Top 8 Best Shampoos And Conditioners For Dreadlocks 

Shampoos And Conditioners For Dreadlocks 

Are you looking for the best shampoo and conditioner for dreadlocks? Our experts help you choose the best 8 picks to clean your scalp and nourish your hair.

They will remove dirt and excess oil locked in the structure of dreads – something regular products cannot compete with. 

What Makes The Best Shampoo And Conditioner For Dreads?

Dreadlocks often develop mold and rot because it is difficult for water and residue to drain out of the locks after washing. Thus, there are special requirements in choosing the best shampoo and conditioner for dreads.

It’s best to use a sulfate-free shampoo, such as Shea Moisture Strengthen And Restore, Majestic Pure Apple Cider Vinegar And Avocado, and Botanic Hearth Tea Tree. They are non-irritating to the scalp, which helps to prevent buildup.

Garnier Hair Care Fructis Curl Nourish and Lion Locs Shampoo And Conditioner are the best leave-in conditioners for locs. They provide extra moisture, protect hair from damage, and help detangle the strands.

The shampoos and conditioners with hydrating formulation also help to keep each strand of hair hydrated. They add softness to your dreads and prevent tangles. 

Reference hydrating products are:

Top 8 Best Shampoo And Conditioner For Dreadlocks

There are lots of dreadlock hair care products available on the market. The following list of shampoo and conditioner is clinically tested and approved to safely and effectively care for your specific hairstyle.

Design Essentials Oat Protein Deep Cleansing Shampoo & Design Essentials Rosemary And Mint Super Moisturizing Conditioner – Best For pH-balanced Scalp 

Scent Volume Notable Feature Rating Hair Type
Shampoo: Fragrance 

Conditioner: Rosemary and Mint

Shampoo: 8 Fl Oz

Conditioner: 6 Fl Oz

Quickly penetrates, softens, and revitalizes 4.7 out of 5 1A-4C hair, dry, brittle, or thick hair

Design Essentials Oat Protein Shampoo removes buildup and deeply cleans your dreadlocks. It contains Oatmeal and Henna to help boost hair growth.

You will get stronger dreads thanks to a high content of protein, zinc, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids derived from Oatmeal.

As you know, locs require the help of wax to tighten locks. But, the overuse of this adhesive product causes a pH imbalance in the scalp. Frequent shampooing also muddles the natural pH level – one of the reasons that cause dandruff.

This issue will no longer be a big deal with the assistance of Henna in this shampoo – an element that helps balance scalp pH. Thus, Design Essentials Shampoo is beloved by fans of dreadlocks, who are suffering dandruff or other itchy scalp symptoms. 

It is best to pair it with Design Essentials Rosemary and Mint Conditioner. The two key ingredients from this item will soothe the scalp and soften the dreads.

Locs smell great with the refreshing minty scent after rinsing the conditioner. It keeps you comfortable all day long without being bothered by the heavy and greasy feeling.

But we don’t like the packaging of the shampoo. It does not come with a pump, leaving room for improvement in user experiences.

Pros:

  • Henna that restores the natural pH balance
  • Removes buildup to maintain the pH level
  • High protein content for hair growth
  • Rich in zinc, fiber, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids to nourish hair follicles
  • Foaming shampoo for a pleasant shower
  • All-natural ingredients

Con:

  • Improvable packaging 
  • The conditioner is too liquid for application

 Shea Moisture Strengthen And Restore Set – Best For Stiff Hair

Scent Volume Notable Feature Rating Hair Type
Peppermint Shampoo: 16.3 Fl Oz

Conditioner: 13 Fl Oz

Sulfate-free and color-safe 4.5 out of 5 Chemically processed or heat-styled hair

Shea butter has helped soften Afro-textured hair with its dry and stiff nature for centuries. That’s why it’s become a staple in dreadlocks care products.

It moisturizes dry scalp that helps prevent premature hair loss. The combination with Jamaican Black Castor Oil doubles its moisturizing power to help it reach every stiff, locked hair.

Hair loss and baldness are common problems of locs that occur due to the buildup of chemicals. This concern is not relevant because Shea Moisture shampoo does not contain sulfates which can leave residues clogging the hair roots and cause hair loss.

If you want dreadlocks, you need to be willing not to wash your hair for days. This product is best for dreads because it includes mint that helps soothe the scalp, giving you a clean feeling for days. 

It pampers you with a freshly baked butter cookie scent. This fragrance helps you relax every time you shower.

This set comes in the form of thick cream, making it a little hard to apply it on your locks. But you may try to rub it on your palm evenly to create some foaming bubbles for easier application.

Note:

You need to stroke this safe shampoo along with each dread, avoid rubbing your head in a circle because it will cause frizzy and brittle locs. 

It is not recommended to put conditioner at the roots of the hair to prevent the risk of dandruff.

Pros:

  • A sulfate-free formula that removes buildup
  • Shea butter and Jamaican Black Castor Oil for twice moisturizing stiff locks
  • Minimizes breakage due to stiff hair
  • Mint that soothes the scalp

Con:

  • A thick cream that is hard to apply
  • Not used for fine and oily hair 
  • Risk of hair loss for sensitive scalp

Cantu Txtr Apple Cider Vinegar Soothing Shampoo & Cantu Shea Conditioning Mist – Best For Easy Applying

Scent Volume Notable Feature Rating Hair Type
Apple Cider Vinegar And Tea Tree Shampoo: 16 Fl Oz

Conditioner: 8 Fl Oz

Soothes itching and removes buildup 4.6 out of 5 Dry and  Damaged  Hair 

Cantu Txtr Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo has a watery formula with a small nozzle that delivers the product directly to your scalp. This hair care product is an ideal natural shampoo for dreadlocks for its utmost convenience in delivering hair products to this tricky hairstyle.

It contains Apple Cider Vinegar removing impurities from the scalp and hair. This extract is acidic to help balance the pH of the sensitive scalp and reduce flake formation. A flaky scalp can potentially cause hair loss resulting in your locks being loose.

Shea Butter and Aloe Vera play the role of moisturizing and nourishing the hair strands. You will feel the locs soft but not heavy. 

Thanks to the soothing feeling that tea tree oil gives, there is no scalp itching even though the hair hasn’t been washed for days. Besides, you won’t smell the unpleasant smell of apple cider vinegar or the heavy smell of tea tree oil. Instead, there is a clean and mild fragrance to blow away odors and mildew smells common in locs.

After shampooing, it’s time to open the lid of the Cantu Shea Conditioning Mist. This item is the ideal leave-in treatment for 2 to 4 hair types and dreadlocks.

These hair structures have a dense structure and are difficult to manage. The mist spray head design makes it easy to apply to the hair without having to run your hands through the hair.

You will feel the locs much softer and without any frizziness. The dewdrops of application do not make your hair feel sticky nor leave a strong chemical smell.

The only downside is the packaging design of the shampoo. It comes with a cap top, but not a twist top. You will have trouble with liquid leaking out when you accidentally place it horizontally.

Pros:

  • Liquid shampoo with nozzle for direct applying
  • Apple Cider vinegar balances the pH of the scalp
  • Leave-in conditioner with easy spray application
  • Shea Butter and Aloe Vera for moisturizing each loc
  • Anti-residue shampoo

Con:

  • Risk of leaking due to loose cap top
  • Shampoo is too liquid for application

MAJESTIC PURE Apple Cider Vinegar And Avocado Set – Best For Removing Buildup On Locs 

Scent Volume Notable Feature Rating Hair Type
Coconut Shampoo: 16 Fl Oz

Conditioner: 16 Fl Oz

Restores shine and reduces itchy scalp, dandruff, and frizz 4.3 out of 5 Oily and dry hair

MAJESTIC PURE Shampoo restores shiny hair surfaces and reduces dandruff and frizz. Apple Cider vinegar’s alpha-hydroxy acid helps reduce itchy scalp and remove buildup and residue latched on your dreadlocks.

It is also rich in vitamins B and C, phosphorus, and potassium that are good for the hair to help nourish from root to tip. The acidity of this ingredient helps to improve brittle hair, preventing broken locs.

The conditioner of the set gives you a combination of Avocado Oil, Moroccan Argan Oil, and Coconut Oil. They provide amino acids that help build proteins for the growth of strong hair, form a barrier that prevents UV damage so that you can continue possessing dreadlocks.

You need to have a proper method of washing to see the desired results of deep buildup removal. It is not a good idea to apply shampoo directly to the hair. You will want to rub it into your palms to create a lather before applying it to your scalp.

It’s advisable to let the shampoo sit on your dreadlocks and scalp for 1-2 minutes before rinsing. This tip will ensure deep cleaning and removal of any oils or dirt from your locks – a crucial benefit since you can’t wash your hair often.

The natural shampoo has a clean and gentle fragrance. After using the conditioner, you will smell the sweet coconut scent. Your hair will not be too scented but always maintain the fresh smell of plan-based ingredients.

But, we don’t like the thick creamy texture of the product. You will often find it hard to pump out. We hope these products will arrive in a new packaging design in the future.

If you are using this kit and are having problems with the pump, it might be worth considering Knotty Boy Dreadlock Shampoo. The packaging design of this product allows you to flip the top of the bottle upside down so that the shampoo flows out more easily.

Note:

This product contains alpha-hydroxy acid extracted from natural apple cider vinegar. Its origin and content are not enough to cause side effects for normal people.

However, pregnancy makes the skin more sensitive. You may experience side effects that you have never had before. Thus, it’s needed to consult your doctor if you use this product during pregnancy.

Pros:

  • Apple Cider vinegar remove buildup
  • Organic Avocado Oil, Moroccan Argan Oil, and Coconut Oil
  • No harsh chemicals
  • Anti-residue shampoo
  • Alpha-hydroxy acid remove buildup 

Con:

  • Difficult to pump the product out

Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Set – Best For Dry Scalp

Scent Volume Notable Feature Rating Hair Type
Vanilla Shampoo: 12 Fl Oz

Conditioner: 12 Fl Oz

Mineral oil-free, no artificial color, paraben-free,sulfate-free 4.6 out of 5 Dry and curly hair

Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Set is the best shampoo and conditioner for dry locs as it puts an end to dry, dull, and brittle hair due to moistureless scalp. You will regain a soft, shining, and manageable mane.

Rose extract in the shampoo has beneficial properties for hair and scalp. It can tighten hair roots to reduce the loss of natural oils, preventing dandruff and breakage locs.

The shampoo is quite thick, which means that just a little can go a long way. There is also a clean feeling on your hair and scalp after a few days – especially helpful when the washing frequency is limited.

The scent of rose water is very calming and soothing. It leaves your hair shining with a clean feeling even if it isn’t your first day of washing.

Besides, you can find Sweet Clover as the main ingredient of this dreadlocks shampoo. The herb is often used to treat ulcers and wounds. This feature is useful to improve scalp damage caused by tight dreadlocks.

This hairstyle is often dry and brittle if not properly cared for. You cannot get soft hair without using a conditioner. That’s where this set’s conditioner with a seductive vanilla scent comes in handy.

This item makes your dry locs moisturized and easy to pass your finger through, but not heavy and greasy. You will find it soft and far from brittle once your locs are dry.

You may be disappointed when pumping out a mixture that is not uniform in color. It’s a common problem but shouldn’t affect your hair experience.

Pros:

  • Organic ingredients
  • Rose extract that reduces the loss of scalp oil
  • Sweet Clover to treat ulcers and wounds
  • Vanilla scent conditioner
  • Decent price

Con:

  • Colored non-consistent mixture
  • Causes itchy scalp and dandruff in some people

Botanic Hearth Tea Tree – Best For Locs With Dandruff

Scent Volume Notable Feature Rating Hair Type
Lavender, Tea Tree, Peppermint, Aloe Vera Shampoo: 16 Fl Oz

Conditioner: 16 Fl Oz

Sulfate-free, paraben-free 4.1 out of 5 Dry itchy hair

Botanic Hearth shampoo contains tea tree oil, making it the best shampoo for dreads and dandruff. This ingredient unclogs pores and calms sebaceous glands, while its antibacterial properties help improve the health of dreadlocks.

“Dandruff appears to be related to the yeast Pityrosporum ovale. Tea tree oil has antifungal properties with activity against P ovale and may be useful in the treatment of dandruff.” – Treatment of dandruff with 5% tea tree oil shampoo.

Besides, it features a combination of lavender oil extract and mint, delivering twice as much resistance to hair loss and reduces itchy scalp. These are two common problems of dreadlocks caused by the wrong care..

One of the rules when taking care of dreadlocks is not to wash your hair often to avoid loosening the locks. However, this action makes the scalp itchy due to clogged hair roots for a long time.

The conditioner from this set contains Aloe Vera and orange extract for dual action. It moisturizes hair and removes excess oil leaving your dreads clean and soft for a few days while you wait for the next shampooing day.

All in all, this recommendation is the best clarifying shampoo for locs with rosemary oil with deodorizing properties. In comparison, the conditioner delivers to your hair a minty smell. 

The pump is quite difficult to use, unfortunately. You may need 6-9 presses to get enough for the whole hair. The manufacturer may want to do some engineering in the packaging design.

Pros:

  • Natural ingredients
  • Tea tree oil that removes dandruff-prone dreadlocks
  • Lavender oil extract to reduce hair loss caused by tight locs
  • No harsh chemicals
  • Minty smell for long-last freshness on locs

Con:

  • The pump is quite difficult to use

Garnier Hair Care Fructis Curl Nourish Set – Best For Curly Hair’s Optimal Moisturizing

Scent Volume Notable Feature Rating Hair Type
Coconut Shampoo: 12.5 Fl Oz

Conditioner: 12.5 Fl Oz

Leave-in treatment: 10.2 Fl Oz

Formula for nourished, frizz-resistant curls 4.6 out of 5 Curly hair

Garnier Hair Care Fructis Curl Nourish set moisturizes curly hair for up to 3 days. This set is formatted for hair types 2, 3, and 4 and protective hairstyles.

Moisturizing features in this set are created by Glycerin. It absorbs moisture from the air into the coils, avoiding dry scalp that causes dandruff for locs.

Meanwhile, Coconut Oil absorbs nutrients deep into the hair shaft. It stimulates the growth in length and increases the thickness of the hair for fastened locks.

With the addition of the natural protein of Macadamia oil, healthy hair is waiting for you ahead. It gives you moisturized and durable curly hair under the impact of styling and chemical use.

All the beneficial ingredients work together for a superior hair care formula. It delivers soft yet lightweight locs.

Both shampoo and conditioner are in the form of thick butter, which is its only drawback. This texture forms an oily film on the hair after washing; thus using only a small amount of products is a better idea.

Note:

We recommend using a very small amount. In addition, drying hair at a cold temperature when hair is wet also helps reduce the greasy feeling when running your hands through your hair.

Pros:

  • Natural ingredients
  • Glycerin moisturizes curly hair
  • Keep locs moisturized with Coconut Oil and Macadamia oil
  • Fatty acids deeply build hair cells

Con:

  • Greasy feeling on the hair if overused

Lion Locs 2-in-1 Shampoo And Conditioner – Best For Saving Time 

Scent Volume Notable Feature Rating Hair Type
Coconut 8 Oz 2 in 1 Co-Wash for Dreadlocks 4.5 out of 5 Dreadlocks

Lion Locs shampoo and conditioner is a 2-in-1 co-wash product. It helps you cut shampooing time in half, making it a common option for people with dreadlocks.

The product comes with a sulfate-free formula that cleanses the scalp without leaving any buildup, residue, or debris. It gives a light feel to all types of dreadlocks while saving you extra time and money on different products.

Lion Locs manufactures this item with a list of vegan and chemical-free ingredients. It is guaranteed not to cause you any harmful effects.

The natural ingredient list includes organic Aloe leaf juice, Jojoba oil, Moroccan Argan oil, and Castor oil that gives you plenty of benefits:

  • Balance the pH level
  • Prevent scalp itching and dandruff.
  • Nourish the hair from within.
  • Stimulates hair growth.
  • Restore hair health and prevent damage caused by tight dreadlocks.

This 2-in-1 product comes in a thick buttery form but doesn’t leave a residue on the hair. It gives you a light floral scent that doesn’t last long.

The only complaint is its visually deceptive packaging. The big jar makes you feel like there’s a lot of cream inside. In fact, it is half empty. Hence, you want to read over the volume of the product before paying.

Pros:

  • 2-in-1 co-wash for time efficiency
  • The sulfate-free formula for preventing buildup
  • Natural ingredients that nourish each hair fiber braided in the locs
  • No harmful chemicals
  • Decent price

Con:

  • Product capacity is small

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Best Hair Type For Dreadlocks?

The best type to have dreadlocks is coarse hair. The rough surface of this hair type helps keep the knots from coming loose.

If your hair is both dry and frizzy, it’s ideal to start locs. The hair strands bond tightly together, making it easier to lock each other.

Naturally, curly hair is also ideal for creating perfect dreadlocks. Its waves and coils tend to bend and twist through each other much easier than straight hair does.

So can you do locs with straight hair? The answer is yes, if you have straight and thick hair. The abundant volume of hair helps you manage the number and the thickness of dreads without being worried about a limp or thin look.

How Can I Moisturize My Dreads Daily?

Coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, and castor oil are all rich in moisturizing properties for dry dreads. You can massage the oil directly along each locs or make use of shampoos and conditioners with the said ingredients to save time.

A bony spray containing a mixture of oil and water to apply directly onto the hair is a helpful tip. It helps you enjoy your daily hair care routine without the hassle of greasy hands.

Recipes from apple cider vinegar and aloe, and avocado are also easy to make and apply. These botanical ingredients help tight the roots to prevent oily residues and create a protective film against moisture loss for hydrated hair.

How often do you wash your dreads?

Washing dreadlocks every day will loosen your locks. Meanwhile, if you don’t wash your hair for a week, the accumulated excess oil and dirt from the environment will cause an itchy scalp, and even dandruff.

You should shampoo dreads at least every 2-3 days. This frequency allows your scalp to balance the natural pH and oils, while keeping your dreads from bad odor.

How To Wash Dreadlocks?

We recommend starting with a small amount of shampoo on your scalp. You should foam the shampoo before applying it to your hair. This action will help distribute it more evenly without consuming too much.

Gently pat foam on your locs, but do not rub or twist the dreads while washing. Instead, run your fingers from the hairline along with each dread. Then rinse off with water.

What Is Bad About Dreadlocks?

Prone To Smell

The dreadlocks easily smell unpleasant because of the close density and the requirement for irregular washes. Chemical cosmetics and a dirty environment are also reasons for bad odors in locs.

Using sulfate-free shampoo will help keep your locs clean without buildup. We recommend you avoid fragranced products because they can irritate the scalp.

Note: It’s not a good idea to style or apply cosmetics while the dreadlocks are wet. This action will cause your hair to smell damp and grow mold. You want to wait for them to dry to touch before doing that.

Long-drying Time

It takes about 3-6 hours for the dreadlocks to dry completely due to its locked property of hair. If you do not have the patience to dry your hair to the touch, it becomes a favorable condition for odors and molds to grow.

Many people have the mistaken idea that reducing the number of shampoos will save time drying hair. On the contrary, a greasy and dirty scalp leads to scalp diseases like eczema, psoriasis, and dandruff.

Therefore, you need to be patient with your dreads and take time to take care of them if you love this hairstyle.

Hard to change style

Once you get started with dreadlocks, you need to understand that you will stick with them for a long time. It is impossible to change the style without sacrificing a big chunk of your natural hair.

Scalp damage

Heavy locs can pull your scalp, causing hair loss and headaches. Besides, the tightening of twisting your locs will cause an itchy scalp, especially when the washing frequency is limited.

How Can I Maintain My Healthy Dreadlocks At Home?

There are a few ways to maintain your dreadlocks at home. 

  • Keep a rinsing routine once every week or every other week with shampoos exclusively for dreads.
  • Moisturize your locs with deep conditioning treatments.
  • Use a satin towel to wrap your hair when you go to sleep.
  • Don’t trim your frizzy locks.
  • Avoid wearing tight dread hairstyles.
  • Dry your dreads very well after every washing.
  • Use an oil-infused twisting cream to lock your dreads instead of wax – whose side effects are mentioned above.

It’s necessary to wash them right before twisting. It’s highly recommended to do so when your hair is wet. Applying on damage and dry hair will cause it to break and fall out.

We recommend keeping the locs loose before completely drying to avoid causing bad odors and molds. Using a dryer set to low heat or air drying is the best method.

Conclusion 

You already have the 8 best shampoo and conditioners for dreadlocks. Has any product met your search?

Here is a quick summary of choosing the right product. A sulfate-free shampoo like Shea Moisture Strengthen is a great choice for locs as it leaves no buildup after washing.

Suppose you are looking for the best conditioner; let’s consider Lion Locs 2 in 1 Co-Wash. It has a leave-in feature that locks the moisturizer deep into the hair shaft.

Don’t hesitate to share with us your list of shampoo and conditioner for dreads in the comment box. Thanks, and keep reading other articles on our site.

Edna

I’m Edna. I'm here to guide you about hair products and maintenance tips. You'll fine here product reviews regarding hair tools, hair color, hair care and more along with tips to keep your hair healthy!

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