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The 9 Best Baby Hair Gels to Try This Year


As a mom of two and former foster parent, I have styled countless heads of baby and toddler hair in a wide variety of ways. The best baby hair gel bar none is the Free & Clear Hair Styling Gel simply because it works better than the many others I’ve tried and comes recommended by a dermatologist.

Image of the Free & Clear Hair Styling Gel for sensitive skin - fragrance free - 7 ounce

After much trial, error, and research, I have compiled a list of the top nine baby hair gels to try this year. The first three products in this list are ones that I personally recommend.

However, any of these products are sure to keep your little one looking ever so stylish.

Top Baby Hair GelsWhy It's BestMom Rating
Free & Clear Hair Styling GelDermatologist Recommended for Eczema and Extremely Sensitive Skin; Scent Free; Excellent Hold♥♥♥♥♥
Hip Peas Hair Styling BalmVegan; Great for Spiky and Messy Styles♥♥♥♥♥
Ricitos de Oro Baby Styling GelNon-Sticky; Non-Greasy; Best for Fine/Thin Hair♥♥♥♥
Hot Tot Styling GelAs Seen on Shark Tank; Dermatologist and Pediatrician Approved; Hypoallergenic♥♥♥♥

Free & Clear Hair Styling Gel

Image of the Free & Clear Hair Styling Gel for sensitive skin - fragrance free - 7 ounce

From the makers of Vanicream Skin Care, Free & Clear Hair Styling Gel is formulated especially for sensitive skin and scalp. This hair gel is free of alcohols, dyes, fragrance, masking fragrance, lanolin, parabens, formaldehyde, formaldehyde releasers, and other preservatives. This hair gel has absolutely no smell and is dermatologist recommended.

Speaking from my personal experience, my son has eczema and extremely sensitive skin. At our dermatologist’s recommendation, we have been using this hair gel on him for several years without any problems. It is, hands down, the best hair gel we’ve ever tried. (And, we’ve tried A LOT!)

Hip Peas Hair Styling Balm

Image of the Hip Peas Natural Hair Styling Balm

Although technically not a gel, Hip Peas Hair Styling Balm is an excellent product for keeping your little one’s locks under control. For boys, this product holds their slicked and spiked styles in place.

For girls, it holds barrettes, ponytails, and braids in place. Hip Peas Hair Styling Balm is vegan, contains no artificial colors or fragrances, and is paraben, sulfate, petrochemical, and phthalate free. Parents love this product because it works like a pomade and is not sticky.

I love this product for boys, and I have used it with great success. It is great for those spiky, messy styles.

Little Roseberry Hair Gel

Image of the Hair Gel for Kids | Light Hold | Chemical Free | Made with Organic Aloe Vera and Vitamins | Safe on Babies, Toddlers, Men and Women | Always Paraben, Sulfate & Fragrance Free | Made in USA (1 Unit)

Perfect for kids of all ages, Little Roseberry Hair Gel has a base of organic aloe vera juice and contains witch hazel. It is packed with vitamins to protect your child’s delicate hair. It is 100% Toxin-free, Vegan, and cruelty-free.

If you are worried about caustic ingredients, Little Roseberry doesn’t contain toxic chemicals. Unlike some gels that build up over time or leave greasy residues, this one washes out easily and doesn’t build up in the hair over time. Parents rave about the safety and hold of this hair gel.

Only a small amount of this gel is needed to hold hair in place. This product features an easy to use bottle with a locking spout, helping to avoid spillage and sticky messes. However, some parents found fault with this gel as it can make hair look dirty if too much product is used. Some also said that it wears off quickly if the child is rolling around or touching his hair.

My daughter loves to do pageants. This hair gel keeps her wild, wispy, unruly baby hairs in place without leaving a white residue on her dark brown, almost black, hair.

SoCozy Sensitive Styling Foam

Image of the Sensitive Styling Foam - Natural Hold for Babies and Kids

SoCozy Sensitive Styling Foam goes beyond gentle and is specially formulated for kids with sensitive scalps. This baby mousse for hair is allergy tested and made without parabens, sulfates, formaldehyde, phthalates, synthetic color, propylene glycol, gluten, wheat, or nuts. Parents love this styling foam for curly hair and comb-over styles (you’ll need a baby hair brush for that!). Because this product isn’t stiff and crunchy when it dries, most have found it unsuccessful for spiky and mohawk hair styles.

Ricitos De Oro Baby Styling Gel

Image of the Ricitos De Oro Baby Styling Gel with Chamomile 4.0 Oz

Ricitos De Oro Baby Styling Gel contains natural chamomile extract and is safe enough for daily use. This hair gel is not sticky or greasy. Parents love this product because it smells great, doesn’t leave behind any residue, and doesn’t get hard. However, some parents agree that it doesn’t hold thick hair in place, and is better suited for thin, fine hair.

Hot Tot Styling Gel

Image of the Hot Tot Styling Medium-Hold Hair Gel for Toddlers and Children, 5 Fluid Ounce

As seen on Shark Tank Season 4, Hot Tot Styling Gel is ideal for all types of baby, toddler, and children’s hair. Its natural formula provides a medium hold and a shiny finish. This hair gel is hypoallergenic, water soluble, and free of soy, gluten, peanut, and dairy.

Having been pediatrician and dermatologist approved, this is another great option for children with sensitive skin and/or eczema. Parents love this product because it isn’t too sticky and holds hair in place throughout the day. On the other hand, some parents feel that the price is too high to offset its effectiveness.

California Baby Jelly Mousse

Image of the California Baby Jelly Mousse - Calming - 2.9 oz

California Baby Jelly Mousse makes putting hair into braids, buns and mohawks easy and fun. This vegan hair gel is made in a 100% FDA certified organic facility and is free of harmful ingredients. The jury was out when it came to the scent of this product. Reviewers either loved it or hated it. The questionable smell aside, parents agreed this was a wonderful hair gel for babies, toddlers, and children. California Baby Jelly Mousse hair gel does not leave hair sticky or crunchy, and is excellent for taming unruly curls.

Original Sprout Natural Hair Gel

Image of the Original Sprout Natural Hair Gel. Anti-Frizz Hair Gel. All Natural Hair Care for Babies, Kids, and Adults, 4 Fl Oz

Original Sprout Natural Hair Gel is 100% vegan and made without parabens, nanoparticles, petroleum oils, musk, propylene glycol, sulfates, gluten, soy, or dairy. This hair gels controls whispy and frizzy hair without weighing it down and making it crunchy or stiff. Parents who use natural and organic products love this hair gel. It is important to remember that chemical free hair gels may not hold as well as chemical laden hair products, as chemicals are what gives products their stiff, all day hold. Chemical free hair gels tend to leave behind a softer, more natural hold. This natural baby gel works well for babies who have cradle cap, too.

Snip-its Funky Spiker Kids Hair Gel

Image of Snip-its Funky Spiker Kids Hair Gel for Boys 4oz | Kids Hair Product - Super Hold, No Flake Styling Gel for Kids  Boys Hair Gel  Natural Hair Gel for Kids Made in USA | Salon Quality Kid Friendly

If your older baby or toddler wants a mohawk/fauxhawk that won’t wilt or a combover that won’t quit, then Snip-Its Funky Spiker Kids Hair Gel is the product for you. Most gels that hold for several hours make hair hard and crunchy, but this gel will leave baby’s hair soft while keeping it in place for the better part of the day. The consistency is more paste-like than gelly. It also shampoos out easily at the end of the day, which is lovely! And the best part is that it’s all naturally-based and renewable ingredients, with plant-derived and hypoallergenic ingredients. 

Guide to Selecting Hair Products for Babies and Toddlers

According to Healthgrades, your child’s skin can be irritated by a number of things including heat, bath soaps, laundry detergents, pet dander, dust mites, certain fabrics, and cigarette smoke. This includes hair gels. It is important to identify and avoid anything that might cause irritation.

OnHealth, owned and operated by WebMD, reports that most skin-care products should not be used on very young infants because of the risk of exposure to active chemicals, which may be absorbed at higher rates in the thinner, less developed skin of infants. Avoid products with dyes and fragrances, since these may result in allergic reactions. Always discuss with your pediatrician which products can be used on infants.

  • Ingredients

    • When using a hair gel on your baby, choose only those with quality ingredients that are safe to be used on children. The chemicals contained in hair gels marketed for adults can cause significant irritation to a baby’s skin and scalp.
  • Style

    • Keep in mind the type of hairstyle you want to achieve when choosing a hair gel for your child. Hair gels that are best for taming whispy curls while leaving the hair soft and manageable will, generally speaking, not do well at holding up a stiff mohawk.
  • Be Cautious

    • Before trying a new product, be sure to test a bit of it on the inside of your child’s wrist or arm. If a rash appears, or if your child’s skin feels itchy, hot, or dry, even after a few days of use with no problem, stop using the product immediately.

 

FAQ’s About Using Baby Hair Care Products

I am uncomfortable with using hair care products on my baby. Is there anything else I can do to tame frizzy curls?

Although the products listed above are safe to use on your baby, you may be apprehensive to give them a try, or you may need a hair remedy ASAP. I ran into this problem with a former foster child when we welcomed an African-American baby into our home. He was the sweetest, cutest little boy with a head full of unruly, fuzzy curls. At the time, I was completely out of hair gel approved for baby use. I found that I could tame his mane with a little bit of baby lotion. After rubbing a pea sized amount of baby lotion into my hands, I twisted each curl around my finger. This softened and moisturized his hair, leaving behind a beautiful head full of little curls.

You can use the best baby lotions to help achieve a more tame look if hair gel isn’t working or you feel baby is too young.

Which is the best shampoo for baby?

Baby’s wash and shampoo should be hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, and non-drying. Baby skin is thinner and more susceptible to dryness and eczema.

A few of the very top-rated favorites that meet these conditions are:

  • Eucerin
  • Cetaphil, for sensitive skin
  • Mustela Gentle Cleansing, for cradle cap
  • Aveeno

Is coconut oil good for baby hair?

Coconut oil is recommended as a treatment for cradle cap in babies.

  • Apply the oil to baby’s scalp and allow it to stay for 10 to 30 minutes.
  • After that time, gently comb and brush to remove flakes from hair.
  • Wash all oil out of baby’s hair.

Most sources recommend that you leave the oil in the child’s hair no more than 30 minutes.

Is hair gel safe for my baby?

If you find a hair gel that has a clean ingredient list, then it is likely okay.

Be careful of scary product labels full of sketchy chemicals. Baby’s skin absorbs these chemicals, and there’s always the chance it could run down their face or get from their hair to their hand to their mouth. 

Is Johnson’s baby oil good for baby hair?

Johnson’s baby oil is recommended as a treatment for cradle cap in babies. Use it similarly to the coconut oil method mentioned above. 

How can I get my baby’s hair to grow?

Some sources assert that you can’t. Still, there are many products that claim to assist in hair growth, and many people who seem to believe that something can be done. Common remedies are gentle combing or brushing (if there’s hair), massaging the scalp in order to stimulate circulation, application of specific oils, gelatin, or aloe vera (any of which also involves massage), and good nutrition.

Remember, hair is not a top priority; and the best remedy is regular, generous application of love and positivity and diligent care. The hair will come.

Can you use hair products on babies?

This is a subjective decision. Some parents do not use even baby hair products on their babies. They do not feel the products are needed and don’t want to expose their children needlessly to the chemicals they contain.

Some use only the baby or dermatologist-recommended products.

Others, when the child is just a little older and has a head full of hair, choose to use even adult hair products.

How should I use hair gel on my child?

Use on damp hair, dry hair, or lightly dried hair. Squeeze a small amount of gel onto your palms or fingertips, then rub your hands together so that you can apply an even amount, avoiding clumps. For damp hair, start at the roots and work gel throughout hair. If desired, blow dry hair to style.

For dry hair, start at the roots and work gel throughout hair, lifting to style.

Final Recommendation

When in doubt, I always choose Free & Clear Hair Styling Gel. It’s my go-to for sensitive skin!

With several to choose from, you can’t go wrong with any of the excellent hair gels featured in this article.

Brittany Spalding
Brittany Spalding
Brittany Spalding is a wife, homeschool mom, writer, editor, and food allergy awareness advocate. She enjoys spending time with her family, gardening, restoring antique furniture, St. Louis Cardinals baseball, and fishing on the beautiful Kentucky Lake.