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Best Shampoo for Locs: Top Picks and Expert Guide 2023

Best Shampoo for Locs: Top Picks and Expert Guide 2023

Locs are a popular and versatile hairstyle that reflects a rich cultural heritage. With their low maintenance appeal and unique beauty, it's no wonder that more people are embracing this natural hair trend. To ensure that locs stay healthy and strong, it's crucial to use the right hair care products, particularly shampoos designed for locs.

Using the appropriate shampoo is essential for maintaining the health and cleanliness of locs. Traditional shampoos can contain harsh detergents and chemicals that can strip the hair of its natural oils, leading to dryness and weak locs. Shampoos specifically formulated for locs focus on providing gentle, moisturizing, and nourishing ingredients that cleanse the hair without causing harm.

When looking for the best shampoo for locs, there are a few critical factors to consider. It's important to choose a product free of harsh chemicals, sulfates, or other ingredients that can damage or weaken the locs.

A healthy scalp is crucial for strong locs. An ideal shampoo for locs should also have nourishing plant-based ingredients and offer excellent detangling properties.

After thorough research and analysis, we have tested numerous shampoos in search of the top choices for maintaining healthy, clean, and strong locs.

Best Shampoo for Locs

We have compiled a list of the best shampoos for locs available on the market. These products are carefully selected to help maintain, cleanse, and nourish your locs while ensuring they remain healthy and strong.

Lion Locs Shampoo and Conditioner

Lion Locs Shampoo and Conditioner

We recommend Lion Locs Shampoo and Conditioner for effectively cleaning and nourishing locs without leaving residue.


  • Effectively cleans locs and scalp
  • 2-in-1 co-wash with shampoo and conditioner
  • Vegan and organic ingredients

This 2-in-1 co-wash is both vegan and organic, and can be used as a leave-in conditioner or rinsed out. It manages to clean and nourish locs without leaving any residue or build-up, making it an excellent choice for maintaining locs.

One aspect you will love about this product is that it is suitable for all hair types, including microlocs, interlocks, braidlocks, braids, faux locs, crochet locs, boho locs, twistlocks, and sisterlocks. The natural ingredients ensure there is no damage or drying, and it works well to soften, hydrate, and revive dry, itchy locs.

Our Locs Shampoo and Conditioner remains a good choice for those seeking a versatile and organic product specifically designed for locs and various hairstyles. We suggest giving it a try and enjoying the benefits it offers for your locs.

Dollylocks Clarifying Shampoo for Locs

Dollylocks Shampoo

We highly recommend Dollylocks Clarifying Shampoo for those seeking a residue-free and invigorating shampoo for locs.


  • Gentle clarifying shampoo for locs
  • Variety of scents to choose from
  • Residue-free, promoting clean and healthy dreadlocks


  • Smaller bottle size
  • Can be a bit watery
  • May require dilution before use

After trying Dollylocks Clarifying Shampoo, we appreciate how gentle it is on our locs. The plant-based ingredients in this dreadlock shampoo help cleanse our hair and scalp, leaving our locs refreshed and squeaky clean. We also enjoy the variety of scents available to suit individual preferences, making the experience more enjoyable and personalized.

While using this clarifying shampoo, we have noticed that it is residue-free, allowing our dreadlocks to feel lighter and healthier. This benefit also helps to encourage hair growth and maintain a pleasant scent throughout the day. Given its residue-free nature, it washes away buildup which could cause our locs to become heavy.

However, there are some minor drawbacks to this product. The bottle size may seem small, but considering the shampoo's concentrated formula, it should last a reasonable amount of time, especially if you dilute it before use. Also, the texture of the shampoo can be a bit watery, leading to some users going through the product too quickly.

Overall, Dollylocks Clarifying Shampoo is an excellent choice for those looking to keep their locs clean, healthy, and smelling fresh. While there are a few minor cons, the pros significantly outweigh them, making this product a definite must-try for individuals with locs.

Lion Locs Shampoo Bar & Conditioner

Lion Locs Shampoo Bar & Conditioner

This all-natural Lion Locs Shampoo Bar & Conditioner is the perfect choice for keeping your locs clean, hydrated, and residue-free.


  • Vegan and made with organic ingredients
  • Safe for both locs and skin
  • Travel-friendly and TSA compliant

Made with vegan and organic ingredients, it avoids harsh chemicals found in standard shampoos, making it ideal for people with locs. This bar shampoo not only cleanses your hair but also provides hydration and nourishment to your scalp.

In addition to being gentle on locs and skin, the Lion Locs Shampoo Bar & Conditioner is also travel-friendly. It comes as a 5oz bar, which means no more worrying about meeting TSA liquid criteria when planning a trip. Its convenient size makes it easy to pack and carry with you wherever you go.

When using the shampoo bar, you will notice it lathers really well and rinses off without leaving any residue or buildup on your locs.

Lion Locs Shampoo Bar & Conditioner is an excellent option for those with locs seeking a natural, vegan shampoo that is gentle yet effective. Its travel-friendly size and residue-free formula make it a worthwhile investment, despite some minor drawbacks.

LOCssentials Clarifying Shampoo for Dreadlocks

LOCssentials Shampoo

The LOCssentials Clarifying Shampoo is an ideal choice for those seeking an effective and gentle cleanse for their locs, promoting growth and preventing flakes.


  • Premium clean formula with natural ingredients
  • Gentle and effective cleansing for locs, braids, and twists
  • Vegan, paraben-free, and cruelty-free


  • May be too drying for some users
  • Comes in an 8.5oz size only
  • Limited customer reviews

After using the LOCssentials Clarifying Shampoo for Dreadlocks, we found that it does a fantastic job of gently removing residue and build-up while promoting growth and preventing flakes. The premium clean formula made with natural ingredients such as peppermint oil, tea tree oil, menthol, and wheat amino acids contributes to its effectiveness in nourishing the hair and providing in-depth nourishment.

The shampoo is gentle and effective for cleansing locs, braids, twists, and other low maintenance hairstyles, removing impurities, dirt, and residues without being harsh. It's also a cruelty-free, vegan-friendly, and paraben-free shampoo, which is a great bonus for those who are conscious about the products they use.

However, it's important to note that some users may find this shampoo too drying for their scalp and locs. Additionally, the shampoo is only available in an 8.5oz size, which may not be suitable for everyone's needs. Despite having a 4.6 rating, it has a limited number of customer reviews, which might not provide a comprehensive understanding of its effectiveness for different hair types and preferences.

Overall, the LOCssentials Clarifying Shampoo for Dreadlocks is a fantastic option for those looking for a gentle but effective cleanse for their locs, braids, and twists. The nourishing blend of natural ingredients and its vegan, paraben-free formula make this shampoo an excellent addition to your hair care routine.

Lockology Dreadlock Shampoo with Peppermint Tea Tree

Lockology Dreadlock Shampoo

This shampoo is an excellent choice for deep cleaning locs, promoting growth, and soothing the scalp without over-drying.


  • Deep cleans locs and scalp
  • Promotes growth and reduces itching
  • Made with natural and organic ingredients


  • Thin consistency may require more product
  • Might not lather as much as other shampoos
  • Scent may not be favored by all

We tried out the Lockology Dreadlock Shampoo with Peppermint Tea Tree and found it to be an effective solution for cleansing and maintaining locs. The blend of peppermint and tea tree oils not only provided a refreshing scent but also delivered a deep clean without causing dryness or irritation.

The shampoo lathers well, which made it easy to work into our locs and remove dirt, buildup, and odors. As the formula is thinner than other shampoos, it penetrates the locs easily, allowing for a comprehensive cleanse. However, the thin consistency meant we had to use a bit more product than usual.

The natural and organic ingredients in this shampoo are a huge plus. We really appreciated that it's formulated without any fillers or thickeners. It felt gentle on our scalps while still providing an effective cleanse, soothing itchiness, and promoting growth.

One potential drawback of this shampoo is its scent. While we enjoyed the refreshing blend of peppermint and tea tree oils, it might not be favored by all. Additionally, if you're used to a thick lather, you might be initially thrown off by the thinner consistency. However, it's important to remember that this shampoo is designed specifically for locs and still provides a thorough clean.

Overall, we highly recommend the Lockology Dreadlock Shampoo with Peppermint Tea Tree for those seeking a deep cleansing shampoo that promotes loc growth, reduces itchiness, and uses natural and organic ingredients.

Buying Guide

When choosing the best shampoo for locs, it's crucial to consider several factors to ensure that the product meets your specific needs. In this guide, we'll discuss essential features to look for when searching for the ideal shampoo for your locs.


It's vital to pay attention to the ingredients in the shampoo. Opt for products with natural and organic ingredients, such as essential oils and plant extracts, as they are gentle on your locs and promote hair health. Avoid shampoos with harsh chemicals, sulfates, and silicones, as they can cause buildup and damage your locs over time.

Moisturizing Properties

Locs require proper hydration to maintain their health and appearance. Look for a shampoo with moisturizing properties, such as those containing aloe vera or shea butter. These ingredients can provide the necessary moisture to your locs, helping prevent breakage and promoting growth.

Clarifying Ability

Since locs are prone to buildup, it's essential to choose a shampoo with excellent clarifying abilities. The product should efficiently remove dirt, sweat, and product residue without stripping the natural oils from your hair. A good clarifying shampoo will leave your locs feeling clean and refreshed.


The scent of your shampoo is a matter of personal preference. Some people prefer a subtle, fresh scent, while others enjoy stronger, more lasting fragrances. However, it's essential to choose a shampoo with a pleasant smell, as it affects your overall hair care experience.

By considering the factors mentioned above, you can easily narrow down your options and find the perfect shampoo for your locs. Remember to avoid harsh chemicals, prioritize moisturizing and clarifying properties, and select a product with a scent that suits your preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top clarifying shampoos for locs?

In our experience, some of the best clarifying shampoos for locs include Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo, Kinky-Curly Come Clean Shampoo, and Avalon Organics Clarifying Lemon Shampoo. These shampoos effectively remove product buildup and impurities without over-drying your locs.

Which moisturizing shampoos are best for dreadlocks?

For dreadlocks, we recommend moisturizing shampoos such as Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo, Design Essentials Almond & Avocado Moisturizing Shampoo, and TGIN Moisture Rich Sulfate Free Shampoo. These options provide hydration without leaving any residue on your locs.

Are sulfate-free shampoos recommended for locs?

Yes, sulfate-free shampoos are generally recommended for locs because they are gentler on the hair. Sulfates may strip the hair of its natural oils and potentially cause frizziness or dryness. Choose sulfate-free options, such as Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla Sulfate-Free Shampoo, for gentler cleansing.

What type of shampoo should be used to wash locs?

When choosing a shampoo for locs, look for clarifying or moisturizing shampoos that are sulfate-free and residue-free. These types of shampoos help maintain the health of your locs by providing necessary moisture and removing buildup for a clean scalp and healthy hair.

Are residue-free shampoos essential for dreads?

Residue-free shampoos are important for dreads, as they prevent product buildup that may cause odor and dullness. Using a residue-free shampoo will result in healthier, cleaner dreads. Some popular residue-free options include Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Liquid Soap and Dollylocks Nag Champa Liquid Shampoo.

Which store-bought shampoos are suitable for locs?

Many store-bought shampoos are suitable for locs, provided they are sulfate-free, residue-free, and/or moisturizing. Some good options include Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Shampoo, Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo, and Cantu Shea Butter Cleansing Cream Shampoo. Remember to read the labels to ensure the shampoo caters to the specific needs of your locs.

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