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10 Best Shampoo for Locs: Top Picks for 2024

10 Best Shampoo for Locs: Top Picks for 2024

Maintaining healthy locs requires a careful choice of hair care products. Shampoo plays a central role in this routine. Locs, which are essentially hair that's intentionally matted and sculpted into rope-like strands, trap more dirt, oil, and residue compared to loose hair due to their compact nature.

The selection of shampoo for locs is not just about cleanliness. It's about choosing a formulation that can deeply cleanse without stripping the hair of its natural moisture and balance.

When shopping for a loc shampoo, prioritize ingredients that nourish the scalp and strengthen the hair. Natural oils like jojoba and tea tree oil offer hydration and have antimicrobial properties, which promote a healthy scalp environment. Aim for shampoos with a balanced pH to ensure that the hair's cuticles remain closed, keeping the locs smooth and less prone to breakage.

Best Shampoo Choices for Healthy Locs

When it comes to maintaining healthy locs, choosing the right shampoo is crucial. We've researched and tested a variety of options to help you keep your locs clean, moisturized, and strong.

Our selection caters to different needs and preferences, ensuring that you will find a shampoo that works best for your unique hair type and lifestyle. We prioritize shampoos that cleanse without stripping away natural oils, foster a healthy scalp environment, and aid in the overall health and vitality of your locs.

Lion Locs Shampoo Bar

$22.99 ON AMAZON ->

We believe this shampoo bar is a game-changer for loc maintenance due to its natural ingredients and hydrating properties.


  • Leaves locs feeling clean without residue
  • The vegan formula is kind to both hair and skin
  • Convenient for travel with TSA-friendly solid form


  • Pricier compared to liquid shampoos
  • May have a learning curve for first-time bar users
  • Packaging may not withstand shipping well

We've love our Lion Locs Shampoo Bar and know your locs will never feel better. The natural, vegan ingredients lather up beautifully, leaving hair thoroughly cleansed without any buildup or residue. It's reassuring to know that there's no worry about harsh chemicals, thanks to its organic contents.

Its pH-balanced formula has been kind to both our scalp and locs. Even those with sensitive skin can be at ease; our skin felt comfortable and irritation-free post-wash. Given its solid form, there's no hassle when we're traveling – it's a stress-free experience passing through TSA checkpoints.

For those unfamiliar with using a bar for their hair, there may be a slight adjustment period. Otherwise we are 100% sure you'll love our shampoo bar!


DreadHead HQ Dread Soap

$20.99 ON AMAZON ->

We find that this specialized shampoo is a winning choice for maintaining and tightening locs, thanks to its residue-free formula.


  • Promotes faster dreadlocks tightening
  • Leaves no residue to maintain scalp health
  • Possesses a gentle, non-irritating composition


  • May not work equally well for all hair types
  • Limited scent might not appeal to everyone
  • Consistency requires getting used to

From the moment I lathered up with DreadHead HQ's Dread Soap, I could feel the difference. It was a thorough cleanse that didn't leave any slickness or residue, just a sense of purity. My scalp usually reacts to strong products, but this one felt soothing, even calming.

The magic happened as my locs dried. They were just firmer, and that's not an easy feat. With regular shampoos, there's often a softness that lingers, hindering the locking process. Not with this soap. My locs felt stronger, more robust, as if each wash was a step closer to perfect maturity.

But let's talk about the real-world routine. Switching to this was a breeze. A bit does go a long way, and there's a clear shift in the texture of my hair after the wash. It's a sense of cleanliness that's hard to describe, but you know it when you feel it. Plus, the nimble absence of fragrances is a welcome change from the overpowering scents that other shampoos offer. Our locs are left unburdened, ready to thrive naturally.


Knotty Boy Locks Shampoo

$9.99 ON AMAZON ->

We think the Knotty Boy Dreadlock Shampoo should be on your shelf if you seek a residue-free option that nurtures both locks and scalp.


  • Leaves no residue, ensuring dreadlocks remain clean
  • Soothing peppermint oil provides a refreshing scalp sensation
  • Concentrated formula means a little goes a long way


  • May leave hair looking less shiny, as some users have noted
  • The tingling sensation might be intense for sensitive scalps
  • Price point could be a bit steep compared to other shampoos on the market

After using this shampoo, the first thing you'll notice is the invigorating scent of peppermint and rosemary that lingers pleasantly. The tingle of peppermint oil is not just refreshing—it's a sign that the shampoo is stimulating the scalp, a welcome sensation for those of us with dreadlocks. I appreciate that the formula is devoid of any SLS or added conditioners, hooray for no residue!

Staying residue-free is crucial when caring for locs, and Knotty Boy doesn't disappoint in this arena. Using this shampoo, our hair felt thoroughly clean, and there was no sign of build-up. The natural essential oils present in the shampoo seemed to soothe our scalp, and our locks felt lighter and well cleansed after use.

While we don't mind investing in a high-quality shampoo for our dreadlocks, the price may be a bit much for some. Also, if you're not a fan of strong sensations or scents, the potent minty aroma and the tingle could be a bit overwhelming.


LOCssentials Clarifying Shampoo

$18.95 ON AMAZON ->

This shampoo is a solid choice for loc wearers seeking a gentle yet thorough cleanse with natural ingredients.


  • Successfully removes build-up without stripping moisture
  • The blend of peppermint and tea tree oils leaves a refreshing feel
  • Vegan-friendly and free from harsh chemicals


  • May not be as hydrating for some hair types
  • The price point might be higher compared to similar products
  • A few reports of residue left behind, despite claims

After incorporating LOCssentials Clarifying Shampoo into our routine, the change was noticeable. This shampoo, boasting a variety of natural ingredients, made our locs feel rejuvenated.

The refreshing scent of peppermint was invigorating during the wash, and the cleansing properties ensured that all the product build-up was effectively washed away, leaving our hair feeling light and clean.

What's more, the vegan formula aligns with our ethical standards, so we felt good about using it.

While we were content with the ingredients, it's worth mentioning that we followed up with a moisturizer to maintain our hair's hydration levels.

However, it's worth considering all aspects of a product before settling. Some of us noticed that, despite the product's claims, there were minor traces of residue left. It wasn't a dealbreaker, and a thorough rinse could help.

In terms of cost, when we compared it to other available loc shampoos, we found that it is on the pricier side. Yet, for the quality and results, many of us agreed it was a justifiable indulgence.

On balance, the LOCssentials Clarifying Shampoo delivers on its promise of a clean and refreshed feeling for various loc styles. It's an effective addition to our hair care regime, especially when we're in need of a dependable detox for our tresses.


Twisted Sista Luxurious Shampoo

$9.99 ON AMAZON ->

We find that Twisted Sista's Luxurious Clarifying Shampoo is a wholesome choice for loc maintenance due to its ability to hydrate while reducing buildup.


  • Intensely hydrates with coconut and avocado oils
  • Strengthens hair with almond oil nutrients
  • Effectively cleans without sulfates


  • Some users report packaging issues leading to leakage
  • May be too stripping for certain hair oils
  • The thickness can cause residue buildup in very fine or tightly coiled locs

Having incorporated Twisted Sista Luxurious Clarifying Shampoo into our loc care routine, the immediate sense of hydration stands out.

The creamy texture lathers quite well, making our scalp feel thoroughly cleansed without the harshness typically associated with clarifying shampoos.

With the indulgent scent of coconut gently wafting through the air, washing our hair becomes a more pleasant, almost spa-like experience.

While the shampoo does an excellent job at sealing in moisture, some of us found it necessary to follow up with a deep conditioner to maintain our hair's natural oil balance, especially after noticing how strong the clarifying action was.

The super hydration feature promised by the coconut and avocado oils does deliver, leaving our locs feeling soft and rejuvenated.

After several washes, we noticed fewer split ends and a commendable reduction in hair breakage.

However, caution was warranted for those of us with extremely delicate or fine locs, as the product's richness occasionally left a slight residue.

Despite this, the strength and protection offered by the almond oil nutrients are undeniable benefits that keep our locs looking their best.

On the downside, feedback within our group echoed the online sentiment regarding packaging flaws—a few of us faced the disappointment of leaky bottles upon delivery.


Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo

$24.70 ON AMAZON ->

If you're aiming for hair free of buildup with a refreshing scent, we think this product is a savvy choice.


  • Effectively removes buildup without stripping hair
  • Pleasant signature fragrance that's not overwhelming
  • Suitable for various hair types, including locs


  • May be drying to some hair types if used too often
  • Premium price point compared to some other clarifying shampoos
  • Post-wash, a few have reported increased static in their hair

Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo delivers what our locs have been craving: thorough cleansing without the usual harshness.

We noticed a significant reduction in product buildup right from the first wash, giving our hair a lightweight and rejuvenated feel.

The iconic Moroccanoil scent is another highlight, making the entire hair-washing experience quite indulgent.

We've found it's best to integrate this shampoo into our routine sparingly, owing to its potent clarifying properties. Using it just once every couple of weeks suffices to maintain the purity of our hair while avoiding any potential for over-drying.

Lasting freshness is a plus we can't overlook. This shampoo seems to keep our locs cleaner for longer, reducing the frequency of wash days.

It's quite a relief for anyone with a busy lifestyle or those who simply prefer to wash their hair less often.

While we did encounter a bit of static post-wash on occasion, a good conditioner or hair oil afterward tended to smooth things out.


Majestic Pure ACV Shampoo

$14.95 ON AMAZON ->

We think you'll appreciate this shampoo for its natural ingredients and its effectiveness in controlling frizz and enhancing shine.


  • Contains 100% pure and natural elements, promoting a toxin-free hair care routine
  • Successfully tames frizz and leaves hair silky smooth
  • The easy pump bottle design prevents mess and wastage


  • May not be suitable for very sensitive scalps despite natural ingredients
  • Some users reported it did not completely resolve their dry scalp issues
  • Not all hair types may experience the same level of cleanliness post-wash

After incorporating Majestic Pure Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo into our hair care routine, we noticed a significant improvement in shine and manageability.

The frustration of unruly frizz transformed into a relief as our locks became tamer with each use.

The moisturizing properties of this shampoo have truly made a difference, leaving hair feeling hydrated throughout the days.

Handling the product is a breeze, thanks to the thoughtfully designed pump bottle.

Getting the right amount of shampoo is a no-spill, mess-free experience, which is especially appreciated during rushed shower times.

This neat feature not only helps in controlling product usage but also adds a touch of convenience to the daily washing ritual.

However, despite its many benefits, we have to acknowledge that a few of us noticed our sensitive scalps didn't respond as well as we'd hoped.

While the shampoo is indeed free of harsh chemicals, it's always a gamble to see how an individual scalp might react.

Moreover, a minority were left wanting a bit more in terms of the thorough clean feeling, though this wasn't a dealbreaker for most.

In exploring Majestic Pure ACV Shampoo, we've felt reassured by its emphasis on pure and natural ingredients, and it's encouraging to see how it works diligently to nourish and support overall hair health.


tgin Moisture Shampoo

$14.97 ON AMAZON ->

We believe this shampoo is a solid choice for maintaining locs, thanks to its gentle cleansing and moisturizing properties.


  • Leaves our locs feeling incredibly soft
  • Maintains natural oils in hair
  • Pleasant green apple scent without being overpowering


  • May not lather as much as traditional shampoos
  • Some may find it a bit pricey compared to other products
  • Not available in larger sizes for those of us with voluminous locs

After a long search for the perfect shampoo for our precious locs, we've been captivated by the tgin Moisture Rich Sulfate Free Shampoo.

Our hair felt cleansed yet undeniably silky, a testament to the shampoo's gentle formula which expertly balances effective cleaning without any harshness.

The inclusion of Pro Vitamin B5 seems to truly diminish breakage, fortifying each strand from the inside out.

We adore the green apple scent that lingers subtly in our hair after washing—it's a fresh and delightful aroma that doesn't clash with other hair care products we use.

Given that strong fragrances can be intrusive, we appreciate the understated scent here, conducive to both professional settings and close encounters.

Our encounter with this tgin product wasn't just refreshing; it was eye-opening.

As enthusiasts wary of harmful chemicals, the absence of parabens and sulfates brings us much reassurance.

From the first use, we could feel a difference in moisture retention, laying the foundation for what feels like a healthier head of locs.

One drawback we noticed was that it doesn't produce the abundant lather we're accustomed to from less natural shampoos, a minor issue considering the substantial benefits.

Those of us with longer, thicker locs might wish for a larger bottle size, as the current one depletes quickly. Lastly, the price point may be slightly higher than your drugstore finds, but we rationalize this by the unsurpassed quality and results it delivers.

Ultimately, the merits of tgin Moisture Rich Sulfate Free Shampoo far outweigh any negatives. It has become our go-to shampoo, rejuvenating our locs and keeping them lustrous and healthy.


As I Am Dry & Itchy Scalp Care

$10.99 ON AMAZON ->

We think this shampoo is a game-changer for those struggling with scalp issues, thanks to its targeted formula.


  • Relieves itchiness and fights dandruff effectively
  • Moisturizes both scalp and hair
  • Sulfate-free and paraben-free for sensitive skin


  • Can take multiple uses to see results
  • May leave hair feeling less moisturized
  • Not suitable for those who prefer a lathering shampoo

As I Am Dry & Itchy Scalp Care Shampoo offers relief for those with persistent scalp issues. Its blend of olive oil and tea tree oil delivers a potent punch against flakes and itchiness.

We loved how this shampoo made our scalp feel refreshed without harsh chemicals. The inclusion of zinc pyrithione is a smart choice, as it's known for its ability to tackle the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis. This shampoo is true to its claims, soothing our scalp from the first wash.

One thing we've noticed is its subtle, non-overpowering scent, ideal for those sensitive to strong fragrances.

While it doesn't produce the sudsy lather some may associate with a deep clean, our hair felt lighter and freed from product buildup post-wash. However, we do recommend using a moisturizing conditioner afterward as, for some hair types, the cleansing power might be a tad too stripping.


Suave Clarifying Shampoo

$9.98 ON AMAZON ->

We advise giving this shampoo a try because it leaves hair feeling deeply cleansed without breaking the bank.


  • Effective at removing buildup without stripping hair
  • Enhances hair's natural lustre
  • Offers a fresh scent that lingers pleasantly


  • May not be hydrating enough for very dry hair types
  • Could be too harsh for daily use if you have sensitive scalp
  • The scent might not appeal to everyone

Suave's Clarifying Shampoo indeed gently purifies, removing the grit of the day and any lingering product residue. Its promise of increased moisture when paired with its conditioner counterpart was evident; after rinsing, our hair felt refreshed and seemed to have a rejuvenated shine.

Transitioning to how it left our scalp and locs feeling post-wash, the overall sensation was one of cleanliness without the feeling of stripped natural oils. This is something we value when seeking to maintain the integrity of our locs. However, we did realize the need to follow up with a deep conditioner for added hydration.

The fresh scent is notably invigorating; it imbues your hair with a subtle yet long-lasting fragrance. For those of us who are scent-sensitive, rest assured, it's not overpowering. Whether this becomes your go-to shampoo may depend on your hair's individual needs, but for an occasional deep cleanse, it's a solid choice.


Buying Guide

When choosing the best shampoo for locs, it's essential to consider the unique needs of this hairstyle. We want to focus on products that will maintain the health of our hair while also keeping our locs clean and free from build-up.

Ingredients to Consider

We should look for shampoos that contain natural ingredients which are known to be gentle on hair and scalp. Prioritizing shampoos with:

  • Hydrating elements like aloe vera or glycerin.
  • Essential oils for fragrance and scalp health, such as tea tree or peppermint oil.
  • Clarifying components like apple cider vinegar to reduce build-up without stripping natural oils.

Avoid harsh chemicals such as sulfates and parabens, as these can dry out our locs and irritate our scalp.

Scalp Care

Our scalp health is paramount, so a shampoo that helps maintain a balanced pH and controls dandruff is a good choice. Look for:

  • Anti-inflammatory properties to soothe the scalp.
  • Antifungal ingredients to combat dandruff.

Residue and Build-Up

Opt for residue-free shampoos that are specially formulated for locs to prevent build-up, which can lead to matting and an unkempt appearance. Clear labeling of "residue-free" or "non-build-up" formulations would be an indicator of a suitable product.

Moisture Retention

Locs tend to retain less moisture than other hairstyles, so we require a shampoo that helps to lock in moisture. Seek out products that:

Consideration What to Look For
Natural Ingredients Aloe vera, essential oils
Scalp Health Antifungal, anti-inflammatory properties
Residue Residue-free claims, clarifying agents
Moisture Moisture-retaining ingredients

Frequently Asked Questions

When it comes to loc maintenance, choosing the right shampoo is crucial. We'll address some common inquiries to help ensure your locs remain healthy and well-cared for.

What is the best type of shampoo for maintaining healthy locs?

For the maintenance of healthy locs, we recommend using a residue-free shampoo that is specifically designed for locs. These shampoos help to prevent buildup and maintain the natural pH balance of the scalp.

How can I manage dandruff while having locs?

Managing dandruff in locs involves using an anti-dandruff or medicated shampoo formulated for locs. Regular scalp treatments and maintaining a clean scalp are also important to prevent flaking and itching.

What are the benefits of using a clarifying shampoo on locs?

Using a clarifying shampoo on locs removes accumulated buildup, restores scalp health, and enhances locs' vibrancy. It should be used sparingly, as overuse can strip natural oils from the hair and scalp.

What ingredients should be avoided in shampoos for locs?

Avoid shampoos containing sulfates, silicones, parabens, and heavy waxes. These ingredients can cause buildup and dry out both the hair and scalp, leading to weakened locs.

How frequently should locs be shampooed for optimal scalp health?

We suggest shampooing locs every 1 to 3 weeks, depending on your scalp's oiliness and lifestyle.

Over-washing can strip essential oils, while under-washing can lead to buildup. Pay attention to your scalp's needs and adjust accordingly.

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