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Best Clarifying Shampoos for Locs for 2024 – a Cosmetologist’s Guide

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best clarifying shampoo for locsDreadlocks are like a stormy sea – wild and untamed. And just like any other hairstyle, they need to be properly maintained in order to look their best. It is important to use the right shampoo for locs that will deeply cleanse the scalp and hair strands without stripping away natural oils or causing damage.

A clarifying shampoo for locs can help remove build-up from products as well as dirt and debris, giving you cleaner, healthier dreadlocks with every wash! In this guide, we’ll discuss the 10 best clarifying shampoos for locs available in 2023 so that you can find one which suits your needs perfectly.

We’ll also dive into what makes a great clarifying shampoo by discussing ingredients, concerns about hair type or scalp type, plus how fragrances might affect your choice of product too! So if you’re looking for an affordable yet effective way of keeping your dreadlocks looking amazing all year round, then read on – it’s time to get familiar with some top-rated shampoos specifically designed for those beautiful locks!

Key Takeaways

  • Look for clarifying shampoos with natural ingredients like tea tree oil, aloe vera, coconut oil, and peppermint.
  • Avoid shampoos that contain sulfates, parabens, and harsh chemicals that can damage locs.
  • Consider your hair type and concerns such as dryness, oiliness, and itchiness when choosing a clarifying shampoo.
  • Use clarifying shampoos sparingly, about every 4-6 weeks, to avoid stripping natural oils from your locs.

Top 10 Best Clarifying Shampoos for Locs

Finding the right clarifying shampoo for locs can be challenging. With these top 10 products, you will have no trouble getting your locks clean, healthy, and looking their best with natural ingredients like coconut oil, peppermint oil, mango seed oil, and shea butter.

Professional Dreadlock Shampoo

Try Dollylocks Professional Organic Dreadlock Shampoo for a gentle yet effective cleanse that’ll leave your locs feeling refreshed and residue-free. This clarifying liquid shampoo is handcrafted in small batches with high-quality, natural plant-based ingredients, perfect for those looking to get rid of buildup without harsh sulfates.

Its low foaming suds require more product than advertised, but the smell lingers wonderfully in hair after washing – it’s like you just came out of a spa! Gently massaging the scalp helps remove dirt and oil while maintaining hair growth.

  • Handcrafted in small batches with high-quality raw ingredients
  • Variety of scents available
  • Leaves hair feeling clean and refreshed
  • Helps eliminate buildup without harsh sulfates
  • Low foam/suds require more product than advertised
  • Smell lingers long after use
  • Requires multiple uses for full cleaning effect

Stylin Dredz Shampoo Tea Tree Oil

Stylin Dredz Spray Shampoo -View On Amazon
Ditch the dandruff and refresh your dreadlocks with Stylin Dredz Shampoo Tea Tree Oil. This two-bottle pack of 32 fl oz each is a foaming lather designed to moisturize hair and scalp while reducing residue build-up.

It is formulated with tea tree oil, making it suitable for adult use. You can easily apply it using the spray bottle included in the package. Gently massage into roots for best results. This shampoo leaves hair shiny, healthy, and free from dandruff without drying out or leaving behind unwanted buildup.

  • Foaming lather refreshes locks while removing residue build-up.
  • Suitable for adults with all types of hair textures.
  • Easy application via spray bottle.
  • Some users have reported leaking issues.
  • Not ideal if you are looking for intense moisture.
  • Packaging/shipping damage has been reported.

Knatty Dreadlocks Shampoo

Knatty Dread Dreadlocks ShampooView On Amazon
Knatty Dreadlocks Shampoo is designed to provide residue-free cleansing and help tighten locs without weighing them down. This liquid shampoo contains a coconut-based formula that makes it suitable for all hair types, including dreaded locks.

The unscented version of this dreadlocks shampoo helps eliminate buildup in the hair while maintaining growth and cleaning the scalp effectively. Applying from roots to tips ensures even coverage across each dreadlock without leaving any residue behind after rinsing out.


  1. Residue-free
  2. Suitable for all hair types
  3. Concentrated formulas
  4. Unscented
  5. Eliminates build-up
  6. Strengthens structure
  7. Prevents dandruff & itching
  8. Promotes new growth
  9. Gentle on the scalp
  10. Great value


  1. May cause some flaking after a few days
  2. Watery consistency may make it hard to dispense
  3. Not ideal if you have colored or treated locks

Organic Dreadlock Shampoo

Lockology Dreadlock Shampoo with PeppermintView On Amazon
Organic Dreadlock Shampoo by Lockology will nourish your hair and scalp with its natural and organic ingredients, while providing a deep cleanse to remove buildup.

Formulated with peppermint essential oil, this shampoo is designed specifically for adults with thick hair. It has a thinner viscosity that penetrates locs easily and rinses out quickly without leaving any residue behind.

It’s perfect for those who want to avoid fillers or thickeners, as well as harsh chemicals associated with regular shampoos, but still get the same results of tight locks, cleanliness, softness, vitality, and shine – plus no more flakes!

  • Natural and organic ingredients
  • No fillers or thickeners
  • Thinner viscosity to penetrate locs
  • Helps reduce itching and dryness
  • Watery consistency makes it hard to dispense
  • Some feel it doesn’t lather enough
  • May not thoroughly clean hair

Knotty Boy Dreadlock Shampoo

Knotty Boy Dreadlock Shampoo 16ozView On Amazon
Experience the tingling sensation of Knotty Boy Dreadlock Shampoo on your scalp and invigorate your locs with its natural essential oils.

This all-natural, residue-free shampoo is specifically made for dreadlocks and contains peppermint, tea tree, and rosemary essential oils.

With no SLS or other foaming agents to worry about, you won’t have to sacrifice cleanliness for safety.

It lathers like regular shampoo but without the buildup that can cause knots in dreadlocks. Instead, it will leave hair feeling soft and moisturized while also helping prevent dandruff or scalp irritation.

And because it’s biodegradable as well as mountain stream friendly, using Knotty Boy Dreadlock Shampoo helps protect our environment too!

  • All-natural ingredients
  • Residue-free
  • Concentrated formula lasts longer
  • Lathers like regular shampoo
  • Higher price point than some alternatives
  • Watery consistency makes dispensing difficult

Jamaican Mango Lime Shampoo

Jamaican Mango and Lime TingleView On Amazon
Jamaican Mango Lime Shampoo provides a tropical treat for your locs, leaving them soft and moisturized with its invigorating mango scent. Combining traditional Jamaican recipes with natural ingredients, it massages the scalp to relieve itching while removing build-up and maintaining healthy locks.

The shampoo has a tingle that leaves you feeling clean after use, but it can dry out hair if not followed by conditioner.

Suitable for both straight and dreaded hair types, it also rinses out easily in hard water – perfect when no access to soft water is available.

  • Natural ingredients massage the scalp & remove buildup
  • Tingles the scalp & refreshes hair with mango scent
  • Suitable for all types of hair (including locked)
  • Rinses out easily even in hard water
  • Can dry out hair

Dreadlock Soap DreadHeadHQ

DreadHeadHQ’s Dreadlock Soap will have your locs feeling clean and tight, while helping you maintain a healthy scalp and prevent dandruff. This natural dreadlock shampoo strengthens locks, increases scalp hydration, refreshes hair, and helps develop freeform dreads quickly.

The watery consistency makes it easy to apply but hard to dispense correctly. Nonetheless, the suds are able to cleanse well without heavy scent or residue. Users love this product as it helps lock down their new growth with one wash! It also leaves hair soft and shiny every time – perfect for those looking for an effective cleansing solution that won’t leave any residue buildup behind.

  • Helps tighten and mature dreadlocks
  • Moisturizes scalp and prevents dandruff
  • Strengthens locks and promotes growth
  • Watery consistency is difficult to dispense correctly
  • May cause some flaking after a few days

Twisted Sista Clarifying Shampoo

Twisted Sista Clarifying Shampoo nourishes and hydrates curly hair with its coconut, avocado, and almond oils – leaving it soft and shiny without drying out. Don’t you want to have healthy locks that can stay moisturized? This vegan sulfate-free shampoo prevents drying while providing moisture, heat protection, and promoting hair growth.

Its clean feel refreshes your locs without stripping natural oils from them. The rose water peppermint scent is refreshing but not overpowering like some shampoos can be.

With regular use of this clarifying shampoo for locs, your scalp will become more hydrated, leading to a healthier overall look for your dreadlocks or other protective styles such as braids or twists!

  • Moisturizing
  • Prevents Drying
  • Heat Protection
  • Expensive With Shipping
  • Awful Smell
  • Unexpected Consistency

Locsanity Rose Water Peppermint Spray

Locsanity Daily Moisturizing Refreshing SprayView On Amazon
Locsanity’s Rose Water Peppermint Spray moisturizes and strengthens locs, nourishing the scalp and preventing dandruff for a refreshed look. Formulated with natural ingredients like rosewater, peppermint, vitamins, and plant extracts, this vegan-friendly shampoo provides moisture without any buildup while soothing dry or itchy scalps.

The lightweight formula won’t leave behind any greasy residue but will still provide a fresh scent that lasts for hours – perfect to combat bad hair days! Customers rave about how easy it is to use: simply spray onto your locks after washing them every two weeks or so.

With 8oz and 12oz sizes available lasting up 2 – 3 months each time you purchase one of these bottles, you’ll be sure to have healthy-looking dreadlocks all year round – plus they also make great holiday gifts too!

  • Hydrates & strengthens locks
  • Nourishes scalp & prevents dandruff
  • Moisturizes without buildup
  • Lightweight formula without greasy residue
  • Fresh scent lasts several hours
  • Vegan-friendly & sulfate-free
  • Suitable for colored hair
  • Can cause flaking after a few days
  • Too watery, making it hard to dispense

Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo

Neutrogena Anti-Residue Clarifying Shampoo, GentleView On Amazon
Neutrogena’s Anti-Residue Shampoo is a great way to give your locs an extra boost of cleanliness and volume, allowing you to ditch bad hair days for good. This 12 oz bottle contains clarifying shampoo that removes up to 90% of residue from other products.

Its non-irritating formula gently cleanses hair and boosts volume by removing buildup.

It’s gentle enough for all types of hair, even color-treated locks, so everyone can benefit from this powerful product.

  • Removes up to 90% of residue from other products
  • Non-irritating formula
  • Gently cleanses hair
  • Boosts volume by removing buildup
  • Safe for color-treated locks
  • Designed only to be used weekly
  • May cause flaking if not followed directions correctly

What is a Clarifying Shampoo for Locs?

What is a Clarifying Shampoo for Locs
Searching for the best clarifying shampoo for your locs? Look no further than Dollylocks Nag Champa Shampoo Bar, a lightweight and residue-free formula that effectively cleanses while moisturizing. For more intense hydration, try Dollylocks Nag Champa Liquid Shampoo with organic seed oils to nourish mature locs.

Knatty Dread Loc Shampoo is cruelty-free and coconut-based to help tighten dreadlocks without buildup. Knotty Boy Dreadlock Shampoo soothes itchy scalps with essential peppermint, tea tree, and rosemary oils.

Best Lightweight Formula: Dollylocks Nag Champa Shampoo Bar

Nourish your locs with Dollylocks Nag Champa Shampoo Bar for a lightweight yet deeply hydrating cleanse. This vegan formula is perfect for freeform dreadlocks and contains rose water, peppermint, vitamins, and plant extracts to help strengthen hair while providing heat protection.

Plus, it’s sulfate-free, so it won’t damage dyed or colored locks! It works great on all types of locs – microlocks, interlocks, and even protective styles like braids & twists – by nourishing the scalp with its natural ingredients, promoting hydration & growth without any buildup or residue.

Best for Moisturizing: Dollylocks Nag Champa Liquid Shampoo

For intense moisturization, try Dollylocks Nag Champa Liquid Shampoo – formulated with organic seed oils to nourish your locs and restore shine.

With over 14 essential vitamins and minerals for scalp health, it’s sure to leave your dreadlocks feeling soft and hydrated.

Coconut surfactants cleanse residue-free without drying out oily scalps, while tea tree oil detoxifies the scalp.

Plant-based cleansers like almond oil and jojoba oil add nourishing oils that won’t clog pores or cause buildup – perfect for those seeking sulfate-free formulas!

Enjoy a deep cleanse with this lightweight formula that tightens locks while adding volume.

So give Dollylocks Nag Champa Liquid Shampoo a shot – you won’t regret it!

Best Cruelty-Free Formula: Knatty Dread Loc Shampoo

Discover Knatty Dread Loc Shampoo, a cruelty-free formula that offers residue-free cleansing and tightening for locs. With no sulfates or harsh chemicals, its botanical-based ingredients provide a minty fresh experience while being scalp-friendly.

Knotty Boy Dreadlock Shampoo is perfect for those looking to cleanse without drying out their hair due to its natural oils content. Dollylocks Nag Champa Liquid shampoo nourishes with organic seed oils, and the Bar contains coconut oil and shea butter to gently cleanse without stripping away much-needed moisture from your dreadlocks.

Best for Itchy Scalp: Knotty Boy Dreadlock Shampoo

Experience the soothing power of Knotty Boy Dreadlock Shampoo and say goodbye to itchy scalps! This sulfate-free shampoo is fortified with natural oils like peppermint, hemp seed, tea tree, and moringa seed oil, as well as Manuka honey.

It works to clarify residue without stripping away essential oils from your locs while relieving an itchy scalp.

Use this dread shampoo weekly for best results. Massage into roots, rinse thoroughly, allow the product to sit on hair, remove excess buildup, and enjoy cleaner locks! Its invigorating formula leaves a fresh scent that will reinvigorate your locs while helping them look their best.

Best for Detangling: Stylin’ Dredz Spray Dreadlock Shampoo

Unlock the power of Stylin’ Dredz Spray Dreadlock Shampoo to nourish and detangle your locs with its tea tree oil blend.

This residue-free, pH balanced shampoo helps protect against hair damage while caring for scalp health. Its natural ingredients are specifically formulated to provide optimal care and maintenance for micro locs or any type of dreadlocks without causing buildup over time.

For best results, use trial and error; this allows you to find the perfect balance between cleansing strength and moisturizing properties that work best on your locks.

Detangling tips include gentle massaging from roots to ends as well as allowing it to sit in wet hair before rinsing out completely – helping make sure every strand is clean!

Try Stylin’ Dredz Spray today for healthier, stronger locks tomorrow!

Things You Should Consider Before Buying a Clarifying Shampoo for Your Dreadlocks

Things You Should Consider Before Buying a Clarifying Shampoo for Your Dreadlocks
When choosing a clarifying shampoo for your dreadlocks, make sure to examine the ingredients list and evaluate your hair’s needs. Take into account factors such as moisturizing properties, pH balance, fragrances, and price before choosing one that suits you.

Natural oils like coconut or avocado can help provide moisture while avoiding harsh chemicals or sulfates that may strip away natural oils from locs. Take note of any scalp issues when selecting a product so that it can address those concerns without further drying out the locks.


When selecting a clarifying shampoo for your dreadlocks, look for natural ingredients like tea tree oil, rosemary, and aloe vera to nourish and protect your scalp. Avoid sulfate-free shampoos as they can strip natural oils from hair. Consider the pH balance of 4.

5-5.5, which is slightly acidic – gentle enough not to damage locs yet effective in removing residue buildup without leaving an oily film behind on the scalp or hair shafts.

Look out for moisturizing oils such as coconut oil, olive oil, or castor bean that help hydrate dry, brittle locks while also tightening them up naturally over time.

Hair Concerns

Address any scalp issues you may have, such as dryness or itchiness, when selecting a clarifying shampoo for your locks. Look for natural oils to nourish the scalp and maintain pH balance. Check labels for sulfate-free shampoos and those that are residue-free to avoid product buildup.

Opt for shampoo bars without harsh chemicals, but be aware of sulfates content in some brands.


Use a clarifying shampoo for your dreadlocks sparingly, no more than every 4-6 weeks, to avoid stripping natural oils. Consider pH balance and hair type when selecting the best product for you. Look for moisturizing ingredients like coconut oil as well as nourishing essential oils and botanicals such as rosemary or tea tree oil.

If you have an active lifestyle where sweat or chlorine is common, opt for shampoos that remove residue without drying out hair.

When using a clarifying shampoo, make sure it has all the necessary properties to ensure healthy locs: sulfate-free, residue-free, but also hydrating enough not to cause dryness in your scalp while providing a deep cleanse so they can look their best!


Choose a shampoo with a refreshing mint scent to keep your locs smelling great and feeling invigorated. Fragrance options include natural oils, botanical and plant-based ingredients like rosemary oil, apple cider vinegar, or champa scent.

For sensitive scalps, opt for sulfate-free formulas with moisturizing ingredients such as grape seed oil.

Look for products that are specifically designed for dreadlocks to ensure maximum effectiveness while avoiding residue build-up or drying out of hair strands. Dreadlock shampoos should provide nourishment without overloading the scalp – select one that has pH-balanced cleansers along with gentle yet effective cleansing agents derived from plants and nature.


Price is an important factor when picking the perfect clarifying shampoo for your dreadlocks, so shop around and compare costs carefully. Whether you’re looking for budget-friendly options or value-priced products, there are affordable options to choose from.

Try Knatty Dread Loc Shampoo if you need a gentle formula that prevents product buildup on mature dreadlocks. Hawaiian Sea Salt adds nourishment and hydration without drying out hair too much.

For those with sensitive scalps, Dread Head HQ offers residue-free shampoos designed specifically to be non-irritating yet effective at removing oils and residues without overstripping natural oils from locs in one wash!

Find what works best within your price range while still being mindful of ingredients like sulfates, which can dry out locks quickly!

How to Select the Right Shampoo for Dreadlocks?

How to Select the Right Shampoo for Dreadlocks
Choosing the best shampoo for dreadlocks requires an understanding of your locs’ hair and scalp type, as well as consideration for any desired scent. With a variety of products available on the market that are specifically designed to cleanse and maintain healthy locs, you can find one that suits your individual needs while avoiding harsh chemicals or fragrances.

Locs Hair Type

Considering your hair type and texture is essential when selecting a clarifying shampoo for locs. It is important to choose a shampoo that provides moisture and hydration with natural oils to prevent dryness.

Look for shampoos that contain natural ingredients such as tea tree oil, rosemary, and aloe vera.

Active lifestyles require residue-free shampoos to remove sweat, chlorine, or saltwater residues. On the other hand, oily hair needs balancing shampoos without any build-up. If you have dry brittle locs, opt for long-lasting formulas that are free from heavy fragrances.

Look for shampoos with an acidic pH of 4.5 – 5.5 range. However, it may require some trial and error since everyone’s hair is unique.

Here are some tips to consider when selecting a clarifying shampoo for locs:

  • Opt for a sulfate-free formula.
  • Address specific concerns like itchiness or dryness.
  • Moisturize locks while cleaning up.
  • Avoid regular shampoo and dry ones on dreadlocks.
  • Choose plant-based hydrating formulas.

Finding the right balance between cleansing and nourishing helps keep locs healthy-looking over time. It prevents frizziness caused by buildup while avoiding stripping away the precious oils in the process.

Scalp Type

Determine your scalp type to discover the perfect clarifying shampoo for your dreadlocks—one that hydrates and cleanses without stripping natural oils.




Hydration Levels

Scalp Health

Natural Oils

Eden Bodyworks Peppermint Tea Tree Clarifying Shampoo (hydrolyzed oat protein)

Knotty Boy Dreadlock Shampoo Bar (saponified oils)

Dollylocks Coconut Lime Grapefruit Shampoo Bar (grapeseed oil)

Opt for a pH balanced, sulfate-free formula tailored to hair texture. Look for ingredients like tea tree or peppermint oil, aloe vera, shea butter, and coconut oil. Use residue-free conditioners after washing with clarifying shampoo to maintain moisture levels and prevent dryness in locs.


When choosing a clarifying shampoo for locs, consider the scent of the product to ensure it’s pleasant and not too strong. For freshness, opt for natural oils like peppermint or rosemary oil that will invigorate the scalp without irritation.

pH balance is also important. Look for sulfate-free shampoos with a 4.5-5.5 range to maintain hydration and shine in dreadlocks without drying them out or stripping away beneficial natural oils necessary to moisturize hair strands from root to tip.

Avoid parabens as well! Make sure green tea extract is an ingredient before purchasing any clarifying products specifically designed with dreadlocks in mind.

How to Select the Right Clarifying Shampoo for Your Locs

How to Select the Right Clarifying Shampoo for Your Locs
Finding the right clarifying shampoo for your locs is like finding a needle in a haystack.

Start by avoiding sulfates, parabens, harsh chemicals, and preservatives that can damage hair. Check labels for hydrating ingredients such as natural oils or aloe vera, which provide moisture while cleansing the scalp of environmental aggressors.

Pay attention to pH balance. Locs have slightly acidic levels, so opt for shampoos with a pH level range of 4.

Incorporate moisturizing oils like coconut into your routine to combat residue build-up without stripping essential nourishment from locks or drying out the scalp.

Apply conditioner after shampooing to ensure adequate hydration throughout the length of your dreadlocks, leaving them clean yet soft.

Reviews based on black hair care expertise are invaluable when selecting the best clarifying shampoo options tailored specifically towards lock maintenance. Some recommended options are Dollylocks Professional Organic Dreadlock Shampoo, Stylin’ Dredz Spray Tea Tree Oil, and Knatty Dread Loc Shampoo.

Make sure the shampoo is formulated with hydrating elements and comes with proper usage/frequency guidelines tailored towards individual needs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How often should I use clarifying shampoo for locs?

Use clarifying shampoo for locs no more than once every 4-6 weeks to avoid stripping natural oils. Choose a sulfate-free, moisturizing formula that addresses your hair concerns and type.

Does clarifying shampoo damage my locs?

Clarifying shampoos can be damaging if used too often, as they strip natural oils from the locs. Use once a month or when hair is very dirty, and look for natural ingredients like tea tree oil to avoid harsh chemicals.

Choose one that provides moisture and hydration with natural oils to prevent dryness.

Are there any clarifying shampoos specifically for colored hair?

Yes, there are clarifying shampoos specifically for colored hair. Look for ones like OUAI Detox Clarifying Shampoo that contain apple cider vinegar and chelating agents – it’s like a refreshing spa treatment! Natural ingredients, free of sulfates and parabens, can help protect color while removing residue.

Can I use clarifying shampoo on non-dreaded hair?

Yes, you can use clarifying shampoo on non-dreaded hair. It will remove product residue and buildup, leaving it feeling clean and refreshed without overdrying. Choose a sulfate-free formula with natural oils to avoid stripping your hair of its natural moisture.

Are there any clarifying shampoos that are suitable for sensitive scalps?

Yes, Dread Head HQ’s clarifying shampoo is residue-free and perfect for sensitive scalps. It helps tighten dreadlocks without irritating the skin or stripping natural oils. With its refreshing mint scent, it gets rid of buildup while keeping hair soft and hydrated.


Finding the right clarifying shampoo for your dreadlocks can seem daunting, but with the right information, it doesn’t have to be. The best clarifying shampoo for locs is the one that fits your hair type, scalp type, and specific needs.

There are plenty of options to choose from, ranging from gentle cleansers to residue-free formulas. Whether you opt for Knotty Boy, Dollylocks, or Twisted Sista, you can trust that all of these products will help get rid of buildup without damaging your hair.

Don’t forget to read the ingredients list and reviews to ensure you’re getting the best clarifying shampoo for your locs.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and beard care expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and get fatter. His work has been mentioned in countless notable publications on men's care and style and has been cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.