How do I Choose the Best Dreadlock Shampoo?

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  • Written By: Tiffany Manley
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
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  • Last Modified Date: 20 October 2019
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As with any hairstyle, dreadlocks require a certain care and maintenance routine to stay clean, healthy and stylish. Part of this care and maintenance routine involves choosing the best dreadlock shampoo. There are several things to look for when choosing a dreadlock shampoo, such as all-natural ingredients, the presence of essential oils and the absence of surfactants. Keep in mind that how often you shampoo your hair will depend on how new your dreadlocks are.

All-natural ingredients are one of the most important things to look for when choosing the best dreadlock shampoo. Chemicals and other manmade items can cause residue to build up in your hair, which keeps the hair from locking properly. All-natural ingredients might also help prevent an itchy scalp by nourishing, refreshing and cleaning the scalp. In addition to being good for your scalp, all-natural ingredients are good for the environment as well.

Essential oils such as tea tree, peppermint and rosemary are ingredients that do a great deal to help skin and hair. A good dreadlock shampoo might contain one or more of these oils. These oils help with reducing dandruff and itchy scalps as well as treating oily skin and hair, and they have antibacterial and antifungal properties. Dreadlocks benefit from a shampoo that promotes healthy hair, a clean scalp and ingredients that help prevent the tightly locked hair from becoming dirty.


Surfactants are chemicals used in products such as soap and shampoo to promote lots of lather. These chemicals and the subsequent lather are not necessary, and they are rather harsh for use in soaps and shampoos. A good dreadlock shampoo generally does not contain surfactants, because these can irritate a scalp and strip the hair of essential moisture and other properties that create soft, healthy dreadlocks. Surfactants might be labeled as sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) or coconut-derived in ingredient lists, or they might not appear in the ingredient list at all. It might instead be labeled as an all-natural shampoo that contains vegetable-derived ingredients.

Many people choose to use products designed by people who also have dreadlocks. These individuals are aware of the needs and desires of others who have dreadlocks and work to create a product that works well as a dreadlock shampoo in addition to many other products for use in dreadlocked hair. Some products might be found in local beauty supply stores, and others might be available only online. Dreadlock shampoos are sold in both liquid shampoo form and bar form.


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Post 4

Dread soap is a better choice for me than shampoo. A bar of it lasts longer than a bottle of dread shampoo because of the way it has to be distributed.

When you have dreads, you can't just work shampoo through your hair and expect it to work its way to the other side. You have to squirt the shampoo directly onto each dread, and before long, you will find that you use a lot of it.

So, a solid bar of soap lasts much longer. I can move it all around my dreads, and it saves me time, because I don't have to stop, pick up a bottle, and squirt every few seconds.

Post 3

@StarJo – I had the same misconception about dreadlocks for years. Once I started dating a guy with dreads, he straightened me out and told me about the washing process.

He told me that for the first month, he could only wash his dreads every four days. After that, though, he could wash them every other day.

Right now, he is using a wonderfully aromatic shampoo for dreadlocks that contains peppermint oil and saponified olive oil. It keeps his scalp moisturized, and it keeps his hair from drying out too much.

I used to think that people with dreads would be smelly, because I believed that they just didn't wash their hair. My boyfriend's hair actually smells even better than mine!

Post 2

My brother has dreadlocks, and he washes his once a month with dread soap. It is designed to be residue free.

He started using the soap after his friend started to get mildew on his dreads. They lock in so much moisture that it can take them a long time to dry, so you have to be careful to keep mildew out.

The dread soap offers such a deep cleansing that he only uses it once every four weeks. He washes his dreads with residue free shampoo every other day up until time for the deep cleansing.

Post 1

I have a friend who attempted to keep dreadlocks in his hair. He did not know that he could wash them, so he wound up giving up on the hairstyle altogether after three days.

The itchiness became unbearable. I can only imagine how it must have felt, because if I go just one day without shampooing, my scalp itches terribly.

I think that if he had been aware of the shampoos made specifically for dreadlocks, he would have stuck to the process. The essential oils to treat itchy scalps would have been particularly helpful to him.

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