Best Shampoo For Dreads: Top 10 Reviewed

The reggae era made this hairstyle a rather hip one, you have to thank Bob Marley for that! 

Dreads exude a cool vibe and it certainly does have a lot of personalities! These interwoven strands of hair are downright liberating and it opens you to a whole new perspective. 
But you do have to give it a little bit more TLC, your regular shampoo won’t work! We’ve compiled a list of the best shampoos for dreads.

Be sure to check it out if you want to keep your dreads smelling nice and clean.

So let’s see what brands can keep your dreads healthy!

10 Best Shampoo for Dreads

1. Dollylocks (Nag Champa)

All organic, all good. Dollylocks Nagchampa softens your locks with a scent that can last for weeks!

Specs

  • Contains coconut and natural essences, olive oil, almond oil, and grapefruit extract
  • All organic

This may be your all-in-one solution for your “dreaded” problems. It cleanses your scalp, moisturizes your hair, tightens out locks, and keeps it smelling sweet too. It’s one of the best dreadlock shampoos you have to have!

Pros

  • Contains all organic ingredients
  • Deeply cleanses hair and scalp
  • Doesn’t leave any residue
  • Ph balanced
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Can be used for synthetic dreads too
  • Cruelty- free and vegan
  • Smells amazing
  • The scent lasts for days
  • Doesn’t dry your dreads
  • Lathers well
  • Feels light
  • A little goes a long way

Cons

  • Can be a bit greasy 

Why we love the product

It smells divinely yummy! And when you’ve got dreadlocks, you don’t wash it every single day. We love how our hair smelled like we’ve just gotten out of the shower! The yummy scent lasts for days too! And it’s infused with nothing but organic substances, so it’s perfectly safe for those with sensitive skin. And your dreads? It just feels oh so soft and smooth like a baby’s cheek.

2. Shea Moisture (African Water Mint Detox)

Infused with natural essences, African Water Detox clears your scalp and gets rid of dry and itchy head.

Specs

  • Contains African Water Mint, ginger, opuntia extracts, activated charcoal, and shea butter

African Water Mint Detox shampoo has natural essences that you won’t normally find in another dreadlock shampoo. These ingredients set this brand apart and make it worth every penny. This shampoo is indeed a detox in a bottle- organic ingredients detoxify and revitalize the locs. It’s one of the best clarifying shampoos that you can use for your dreads. It’s also one of the best shampoos for dread and dandruff.

Pros

  • Infused with natural botanicals
  • Paraben and sulfate-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Works for psoriasis too
  • Helps with dry flaky scalp
  • Heals itchy scalp
  • Leaves a refreshing scent on the hair

Cons

  • Can dry the hair 

Why we love the product

If your dreads need some serious cleaning, this is the shampoo to use! It can clarify your dreads and scalp while taking care of dandruff and flakes. It leaves a nice cool sensation on the scalp too, sort of like a tingling menthol one. And we are really into that! And all that goodness for a shampoo that’s all-natural and organic!

3. First Botany ( Tea Tree Oil)

Get a healthy and clean scalp with an all-natural tea tree shampoo.

Specs

  • Formulated to treat dandruff, flakes, thinning hair, and lice
  • Contains aloe vera, jojoba oil, castor oil, panthenol, and tea tree oil

If you have dreads, your scalp is quite susceptible to several scalp issues. From dryness, flaking, and even lice- your scalp can be compromised. This all-natural shampoo is packed with natural essences that can take care of all your scalp issues.

Pros

  • Sulfate and paraben-free
  • Contains natural essences that have antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial properties
  • Takes care of head lice too
  • Creates a great lather sans the sulfate
  • Gets rid of oil and dandruff
  • Has a nice refreshing scent
  • recommended for those with scalp issues
  • The scent lasts for a while
  • Friendly on colored hair
  • Contains all-natural ingredients
  • Gentle enough for everyday use

Cons

  • You can be allergic to one of the ingredients

Why we love the product

Number one, it’s all-natural. And number two, it deals with a lot of scalp issues that folks with dreadlocks usually encounter. And boy, does it take care of those creepy itchy crawlers! This is one of the few brands that can kill head lice. 

And the tea tree scent isn’t overpowering, as compared to the other brands. It’ll leave a cooling sensation on the scalp that can even help clear your sinuses! And oh, the scent lasts for some time too. This could be one of the best tea tree shampoos for dreadlocks on our list!

4. Jamaican Mango & Lime

Revitalize your locks and keep dandruff and itch away with Jamaican Mango and Lime Shampoo

Specs

  • Contains tea tree extracts
  • Has a fruity cool scent
  • Infused with natural ingredients of Jamaican recipes

Itch and dandruff are the two most common issues with dreadlocks. The main ingredient in this brand, tea tree oil naturally fights off the itch with its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It almost feels like a clarifying shampoo! The cool menthol sensation leaves you refreshed dreads. It’s best to use this shampoo twice a week to keep your locks tight too.

Pros

  • Prevents itchy scalp
  • Has a cool minty scent
  • Leaves a refreshing sensation on the scalp
  • Prevents product build-up
  • Removes excess oil from the scalp
  • Non-greasy
  • Has an affordable price
  • Creates a rich lather
  •  A little goes a long way

Cons

  • Tends to dry the scalp
  • Quite difficult to wash out
  • Hurts the eyes 

Why we love the product

We love the tingling sensation! It felt like it deep cleansed our scalp off the dirt, sebum, and grease. Our scalp felt oh so clean and smelled minty fresh too! It kept our dreadlocks in tiptop shape!

All you need is a pea-size amount, drop it on the ends of your locs and massage away! It even feels like a hair spa treatment too.

5. Baebody (Argan oil with Keratin)

Frizz can make your dreads look unkempt, untidy, and uncared for. Baebody with Argan oil is your rescue in a shampoo!

Specs

  • Contains Argan oil, keratin, olive oil, shea butter, Vitamin E, aloe vera, and coconut oil
  • Formulated for curly and color-treated hair

When you’ve got braids and locs, it’s so easy for your scalp to accumulate dandruff. It’s quite challenging to cleanse your dreads without stripping it of its moisture. Infused with Moroccan Argan oil, Baebody will leave your locs clean, soft, and smooth.  

Argan oil smooths out the frizz and makes your locs look lovely again too. 

Pros

  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Safe for sensitive skin
  • Infused with all-natural ingredients
  • Softens locs and twists
  • Smells good
  • Takes care of dandruff
  • Non-greasy
  • Doesn’t leave any residue

Cons

  • The shampoo is a bit runny
  • Doesn’t lather

Why we love the product

It’s teeming with what we call as one of nature’s most potent moisturizers- Argan oil! This shampoo literally knocked of the frizz after just two day of using it! 

You know how difficult it is to relieve an itchy head of dreads, right? It also took care of the itch and left our locks smelling clean and fresh too.

6. Christina Moss Naturals

A deep cleansing shampoo that contains all organic natural ingredients.

Specs

  • Contains coconut oil, aloe vera, shea butter, rosemary extract, sunflower seed oil, and citric acid
  • Unscented

There are a lot of dread shampoos that have natural ingredients but it all isn’t all organic. This sets this bottle of shampoo apart from the competition. It’s proven to have 100 percent organic natural stuff! And it doesn’t have any PG derivatives, which means it won’t leave any residue on your hair.

Pros

  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Doesn’t leave any residue on the hair
  • Safe for color-treated hair
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Contains all-natural ingredients
  • Effectively moisturizes the scalp
  • Lathers well for a no sulfate shampoo
  • Cleanses deeply
  • Doesn’t weigh hair down

Cons

  • Doesn’t help with dandruff
  • Expensive

Why we love the product

It’s an all-natural shampoo, not to mention, it has all organic ingredients. That’s what we love most about it. This dread shampoo deep cleaned our scalp and locs without stripping off the moisture. And since it’s unscented we’re not even bothered by an overwhelming scent and aroma. Sometimes, you just want to use a product that has no scent at all, right?

7. Knotty Boy

Knotty Boy is the first shampoo specially formulated for dreadlocks.

Specs

  • Contains rosemary extract, peppermint, and tea tree oil
  • All-natural ingredients
  • Has a minty scent

Knotty Boy is one of those few brands that are environment-friendly. It’s biodegradable and doesn’t leave any trace! It’s quite rare to come across a natural shampoo of this kind. And that makes It one of the best residue-free shampoos on our list.

Pros

  • Biodegradable
  • Works on synthetic dreads too
  • Deep cleanses your locs
  • Easy to massage onto the scalp
  • Leaves a refreshing sensation on the scalp
  • Smell minty fresh
  • A little goes a long way
  • Leaves the scalp feeling light 

Cons

  • Doesn’t help with dandruff
  • Quite expensive

Why we love the product

No more stinky dreads for us! The refreshing cool scent lasts for a long time too! The combination of the pure essential oils cleansed our head rather well. 

This shampoo also lasts for quite some time. You just need a very small amount and it’ll still lather well.

8. Dread Head (Dread Soap)

Specially formulated to clean and tighten the dreads using coconut oil as a base.

Specs

  • Contains organic coconut oil

Dread Head can also be used on the hair before your braiding session. As a result, it keeps styling easier. You should have one of these if you want to maintain your dreads in tiptop shape all the time. This shampoo speeds up the dreading process, so you no longer have to wait too long to get matured dreads!

Pros

  • Can tighten locs
  • Has a very light scent
  • Doesn’t weigh hair down
  • Free of perfumes and oils
  • Safe for sensitive scalp
  • Doesn’t leave residue
  • Lathers well
  • Has an affordable price

Cons

  • You need to use a lot of the product for it to work 
  • Can’t deep clean the dreads

Why we love the product

This specially formulated dread shampoo tightened our braids and kept our dreads fab for an extended time. So we rarely need to schedule a visit to our loctician. Fewer visits to your loctician mean more savings!

9. Twisted Sista ( Clarifying Shampoo)

Deep clean your dreads and prevent grease, dirt, and product buildup with Twisted Sista clarifying shampoo

Specs

  • Has a lemon scent
  • Contains, avocado, almond oils, and coconut oil

Twisted Sista is a clarifying shampoo that means serious business. Even when used once a month, it can remove product buildup, dirt, and grime from your locs. 

Pros

  • Forms a rich lather
  • Smells nice
  • Can be used to remove temporary hair dye
  • A clarifying shampoo that works
  • Sulfate, paraben, and mineral oil-free
  • Softens dreadlocks

Cons

  • The melon scent may be a bit overpowering for some
  • The shampoo has a jelly-like texture

Why we love the product

The entire Twisted Sista line has a funky pop culture-like packaging that would look neat in your vanity kit! But don’t be fooled by the packaging, this shampoo means serious business. It’s a clarifying shampoo that you only need to use once a month and can still leave your dreads oh so clean. 

We love how the coconut and almond oil in the shampoo softens our hair. Most clarifying shampoos tend to dry the hair, this bottle won’t!

10. Design Essentials

Design Essentials is your peppermint shampoo that can get rid of the itch, flakes, and dandruff.

Specs

  • Contains peppermint, aloe vera extract, and Pyrithione zinc

If you love peppermint, you’d surely love this shampoo. It has a higher concentration of peppermint that gives that cooling sensation. Peppermint has natural antibacterial and antifungal properties. As a result, this makes it an effective essence against dandruff and itch. 

Pros

  • Leave a refreshing sensation on the scalp
  • Takes care of the itch, flakes, and dandruff 
  • Cleanses your scalp and dreads
  • Has an affordable price
  • The peppermint scent is quite invigorating
  • Also works for seborrheic dermatitis

Cons

  • The peppermint concentration is too strong that it hurts your eyes
  • The menthol scent can be too much for some
  • Not recommended for kids
  • May dry the hair. You need to use it with a moisturizing conditioner.

Why we love the product

No more itchy scalp and dandruff! Itchy scalp is quite inevitable if you’re sporting dreads. It’s something that you simply have to experience. This peppermint and aloe shampoo instantly relieved the itch and flakes with just one use!

The peppermint smell may be too strong for some, but we love how cool and invigorating it is. But of course, like with any product that contains menthol, be sure to just keep it off your eyes and you’ll be mighty fine.

Buying Guides: Things to Consider When Choosing the Right Dreadlock Shampoo

Before you head out to the store to get the best shampoo for dreads, take a peek at our checklist first!

Consider these tips first!

1. Always go for sulfate-free shampoos

Sulfate has always been a nemesis in your shampoo bottle! More so if you’re sporting dreads. Why is that?

Sulfate can strip your hair of its moisture, leaving it dry and dull. And there’s still an ongoing debate as to the adverse health effects of this substance.

So who wants dry dreads? Not us, and certainly sure not you! So ditch the sulfate.

2. Always go for a residue-free shampoo

Another nemesis of dreads is residue build-up. When your hair is tightly matted as with dreads, it’s quite challenging to clean off the dirt and grime. So why add more? 

Since it’s not always wise to believe a brand’s claim alone, you have to do due diligence- check the ingredients!

If there’s anything that has PEG or PPG, it can leave residue on your hair.

3. Be wary of beeswax

Beeswax is an all-natural ingredient that’s used in a myriad of natural cosmetics and hair and skincare products.

But if you have dreads you don’t need it. In fact, you should avoid it like a plague. 

Beeswax is sticky and can attract more dirt to your dreads. And once dirt clings to your locs, you won’t be able to take it out that easy. Furthermore, it can damage the color of your hair and make it look dull.

So that’s just three simple easy steps! No brainer, right?

What are Dreadlocks?

Dreadlocks have been around for ages! And did you know that even Pharaohs from ancient Egypt have been braiding and twisting their hair before?

Indeed,  the ancient civilization has been sporting this hairstyle earlier than we think. In an era where combs and hairstyle products weren’t invented yet, you can easily get a dreaded hair if you just neglect your hair, thus resulting in matted locs. 

But we’re sure dreads way back don’t look as fab as now!

While it has been a debate as to what race sparked this trend, dreadlocks are often seen as an important part of African society. Nowadays, people of all races continue to be intrigued by this hairstyle. 

How are dreadlocks made?

Locs are made by twisting and braiding the hair. It’s often referred to as ropes of hair. The rope-like clumps are formed when hair strands are matted together. 

People who dare to dread their hair are often perceived as free-spirited- you know, the young, wild, and free kind of stuff. It indeed takes a whole lot of personality to get this hairstyle!

Reasons Why Dreadlocks are Awesome

Dreadlocks are one of the most interesting hairstyles you could ever get yourself. Let’s see now why.

1. People with dreads have a lot of personality

These ropes of hair have a certain charm and charisma that pulls people in. We ‘re not sure what it is, but it does look uber stylish and liberating!

2. Do the first dread and your hair will take care of it

Getting your first dread might seem some chore work. First, there’s a bit of a pain that you have to endure with all the twisting and the braiding that’s happening. But as soon as your hair gets matted, the rest will fall into place. Newly grown strands will soon follow suit. And you don’t even need to braid ‘em. 

3. Good hair day every day

Your hair will always look neatly tucked in a braid no matter what you do, and you don’t even need a comb to fix your hair. Dreads are washed but never combed! 

4. A ton of easy hairstyles to choose from

It’s a common misconception that you just have one look with your dreads. You have a ton of styles to choose from! All of which is quite easy to switch to.

5. Very convenient and easy to style

Just toss it up into a bun or pony without ever needing to comb every strand. That’s how uncomplicated your life can get with locs. You can say goodbye to your flatiron, blow-drier, and curler. All of which just eats up a huge chunk of your time in the morning. 

It’s cool, it’s fab, and it’ll make your life less complicated.

But before you call your loctician, ponder these thoughts first.

Things You Need to Know Before You Get Dreadlocks

Cool. Reggae inspired. And liberating.

Dreads are simply gaining more and more popularity! Men and women alike are into exploring this interesting hairstyle. 

Why not? Everybody says it’s very easy to maintain, right?

But before you hop into the bandwagon of locs, better know what you’re in for!  

This cool and hip hairstyle also comes with a bit of responsibility just so you know!

1. Locs need maintenance 

Compared to an afro hairstyle, dreads may seem like a bit more low maintenance. But you still need to give it its much needed TLC so that this hairstyle would work for you.

Sure, you no longer need to comb your hair. But do take note that dreads also require cleaning. And when we say cleaning, you need to detoxify your dreads regularly.

Whenever you use hair products or sprays, it’s very easy for these products to get trapped inside the crevices of your locs. Failure to cleanse your hair could result in a buildup of grime, grease, and more dirt.  

And guess what’s next? Your dreads could be a home to head lice and dandruff!

Using ordinary shampoos will not work too. You need clarifying shampoos that are designed to eliminate dirt buildup on your locs. You have to invest in the best shampoos for locs to keep your dreads squeaky clean.

2. Dreads aren’t permanent

From the looks of it, it might seem like a permanent hairstyle. But did you know that dreads can be undone? Yes! And most people go into a routine of twisting their hair and untwisting it. Sounds crazy right? But yes, you can undo your dreads anytime you wish too.

3. The mold is a serious problem

Molds can grow on your dread. Eww, right? And yes, it can make a home of your hair if it’s not dried properly. And you have to pay extra attention to make sure your hair is dry before tying em’ up. Otherwise, you’re in for a smelly and moldy surprise.

4. The length of the dreads follows the length of your hair, right?

Short hair is to short dreads and long hair is to long dreads. Sounds right. But that isn’t the case with dreads. Even if you’ve got long hair, you can still go for a short dread. Remember, the strands are twisted and braided. So you can always request your loctician to make your dreads shortener. Some dreads are even crocheted to make way for short locs. 

Isn’t it nice to know what you’re in for before diving into it? Of course, it is! Mishaps are less likely to happen if you’re armed with enough information!

So how shall we care for your locs?

How To Care For Your New Dreads

That twisted and braided beautiful mess is growing on you! Liberating, exciting, and just plain awesome! 

Everyone’s first experience with dreads pretty much sums it up!

Before you go all ecstatic, you need to know first how to PROPERLY take care of your new dreads.

1. No-wash period for a month

Yes. don’t wash your hair a month after you’ve had your dreads

Why? Because your hair has to get used to the dreads first, otherwise it will unbraid itself. If water seeps into the strands, it will become fluffy. And it will eventually undread itself.

So just imagine the hours spent ( and money too!) That can easily go down the drain.

That’s why it’s important to deep cleanse your hair first before getting your dreads.

2. Wash your dreads

Okay, so the one-month no-wash rule is over. Better be ready and you have to regularly wash your locs. This will ensure that your hair and scalp are free from any microorganisms that might try to invade it. Not to mention, you don’t want your dreads to stink, do you?

3. Proper drying

Since dreads are susceptible to mold if not dried properly, you should master this skill. All you need is Mr. Sun and a microfibre towel. 

Wash your hair on a sunny day to facilitate drying. And use a microfiber towel as it can absorb more of the water from your hair. Whatever you do, don’t cover your hair if it isn’t dried yet!

4. Sleeping position

When you’ve got flat hair, you can just sleep any way you want. Now that you’ve got dreads, you can’t sleep on your hair. Otherwise, you’ll wake up in the morning with flat and lifeless braids. So just pull em’ up behind your head, far from where they can get squished.

5. Protect your hair from dirt and grime

Beanies, turbans, and scarves don’t just add more personality to your dreads, they also protect from dust and dirt. Remember, it’s a challenge to get rid of the dirt and it can get trapped inside the crevices of your locs. 

So just wear a beanie, scarf or turban around your hair if you’re going to be exposed to dust and dirt.

6. Moisturize

So there’s another myth debunked. Some may say that you don’t need to moisturize your dreads. But oh you do! It’s easy peasy too. All you need is some water and just spritz it on your locs every time you feel it’s drying out.

7. Dread Maintenance

We did mention earlier that you still need to maintain your locs, right? It’s also important to male sure that your dreads are neatly braided. Some stands can come loose in a month. So you can either visit your loctician or you can learn to do it yourself.

8. Don’t retwist it too much

While retwisting is called for to properly maintain your dreads, doing it so very often can lead to hair damage, alopecia, and thinning of the hair.  

So that’s eight easy tips for you! Now you can keep your new dreads fab looking and smelling clean too! 

One stigma of dreads is that it smells funky. That often happens if it’s not properly taken care of.

Tips For Growing Long Healthy Locs

Growing long healthy locs is indeed a bucket list of most people who have tried this hairstyle. More often, it’s quite challenging to grow long dreads because you have to cut them off once they’re damaged. 

It’s not for the faint of heart. You need strong determination to grow these beautiful braids into long healthy locs. You’d be surprised by just how basic these steps are.

1. Take care of your locks while you sleep

Sleep with your locs tucked away from you and don’t squish them. Wearing a satin head covering or using satin pillowcases also helps to retain the moisture in your scalp and locs. But never use cotton. This will suck the moisture off your dreads.

2. Your dreads are what you eat

Simple and easy- what you eat nourishes your body and the same goes with your hair and scalp too. 

What vitamins would help keep your hair in its pristine condition? Load up on Vitamin E and A. Omega 3 fatty acids also seem to strengthen hair follicles too. When you’ve got strong follicles, that lessens the chance of hair breakage.

3. Massage

A nice body massage helps relax you and improve blood circulation. The same thing goes with a scalp massage. It helps distribute nutrients to the body evenly, making sure that your scalp also gets the same amount of goodness. A healthy scalp means healthy hair follicles. And once your hair follicles are healthy, your hair grows faster. 

4. Invest in the best shampoo for dreads

A lot of dread shampoos may promise to nourish and cleanse your locs. But how do you know what’s best? It should contain more natural essences and less of the chemicals. A chemically-laden bottle of shampoo will just strip your dreads of its moisture that it so badly needs.  

Remember, if you can’t pronounce the ingredients on the label, ditch it!

5. Don’t put too many products on your dreads

If you want to moisturize your locs, a spritz of water will do. Applying too many products too often on your dreads will weigh it down. And dirt and grease can accumulate on your scalp too. Just go easy on the leave on and stuff.

FAQs

Got some questions? Let’s hear ‘em out!

Do dreadlocks ruin your hair?

If you had your dreads done by a professional, no. There are several techniques involved in making dreads. From crocheting, twisting to braiding, these techniques require skillful hands.

So if you’re thinking of skimping on the tab, expect hair damage. And once you’ve got your first dreads, you have to take care of it properly so that it’ll look fab all the time.

How long does it take for new dreads to lock?

About six mos to a year. By this time, your dreads have already matured. So you just have to be patient as it takes time to complete the dreading process. But it’s not the same for all. Some lucky ones already had matured dreads in 3-4 months. That’s all in the genes mate!

Are dreadlocks permanent?

While it might seem like it’s permanent, it’s not. You can choose to unbraid and untwist at any time you wish to. Some people even have a habit of dreading and undreading their hair. It’s not advisable to mess up with your hair every so often. Too much can damage your hair follicles.

How often should I retwist my dreads?

Every four weeks or once a month is recommended. Retwisting more than this can weaken your hair. In the worst cases, it might lead to hair loss and alopecia. So go easy on it, just chill,  and enjoy your looks. If you take care of it properly, there’s no need to retwist it often than you need to.

Should I cover my dreads at night?

Yes, and it’s advisable to cover your locs in a silk turban or scarf. This will help draw the moisture in. And you’d wake up with softer dreads! Just don’t use anything cotton coz it has the exact opposite effect. It can suck the moisture off of your hair.

Conclusion

Cool, hip, and fab. Dreads are definitely in. Men and women find this hairstyle rather fun and interesting to explore. This hairstyle screams personality and you don’t need to comb your hair anymore! 

It may look low maintenance, but dreads still require some TLC. From cleansing to moisturizing, your dreads still need heaps of love and attention. Neglect it and you’ll end up with locs akin to a bird’s nest. And the smell? Don’t get us started on that one!   
So keep your dreads clean, moisturized, and smelling great with the best shampoo for dreads! Everything still needs a bit of TLC after all!

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