The Best Baby Shampoos (Plus Options for Older Kids Too!)
Pretty packaging, good-for-them ingredients, enough lather potential for mom to pull off a sudsy hairstyle or two in the tub? These baby- and kid-friendly shampoos check all the boxes. But the real mom reviews are what truly make them sing. Here, our top shampoo picks for kids and why we love them.
Best Scent: BeautyCounter Nice Do Kids Shampoo
Favorite Features: Moms can rest assured that more than 1,800 harmful chemicals—commonly included in other beauty brands—are banned from BeautyCounter’s products. This shampoo is no exception. Made from a mix of broccoli, carrot root and strawberry extracts to help keep hair shiny and soft, the nut-free formula also features a citrusy, vanilla scent—derived from oils and extract—that kids (and parents) will love.
Real Mom Reviews: That scent! One mom who uses this every other night for her kid’s bath routine raved about it. “It smells like an orange cream popsicle—I love lathering it onto my toddler’s scalp,” she says. You really only need a pea-sized amount and kids (even younger ones) love how easy it is to pump it themselves.
Best Scent Runner-Up: Honest Baby Shampoo and Body Wash
Favorite Features: Yes, this formula is paraben- and phthalate-free. But beyond the gentle, hypoallergenic and chemical-free formula, we also can’t get enough of the fragrance range—which includes lavender, sweet almond and orange vanilla—made from a blend of all-natural botanicals and essential oils. (There’s also a fragrance-free option.)
Real Mom Reviews: “The sweet almond scent is a favorite,” said one mom. But so is the texture and lather of the product. “I love that I can wash my kid from head to toe with the same product, and inhale their deliciousness when they’re all clean.”
Best Bang for Your Buck: California Baby Shampoo & Body Wash
Favorite Features: Designed to nourish sensitive skin, this shampoo and body wash combo is packed with soothing calendula and aloe vera. The plant-based formula means it’s free from bad-for-you ingredients.
Real Mom Reviews: One mom said: “I love the gentle formula and the fact that it lathers really easily, but I also like how a little goes a long way.” Also, more than a few moms endorsed the calendula scent. (“It’s more herbaceous, less floral—I’m into it,” said one.)
Best Bang for Your Buck Runner-Up: Erbaviva Baby Shampoo
Favorite Features: Mild is the best way to describe this plant-based shampoo, which is free from laurel sulfates and unwanted chemicals, but infused with tree bark extract, which is how it gets its lather. Also nice: The unique blend of organic essential oils (think lavender, chamomile and Oregon grape), which deliver a sweet and calming scent that we can’t help but inhale.
Real Mom Reviews: “This shampoo feels and smells super luxe, but it’s so reasonably priced,” said one mom. “It also includes a lot of the same high-quality ingredients as other more expensive brands.” Another mom mentioned the scent. “It’s subtle and not cloying at all.”
Best for Detangling: Pipette Baby Shampoo and Wash
Favorite Features: The hero (and tangle-fighting) ingredient in this shampoo is squalane, which is a plant-based version of the skin’s built-in moisturizer. In shampoo, it’s ultra-hydrating and has a water-proofing effect as well, which is great for locking moisture in but still separating strands.
Real Mom Reviews: Moms we talked to shout out to the calming aroma scent (although it’s also available fragrance-free), the lather and the tear-free formula. But it’s the detangling power that really makes it a stand-out: “My daughter has long, fine hair and it makes it that much easier to comb through.”
Best for Detangling Runner-Up: Weleda Baby 2-in-1 Gentle Shampoo and Body Wash
Favorite Features: It’s a brand beloved by the Hollywood set, but they also make products for kids. Case in point: This plant-based shampoo, infused with calendula and almond oil for added moisture, lifts dirt, but also leaves skin soft and hair easy to comb. It’s gentle on the eyes and—though it’s not specifically designed for this—can be used to help combat cradle cap.
Real Mom Reviews: The calendula, which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, was a real selling point for moms who swear by this shampoo. Meanwhile, the almond oil smoothes strands and makes them much less tangle-prone, according to moms who’ve tried it.
Best for Natural or Curly Hair: Shea Moisture Mango & Carrot Kids Extra-Nourishing Shampoo
Favorite Features: This shampoo cleanses, detangles and nourishes fine and delicate hair, protecting against breakage at the same time. The mango butter (in combination with other organic ingredients like carrot oil) leaves natural and curly hair feeling silky smooth.
Real Mom Reviews: Moms attest that this shampoo manages to soften textured strands without weighing them down. “I noticed that it really helped with traces of dandruff—an unexpected bonus!”
Best for Natural or Curly Hair Runner-Up: Ouidad KRLY Kids No Time for Tears Shampoo
Favorite Features: This gentle shampoo helps define wavy hair types and curls, whether they’re tight, loose or kinky. It also works well as a moisturizing detangler with a tear-free formula that won’t sting or irritate eyes.
Real Mom Reviews: “There’s no build-up—I love how healthy it keeps my daughter’s hair,” says one mom. Others spoke to the shampoo’s frizz-fighting benefits: “I had no idea how frizzy my son’s hair was until I started using this product. Now his curls are springy and beautiful.”
Best for Babies: Aveeno Baby Gentle Wash and Shampoo with Natural Oat
Favorite Features: Many pediatricians endorse this hypoallergenic shampoo for newborn babies, mainly thanks to its tear-free, non-drying formula, which is ideal for sensitive skin. Natural oat in particular is known to calm and soothe, which leaves baby’s hair and skin feeling clean and soft.
Real Mom Reviews: “I’ve loved this shampoo from day one—I even tested it on my own hair before my newborn arrived and was blown away by how soft it left my strands,” says one mom. Another perk? “It also gets a nice lather and doesn’t seem to sting or irritate eyes.”
Best for Babies Runner-Up: Ever Eden Baby Shampoo and Body Wash
Favorite Features: Non-toxic ingredients moisturize and soften strands, while the tear-free formula protects baby’s skin and scalp.
Real Mom Reviews: More than a few moms shouted out the pretty packaging. (“It looks so nice on the side of the bathtub!”) But one mom mentioned how non-irritating it was on her newborn’s scalp: “It helped with the small eczema patches. I highly recommend!”
Best for Combating Cradle Cap: Mustela Foam Shampoo
Favorite Features: Safe to use from birth on, Mustela’s cradle cap shampoo is specifically designed to help prevent and treat that scaly build-up on baby’s head. It’s also composed of 99 percent plant-based ingredients, but the main one for combating cradle cap is avocado perseose.
Real Mom Reviews: One mom said: “We used this nightly when my son had cradle cap and it cleared up quite quickly. The foam texture also goes on delicately, so it felt extra gentle on our newborn’s scalp.”
Best for Combating Cradle Cap Runner-Up: Burt’s Bees Baby Shampoo and Wash
Favorite Features: This gentle formula is enriched with natural moisturizers (like soy proteins infused with vitamin B) which help leave baby’s scalp and skin soft and hydrated. Pour a capful (or three) directly into the bath for added relief.
Real Mom Reviews: While not designed to specifically target cradle cap, one mom said: “My son has very sensitive skin and had cradle cap and this was the only product that worked for him.”