I like about this product?

This is one of the best shampoo for locs with a vegan formula. It has a nice consistency that lathers well and rinses easily. The formula is potent enough to remove dirt, oils, product build-up and residues inside the locs. This is perfect for anyone who has Vikings locs because it also has a refreshing scent that leaves the locs feeling and smelling clean.

What do I not like about this product?

Some users do not like the watery consistency of this shampoo.

[amazon fields=”B08MSWR33N” value=”button”]

BB Tropical Roots Clarifying Shampoo

Bb Tropical Roots Clarifying Shampoo 8 oz. by Broner Brothers

The BB Tropical Roots Clarifying Shampoo is a must-try for anyone who has dreadlocks. This shampoo is great at removing product build-up and residues inside the locs. It stimulates the scalp as it provides a tingling sensation. This also soothes scalp flaking and itching. It is easy to rinse, leaving the scalp and locs feeling super clean and fresh. The shampoo’s scent is rosemary.

What do I like about this product?

Definitely one of the best shampoo for locs especially for distressed loc styles in the market today. This product is tried and tested in the dreadlocks community. It is great for scalp health as it effectively removes dandruff and itching. This is also perfect for deep cleansing.

What do I not like about this product?

I have nothing negative to say about this product.

[amazon fields=”B01LMMUGJ4″ value=”button”]

Care Tips For Locs


  • Wash your dreadlocks using the best shampoo for locs that suit you. For starter locs, wait 4 to 8 weeks before washing. For mature locs, shampoo at least once a week. 
  • Dry your scalp and locs thoroughly after every wash. Towel dry, air dry, and blow dry to prevent your locs from developing molds and smell. 
  • Moisturize your dreads with natural oils to avoid frizziness, brittleness, and dryness.
  • Cover your locs with silk or satin bonnet or scarf before going to bed to prevent it from loosening.
  • Avoid using tight bands when styling your dreads to protect against damage.
  • Retighten your locs regularly to keep them from loosening.

FAQs on Shampoo for Dreads

Can you wash dreads with regular shampoo?

I do not advise using regular shampoo for normal hair on dreadlocks. Most regular shampoo contain additives like fragrance, thickener, softener, moisturizer, and volumizer that cause product build-up and residues. These make locs more difficult to dry and prone to smell. 

How often should you shampoo your locs?

The number of times you should shampoo your locs depends on the stage of your loc maturity, hair type and personal activities. If you just started out your locs journey, I highly suggest that you wait around 4 to 8 weeks before you wash your dreads. This will allow your locs to knot, matte, and mature properly. After this stage, it is safe for you to wash once a week. But if you engage in plenty of physical activities, you can wash your dreads 2 to 3 times a week. Once your locs have fully matured, you can wash them whenever you need to. 

What shampoo ingredients are bad for dreads?

When it comes to shampoo for dreads, avoid products that contain fragrance, sulfates, silicones, and other additives. They cause product build-up and residues that are unhealthy for dreadlocks. 


While dreadlocks do not have to be washed too often, they still have to be kept clean and fresh. Otherwise, they can accumulate residues, develop smell, and become prone to damage. To properly care for dreads, be sure to use the right cleanser. Remember that the best shampoo for locs does not contain additives like fragrance, silicones, sulfates, and other chemicals that cause product build-up. I hope you are able to find the shampoo for dreads that best suits you from the list of the best shampoo for locs provided above. 

Scroll to Top