Can I Wash My Dreads With Dawn Dish Soap?

When looking for ways to remove extreme product buildup from my dreadlock, my friend suggested trying Dawn. After some extensive research, I concluded that you can wash your dreads with dish soap, however, only as a last alternative.

Dawn is a branded detergent that gets rid of the toughest grease and grime from dishes, but one of its most popular and rewarding uses is cleaning oils from animals.

The secret behind its powers is a chemical compound that cuts the grease. This super-secret is……..they add a small amount of petroleum. As a result, people who try to maintain natural dreadlock should not use dish soap in their dreads as it is packed with chemicals.

While there are many negatives to washing your dreadlocks with Dawn, there are also some positive I’ll explore below.

The Negatives Of Using Dawn In Your Hair

Yes, Dawn dish soap is safe to use in your hair, but there are better products to get rid of stubborn buildup in your locs. As I mentioned above, Dawn is a powerful detergent that can strip the natural oils from your dreads causing breakage, lifeless, and brittle hair.

Dawn is packed with a lot of chemicals, these includes:

Ingredients: Alcohol Denatured, C10-16 Alkyldimethylamine Oxide, Colorants, Fragrances, Methylisothiazolinone, PEI-14 PEG-24/PPG-16 Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol, PPG-26, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Water, C9-11 Pareth-8.

These are chemical that should not go near your dreadlocks.

Dawn Dish Soap Is Soapy

The last product you’ll want to use in your dreads is soapy materials. Dawn is designed to wash dishes. Therefore, it needs a lot of lather. When you wash your hair with dish soap, you’ll need multiple rinses to get rid of all the soap.

The Positives of Dawn Dish Soap In Your Dreads

Dreadlocks forums and Reddit has a huge discussion on using Dawn in dreads. Some credits the soap for its magnificent powers of ridding the hair of grease, while others are strongly against the product.

For this reason, I recommend doing a loc test. This means washing one loc with the soap and observing your hair’s reaction to it.

If your hair remains vibrant and you notice an improvement, then you can use it in your dreads. Remember, what works for you may not work for others.

With that said, let’s get back to the benefits of using Dawn: It can lighten your dreads if you have colored it too dark. It can also give you a clean feeling after washing your hair and again remove grease. Besides this, there are no other benefits of using Dawn.

Tips For Aftercare When Using Dawn In Your Dreads

Dawn is extreme, so make sure you follow up with deep conditioning or a hot oil treatment. These will replenish any important oils the Dawn has previously stripped.

However, keep it natural this means make your oil treatment or conditioner at home.

I have a few posts on DIY oil treatment ingredients.


A residue-free shampoo will help remove stubborn grease from your dreadlocks.

They are inexpensive and are recommended to use for every wash. The Dollylocks brand has a wide range of products that will work wonders for your dreads, and it is better than Dawn.

Apple Cider Vinegar soak is an excellent natural product you can use to get rid of build-up. It is a popular option amongst the dreadlocks community, with thousands swearing by the results.

So Can You Use Dawn Dish Soap In Your Dreads?

Yes, you can, but it is very powerful and will strip your hair of its natural oils. I don’t recommend it to people who suffer from dry hair and scalp. Also, there are alternatives like ACV rinse and residue-free shampoos. If you are going to try Dawn dish soap in your dreads, ensure to follow up with a deep conditioner or a hot oil treatment.

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