According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), care products such as shampoo expose kids to about 60% unsafe chemicals every day.1
To lower this exposure, a good kids’ shampoo is highly encouraged, especially if it is being used as a conditioner and/or bath soap as well.
We put together a list of the Best Kids Shampoos of 2020 based on safe ingredient lists and quality. Some shampoos are multi-use and can be used for other needs (e.g. body wash).
After reviewing all products, we recommend Puracy Natural Baby Shampoo & Body Wash as the best kids shampoo of 2020.
|Best 5 Kids Shampoos||Why It's Best||Mom Rating|
|Puracy Natural Baby Shampoo & Wash||Pink grapefruit essential oil, 100% natural botanical extracts, vegetable-based, made in USA||♥♥♥♥♥|
|Dr. Eddie's Happy Cappy Medicated Shampoo||Provitamin B5, sulfate free, fragrance free, safe solution for cradle cap, made in USA||♥♥♥♥♥|
|Mustela Gentle Shampoo||93% biodegradable formula, avocado perseose, chamomile extract, paraben free, hypoallergenic, tear free||♥♥♥♥♥|
|California Baby Super Sensitive Shampoo & Wash||Organic calendula extract, aloe vera, fragrance free, sulfate free, made in USA, 100% family owned||♥♥♥♥♥|
|Aveeno Baby Gentle Wash & Shampoo||Calming oat extract, light scent, glycerin for moisture, hypoallergenic, good for eczema||♥♥♥♥♥|
Best Kids Shampoos
Puracy Natural Baby Shampoo & Body Wash
The Puracy Natural Baby Shampoo & Body Wash is a 2-in-1 combo of kids shampoo and body wash. It’s sold in a 16 fl oz pump bottle.
Puracy provides natural ingredients from foods, minerals, and plants to nourish the scalp, hair, and body without using harsh chemicals. One of the ingredients, sea salt, helps hydrate and balance your child’s skin. Puracy is proud to state that this product is 99.95% natural, per their definition, which is located on their website.
Our favorite part: Ingredients are plant, food, and mineral-based!
Parents absolutely love how this shampoo has resolved their children’s sensitive skin issues like cradle cap and eczema. The citrus scent is raved about as well.
- Pink grapefruit essential oils
- 100% natural botanical extracts
- Sea salt
- Vegetable-based moisturizer
- No perfumes or dyes
- Made in the USA
- Scent could be too strong
We love that Puracy Natural Baby Shampoo & Body Wash is natural, made in the USA, and has helped lots of babies with sensitive skin.
Dr. Eddie’s Happy Cappy Medicated Shampoo for Children
The Dr. Eddie’s Happy Cappy Medicated Shampoo is a shampoo and body wash solution for children who have itching, scaling or irritated scalps. It’s also for babies who have cradle cap (or seborrheic dermatitis). Happy Cappy is sold 8 fl oz bottle.
Happy Cappy is the first over-the-counter medicated solution for children and the active ingredient, pyrithione zinc, has been FDA approved. In addition to healing scalp issues, it can be used as a body wash as a solution to redness and irritation on the body such as in folds or under armpits.
Our favorite part: A safe (and first) solution suitable for children of all ages!
Results may take 1-2 washes per day up to a week or so, depending on the severity of scalp issues. It is recommended to taper off use to 2-3 times a week once the scalp has been successfully treated and to use a regular shampoo, such as Dr. Eddie’s Daily Shampoo when the medicated shampoo is not being used.
- Licorice root extract
- Provitamin B5
- Dermatologist tested
- Made in USA
We love that Dr. Eddie’s Happy Cappy Medicated Shampoo helps young children and babies with scalp and skin irritation in a safe way.
Mustela Gentle Shampoo
The Mustela Gentle Shampoo is a kids shampoo for delicate hair that also works as a detangler. It comes in a 16.9 fl oz bottle.
Mustela provides a kids shampoo with 93% biodegradable and plant-based ingredients that hydrates and cleanses hair without over-drying. The ingredient Avocado Perseose is used for cleansing and hydrating, while the ingredient Chamomile extract helps to soften and detangle the hair.
Our favorite part:
Parents love that this top kids shampoo lives up to its badge of being tear-free, having no issues if soap gets into their child’s eyes during bath time. Some like the gentle scent whereas some say it smells a bit too medicinal.
- 93% biodegradable ingredients
- Avocado Perseose
- Chamomile extract
- Tear free
- Potential “medicinal” smell
Adults enjoy using Mustela Gentle Shampoo for their children and for themselves. It is a clean, sensitive soap that really is tear free.
California Baby Super Sensitive Shampoo and Body Wash
The California Baby Super Sensitive Shampoo and Body Wash is a plant-based 2-in-1 shampoo and body wash combo. It comes in a 19 fl oz bottle.
Like the name says, this kids shampoo and body wash is for littles with sensitive skin and is frequently used in Neonatal & Pediatric Intensive Care Units. The shampoo and wash solution is free from common irritants and allergens such as gluten, soy, nuts, and dairy.
Our favorite part: Irritant-free ingredients from a 100% family-owned and USA operated company!
Parents love that this product helps with eczema and moisturizes the skin without drying it out, but the price is much higher than most other kids’ shampoos and washes.
- Organic calendula extract
- Aloe vera
- Made in the USA
- Higher price than most
- May not lather well
California Baby Super Sensitive Shampoo and Body Wash meets high standards for sensitive skin. It is pricy, but worth it if that means no rashes!
Aveeno Baby Wash and Shampoo
The Aveeno Baby Wash and Shampoo is a body wash and shampoo combo featuring natural oat extract. This lightly scented option is sold in a 12 fl oz bottle.
Natural ingredients such as oat kernel extract helps to soothe irritated skin like eczema that kids and babies may suffer from. In addition, the plant-based ingredient glycerin helps keep skin moisturized.
Our favorite part: Oat kernel extract is great for sensitive skin.
- Natural oat extract
- Tear free
- Pediatrician recommended
- May not lather well
Aveeno Baby Wash and Shampoo has shown to be a good natural shampoo and soap choice for children with sensitive skin.
Cetaphil Baby Wash & Shampoo with Organic Calendula
The Cetaphil Baby Wash & Shampoo is a moisturizing 2-in-1 shampoo and body wash combo. It comes in a 7.8 fl oz bottle.
Using organic calendula (pulled from the marigold flower), Cetaphil provides a nourishing kids shampoo and body wash that has a tear free formula. This product has been tested by dermatologists to provide a safe shampoo and wash for sensitive skin.
Our favorite part: A very well-priced kids shampoo for sensitive skin.
Some parents have complained that from the experience they had with their own child, this product is definitely not tear free. In addition, some children have experienced an allergic-type reaction to the product and have broken out in a rash.
- Organic calendula
- Vitamins E/B5
- Aloe vera
- Dermatologist tested
- Mineral oil-free
- Potentially not tear free
- Potential allergic reaction
- Strong scent
We would not suggest purchasing Cetaphil Baby Wash & Shampoo if your child has any type of skin sensitivity.
Burt’s Bees Baby Calming Shampoo & Wash
The Burt’s Bees Baby Calming Shampoo & Wash is a 2-in-1 shampoo and body wash combo. It’s sold in a 12 fl oz bottle.
This 99.8% natural kids shampoo is great for cleaning normal-to-sensitive skin without over-drying. The addition of lavender and vanilla scents help relax baby or child during bath time.
Our favorite part: The addition of calming lavender and vanilla to a safe, natural product.
Many parents love the Burt’s Bees shampoo & wash as well as this calming version, but have had some issues with receiving a watered-down product when they order online. Other than this, many buyers have loved and enjoyed Burt’s Bees products, including this kids shampoo.
- Soy protein
- Thyme Oil
- Pediatrician tested
- Potential to receive a “watered down” product from online purchase
The Burt’s Bees Shampoo & Wash is a safe, calming kids shampoo and is created by a reputable brand that prioritizes natural ingredients.
Everyone 3-in-1 Soap for Every Kid
The Everyone 3-in-1 Soap for Every Kid is a shampoo, body wash, and bubble bath combo. While it comes in a tropical or orange scent, the Lavender Lullaby is the best scent! Since you child likely showers at the end of the day to get all the grime off, why not let their soap help calm and relax them with lavender and orange essential oils? It is sold in a pack of two with each bottle holding 32 fl oz.
Coconut oil in the ingredients helps to create a good lather for washing and bubbles for bathing. The EWG (Environmental Working Group) verifies this product, which means it meets super high safety and chemical-free standards.
Our favorite part: This kids shampoo combo is EWG Verified and made in the USA!
Although EWG verified, some parents complain that this product does not have a tear-free formula. In addition, some children may have reactions to the essential oils if they have sensitive skin.
- Vitamin B5
- Vitamin E
- Organic Aloe, Chamomile, Calendula and White Tea extracts
- Lavender and orange essential oils
- Certified gluten-free
- NON-GMO Verified
- Cruelty free
- Synthetic fragrance-free
- Not tear-free
- Essential oils could affect kids with sensitive skin
The 3-in-1 chemical-free combo is great but since it’s not tear-free, the Everyone 3-in-1 Soap isn’t recommended for kids under 2.
The Honest Company Perfectly Gentle Sweet Orange Vanilla Shampoo + Body Wash
The Honest Company Perfectly Gentle Sweet Orange Vanilla Shampoo is a shampoo and body wash combo. It is also available in Sweet Almond, Dreamy Lavender, Apricot Kiss and Fragrance Free, and it’s sold in a 10 fl oz bottle.
The Honest Company is known for creating products that moisturize without drying out the skin with as little risky chemicals as possible. These products are safe for kids and also babies.
Our favorite part: Gentle on sensitive skin with lots of naturally-derived ingredients!
Unfortunately, some parents have had issues with the shampoo leaving their hair limp and greasy, but for the most part, parents love the scent and how great it is for sensitive skin.
- Coconut Oil
- Jojoba Protein
- Quinoa Extract
- Dermatologist Tested
- Not Tested On Animals
- Hair may not feel clean after use
Great ingredients and safe for sensitive skin, but The Honest Company Perfectly Gentle Sweet Orange Vanilla Shampoo may not result in a “clean hair” feel or look.
Babo Botanicals Purifying Swim & Sport Shampoo & Wash
The Babo Botanicals Purifying Swim & Sport Shampoo & Wash is a lightly fragranced kids shampoo and body wash combo. It is sold in a pack of two 8 fl oz pump bottles.
This Swim & Sport kids shampoo is great for hair after a day of playing at the pool or beach. Babo moisturizes and hydrates with aloe vera and cucumber plus removes chlorine, salt, and any other build-up there may be.
Our favorite part: Natural ingredients that remove chlorine and grime from the hair after pool and beach days without irritating sensitive skin!
Parents love that they’ve finally found a product that can remove the chlorine smell from their child’s hair and be safe enough to use every day. Some have complained that the smell isn’t great but overall like the product.
- Aloe vera
- Shea and cocoa butter
- Meadowsweet flower extract
- Watercress flower/leaf extract
- Made in USA
We love that Babo Botanicals Purifying Swim & Sport 2-in-1 Shampoo & Wash is able to naturally remove build-up from the hair and at the same time hydrate it and be safe for sensitive skin.
Shea Moisture Mango & Carrot Kids Extra-Nourishing Shampoo
The Shea Moisture Mango & Carrot Kids Extra-Nourishing Shampoo is a kids shampoo created for dry and/or damaged hair. It is sold in a pack of two 8 fl oz bottles.
Shea Moisture is here to the rescue if your child has thin, damaged or dry hair. In addition to gently washing your child’s hair, this kids shampoo also helps prevent further breakage by strengthening the hair.
Our favorite part: Natural ingredients provide nourishment to curly hair while also detangling.
Parents not only the love the scent of this kids shampoo, but they find it helps tremendously with their child’s wavy or curly hair by softening, cleansing and moisturizing the hair without drying it out. Some find that they don’t even need to use conditioner on the hair after washing it with this Shea Moisture shampoo.
- Orange blossom extract
- Mango butter
- Carrot oil
- Coconut oil
- No synthetic color
- May leave hair oily
Shea Moisture Mango & Carrot Kids Extra-Nourishing Shampoo is a great kids shampoo if you’re looking for a natural product that will strengthen, nourish, and detangle curls.
Fresh Monster Shampoo & Body Wash
The Fresh Monster Shampoo & Body Wash is a plant-based shampoo and body wash combo. It’s available in Watermelon or Ocean Splash in a pack of two 8.5 fl oz pump bottles.
Fresh Monster is one of the few kids shampoos and washes that provides a transparent ingredients list. For example, they use natural botanical extracts to create a smell-good scent rather than synthetic fragrance.
Our favorite part:
Some parents have complained that the scent is too “musty” and not “fresh” smelling, leaving a weird scent on their kid’s hair after using the shampoo. Even though clean and toxin-free ingredients are used in this product, it would be a bummer if your child’s hair smelled like “wet dog” after their bath.
- Vegetable glycerin
- Lavender extract
- Apple fruit extract
- No synthetic fragrances
- 100% toxin-free
- May leave a weird “after-smell” on kid’s hair
We are impressed that the Fresh Monster Shampoo & Body Wash uses botanical extracts to create a natural fragrance, but concerned that the nice scent won’t last long after each wash.
SoCozy 3-in-1 Shampoo + Conditioner + Body Wash for Kids
The SoCozy 3-in-1 Shampoo + Conditioner + Body Wash is a shampoo, conditioner and body wash combo. This top kids shampoo is considered a “salon formula” and comes in a 10.5 fl oz bottle.
The included ingredient keratin helps to strengthen hair to reduce damage caused by hair ties and brushing. In addition, kiwi fruit extract and soy protein strengthens and nourishes hair resulting in soft smooth hair.
Our favorite part: The addition of keratin to keep hair strong.
Parents love how easy this detangles their child’s hair in addition to leaving it soft and manageable. For kids with curls, parents claim that this shampoo helps keep the bounce in curls. There is a concern from previous parent reviews that this shampoo may burn if it gets into eyes.
- Kiwi fruit extract
- Soy protein
- Silk amino acids
- Aloe leaf juice
- No synthetic colors or propylene glycol
- May burn if it gets in eyes
Great choice for children with curls especially, SoCozy 3-in-1 Shampoo + Conditioner + Body Wash is helpful with managing tangles!
HONEYDEW Anti Dandruff Shampoo for Kids
The HONEYDEW Anti Dandruff Shampoo for Kids is an all natural solution for children who are trying to manage dandruff. It’s sold in a 8 fl oz bottle.
Unlike many medicated shampoos for dandruff, HONEYDEW provides a safe alternative for children of any age. Good for any hair type, this shampoo helps nourish and cleanse the scalp while providing an anti-dandruff solution.
Our favorite part: Natural ingredients in a dandruff shampoo that is usually medicated otherwise!
Parents claim that using this best shampoo for only a week produces great results and even helps with detangling. Some do not like the subtle tea tree oil scent, but overall are happy with the shampoo.
HONEYDEW offers a 100% money-back guarantee on this made in the USA product if users are dissatisfied.
- Jojoba oil
- Tea tree
- With the essential oils mixed in, this shampoo may not actually be tear free
The HONEYDEW Anti Dandruff Shampoo for Kids is a great natural alternative kids shampoo for fighting dandruff.
Cantu Care for Kids Tear-Free Nourishing Shampoo
The Cantu Care for Kids Tear-Free Nourishing Shampoo is a shampoo specifically designed for taming curls and textured hair. Cantu is sold in a 8 fl oz bottle.
This kids shampoo focuses on cleansing and defining curly and coily hair types – they even have a hair chart for helping define if your child’s hair is technically “curly” or “coily.”
Our favorite part: This is specifically created to nourish a child’s curls and coils.
Some kids shampoos may dull or take the shape out of natural curls and coils if they’re not specifically made for curls, so Cantu helps fix this problem. Parents say that switching to this shampoo really helped their child’s curly hair stay moisturized without weighing it down.
- Shea butter
- Coconut oil
- No mineral oil
- May irritate those with sensitive skin or scalps
If your child has curly or coily hair and is hard to tame or moisturize, Cantu Care for Kids Tear-Free Nourishing Shampoo is a top choice!
L’Oreal Kids Extra Gentle 2-in-1 Shampoo
The L’Oreal Kids Extra Gentle 2-in-1 Shampoo is a shampoo and conditioner cleanser. This Strawberry Smoothie scent smells super good and makes hair-washing lots of fun.
This kids shampoo and conditioner prevents tears when bathing and is paraben-free, but it lacks the naturally-derived ingredients that we’d love to see. The colorful fish look on the bottle exterior makes bath time feel extra fun and is exciting for kids. Instead of dreading their hair being washed, this shampoo bottle makes the experience more fun.
Our favorite part: A classic tear-free shampoo and conditioner for all types of hair.
Many parents love the fruity strawberry scent of this kids shampoo, although some feel that the scent is too strong. Even though this is a shampoo/conditioner combo, some parents say that a separate conditioner is still needed to help detangle their child’s hair.
- Ophthalmologist tested
- Dermatologist tested
- Risky ingredients
Due to the lack of naturally-derived ingredients, we don’t recommend L’Oreal Kids Extra Gentle 2-in-1 Shampoo unless you’re simply looking for a great smelling product that is tear free.
Buying Considerations for Kids Shampoo
What type of hair does your child have?
Some hair types (e.g. curly) are able to hold curl and stay moisturized better with kids shampoos that are created specifically for that type of hair.
For example, Shea Moisture Mango & Carrots Kids Extra-Nourishing Shampoo is great for curly or wavy hair.
Consider purchasing a kids shampoo for your child’s specific hair type, like curly hair or fine hair, if regular shampoos aren’t working well.
Are you looking for a kids shampoo that can also be used as a conditioner and/or body wash?
Many kids shampoos are created to be combos of shampoo + conditioner, shampoo + body wash, or shampoo + conditioner + body wash. This helps to make bath time quicker and easier.
If you like simplicity and less bottles to manage, consider purchasing a kids shampoo combo.
Does your child have sensitive skin?
It’s common for kids shampoos to include irritants and allergens in their ingredients.
If your child has sensitive skin, consider purchasing a kids shampoo that does not include such things as fragrance, dairy, soy, gluten, and other irritating ingredients. A great shampoo for super sensitive skin is California Baby Super Sensitive Shampoo and Body Wash.
How old is your child?
If you have a younger child or baby, you should consider purchasing a tear-free kids shampoo, such as Mustela Gentle Shampoo, since it’s more likely for soap to get into the eyes of little ones.
You may also want to purchase a combo shampoo (e.g. shampoo + body wash) like Aveeno Baby Wash and Shampoo to make bathing easier and quicker with impatient little ones.
How long is your child’s hair?
If your child has longer hair, consider purchasing a kids shampoo combo that can be also used as a conditioner like Shea Moisture Mango & Carrot Extra-Nourishing Shampoo. This will limit bathing time in addition to softening and moisturizing hair to prevent tangles and breakage.
Is your child frequently in the pool or ocean?
If your child is frequently swimming in chlorine water or in the salty ocean, consider purchasing a shampoo that will remove chlorine, salt, and other grime build-up.
We highly recommend Boba Botanicals Purifying Swim & Sport Shampoo & Wash. It is gentle enough to use every day yet cleansing enough to remove chlorine and the smell of it from your child’s hair with natural ingredients.
FAQs About Kids Shampoos
What is the best kids shampoo for girls?
Girls tend to have longer hair so if that’s the case for your child, we recommend a shampoo + conditioner kids shampoo such as Shea Moisture Mango & Carrot Extra-Nourishing Shampoo.
If hair length is not an issue, we recommend Puracy Natural Baby Shampoo & Body Wash.
What’s the best natural kids shampoo?
We believe that Puracy Naturals is the best of the natural shampoos for kids since it is 99.95% natural and uses 100% natural botanical extracts in this product.
What’s the best organic kids shampoo?
California Baby Super Sensitive Shampoo and Body Wash is a great kids shampoo featuring organic calendula extract. Given that this kids shampoo is frequently used in Neonatal Pediatric Intensive Care Units, we recommend this product as the best organic kids shampoo.
What’s a good kids shampoo and conditioner?
Many of the top kids shampoos are sold in a combo of shampoo + body wash, shampoo + conditioner or all 3-in-1.
For a good kids shampoo and conditioner, we recommend Shea Moisture Mango & Carrot Kids Extra-Nourishing Shampoo.
For older children that are less likely to get shampoo in their eyes, we recommend SoCozy 3-in-1 Shampoo + Conditioner + Body Wash.
See our list of the best baby bath products to get your little one clean from head to toe!
What’s a good kids shampoo for dandruff?
To help solve the issue of dandruff, we recommend HONEYDEW Anti Dandruff Shampoo for Kids, which is a safe shampoo alternative to using a medicated shampoo.
Is kids shampoo good for your hair?
Depending on the kids shampoo and whether the ingredients are naturally-derived or not, a kids shampoo can be a great choice for hair regardless of age. The only downfall may be that you need to purchase more kids shampoo for adult hair since kids shampoos are commonly sold in smaller bottles (since kids use less).
Can my child use regular shampoo rather than kids shampoo?
Children can, of course, use regular shampoo, but most regular shampoos can be harsh on sensitive scalps, hair, and skin that children and babies have. In addition, regular shampoos can be heavy on fragrance, creating a higher risk for skin irritation or rashes.
Can a kids shampoo be used as a body wash or bubble bath?
Many of the best shampoos are formulated to be used as a shampoo and a body wash to make bath time easier and faster while eliminating extra plastic bottles. For a good combo kids shampoo that can also be used as bubble bath, we recommend Everyone 3-in-1 Soap for Every Kid.
Will kids shampoo sting my child’s eyes?
Some kids shampoos contain ingredients, like essential oils, that will most likely sting if it gets into eyes. To prevent this from happening, make sure to purchase a kids shampoo that states it is tear-free.
While not a natural kids shampoo, L’Oreal Kids is known for being tear-free.
If your child is afraid or tries to avoid having their hair washed because of getting water or shampoo into their eyes, fun bath toys may help distract them while you wash.
What’s the best kids shampoo for getting chlorine out of hair?
For pool days and beach days, we recommend Babo Botanicals Purifying Swim & Sport Shampoo & Wash to remove chlorine, salt, and grime from your child’s hair with natural and safe ingredients. Even if your child is swimming in the pool every day, this kid’s shampoo is safe enough to use each day without drying out the hair.
What’s the best kids shampoo for a dry scalp?
To help bring hydration back to your child’s scalp, we recommend using Puracy Natural Baby Shampoo & Body Wash. Another great choice for moisturizing the scalp would be California Baby Super Sensitive Shampoo and Body Wash.
What’s the best kids shampoo for removing cradle cap or eczema?
For sensitive skin issues such as cradle cap or eczema, we recommend using California Baby or Dr. Eddie’s for more severe cases or if other shampoos are not helping.
We love naturally-derived ingredients in children’s products, especially bath products such as kids shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. Watching out for common allergens and irritants in the ingredients list of kids shampoos is important for preventing irritation, rashes, and breakouts.
After reviewing kids shampoos, we highly recommend Puracy Natural Shampoo & Body Wash as the best kids shampoo.