Despite the misconception, dreadlocks should be kept clean and need to be washed regularly.
Healthy dreadlocks begin with a healthy scalp.
I get asked quite a lot what shampoo to use on dreadlocks. Here is a guide to help you choose your perfect dreadlock shampoo.
The difference between a dreadlock shampoo and an ordinary shampoo
We could think that dreadlock shampoos have special properties that make them different from an ordinary commercial shampoo. It is actually not the case.
Shampoos mostly contains water and cleaning agents called detergents. Sometimes, oils and butters (shea butter, cocoa butter…) are added to provide extra softness. You can also find actives like protein or anti-dandruff ingredients.
If you actually compare the composition of a dreadlocks shampoo and an ordinary shampoo, the formula can be quite similar.
What shampoo to look for ?
Now that we established that you don’t have to pick a dreadlocks shampoo, what shampoo should you look for?
The shampoo you choose should leave no residue on your hair.
Translucent shampoos and clarifying shampoos are great for washing dreadlocks.
Creamy shampoos contain ingredients like butters or oils that will leave oily residues. They can also contain conditioning agents that bonds tightly to the hair and can be responsible for build-up.
Here are 11 shampoos to use on dreadlocks.
You can find them either in your supermarket, Priceline or online (iHerb, eBay).
A’KIN by Al’chemy Lemongrass Shampoo
AUSTRALIAN NATIVE BOTANICALS Everyday Rejuvenating Shampoo
ECOSTORE Volumising Shampoo
Everyone, Nourish, Shampoo, Health + Happy
HERBAL ESSENCES Daily Detox Shine Shampoo
Home Health, Everclean, Antidandruff Shampoo, Unscented iHerb
Kinky Curly – Come Clean
Neutrogena – Anti-residue shampoo
Neutrogena – T.Gel Shampoo
Organic Dreadlocks – Natural Oil Shampoo
SUKIN Purifying Shampoo
TRESEMMÉ Deep Cleansing Shampoo
How often should you wash your dreadlocks?
I recommend washing your dreadlocks at least once a week.
If you have just started dreadlocks, I would recommend waiting at least one to two weeks before washing them.
Do not shy away from the beach!
Salt water is actually very good to help with the matting process.
Should you use a conditioner on dreadlocks?
Conditioners contains oils, butters and conditioning agents like silicones that help with softening and detangling the hair. Some of these ingredients bind tightly to the hair and will remain on it even after rinsing. This can be responsible of build-up. I would not recommend using conditioner on your dreadlocks.
If you want to soften your locks, you can apply vegetable oils like olive oil, sunflower oil or grapeseed oil. Make sure to avoid the roots area. You can add a few drops of essential oil for the scent.
You can also do a hot oil treatment with the oil of your choice. You would apply hair warm oil on dry hair, then protect your hair with a plastic bag and a scarf and leave the treatment overnight. Wash as usual the day after.
What is your favorite shampoo to clean your dreadlocks? Have you tried any of those listed above?