Frequently asked questions about dreads
dreadlock community,  dreadlock CULTURE,  dreadlock lifestyle,  new dreads

Dread Shampoo – Advice From The Experts

Are you looking for the perfect dread shampoo for your luscious locks?  I put the shampoo question out to the dreaded panel (the good people of my facebook page) and below you will find all their fantastic shampoo wisdom.

When choosing a shampoo, I personally look for something that is natural, vegan, residue-free and contains no conditioners.  I also want my shampoo to dry my hair out a bit as hair that is in dry condition will dread a lot better than hair that is soft and silky.

Sometimes trying out a couple of shampoos will be necessary before finding your perfect match (it’s a bit like dating), and sometimes a change in shampoo may be necessary if you are experiencing an oily scalp, a flaky or itchy scalp or if you’re finding that your hair just is not dreading.

Hopefully the combined wisdom of our lovely contributors below will give you a few shampoo ideas.


PS Please note that The Dread Shed Dreadlocks does not sell or endorse ANY products.  I have not used any of the products listed and so can therefore not personally recommend any.  Please try at your own risk - and please always be mindful to choose products that are not tested on animals 🙂

The Experts

Heather:  I make a bicarb soda paste with a few essential oils for nice smells. Then put it on my scalp and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then rinse it out. Then I put apple cider vinegar through my hair and let it sit for 5 minutes. Then rinse. Really helped me with dry itchy scalp.

Deanna:  I use Happy Hippie by Lush. Completely vegan body and hair wash with no chemicals. Really good.

Natty: One of my clients uses a diluted organic baby shampoo (I don't know the brand) and her locks are lovely - soft and matured. I tend to recommend for peeps in England a phosphate, silicate, SLS-free 98% (97?) organic shampoo by a company called Naked, which does a good job. There is a Naked website, or you can buy it in Boots.

Rachel: I have just brought a new to try as I'm wanting to make my own recipes up I got a liquid Castile base , the only one they had in health store was colloidal sliver brand , has essential oils in it '. No sls, but it it costly 25.00 for I think 300 ml . Not really something I can use to make up for retail sales as I need at least 1/3cup per batch , I'm looking else where for bulk Castile liquid.

Anna: I can't recommend the WeirdSistas lokkBlokk highly enough.  Have been using it for years. Love the feel, love the smell and love supporting a great Australian business.

Fae: Wash in Apple cider vinegar then rinse out and was with dr Brooner's tea tree wash then sun dry

Nick: Dread empire shampoo bar, lasts forever, made with hemp oil rosemary and peppermint!! Smells great and made in Australia as well!

Prue: I used to use knotty boy shampoo in the bar which was ok then I bought the shampoo in a bottle and it was horrible. I now swear by bicarbonate soda. I mix 3/4 cup with 2L of water pour it over my dreads and let sit for a bit then rinse. You could get all fancy with oils but I couldn't be bothered!

Lisa:  ‪  ‪

Nicole: I started with dr. Bronners and it was a big mistake. My hair became a oily mess. Then went to bs and acv soaks and washes trying to get all that oil out of my hair and It removed some of the oil but not all of it. It was bad then I came across DollyLocks products! My dreads are beautifully clean and smell amazing now! I use all of her amazing products! Bar soap, liquid soap, tightening spray, tightening gel and a conditioning oil that helps with frizz and I put it right only scalp for any dandruff. She has amazing scents available and everything is made with wonderful ingredients. I wish I found her products in the beginning!! I fell I love with my dreads because of Dolly Locks!

Nicole: I like to make a soak in a bucket, it's very refreshing. 1bucket of warm water, 1 cup of salt, 1cup of bicarbonate soda, juice of 1 lemon, some drops of lavender oil. Stir. Dunk yr dreds , or pour it over, no rinsing. No residue. Feels great.

Ajay: I use bucks county soap factory dreadlocks is absolutely dreamy. It doesn't make frizzies. It leaves your locs soft & last for solo long.‪ Organic hand made vegan all natural soaps and shampoos for healthy skin and hair.

Rue: Vital Goods! Awesome products for dreads! (Home based business).   Heather (the owner and operator) uses high quality natural ingredients and essential oils for smell (my favourite is rosemary mint).  I always do an acv rinse after washing).   Heather always has great advice for dreads too, she knows her stuff.  ‪

Morgan:  I use the seanik shampoo bar from lush. It's easy to hold and gets my dreads nice and clean. Doesn't build up either.

Cameron:  Im a supermarket sorta shopper and heard about tea tree shampoo years ago and have stuck to it... Ive found the brand Redwin rather affordable so i keep falling back to it. I also use every couple of washes another Redwin shampoo called 'Coal Tar
.  They claim its great for itchy scalp so I combine it and use both.

Teresa: Dr. Woods Pure Peppermint Castile liquid soap. Not oily like Dr. Bronners. I have been using it almost 4 years now.

Merryn: I use natural goats milk soap and then every second wash I use a natural tea tree soap. Available from health stores & some gift stores

Samantha:  I use lush products and love em and have found no residue left behind
.  Knotty boy and dr Bronner both left residue for me

Mel: I use Dr Bronners tea tree soap bar and I love it!
  Can't say I've tried Bronners liquid soap but I've used the bar for about 3 years and never found it oily or leaving a residue!

 Violet:  This stuff works wonders (see pic below), residue free, not expensive, and available anywhere Dr, Bronners is sold

.  Doctor Bronner's can cause build up in the core of dreadlocks. To use as a shampoo, it is supposed to be diluted down 12parts water to 1 part DocBron... Since most folks don't do that, the heavy oils in it can get trapped in the core... It isn't pretty.  Long, hot, baking soda soaks can get a lot of it out though.





Amy:  Dr bronzers and them I put some essential oils in after like tea tree and lavender
.  I always dilute dr bronners. I've been using it for 10 years on my dreads. I've never used baking soda or vinegar but I've heard of folks doing that.

Sahba:  Himalaya shampoo

Linda: Dishwashing liquid!

Virginia:  ‪Organic Dreadlocks makes a lovely drop

Norma:  I tried Dr Bronners, but my scalp didn't like it, I now use a bath bar from Lush, called Karmasutra, it is easy on my scalp and my dreads smell lovely spicy afterwords

Eva: Lush and "BIG" very nice smell too.

Jonquil: I liked MOP citrus mint( gold line) and Dollylocks grapefruit lime bar( with sea salt!) the very very best

Tami: The Dreaded Wash bars - by Dr Dread.  Awesome, organic, healing.

Squidgy:  UK range called naked sold in boots. The sensitive one is great for dreads and no build up. Plus it's vegan friendly.

Gilbert:  I've tried couple of shampoo's, some I've just wacked together at home with the likes of apple cider vinegar but I didn't feel like they were getting real clean and often had an itchy scalp so now I use Dread Empire Antidandruff - I gotta say I love it. It cleans really well and I haven't had scalp issues for a while either.
  You can check it out here: ‪ (read the reviews too)