Look for residue-free shampoos, especially those made for dreadlocks, as the soap residues found in standard shampoos can slow down or prevent the locks from forming. Knotty Boy and Dread Head HQ are especially made for dreadlocks, while Dr. Brenner's Magic Soaps are a general-purpose residue free shampoo that is widely used for dreadlocks. Also, a buildup of residues can slow down the drying time, which is not good for dreadlocks, as mildew can grow, causing an unpleasant odor. These dreadlock shampoos have no conditioners, moisturizers, chemical foaming agents, fillers or softeners, and some are odorless.
Using residue-free shampoos regularly can cause dryness, and although some brands such as Knotty Boy add oil to the shampoo to combat this, you may still need to moisturize the scalp after washing. Products such as Dread Head HQ and Knatty Dread are free from oils. Indeed, the oils in Knotty Boy can irritate sensitive scalps.
Where To Buy
Most dreadlock shampoos are sold online, although it is possible to find some in stores. Knotty Boy is one such brand that is sold both in stores and the web. The company website lists all participating retailers. The other two major brands, Dread Head HQ and Dr Brenner's Magic Soaps, are both sold online. In addition, salons that provide hair care for dreadlocks also supply specialist shampoos.
The cost of these specialized shampoos widely varies. As of September 2010, Knotty Boy sells online at around $14 for an eight-ounce bottle, while a 16 oz bottle of Dread Head HQ goes for $10, and Dr. Brenner's Magic Soaps, which are concentrated, go for a little less than $10 per ounce online. These concentrated soaps use around 40 parts water to one part shampoo. Knotty Boy is also sometimes available for a cheaper price on Amazon.