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The 16 Best Kids Shampoos of 2021


According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), care products such as shampoo expose kids to about 60% of unsafe chemicals every day.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 2021 based on safe ingredient lists and quality. Some shampoos are multi-use and can be used for other needs (e.g. body wash).

Always check with your pediatrician before using any products.

Best Kids Shampoo Overall: Babo Botanicals 2-in-1 Shampoo & Wash
Best Sulfate-Free Shampoo for Kids: Shea Moisture Shampoo
Best Organic Kids Shampoo: California Baby Shampoo and Body Wash
Best Tear-Free Shampoo for Toddlers: Mustela Gentle Shampoo
Best Dandruff Shampoo for Kids: HONEYDEW Anti Dandruff Shampoo

Page Contents
Best Kids ShampoosBabo Botanicals Sensitive Baby 2-in-1 Shampoo & WashEveryone 3-in-1 Soap for Every Kid Shea Moisture Mango & Carrot Kids Extra-Nourishing ShampooSoCozy 3-in-1 Shampoo + Conditioner + Body Wash for KidsHip Peas Cradle Cap CareCalifornia Baby Super Sensitive Shampoo and Body WashBabo Botanicals Purifying Swim & Sport Shampoo & WashFresh Monster Shampoo & Body WashBest Tear-Free Kids ShampoosMustela Gentle ShampooAveeno Baby Wash and ShampooCetaphil Baby Wash & Shampoo with Organic CalendulaBurt's Bees Baby Calming Shampoo & WashThe Honest Company Perfectly Gentle Shampoo + Body WashHONEYDEW Anti Dandruff Shampoo for KidsCantu Care for Kids Tear-Free Nourishing ShampooL'Oreal Kids Extra Gentle 2-in-1 ShampooComparing the Best Kids ShampoosBuying Considerations for Kids ShampooWhat type of hair does your child have?Are you looking for a kid shampoo that can also be used as a conditioner and/or body wash?Does your child have sensitive skin?How old is your child?How long is your child's hair?Is your child frequently in the pool or ocean?FAQs about Kids ShampoosWhat is the best kids shampoo for girls?What are the best natural kids shampoo?What is the best organic kid shampoos?What is a good kid shampoo and conditioner?What's a good kid shampoo for dandruff?Is a kid shampoo good for your hair?Can my child use regular shampoo rather than kids shampoo?Can a kid shampoo be used as a body wash or bubble bath?Will a kid shampoo sting my child's eyes?What's the best kids shampoo for getting chlorine out of hair?What's the best kids shampoo for a dry scalp?What's the best kids shampoo for removing cradle cap or eczema?Wrap Up

Best Kids Shampoos

Babo Botanicals Sensitive Baby 2-in-1 Shampoo & Wash

Babo Botanicals Sensitive Baby 2-in-1 Shampoo & Wash - with Organic Calendula, Oatmilk, Shea & Cocoa Butter - Fragrance-Free & EWG Verified - 16 fl. oz. (Packaging May Vary)
Price$$$$
Quality

Babo Botanicals Sensitive Baby 2-in-1 Shampoo & Wash is a 2-in-1 combo of kids shampoo and body wash. It’s sold in a 16 fl oz pump bottle.

Babo Botanicals provides natural ingredients from foods, minerals, and plants to nourish the scalp, hair, and body without using harsh chemicals. Moreover, it’s hypoallergenic and EWG Certified. Babo Botanicals uses plant-based natural ingredients and many of them are organic! It’s gentle enough for daily use. 

Our favorite part: Ingredients are plant, food, and organic.

Parents absolutely love how this shampoo has resolved their children’s sensitive skin issues like cradle cap and eczema. The fragrance-free formula makes it extra gentle for sensitive skin. 

Great Ingredients

  • Scent-free
  • 100% natural and organic
  • EWG verified
  • Great for sensitive dry skin

Great Badges

  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • No perfumes or dyes
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Gluten-free
  • Vegan
  • EWG verified 
  • Autism approved

Concerns

  • Extremely sensitive skin may still find this a little drying
  • Contains potential irritants/allergens

Overall

We love that Babo Botanicals Sensitive Baby 2-in-1 Shampoo & Wash is natural, EWG approved, and has helped lots of babies with sensitive skin.

Everyone 3-in-1 Soap for Every Kid 

Everyone 3-in-1 Kids Soap: Body Wash, Bubble Bath, and Shampoo, Lavender Lullaby, 32 Ounce, 2 Count- Packaging May Vary
Price$$$$
Quality
Popularity

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 your 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 kid shampoo combo is EWG Verified and made in the USA!

Everyone 3-in-1 Kids Soap: Shampoo, Body Wash, and Bubble Bath, Lavender Lullaby, 32 Ounce, 2 Count

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.

Great Ingredients

  • Vitamin B5
  • Vitamin E
  • Organic Aloe, Chamomile, Calendula, and White Tea extracts
  • Lavender and orange essential oils

Great Badges

  • Certified gluten-free
  • NON-GMO Verified
  • Cruelty-free
  • Synthetic fragrance-free
  • EWG verified

Concerns

  • Not tear-free 
  • Essential oils could affect kids with sensitive skin
  • Contains potential irritants/allergens
  • Contains ingredients with potential toxicities

Overall

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.

Shea Moisture Mango & Carrot Kids Extra-Nourishing Shampoo

SHEA MOISTURE Mango & Carrot Kids Extra-nourishing Shampoo Pack Of 2, 8 Oz (K0000178)
Price$$$$
Quality
Popularity

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 kid 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 love the scent of this kid 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.

Great Ingredients

  • Orange blossom extract
  • Mango butter
  • Carrot oil
  • Coconut oil

Great Badges

  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • No synthetic color

Concerns

  • May leave hair oily
  • Contains potential irritants/allergens
  • Contains fragrance
  • Rated 3 by EWG

Overall

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.

SoCozy 3-in-1 Shampoo + Conditioner + Body Wash for Kids

SoCozy 3-in-1 Shampoo + Conditioner + Body Wash, For Kids Hair, Cleans and Adds Moisture Back, No Parabens, Sulfates, Synthetic Colors or Dyes, Mango, 10.5 Fl Oz
Price$$
Quality
Popularity

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 strengthen and nourishes hair resulting in soft smooth hair.

Our favorite part: The addition of keratin to keep hair strong.

Image of SoCozy 3-in-1 Shampoo + Conditioner + Body Wash for Kids | 10.5 fl oz | No Parabens, Sulfates, Synthetic Colors or Dyes

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 the eyes.

Great Ingredients

  • Keratin
  • Kiwi fruit extract
  • Soy protein
  • Silk amino acids
  • Aloe leaf juice

Great Badges

  • Non-toxic
  • Gluten-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • No synthetic colors or propylene glycol

Concerns

  • May burn if it gets in the eyes
  • Contains potential irritants/allergens
  • Contains ingredients with potential toxicities
  • Contains fragrance
  • Rated 5 by EWG

Overall

Great choice for children with curls especially, SoCozy 3-in-1 Shampoo + Conditioner + Body Wash is helpful with managing tangles!

Hip Peas Cradle Cap Care

Hip Peas Cradle Cap Care, 5 Ounce
Price$$$$
Quality

Hip Peas Cradle Cap Care is a shampoo designed to combat cradle cap and dry skin in infants. It reduces irritation, flaking, redness, itching, and irritation of skin and scalp.

While infants benefit from this shampoo it can be used on children of all ages who experience similar symptoms. Hip Peas Cradle Cap Care contains natural ingredients like olive oil, jojoba oil, sunflower oil, shea butter, lavender oil, wheat germ oil, bergamot oil, and vitamin E. It’s free of side effects and effective over many years for the relief of seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff. All without any chemicals that can cause issues for sensitive skin.

Parents praise this shampoo for how wonderfully it works on the most severe cases of cradle cap. 

Hip Peas Cradle Cap Care, 5 Ounce

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. 

Great Ingredients

  • Essential Oils
  • Nourishing Oils

Great Badges

  • Fragrance-free
  • Natural Ingredients
  • Dye-free
  • Alcohol-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Vegan
  • Brown Bottle to Protect Shampoo

Concerns

  • Pricy
  • Contains potential irritants/allergens

Overall

We love that Hip Peas Cradle Cap Care helps young children and babies with scalp and skin irritation in a natural way.

California Baby Super Sensitive Shampoo and Body Wash

California Baby Super Sensitive Shampoo and Body Wash - Hair, Face, and Body | Gentle, Fragrance Free, Allergy Tested | Dry, Sensitive Skin, 19 oz | 2 Pack
Quality
Popularity

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 kid 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!

Image of California Baby Super Sensitive Shampoo and Body Wash - Hair, Face, and Body | Gentle, Fragrance Free, Allergy Tested | Dry, Sensitive Skin, 19 oz | 2 Pack

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.

Great Ingredients

  • Organic calendula extract
  • Aloe vera

Great Badges

  • Fragrance-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Made in the USA
  • Rated 2 by EWG (Environmental Work Group)

Concerns

  • Higher price than most
  • May not lather well
  • Contains potential irritants/allergens
  • Contains ingredients with potential toxicities

Overall

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!

Babo Botanicals Purifying Swim & Sport Shampoo & Wash

Babo Botanicals Purifying Swim & Sport 2-in-1 Shampoo & Wash with Natural Cucumber and Aloe Vera, for Babies, Kids or Sensitive Skin 16 Fl Oz
Price$$$$
Quality

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.

Image of Babo Botanicals Purifying Swim & Sport 2-in-1 Shampoo & Wash with Natural Cucumber and Aloe Vera, Vegan, for Babies, Kids or Sensitive Skin - 16 oz.

Our favorite part: Natural ingredients that remove chlorine and grime from the hair after the 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.

Great Ingredients

  • Aloe vera
  • Cucumber
  • Shea and cocoa butter
  • Coconut
  • Meadowsweet flower extract
  • Watercress flower/leaf extract

Great Badges

  • Plant-based
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Gluten-free
  • Soy-free
  • Dairy-free
  • Made in USA

Concerns

  • Smell
  • Contains potential irritants/allergens
  • Contains ingredients with potential toxicities

Overall

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.

Fresh Monster Shampoo & Body Wash

Fresh Monster Toxin-Free Hypoallergenic 2-in-1 Kids Shampoo & Conditioner, Coconut (2 Pack, 8.5oz/each)
Price$$$$
Quality
Popularity

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 kid shampoos and washes that provides a transparent ingredients list. For example, they use natural botanical extracts to create a smell-good scent rather than a 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.

Image of Fresh Monster Toxin-free Hypoallergenic 2-in-1 Kids Shampoo & Conditioner, Coconut, 2 count, 8oz.

Great Ingredients

  • Vegetable glycerin
  • Lavender extract
  • Apple fruit extract

Great Badges

  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • No synthetic fragrances
  • 100% toxin-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Rated 2 by EWG (Environmental Work Group)

Concerns

  • May leave a weird “after-smell” on kid’s hair
  • Contains potential irritants/allergens
  • Contains ingredients with potential toxicities
  • Contains fragrance

Overall

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.

Best Tear-Free Kids Shampoos

Mustela Gentle Shampoo

The Mustela Gentle Shampoo is a kid 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 hydrate 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.

Image of Mustela Gentle Baby Shampoo And Detangler, 6.76 Fl Oz

Great Ingredients

  • 93% biodegradable ingredients
  • Avocado Perseose
  • Chamomile extract

Great Badges

  • Paraben-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Eco-friendly
  • Tear-free

Concerns

  • Potential “medicinal” smell
  • Contains potential irritants/allergens
  • Contains ingredients with potential toxicities
  • Contains fragrance sulfates and polyethylene glycol
  • Rated 4 by EWG

Overall

Adults enjoy using Mustela Gentle Shampoo for their children and for themselves. It is a clean, sensitive soap that really is tear-free.

Aveeno Baby Wash and Shampoo

Aveeno Baby Daily Moisture Gentle Bath Wash & Shampoo with Natural Oat Extract, Hypoallergenic, Tear-Free & Paraben-Free Formula for Sensitive Hair & Skin, Lightly Scented, 33 fl. oz
Price$$$$
Quality
Popularity

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.

Image of Aveeno Baby Gentle Wash & Shampoo with Natural Oat Extract, Tear-Free &, Lightly Scented, 33 fl. oz

Great Ingredients

  • Natural oat extract
  • Glycerin

Great Badges

  • Tear-free
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Paraben-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Pediatrician recommended

Concerns

  • May not lather well
  • Contains potential irritants/allergens
  • Contains ingredients with potential toxicities
  • Contains fragrance
  • Rated 4 by EWG

Overall

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

Cetaphil Baby Wash & Shampoo with Organic Calendula, 7.8 Fl Oz (Pack of 1)
Price$$
Quality
Popularity

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.

Great Ingredients

  • Organic calendula
  • Vitamins E/B5
  • Aloe vera

Great Badges

  • Tear-free
  • Dermatologist tested
  • Paraben-free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Hypoallergenic

Concerns

  • Potentially not tear-free
  • Potential allergic reaction
  • Strong scent
  • Contains potential irritants/allergens
  • Contains ingredients with potential toxicities
  • Contains fragrance, sulfates and polyethylene glycol
  • Rated 4 by EWG

Overall

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

Burt's Bees Baby Shampoo & Wash, Calming Tear Free Baby Soap - 12 Ounce Bottle
Price$$$
Quality
Popularity

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 helps relax baby or child during bath time.

Our favorite part: The addition of calming lavender and vanilla to a safe, natural product.

Burt's Bees Baby Shampoo & Wash, Calming Tear Free Baby Soap - 12 Ounce Bottle

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.

Great Ingredients

  • Soy protein
  • Lavender
  • Vanilla
  • Thyme Oil

Great Badges

  • Tear-free
  • Plant-based
  • Pediatrician tested
  • Phthalate-free
  • Paraben-free

Concerns

  • Potential to receive a “watered down” product from online purchase
  • Contains potential irritants/allergens
  • Contains ingredients with potential toxicities
  • Contains fragrance
  • Rated 3 by EWG

Overall

The Burt’s Bees Shampoo & Wash is a safe, calming kids shampoo and is created by a reputable brand that prioritizes natural ingredients.

The Honest Company Perfectly Gentle Shampoo + Body Wash

The Honest Company Perfectly Gentle Sweet Orange Vanilla Shampoo + Body Wash, Tear-Free Baby Shampoo with Naturally Derived Ingredients, Sulfate- & Paraben-Free Baby Bath, 10.0 Fl Ounces
Price$$$
Quality

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 few 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!

Image of The Honest Company Perfectly Gentle Sweet Orange Vanilla Shampoo + Body Wash Tear-Free Baby Shampoo with Naturally Derived Ingredients Sulfate- and Paraben-Free Baby Bath 10 Fl Oz (Pack of 1)

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.

Great Ingredients

  • Aloe
  • Chamomile
  • Calendula
  • Coconut Oil
  • Jojoba Protein
  • Quinoa Extract

Great Badges

  • Tear-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Dermatologist Tested
  • Not Tested On Animals

Concerns

  • Hair may not feel clean after use
  • Contains potential irritants/allergens
  • Contains ingredients with potential toxicities

Overall

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.

HONEYDEW Anti Dandruff Shampoo for Kids

Cleansing Kids Shampoo for Dry Scalp - Dry Flaky Scalp Care Shampoo for Kids and Hair Build Up Remover with Tea Tree Oil and Rosemary Essential Oils for Hair Care - Kids Scalp Cleanser for Build Up
Price$$$
Quality
Popularity

The HONEYDEW Anti Dandruff Shampoo for Kids is an all natural solution for children who are trying to manage dandruff. It’s sold in an 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!

Image of Anti Dandruff Shampoo for Kids Best Tear Free Natural Children's Scalp Treatment with Lavender & Tea Tree + Jojoba Sulfate Free for All Ages (8oz)

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. 

Great Ingredients

  • Jojoba oil
  • Tea tree
  • Lavender

Great Badges

  • Tear-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free

Concerns

  • With the essential oils mixed in, this shampoo may not actually be tear-free
  • Contains potential irritants/allergens
  • Contains ingredients with potential toxicities

Overall

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

Cantu Care for Kids Tear-Free Nourishing Shampoo, 8 Fluid Ounce
Price$$
Quality
Popularity

The Cantu Care for Kids Tear-Free Nourishing Shampoo is a shampoo specifically designed for taming curls and textured hair. Cantu is sold in an 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 kid 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.

Great Ingredients

  • Shea butter
  • Coconut oil
  • Honey

Great Badges

  • Tear-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Gluten-free
  • No mineral oil

Concerns

  • May irritate those with sensitive skin or scalps
  • Contains potential irritants/allergens
  • Contains ingredients with potential toxicities
  • Contains fragrance
  • Contains methylisothiazolinone, which is a formaldehyde releaser that is linked to organ toxicities and dermatitis
  • Rate 4 by EWG

Overall

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

L'Oreal Kids Extra Gentle 2-in-1 Shampoo, Strawberry Smoothie, 9 fl. oz.
Price$$
Quality
Popularity

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 kid 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 kid 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.

Great Ingredients

  • None

Great Badges

  • Ophthalmologist-tested
  • Dermatologist tested

Concerns

  • Risky ingredients
  • Contains potential irritants/allergens
  • Contains ingredients with potential toxicities
  • Contains fragrance, parabens, sulfates, polyethylene glycol, and formaldehyde releasers
  • Rated 4 by EWG

Overall

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.

Comparing the Best Kids Shampoos

The table below compares only the recommended products on this page. A low or high Price means it is low or high compared to the other products listed. The Popularity Score reflects how often readers click on and buy the product. The Quality Score is our assessment of the overall performance and satisfaction with the product compared to others in the table.


Buying Considerations for Kids Shampoo

Many of the ingredients included in these products are controversial, or have limited or no data/research on use for babies.  Some ingredients have been linked to health problems.  Many products have not been evaluated by the FDA.  Since no studies have been conducted with these products on babies there is no absolute certainty that these are 100% safe.  Always consult with your pediatrician before starting any products on your baby.

Since the FDA does not regulate cosmetic products, the Environmental Work Group (EWG) has created a database of products.  It offers information on the most popular products and ingredients, such as whether the product is an irritant/allergen or linked to organ/reproductive toxicities.  It rates products from 1 to 10, with 1 being the least toxic.  It is best to stick to products that rate EWG verified, 1 or 2.

What type of hair does your child have?

Some hair types (e.g. curly) are able to hold curl and stay moisturized better with kid shampoos that are created specifically for that type of 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 kid shampoo that can also be used as a conditioner and/or body wash?

Many kid 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 fewer bottles to manage, consider purchasing a kids shampoo combo.

Does your child have sensitive skin?

It’s common for kid 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, dyes, sulfates, parabens, formaldehyde releasers, 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 The Honest Company 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 Baby Botanicals 2 in 1 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 SoCozy 3-in-1 Shampoo + Conditioner + Body Wash for Kids. 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-ups.

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 long hair so if that’s the case for your child, we recommend a combo kids shampoo such as SoCozy 3-in-1 Shampoo + Conditioner + Body Wash for Kids.

If hair length is not an issue, we recommend Babo Botanicals Sensitive Baby 2-in-1 Shampoo & Wash.

What are the best natural kids shampoo?

We believe that Babo Botanicals 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 is the best organic kid shampoos?

California Baby Super Sensitive Shampoo and Body Wash is a great kids shampoo featuring organic calendula extract. Given that this kid shampoo is frequently used in Neonatal Pediatric Intensive Care Units, we recommend this product as the best organic kid shampoo.

What is a good kid shampoo and conditioner?

Many of the top kid 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 SoCozy 3-in-1 Shampoo + Conditioner + Body Wash for Kids.

See our list of the best baby bath products to get your little one clean from head to toe!

What’s a good kid 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.  You should consult with your pediatrician if your baby has dandruff.

Is a kid shampoo good for your hair?

Depending on the kid shampoo and whether the ingredients are naturally-derived or not, a kid 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 kid 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 kid 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 a bubble bath, we recommend Everyone 3-in-1 Soap for Every Kid

Will a kid shampoo sting my child’s eyes?

Some kid 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, such as The Honest Company tear-free shampoo.

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 Babo Botanicals Sensitive Baby 2-in-1 Shampoo & 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 for more severe cases or if other shampoos are not helping.  Always consult with your pediatrician for help treating dandruff.

Wrap Up

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 kid shampoos is important for preventing irritation, rashes, and breakouts. 

After reviewing kids shampoos, we highly recommend Babo Botanicals Sensitive Baby 2-in-1 Shampoo & Wash as the best kids shampoo. 

Sources

1https://www.ewg.org/news/news-releases/2008/02/04/study-shows-infants-exposed-reproductive-toxins-shampoo-lotion-and


Medically Reviewed by

Dr. Jennifer T. Trent, MD FAAD is an acclaimed dermatologist with over 50 articles published in peer-reviewed journals. She is also an author of numerous medical texts addressing surgery and wound care as well as dermatologic diseases and therapy.



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