The Best Residue Free Shampoo for Dreadlocks – Reviews & Top Picks

Last Updated February 21, 2024

Cultural hairstyles – they demand a lot of care and maintenance. Having dreadlocks is a struggle. No matter what dreadlock style you have, your dreads are vulnerable to mold growth. Having a special shampoo is essential for healthy hair.

That is why the top 5 best residue free shampoos for dreadlocks were developed. You get great cleansing power along with dreadlock protection. Those are some of the qualities found in the top 5 shampoos reviewed in this roundup.

We liked the Dollylocks Nag Champa Liquid Dreadlock Shampoo best. Just keep reading to find out why we came to that decision.

Great dreadlock care is just a shampoo purchase away

The Best Residue Free Shampoos for Dreadlocks Overview

  1. Dollylocks Nag Champa Liquid Dreadlock Shampoo - this is an all-natural dreadlock shampoo that cleans your hair while leaving a nice fragrance behind. It comes in 2 sizes and is good for those who suffer from allergies. The formula is ph balanced as well
  2. Knotty Boy Dreadlock Shampoo - this is a residue free shampoo for dreads that uses the power of tea tree oil to clean your hair. It is an all-natural shampoo that works hard to clean your scalp and hairstyle. It comes in a 16 ounce bottle for long time use.
  3. Dollylocks Dreadlock Shampoo Bar - this shampoo is made from all natural products that do more than just clean your hair. It helps repair elasticity, heal irritation and fights acne and other skin issues. It comes in a 4 1/2 ounce size that is more than enough for most dreadlocks.
  4. Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo - this company specializes in beauty and hair care products. It is skilled at making this shampoo that is mild on your hair and removes residue other shampoos leave behind. Easy to use and formulated to work on all hairstyles along with dreads
  5. Knatty Dread Dreadlocks Shampoo - this shampoo is supposed to be great for new dreads as well as mature ones. It lathers up nice and cleans thoroughly. Then when it rinses out there should be no residue left behind. It tightens dreads and encourages new growth locks.

Reviews of the Best Shampoos for dreadlocks on the Market

Bottle Size
Natural Formula?
Editor's Rating


8 & 12 ounces



16 ounces



4.5 ounce bar



6 ounces



16 ounces


When you want to treat your hair just right, you go to this shampoo. It knows dreadlocks and it knows how to care for them with the right formula. Once you see this on the shelf you have a choice. You can buy the 8 ounce or the 12 ounce size.

Armed with a pump-action dispenser, for the most part, you can get that shampoo out of the bottle and into your dreadlocks quickly. For best results, use on mature dreadlocks.

The ph balanced formula treats your hair just right. With the organic ingredients you know you are not hurting your hairstyle. Plus the formula is hypoallergenic, any skin type can use this shampoo without fear.

Also, you are using a shampoo made from organic coconut and pure botanical ingredients. That spells success for your dreadlocks. After you use this non residue shampoo, you walk away with your hair smelling like Nag Champa. Nice fragrance that should impress your romantic partner.

There is more good news, this natural shampoo can be used for synthetic dreadlocks as well as natural ones. No cruelty is involved with the development of this product making it vegan-friendly.

Dollylocks 8oz Nag Champa Review

What We Like

  • All natural ingredients
  • Two sizes to choose from
  • Ph balanced

What We Don't Like

  • Leaves hair feeling greasy

This may be the best residue free shampoo for dreads on this list. It comes in a 16 ounce bottle making sure you have enough shampoo to use for some time to come. No conditioners that may hinder the locking process are put inside.

With its biodegradable construction and non-toxic ingredients you can look good and be environmentally friendly also, you can use this shampoo for different parts of your body besides your hair. It cleans everything it touches quite well.

The organic tea tree, rosemary, & peppermint oils are formulated to handle your dreads plus relieve you of itchy scalp. The peppermint may leave a minty fresh fragrance in your hair once you have finished using this product.

Hemp seed, purified water and castor bean are several of the other natural ingredients. There are more so you know you are treating your hair and dreads the way you should.

In addition to all of that, this shampoo is safe to use with baby twists. They should not come undone when you turn to this shampoo to keep your dreads nice and clean. Works well on synthetic dreads as well. Any hairstyle should benefit from using this shampoo.

Knotty Boy Dreadlock Shampoo Review

What We Like

  • Organic tea tree oil
  • Peppermint fragrance left behind
  • Safe for baby twists

What We Don't Like

  • It conditions and hairs come loose
  • Dreads looked dull
  • Some residue may be left behind

All-natural products sounds good and they are good if they do the job like they are supposed to should. This all natural non residue shampoo actually comes in a bar. Its 4 1/2 ounce size is large enough to handle your dreads for some time.

Made with all natural ingredients your dreads and body should love this shampoo. It cleans, refreshes and reinvigorates your hair as you clean it. This shampoo bar is filled with anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties.

On top of that the organic coconut, mango butter and Hawaiian sea salt help pack the nutrients, vitamins and minerals into your hair. Your dreads should be healthy and looking sharp. The hypoallergenic and ph balanced formula is safe for allergy sufferers and people with sensitive skin.

After you put it on your scalp, you should feel it healing slight irritations as it repairs hair elasticity. That is not all that this shampoo bar does but it is more than enough to be one of the best non residue shampoos for dreadlocks.

If you suffer from acne, and other skin issues, this shampoo bar works on those problems as well. You have an all in one type of shampoo bar at your service.

Dollylocks Coconut Lime Grapefruit Dreadlock Shampoo Bar Review

What We Like

  • Works on acne, etc.
  • Antibacterial, antioxidant
  • All natural

What We Don't Like

  • Hard to work through dreads
  • Not much lather

Neutrogena is a beauty and hair company that has a good reputation. It produces top hair and skin products like this anti-residue shampoo. This shampoo is designed for those people who wear dreadlocks and want to keep that hairstyle nice and clean. It comes in a 6 ounce bottle to make sure you have enough to last you for a while

What it does is remove about 90% of the residue other shampoos and conditioners leave behind in your hair. It cleans those dreads and helps take away the dull lifeless look. Plus, it gently cleans with a non-irritating formula as it builds body.

All you need to do to give your dreads a lift and have them looking better is to use this shampoo once a week. This shampoo works with your regular hair product to make sure your hair looks great.

Also, you can use this mild shampoo on a variety of hairstyles besides dreads. It works for almost everyone. No artificial dyes or colors are used in making this product.

Unfortunately, it does not remove minerals that build up in your hair due to hard water usage. Nor is it a natural shampoo. Its chemicals should still be good to your dreads without the natural influence.

Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo Review

What We Like

  • Mild formula
  • Removes other shampoo’s residue
  • Good for all hairstyles

What We Don't Like

  • Does not remove hard water residue

This top shampoo is made specifically for the dreadlock hairstyle. It helps lock in those dreads while it cleans them thoroughly. It also helps encourage new growth lock as well.

As it rinses out of your hair, it is supposed to help reduce your drying time. That feature gives you more time to do more important things than wash your hair. Then it should work well with new dreads.

With the rich lathering process, your dreads should be cleaned throughout. No hair should be left unturned or uncleaned. Once you are done, the unscented shampoo lets you put the fragrance on that you prefer. There is no clashing or perfumes as this shampoo is absent of fragrances.

If you do not have dreads, you can still use this dread shampoo. It works on all hairstyles and types. Once you tried it you will see the difference it makes to your hair and looks.

After you rinse it out of your hair there should be no residue left to mess up your style and look. One of the drawbacks of this shampoo is that it does not list the ingredients on the bottle. That is not good for those with allergies or sensitive skin.

Knatty Dread Dreadlocks Shampoo Review

What We Like

  • Lathers well
  • Unscented

What We Don't Like

  • No ingredients on the bottle
  • Contains SLS

What We Found Out...

In doing research for this article we found that even dreadlock wearers have a difficult time finding an all-natural shampoo. There are lots of shampoos out there for them but all natural varieties are hard to find.

Also, we found that not all of these shampoos work for new dreads. They work better on mature ones leaving the new style to other shampoos. Then there is a lot of competition to be named the best dreadlock shampoo.

What is residue free shampoo

Residue free shampoos do not leave any evidence behind in your hair to tell everyone that they have been there. They also clean up the residue that other shampoos have left behind. They take away the dull look and try to make your hair appear shiny again.

Also, they do not have to be used on a daily basis. They can be used once a week to restore that natural look your hair came with. What makes these shampoos great for dreads is that they leave no moisturizers behind to loosen up the dreads.

The winner is...

It is not always easy to find the best residue free shampoo for dreadlocks. There are always a lot of competitors for the title. Yet in this round up one stood out. That shampoo that came out on top is the Dollylocks Nag Champa Liquid Dreadlock Shampoo.

Despite the competition, it just stood out as the best anti residue shampoo for dreads. Not only did it have the natural ingredients, it came in 2 sizes and was filled with tea tree oil. It’s hard to beat anything that contains tea tree oil.

Some Final Words

When you want to protect your dreads but still have them nice and shiny, then you should use one of the top 5 best residue free shampoos for dreadlocks. They leave no moisturizers behind so your dreads do not loosen up over time.

But they do clean your hair well and make sure to restore the natural sheen your hair came with. No matter which of the top 5 you use, you should experience good results. Just be careful not to use most of them on new dreads.

These shampoos, for the most part, are designed to work with mature dreads. All 5 are good shampoos for dreads and work hard to make sure your hairstyle looks its best. That is what you want in a good shampoo.

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