Home Beauty The Best Oils For Locs – All You Need To Know

The Best Oils For Locs – All You Need To Know

The Best Oils For Locs – Our Top Ten Picks

by Ellay
Best Oils For Locs

Locs – one of the most confident hairstyles you can rock – make an instant fashion statement.

They can be low maintenance and the complete absence of bad hair days make locs one of the most popular hairstyles around.

But keeping them healthy and moisturized can be a real task.

You need to choose the perfect oil to keep your locs in good shape, and to avoid expensive trips to the salon.

With so many brands out there, picking one can be tricky.

Fear not, we’ve done the legwork for you. Check out our ultimate guide to the best oils for locs…

The 3 Best Oils For Locs Right Now?

For a full review of the top ten products on the market read on.  For those in a rush, here are three of the best options right now:

What Natural Loc Oils Are Out There?

There are several natural oils that can do a fantastic job of caring for your locs if used correctly.  Here are the five most common:

Argan Oil

Argan oil truly works wonders for all types of hair and no hair type is beyond its nourishing reach.

Extracted from the Moroccan Argon tree, it contains vitamin E which moisturizes and protects hair.

Argon oil is best-suited to locs that have been damaged by hair dying.

Continual use of this oil promotes healthy hair growth by preventing breakage and hair loss.

It also adds extra shine to your locs, and it softens them as well.

It works wonders!

Jojoba Oil

Now, Jojoba oil isn’t technically oil at all.

It is a chain of monounsaturated liquid wax esters, which gives it an incredibly long shelf life compared to other oils.

It’s referred to as oil because its texture and composition is very similar to the other oils mentioned here.

The best thing about Jojoba oil is that it is chemically formulated to imitate your scalp’s natural sebum.

This means that it can easily boost your hair’s sebum without causing any artificial build-up.

Jojoba oil also helps maintain the pH balance of your hair and works very well on weak locs to prevent breakage.

Castor Oil

Castor oil, particularly Jamaican black castor oil, is perfect for coarse, dark hair that’s in need of moisture.

If you have very thick hair, this oil is ideal for you.

The added benefit of Jamaican castor oil is that it has strong anti-fungal properties that help fight dandruff effectively.

Like other great hair oils, castor oil helps nourish and moisturize your scalp while aiding shiny, healthy hair growth.

You’ll notice the difference in your hair within just a few days of regular application as your strands will appear shinier and silkier.

Castor oil also helps to remove impurities from your scalp which is a common problem with locs that you can’t wash as regularly as you would normal hair.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is a popular cooking ingredient and it’s no secret that some of the healthiest recipes include it.

Surprisingly to some can also boast a treasure trove of beauty benefits if you allow it to make its way out of your kitchen.

One of the best benefits of olive oil is as a nourishing hair oil, helping greatly with thickness.

Maintaining locs is not always a cake walk but  using olive oil as a moisturizer for your locs is a popular choice.


Because olive oil is super thick and doesn’t need to be applied several times over the course of a week to keep your locs soft and healthy, unlike some other products.

Coconut Oil

You’re probably aware that coconut oil is one of the very best oils for healthy hair growth thanks to its antiviral, antibacterial properties.

From A-list celebrities to lifestyle gurus, everyone swears by it.

So what makes it so sought-after?

It’s excellent at maintaining the balance of protein in your hair shaft.

Coconut oil can be a great friend to locs that haven’t been washed in a while by cleaning and maintaining the scalp with its strong anti-dandruff properties.

It can help to protect your hair from sun damage too.

Apply a little coconut oil to your locs and watch the magic happen after a couple of weeks.  You can thank us then.

The 10 Best Oils For Locs

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the best products on the market for your locs right now.

1. Jamaican Mango & Lime Sproil Stimulating Spray Oil

Jamaican Mango and Lime spray oil is an easy-to-use, nutrient-rich oil that lifts and separates locs through regular application.

Its ingredient list boasts an impressive set of oils and nutrients from coconut oil and castor oil to a good dose of vitamin E.

It’s a huge fans’s favorite.  It smells great, is priced well and does a really good job.

Things we like about this oil:

  • It moisturizes your locs very well
  • It contains menthol which cools your scalp making it perfect for the summer
  • It leaves a pleasant, tingling sensation on your scalp
  • It has a lovely, fruity fragrance
  • It’s a light, non-greasy oil that washes off easily

Things we don’t like:

  • Not much!
  • If you leave it on for too long it can make locs a little stiff
  • The bottle is a tad small

Overall, Jamaican Mango and Lime Spray Oil is a top choice.  Although the amount you get in the bottle could be a bit more generous, it’s great value and improves hair texture very quickly.  Highly recommended.

2. Design Essentials Scalp & Skin Care Anti-itch & Tension Relief, Tea Tree & Aloe

design essentials scalp and skin care anti-itch

Design Essentials Scalp and skincare oil is made up of a rich blend of natural oils that are especially suited to your needs if you suffer from a dry, itchy scalp.

The aloe vera helps soothe, calm and moisturize your scalp while the tea tree oil protects hair strands from breakage.

Tea tree oil also helps reduce the appearance of dandruff and flaking on your scalp while greatly reducing itching.

You can apply this oil directly to your scalp by parting your hair neatly, or simply massaging it into the areas most affected.  It’s a very popular oil for locs.

Things we like about this oil:

  • It helps a great deal with dandruff and dermatitis
  • You’ll notice a difference in the speed of your hair growth
  • It noticeably reduces flaking
  • It doesn’t include any artificial dyes, fragrances or mineral oil
  • You’ll notice a reduction in itching from the first application

Things we don’t like:

  • It can be a bit greasy on thin hair
  • The lack of artificial fragrance gives it a strong scent

Overall, Design Essentials Scalp and Skincare anti-itch oil is a carefully formulated, effective oil that reduces dandruff and itching to help you manage your locs.  A close runner up and great value.

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3. Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Loc & Braid Butter

Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Loc and Braid Butter provide intense moisture to your locs and braids by softening your hair and improving its resistance to breakage.

It is best suited for dry, overworked hair. So if you’ve gone and got those expensive highlights you’ve always wanted and your locs are now crying out for help, this is the oil for you.

It works its magic by penetrating your scalp, sealing in moisture, and stimulating healthy hair growth, thanks to castor oil and peppermint extract.

All you need to do to use this butter is scoop out a very small amount, and rub it evenly through damp or dry hair before rolling it into locs or braids. It can also be used between locs as a moisturizer.

Things we like about this butter:

  • It moisturizes well and reduces the appearance of frizz
  • It dries faster than similar products that contain castor oil
  • The peppermint provides a subtle, refreshing scent

Things we don’t like:

  • It can be a nit creamy if you apply too much
  • It can cause a little build up if you apply too much

Shea Butter Jamaican Black Castor Oil is ideal for distressed, dry locs, especially those that have been dyed or styled.  An excellent all-round product with great reviews.

4. Bronner Brothers Tropical Roots Growth Oil

Bronner Brothers Tropical Roots Growth Oil is best-suited to all types of natural hair.

It is as effective as similar products in the market in terms of nourishing and strengthening hair but its biggest bonus is that it doubles as a finishing spray for dry scalp relief as well.

Its key ingredients include pineapple and guava which are not commonly used in typical hair care products.

To use this oil, simply use your fingertips to massage it onto your scalp, place a plastic shower cap over your head and sit under a dryer for 5-10 minutes. After this you can rinse it off with lukewarm water to achieve great results.

Things we like about this oil:

  • It’s a lightweight oil that aids in faster hair growth
  • It makes locs shiny and silky
  • It uses all-natural ingredients and has a pleasant, fruity scent
  • It’s affordable

Things we don’t like:

  • The pineapple scent isn’t to everyone’s liking

Bronner Brothers Tropical Roots Growth Oil is a natural and effective alternative to other chemical-based products in the same price range that provides great results for your locs.

5. Knatty Dread Scalp Oil for Dreadlocks

Knatty Dread Scalp Oil for Dreadlocks is mainly composed of all-natural, fragrant essential oils that are vegan and non-greasy.

These oils will help to reduce dandruff and skin irritation which those with dreadlocks often experience.

It’s super easy apply this oil to your scalp or locs through the nozzle on the top of the tube.

Things we like about this oil:

  • It promotes healthy-looking locs
  • It helps keep your scalp moisturized
  • It has a pleasant, minty fragrance thanks to the essential oils
  • It’s vegan-friendly

Things we don’t like:

  • Its a bit pricey compared to some similar oils

Knotty Dread Scalp Oil isn’t exceptional when it comes to making dreadlocks silky or shiny, however, it does moisturize really well and it smells great.

6. Dollylocks Nag Champa Dreadlock Conditioning Oil

Dollylocks Nag Champa Dreadlock Conditioning Oil is specially created for mature dreadlocks.

If you’ve been rocking your locs for a considerably period of time and your regular choice of oil doesn’t cut it anymore, this is an excellent choice.

Dollylocks claims to revitalize, rejuvenate and repair your locs.

Arguably its best feature is that it’s non comodogenic, which means that it won’t clog your pores.

It’s also non-greasy thanks to its unique formula which is meant to imitate your hair’s natural sebum, which in turn makes it a very light oil that’s easy to wash off.

In addition, its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties make it a great medicinal choice to fight off dandruff and scalp itching as well.

Things we like about this oil:

  • It’s easily absorbed into the scalp
  • It doesn’t clog pores
  • It helps to keep dreadlocks separated
  • It has an exotic scent
  • It has a silky conditioning effect

Things we don’t like:

  • It’s on the pricier side for the quantity provided
  • The packaging could be a bit better

Overall, we found Dollylocks Nag Champa Conditioning Oil to be one of the best oils for conditioning and maintaining dreadlocks, both young and mature. It may be on the costlier side but its many benefits make it well worth it.

7. Dollylocks Coconut Lime Dreadlock Conditioning Oil

Dollylocks Coconut Lime Dreadlock Conditioning Oil contains coconut and jojoba oil that can be used frequently to provide your locs with all the nourishment they require.

Both coconut and jojoba oil are greatly beneficial to your hair (see the overview above) and their addition to this product make it greatly sought-after.

We found it to be a great alternative to Dollylocks Nag Champa oil.

This oil contains all natural, organic essential oils.

A small amount of this oil goes a long way in moisturizing your scalp and you can apply it directly to your dreadlocks a few hours before you intend to wash them (or use it lightly as a moisturizer).

If your locs are damaged and require intense repair, this is good choice.

Things we like about this oil:

  • It moisturizes your hair very well
  • It makes hair noticeably stronger after just a few uses
  • It never dries out hair
  • It smells great

Things we don’t like:

  • It’s a bit expensive
  • It can cause some build up

Dollylocks Coconut Lime Dreadlock Conditioning Oil is a great alternative to the Nag Champa oil as it works just as well on mature dreadlocks. The only drawback is that if left on for too long, it can cause a slight residue build up.  Still recommended though.

8. Molivera Organics Premium Cold Pressed 100% Pure Castor Oil

Molivera Organics Castor Oil contains plenty of antioxidants, vitamins and an old favorite: 100% pure castor oil that is fragrance-free.

It enables blood flow to your scalp (enhanced of course, by a healthy head massage) to encourage your hair to grow and regrow quickly and stronger than ever.

One of its very best features is that it works surprisingly well on taming split ends.

The application process is simple: you massage it directly onto damp or dry hair and you can mix it with other natural oils and butter for extra nourishment as well.

Things we like about this oil:

  • It’s reasonably priced
  • It helps prevent breakage
  • It boosts hair volume
  • It’s 100% organic
  • It helps with flaking skin
  • It offers quick results
  • It helps with skin rashes, wrinkles, fine lines and stretch marks

Things we don’t like:

  • It can get sticky if stored for a while
  • It could be better packaged as the oil can sometimes leak
  • It has a mild castor oil scent

Molivera Organics Castor Oil, despite having a slight scent and average packaging, won us over with the many advantages it offers in terms of facilitating healthy loc maintenance. It’s also very reasonable priced, which isn’t common for most 100% pure organic oils.

9. Aria Starr Beauty Organic Argan Oil For Hair, Skin, Face And Nails

Aria Starr Organic Argan Oil contains 100% pure argan oil.

As discussed earlier, argan oil is known to be one of the finest choices for hair care as it nourishes and protects all types of hair like almost no other hair oil.

Like Molivera Organics Castor Oil, you can use this oil on your skin to fade wrinkles, stretch marks and scars as well.

Its commendable nourishing properties make it an ideal hair/skincare companion for the winter months in particular.

All you need to do is to pour out 1-2 drops on your palm and gently massage it into your scalp and hair.

Things we like about this oil:

  • It’s great for taming frizzy hair, especially in humid conditions
  • It makes hair soft and shiny almost straight away
  • It works best on very dry hair/skin
  • It’s great value for money

Things we don’t like:

  • It doesn’t smell as good as other similar oils in the market
  • It ‘s a bit costly

Overall, we think Aria Starr Beauty Organic Argan Oil is a great all round product that provides many benefits to both hair and skin. We all know how dull and frizzy locs can get, but argan oil is a great natural remedy. It may be a bit pricey; however it’s justified.

10. Dollylocks Unscented Dreadlock Conditioning Oil

Dollylocks Unscented Dreadlock Conditioning Oil, like the two other Dollylocks products we’ve reviewed above, is best-suited to mature dreadlocks.

It contains coconut oil, jojoba oil, hempseed oil and other valuable plant extracts.

These organic oils help keep your scalp healthy and nourished, especially of its dry and prone to frequent flaking.

For intense repair we recommend you use this oil daily and leave it on for at least 2-3 hours before rinsing it off with shampoo.

Things we like about this oil:

  • It’s a lightweight oil
  • Its non-sticky and non-greasy
  • It’s easy to apply and very effective in combating dryness

Things we don’t like:

  • It’s a bit more pricey than some other oils

Dollylocks Unscented Dreadlock Conditioning Oil is a good choice for those willing to put in the money and effort to keep their dreadlocks healthy and shiny all year round. It’s effective and doesn’t take long to improve the health of your locs.

So, What’s The Best Oil For Locs Right Now?

We update our reviews regularly, so in this section we’ve reviewed some of our top picks right now for quick reference:

Best All-Round Product

Our current top pick for best all round product in this category is Dollylocks Nag Champa Conditioning Oil.

Priced at $16.95 for 4 Oz at the time of review, it may be on the costly side but its many benefits justify the price tag.

Even though it’s formulated for mature dreadlocks, you’ll find it works great on all types of locs.

It works especially well on repairing dry and damaged locs, so if you’ve been considering a visit to the salon, you may want to give this oil a shot first.

It’s designed to imitate your hair’s natural sebum and not clog your pores, which makes it non-greasy and easy to wash off.

It also has impressive antibacterial and antifungal properties that help you reduce and eventually get rid of dandruff and itching.

Though we did have some minor complaints with regard to packaging, we thought its many other attractive features outweighed these concerns making it a great oil for dreads.

Best Budget Product

Our current pick for best budget product is Bronner Brothers Tropical Growth Oil that retailed at $4.72 for a 4 Oz bottle at the time of review.

This oil is sure to provide your hair with great nourishment for half the price that most similar oils in the market demand.

Even if you don’t wish to use it as conditioning oil, you may use it as an organic finishing spray for your hair.

Its affordability and ability to make your locs shiny, silky and cure dry scalp making it a highly coveted product in the dreadlock maintenance market. We consider it a great budget option for daily use.

You may just enjoy the invigorating fruity scent too.

Best Alternative Product

Our current pick for best alternative product is Knatty Dread Scalp Oil for Dreadlocks which retailed at $12.99 at the time of review.

It consists of fragrant essential oils that help your locks grow healthy while keeping your scalp moist and free from dandruff and itchiness.

Even though it’s a little on the pricey side, we love its vegan ingredients and light, non-greasy formula that make it the perfect oil for summer.

Things To Consider When Buying Oil For Your Locs

If you’re new to locs and have just started wearing your hair that way, chances are you didn’t use hair oil as much as you do (or will) from now on.

Maintaining dreadlocks is easy when you consider the advantages of not having to wash them regularly or worrying about whether or not they appear messy, however they do require constant attention in terms of nourishment and ensuring healthy and sustained growth of hair.

Along with slower hair growth and dryness of scalp, dreadlocks can come with the challenges of handling an itchy, flaking scalp that requires regular attention.

There’s a lot of information out there on what kind of oil you should be opting for in order to give your locs the optimal care they deserve.

So we’ve compiled for you a few questions and tips to answer and consider to save you from making an uninformed choice or spending too much time looking for information online when choosing an oil for dreads.

How To Wash Locs

How, and how frequently you should be washing your dreadlocks greatly depends on the duration for which you’ve had them.

Here’s a really helpful clip that will help most people:

If you’ve just had your dreadlocks done, we’d advise you to wait for about a week or so before you first wash them, unless your scalp gets itchy and irritable in which case you may wash your hair gently.

You’ll have to be careful to wash your locs in a way that leaves little to no residue.

How fast your dreadlocks mature greatly depends on how clean and dry you keep them.

As for the frequency with which you should wash your locs, you’ll have to keep the following time frames in mind:

  • Under 6 months – This is the period during which you’ll have to wash your locs most frequently, beginning with 3-4 times a week and slowing down to 1-2 times per week gradually. The main thing to remember here is to allow your hair to dry completely before your next wash. This period is crucial to the speed with which your dreadlocks can tighten and you’ll have to be careful to keep scalp oil to a minimum to facilitate this.
  • 6 months to 1 year – Once you get past the 6 month mark, your dreads are likely to have formed well and tightened nicely. Washing your hair once a week during this period will suffice.
  • Over 1 year – Getting past one year indicates that your locs are almost fully mature. Mostly to keep your scalp clean rather than to give special attention to your dreads, you could wash your hair once every two weeks.

What Do Your Dreadlocks Need?

Before your buy oil for your locs, you’ll have to first ask yourself whether you just need regular nourishment or whether your locs are dry and damaged.

Do you just want to moisturize your scalp as part of your beauty regimen, or does your scalp require special attention because it’s dry, itchy and giving you dandruff woes?

If your locs are heavily damaged or starting to show signs of damage, you may want to opt for oils that contain oils that penetrate your scalp for deep conditioning such as coconut or argan oil.

These oils help protect your hair from damage even after you wash them off.

If your locs are dry, rough and prone to frequent breakage you’d be better off choosing oils that contain almond oil, jojoba oil, olive oil or grapeseed oil that soften the hair almost instantly after one use.

Is Residue Build Up Likely?

Residue can be a problem when using oil on any kind of hair, though with dreadlocks it  can be an even bigger challenge.

You have to be extra thorough while rinsing your hair as dreadlocks tend to accumulate residue and absorb moisture.

Even if your hair seems perfectly dry to you, your locs may have absorbed moisture and remained damp, which can cause them to rot and smell horrible.

Due to the very nature of dreadlocks and how tightly they bind the hair, residue is very likely to get trapped and gradually grow over time.

Furthermore, residue from oils and shampoo can also cause your scalp to get dry and itchy which is precisely what your hair care products were meant to avoid.

So how do you tell when residue has lingered on your locs? Here are a few things to look out for:

  • You can feel your hair remain slightly greasy and heavy even after you’ve washed it
  • Your hair looks dull when it usually looks shiny
  • Your hairstyles keep falling apart and don’t hold up as they usually do

Are All Organic Oils Good For Locs?

Just because a lot of dreadlock oils in the market claim to be ‘100% organic’, ‘all natural’ or ‘vegan’ doesn’t mean they’re all ideal for your hair type.

This means it’s crucial to check that the type of oil you’re buying has worked well on your hair type before and contains only essential oils that aren’t mixed with any carrier oils.

The scent too can present a problem as not all oils (castor oil, for instance) have the sort of fragrance that appeals to everyone, and these tend to have a scent that lingers more often than not.

Best Brands

The following are a few of the brands that are the best in the industry when it comes to producing locking oils, and are well worthy of their recommendation:

Bronner Brothers Enterprise

Established in 1947, Bronner Brothers Enterprise is one of the largest African-American hair and skincare line operating in the United States.

Their products have been specially designed for the African-American population but appeal to all hair and skin types, particularly their All-Natural Product line.

Design Essentials

Design Essentials is one of the leading direct distributors of hair care solutions that cater to both salons and homes.

Launched in 1990, they have been committed to addressing specific hair care needs.

In addition to manufacturing quality hair care products, they also take an active interest in proving blogs and seminars to educate their users on how to get the most out of their products.


Dollylocks started out as a salon in St Petersburg, Florida and is now one of the leading manufacturers of quality, refined hair care products, especially oil for dreads as we have seen.

Along with their top of the line products, they also provide professional workshops that educate their consumers on dreadlock formation and maintenance.  So if you’re still wondering what oil is good for dreads check them out.

Knatty Dread

Knatty Dread have designed products that specifically cater to the needs of ethnic hair.

They provide information on how to dread hair best depending on the natural hair types and preferences of their users.

They manufacture eco-friendly hair products that contain all-natural, vegan ingredients.


Here are some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to choosing the best oil for locs:

Q – Do dreadlocks require too much maintenance?

A – For the first 6 months yes, they require frequent washing and conditioning to help them grow nicely.

However, even during this period your locs don’t need to be washed and conditioned every day, just 3-4 and then 1-2 times a week.

However, once you cross the 6 month mark the frequency of your washed will slow down further and simply spreading and palm rolling them will be sufficient to maintain their shape.

Q – Can I wash my dreads?

A – Sure, but as we’ve covered before in the ‘Things to consider’ section, it’s best not to wash your baby locs at least a week after you’ve had them done.

Even when you do wash them make sure to use a natural, sulphate-free shampoo and either sun dry them or pat them with a towel.

Bear in mind that rubbing your dreads with a towel can cause frizz which can be difficult to tame.

Check out our guide to the best shampoo for locs here.

Q – Should I expect my scalp to get itchy with dreads? 

A – Yes, it’s perfectly natural and common for your scalp to get itchy a few days after you’ve got your hair locked.

Once you have dreadlocks, your scalp stops secreting as many natural oils and sebum as it did before, which causes the scalp to dry up and dandruff can occur.

Not to worry though, regular conditioning with a good oil for dreads can get rid of this problem and keep it at bay.

Q – Is it true that locs are unhygienic?

A – How dirty your dreads get is entirely dependent on your level of personal hygiene.

Even though dirt and residue is more likely to stick to dreaded than normal hair, this difference isn’t great enough to be significant.

With regular shampooing, oiling and conditioning, your dreads are very unlikely to raise any hygiene concerns.

Q – Do locs require any special products?

Not particularly, no.

We would recommend the use of gentle shampoos that don’t leave any residue on the scalp and hair as you won’t be washing your dreadlocks very frequently, especially once they’re mature.

Also, though no special product as such is required for dreadlock maintenance there are a few conditioning oils (that we’ve covered in previous sections) that’ll help maintain dreadlocks in the long run.

Best Oils For Your Locs – Wrapping It Up

As we’ve discussed, loc maintenance – though not as challenging as treating heavily styled/dyed hair – can be tricky.

Locs can dry out your hair and can lead to dandruff and scalp itching.

There are many dreadlock oils on the market that claim to do the same thing: moisturize your locs and nourish your scalp. So what is the best oil for locs?

Well, hopefully our list above will help you make the right choice for your locs.

We update our reviews regularly, weighing up the pros and cons of each product.  At present our top recommendation is Jamaican Mango and Lime Spray Oil.  It’s just so easy-to-use.

It’s rich in nutrients and does a great job of separating your locs whilst keeping them moisturized.

It’s also priced really well, it smells great, and reviewers love it.

Its ingredient list boasts an impressive set of oils and nutrients from coconut oil and castor oil to a good dose of vitamin E.

It’s a huge fans’s favorite.  It smells great, is priced well and does a really good job.  If we could only choose one oil for locs, this would be it. 

If you liked this article you might also like our recent posts on the best locking gel products round right now.

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