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Best Shampoos for Dreads

Top 10 Buying Guide

Best Shampoos for Dreads

Our Recommendations

In a hurry? Here are the best products at a glance.

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Best Shampoos for Dreads
Your Authors and Guides
Article Author
Heather
Patton
Article Author
Jennifer
Trimbee
Article Author
Samantha
Dewitt
Your Authors and Guides
Article Author
Heather Patton
Article Author
Jennifer Trimbee
Article Author
Samantha Dewitt

How to Choose the Best Shampoo for Dreads

Choosing the right shampoo for dreads isn’t easy. It’s a fine balance between finding something that isn’t going to over-moisturizing but that will leave your hair healthy and smelling nice and clean. To help you find the right product for you, we researched some of the best products out there and put together this review. Before we get started, here are some of the main factors you should consider when looking for this type of shampoo.

Best Shampoos for Dreads

Anti-residue: Most of the products we chose are anti-residue, which is really important because too much oil or conditioner can really weigh down your dreads and even prevent them from locking tightly. The less residue left behind, the better.

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Package Size: The liquid shampoos we included a range from eight to 17 ounces but a little goes a long way. We included some shampoo bars as well. Remember, though they’re only around four ounces or so, they last much longer than liquids.

How to Choose the Best Shampoo for Dreads

Organic: Some of these products are made with organic ingredients but most are not. Keep in mind that ingredients can be natural without being organic so don’t assume the others are loaded with chemicals. Check out the ingredients lists to be sure.

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Scent: Most of the products that we included on our list have a minty scent but are more earthy or have no scent at all. None of the scents are overpowering and they don’t linger too long, either.

Best Shampoos for Dreads

Hypoallergenic: We managed to find a few hypoallergenic products which are great for people with sensitive skin or dry scalp. If you prefer one that isn’t designated as hypoallergenic, check the ingredients lists to check for known allergens.

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Pieces: All of these products have one bottle or bar of shampoo. We just think it’s important to know if you like something before buying it in bulk. We did some sets with a companion conditioner or cream.

Top 10 Products

Now that you know what to look for, let’s get into our picks. If you’re in a hurry, take a look at our top and budget picks first. That’s the best way to see the range that’s out there and they’re right at the top so they’re easy to find. You won’t find the best dry shampoo for dreads here but you will find a lot of amazing options so stick around if you can. Alright, let’s get to it.

Knotty Boy Dreadlock Shampoo

Knotty Boy Dreadlock Shampoo
Our top pick for residue free shampoo for dreads is Knotty Boy Dreadlock Shampoo. This formula is actually one of the first that’s made especially for dreads. It contains rosemary, tea tree, and peppermint to help soothe your scalp and leaves your hair smelling fresh and minty clean. Not only is it residue free but it also doesn’t have any conditioners that could hinder the locking process. It’s safe to use on any type of hair and can even be used with synthetic dreads. That’s not all, it’s environmentally responsible, too, because it’s biodegradable and non-toxic. You can also use it as an all-over body wash for an invigorating way to wake up in the morning. You don’t need to use a lot because this formula is pretty thick so this 16-ounce bottle should last awhile.
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Dollylocks Nag Champa Dreadlock Shampoo

Dollylocks Nag Champa Dreadlock Shampoo
An affordable no residue shampoo for dreads is Dollylocks Nag Champa Dreadlock Shampoo. It’s a great choice for anyone with sensitive skin because it’s hypoallergenic and pH balanced so it won’t be too harsh on your scalp. This formula is made with pure botanicals, organic coconut, and it has an exotic, earthy Nag Champ scent. It’s appropriate for locks at any stage and is even a good choice to prepare your hair for the process. It’s safe for both natural and synthetic locks and gentle enough to be used on color-treated dreadlocks. Plus, it’s residue-free so it won’t weigh down your hair. This eight-ounce bottle comes with a convenient pump so it’s easy to dispense in the shower and can be safely used on facial hair and as a body wash.
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Dread Head Dreadlock Soap

Dread Head Dreadlock Soap
Dread Head Dreadlock Soap is a good shampoo for dreads because it doesn’t leave anything behind to slow down the dreading process. There are no oily perfumes or conditioners that can weigh down and loosen your dreads plus it rinses away clean. This formula won’t irritate your scalp and actually helps your dreads tighten as you use it because it removes natural oils so your hair will bind, knot, and tighten faster than it normally would. What’s notable about this soap is what’s not in it. There are no dyes, fragrances, phosphates, or oxides. It uses organic coconut-based surfactants and is 100% vegan-friendly. That’s not all, it’s completely unscented. This all-natural comes in a large 16-ounce bottle. A little goes a long way so one bottle should last a long time.
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Shea Moisture Sacha Inchi Oil Shampoo

Shea Moisture Sacha Inchi Oil Shampoo
If you’re looking for a great clarifying shampoo for dreads, check out this Shea Moisture Sacha Inchi Oil Shampoo. It’s phthalate free, paraben free, sulfate free, aluminum free, and cruelty-free and made with natural and certified organic ingredients. This clarifying shampoo removes any residue and buildup while hydrating hair to restore strength. But don’t worry, it doesn’t leave behind any residue so it won’t weight down your dreads. Ingredients include sacha inchi seed oil, shea butter, quinoa, and rose of Jericho extracts which give this product a light earthy scent. A little goes a long way so this 13-ounce bottle should last a while. Another great thing about this formula is it’s great for textured hair so it’s just as effective for those with a natural texture or curly hair, too.
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Dollylocks Tea Tree Spearmint Shampoo

Dollylocks Tea Tree Spearmint Shampoo
Another great option from Dollylocks is this Tea Tree Spearmint Shampoo. It’s made with organic coconut and pure botanicals and doesn’t leave behind any residue to add any weight to your dreads. This is a good choice for sensitive scalp, too. It’s hypoallergenic and pH-balanced so it doesn’t dry out your skin. It has a great cooling mint scent that really wakes you up in the morning but doesn’t linger too long. That’s not all, this formula is completely vegan and cruelty-free. This product is safe for color-treated drocks and works best on those that are already established rather than new and young dreads. The 12-ounce bottle features an easy-to-use pump dispenser that gives you just the right amount with every application. You don’t need much. Remember, a little goes a long way.
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Jamaican Mango Lime Tingle Shampoo

Jamaican Mango Lime Tingle Shampoo
Jamaican Mango Lime Tingle Shampoo is another great choice for a non residue shampoo for dreads. It combines ancient Jamaican recipes and natural ingredients into a formula that’s great for any stage of dreadlocks, whether you’re just getting started or your dreads are already established. It gently removes buildup and helps relieve itchy scalp while leaving your hair feeling squeaky clean. Plus, it doesn’t leave behind oil or anything else that can weigh down your hair or affect the quality of your dreads. If you’re looking for a good dandruff shampoo for dreads, this tingle shampoo just might do the trick. The menthol scent isn’t too strong and doesn’t linger so if you’re looking for something that doesn’t smell flowery, you found it. One more thing, this is a great product to use on twists, too.
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Knatty Dread Dreadlocks Combo Kit

Knatty Dread Dreadlocks Combo Kit
This Knatty Dread Dreadlocks Combo Kit includes a 16-ounce bottle of Knatty Dread Residue Free Dreadlocks Shampoo and a tub of Knatty Dread Cream. The shampoo is completely residue-free and actually helps tighten your dreads and helps with new growth, too. How? By getting removing any built-up oils from other products and leaving your hair super clean. It uses a renewable coconut-based formula that actually helps reduce drying time after washing. This product does not use coconut oil but rather coconut surfactants so there’s nothing left behind. Use the Knatty Dread Cream on wet or semi-dry locks to encourage them to tighten quickly while adding just the right amount of conditioner to prevents dry, damaged locks without over moisturizing. These products are scent-free so they’ll leave your hair smelling like it should - fresh and clean.
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Dr.Hempster Shampoo

Dr.Hempster Shampoo
A great natural shampoo for dreads is this formula from Dr.Hempster. This is actually a set of shampoo and conditioner, both made from all-natural ingredients. They’re formulated to strengthen and cleanse hair while protecting the follicles which helps with future growth. This thickening formula restores natural shine and will leave your dreads thick and clean. It has a lovely mint smell that stimulates your senses and leaves you feeling refreshed without being overpowering. Other ingredients include wheat protein to build elasticity and prevent breakage biotin to add body. Both the shampoo and conditioner come in an 18-ounce bottle and you don’t need to use a lot so they should last for a long time. That’s not all. They’re also cruelty-free, vegan-friendly, and paraben-free. Every batch is made and bottled in the USA.
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Knotty Boy Dreadlock Shampoo Bar

If you’re looking for something a little different, try the Knotty Boy Dreadlock Shampoo Bar. Shampoo bars produce less waste than liquid shampoo and last a really long time. This formula is residue-free and doesn’t have any conditioners that can hinder the locking process. It uses rosemary, tea tree, and peppermint oils which give it a warm, minty smell and are useful for calming a dry, itchy scalp. This product is environmentally friendly, too. It’s 100% natural, biodegradable, and mountain-stream friendly. You can use it as a body wash, too, so it’s an easy way to take shampoo along when you’re camping or backpacking and don’t have a lot of room to spare. This bar might seem small but bar shampoos aren’t the same as a liquid. In fact, it should last about four months or more.
If you’re looking for something a little different, try the Knotty Boy Dreadlock Shampoo Bar. Shampoo bars produce less waste than liquid shampoo and last a really long time. This formula is residue-free and doesn’t have any conditioners that can hinder the locking process. It uses rosemary, tea tree, and peppermint oils which give it a warm, minty smell and are useful for calming a dry, itchy scalp. This product is environmentally friendly, too. It’s 100% natural, biodegradable, and mountain-stream friendly. You can use it as a body wash, too, so it’s an easy way to take shampoo along when you’re camping or backpacking and don’t have a lot of room to spare. This bar might seem small but bar shampoos aren’t the same as a liquid. In fact, it should last about four months or more.
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Uni-Locs Residue Free Shampoo Bar

Last but not least is another great choice for anti residue shampoo for dreads, Uni-Locs Residue Free Shampoo Bar. This formula can be used on dreads in any stage and is formulated to release dirt and clean your hair without leaving any residue behind. These shampoo bars are handcrafted from natural ingredients and promote growth while protecting your scalp. It has a clean, earthy smell and that’s not all, it’s eco-friendly, too. There’s no animal products or testing, no synthetic chemicals, and no added preservatives or colors. That’s not all, it’s 100% biodegradable, too. As we said, shampoo bars last a lot longer than liquids so while it may seem that a four-ounce bar isn’t very big, it will last a long time. In fact, it can last up to six months with normal use.
Last but not least is another great choice for anti residue shampoo for dreads, Uni-Locs Residue Free Shampoo Bar. This formula can be used on dreads in any stage and is formulated to release dirt and clean your hair without leaving any residue behind. These shampoo bars are handcrafted from natural ingredients and promote growth while protecting your scalp. It has a clean, earthy smell and that’s not all, it’s eco-friendly, too. There’s no animal products or testing, no synthetic chemicals, and no added preservatives or colors. That’s not all, it’s 100% biodegradable, too. As we said, shampoo bars last a lot longer than liquids so while it may seem that a four-ounce bar isn’t very big, it will last a long time. In fact, it can last up to six months with normal use.
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TOP PICK

Knotty Boy Dreadlock Shampoo

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