Best Baby Shampoo and Conditioner

Published by 
Jess Miller
Last updated: 
February 24, 2023
A baby in an infant tub having his hair washed with the best baby shampoo

As a parent, we know that you want the absolute best for your baby. Which is why you’re doing extensive amounts of research into shampoos and conditioners. Unfortunately, this is a surprisingly complicated topic. It involves a lot of science and countless conflicting medical opinions. So, how are you supposed to know what to get?

It’s tough to choose. Fortunately for you, we’ve done a lot of the work for you. We considered a vast range of factors. You want a shampoo that’s going to give your child clean hair, without stripping excessive amounts of oil from their scalp and follicles. Likewise, it can’t be overly harsh, or it could damage or irritate their body and cause itching and crying!

Bath time is hard enough as it is for most parents. There are already so many other things to worry about like bath toy storage, finding a bath kneeler to save your knees, and of course, finding a soft towel to dry your baby off. The last thing you want is a shampoo that causes tears because it irritates their eyes and creates a dry and sore head. Similarly, conditioners are designed to care for the hair and make sure that it has the oils that it needs to grow and not break or split.

Buying these products by themselves is difficult. But finding a single bottle that combines the two elements, while being soft enough for a baby, is like finding a needle in a haystack. There are plenty of options to choose from, don’t get us wrong. But many of them suck and will cause more harm than good.

We’ve narrowed it down to ten options for you to look at. We believe these are the best on the market. However, they each have their differences and benefits. Your baby is also unique. They might have naturally curly and dry hair whereas another baby could have thin, slick and oily hair which doesn’t need a heavy conditioner.

It’s going to be hard to list a single product as the best baby shampoo and conditioner. Therefore, we’re going to offer a few different options which are great general choices, as well as those which are perfect for specific hair types. Hopefully, this will mean that you only have to pick from a handful of products rather than an enormous list!

Comparison Table

How We Ranked These Products

Sweet baby girl bathroom
Image source: freepik

Due to the complexity in ranking products that can be great or terrible depending on the individual, we’ve tried to take that out of the equation. We can do so by trying to recommend some for oily hair, others for dry and yet more for normal hair types. The result should be a good selection of the best baby shampoo and conditioners to pick from.

To get to this list, we needed to do an extensive amount of research. To begin, we looked into what makes a great shampoo and conditioner. This study involved understanding the science of the two. From there we gathered a list of potential choices and looked at the reviews on them.

By doing so, we could see the common complaints that many parents had. Likewise, we quickly got a detailed viewpoint on which products suck and which ones are an awesome value for money. We believe that by aggregating other reviews we can get a broader point of view than testing them ourselves. Thereby, giving you a more accurate rankings list.

The 10 Best Baby Shampoo and Conditioners

TotLogic Shampoo and Conditioner

TotLogic products are specifically for children and newborns. Therefore, you can be confident that they’ve customized the formula to make it soft and gentle for baby’s head. We believe this is the number one pick because it’s appropriate for the vast majority of babies. It’s even great for kids who have specific allergies and reactions.

All of the ingredients are animal-free and never tested on them either. Whether you’re vegan or hold other dietary restrictions, you’ll be able to use this product without any moral issues. Perhaps most importantly for many parents, the shampoo is sulfate free. Sulfates are a topic of hot debate, but many believe they cause many skin reactions and allergies.

To say the science is still out is an understatement. Most Doctors believe that sulfates are safe, but anecdotal evidence says otherwise, and when your baby is crying, you probably care a lot less about science and more about getting results.

It’s also completely free of parabens a phthalate, too. These three ingredients are often the cause of many of the skin reactions, irritation, and discomfort that people may find when they wash. By removing them you change the consistency and reaction of the shampoo, but you don’t make it completely ineffective.

Typically, you might notice that the product creates fewer bubbles and perhaps isn’t quite as cleaning. However, that’s a small expense to pay to make sure that the baby is comfortable. Due to the removal of any potentially harsh ingredients, we believe this is the safest pick and therefore the best choice for most parents.

Although it’s not specifically for one type of hair, we believe it’s probably ideal for neutral and finer hair. For curler hair, you might find that the conditioner isn’t particularly strong and it may not have a huge impact. While for more delicate and straighter hair that is usually softer, the conditioner is very useful.

If your child has extremely oily hair, this might not be a perfect choice either. Without some of the ingredients, some believe that it won’t be as effective at removing oil. However, we believe that for the overwhelming majority of babies, it’s an impressive and gentle pick.

Johnson’s No More Tangles, Extra Conditioning Shampoo

The power of this shampoo comes from the fact that it’s hugely softening. Even for the tightest of knots and tangles, this shampoo will make light work of them. When combined with gentle combing shortly after bathing, you’ll be able to perfect your babies hair in seconds without any pulling or pain.

Babies hair often knots and tangles because it’s growing in odd directions. Therefore, it’s vital that you unknot it to prevent breakages and matting. However, doing so without causing pain and leading to crying is challenging. Fortunately, this shampoo can make your life a lot easier.

Again, it’s not specifically for a particular subset of hair. However, because of the intense conditioning effect, we believe that it could work for even thick and curly hair. While those with the most oil might find it overkill, with extensive rinsing, it shouldn’t be a problem.

Johnson’s is perhaps the most famous consumer products brand in the world. Therefore, you should be safe in the knowledge that their expert scientists have extensively tested it. They ensure that it’s dermatologically safe for your babies skin. They’ve also used their specialized ‘no more tears’ formula so that it’s as gentle on their eyes as water.

Having read many reviews, we’re shocked at how many adults use this shampoo and conditioner. They believe that it’s the only detangling option on the market that works. Truthfully, if picky adults are using it themselves, that’s a great sign.

Overall, we think it’s a fantastic option for the vast majority of babies. The only caveat we would add would be for those who tend to have allergic reactions. It’s not paraben or sulfate free. Again, it’s hard to know whether this causes skin conditions. It might be worth trying it once, but if you know that baby is particularly sensitive, it’s probably not the right choice for you.

The Honest Company Shampoo and Conditioner

This company has exploded in recent years. Partly due to consumer fear about the ingredients that corporations are including in their product. Their mantra is simple; they are open about everything they use and design their products to be gentle and safe for everybody to use.

Given how much you love your baby, we think that this brand is a perfect fit. With a beautiful sweet orange vanilla scent, it’s likable and not particularly strong. It leaves your babies hair smelling fresh and clean, rather than like a perfume factory.

If you find that the baby is unusually irritable, this could be a good option. However, we still stand by our first recommendation for those who are very worried about sulfates and parabens. The Honest Company products produce little to no suds because they are without chemicals. Therefore, you might find yourself needing to use a lot more than usual.

Likewise, their conditioner is very light because it’s completely natural and must remain a soft liquid for pouring. Therefore, we wouldn’t suggest it for those with curly or afro hair. For straight or wavy locks it’s adequate, but not overly powerful. Again the benefit of this brand is that everything is natural, not that it’s particularly strong or capable.

The unfortunate reality is that many of those chemicals and ingredients that many brands use are effective. They don’t include them and cost themselves money for no reason! However, when your health and your babies are at stake, if you care about parabens and going all natural, The Honest Company is a safe step in the right direction.

SheaMoisture for Kids

Perfect for thick and curly hair, it’s often a fantastic option for babies who have afro locks that tangle. The shampoo and conditioner both contain shea butter, which is known to be an excellent lubricant and moisturizer for afro hairstyles.

It’s also entirely free of parabens and sulfates. For afro hair, we believe that this is a safe choice. Due to being made with natural ingredients, you can be confident that all children will be comfortable using it. It shouldn’t cause any irritation, dandruff or redness on the scalp. Similarly, it will untangle your babies hair and make it soft and smooth.

Reviewers noted how they were surprised by how effective the shampoo is. Even a day and a half later they commented that their babies hair smelt beautiful and looked clean. This reviewer is a licensed hairstylist, and therefore you can be confident that they know for what to search!

Johnson's Toddler Detangling 2-in-1

If your child has long hair, or is older, and needs something more powerful, this is the right choice. Unlike their baby version, it’s a little bit stronger and can help to remove more of the dirt and grime from their scalp and follicles. But it also utilizes their ‘no more tears’ formula to ensure that it’s soft on their eyes and won’t cause burning or crying.

The primary difference between this and the previous Johnsons product is the strength. If your kid has very curly hair which can trap dirt, this is a great alternative. It’s more powerful and will get deep into their scalp and cleanse and moisturize their skin and locks.

SheaMoisture Mango & Carrot KIDS

Designed specifically for children, it has a pH of between 6.5 and 7. Therefore it’s about as neutral as you can get, making it gentle on the skin. Due to this formula, they are also highly unlikely to cause tears and the burning sensation in the eyes that stronger shampoos might cause.

These products are ideal for thicker, wavy and curly hair which needs extra love. Notably, the moisturizer is very effective at detangling and softening rough hair. It can be hard to care for and brush such tough strands, which is why a deep conditioning lotion like this is vital.

Reviewers noted how effective it was on afro hair, as well as curly hair that can become matted. While for straight hair, it might be a little overkill and could cause hair to feel delicate. While for thicker hair, it will soften it and allow it to flow naturally without tangling and potentially to break when combed or brushed.

Puracy Vegan Shampoo and Conditioner

Made without the need for any animal products or testing, it’s the moral choice for animal-lovers. Millions of people use this sulfate-free blend that utilizes added vitamins and oils for softer and more luxurious hair. Note, this formula is not specifically for children or babies. That fact might worry you, but it probably shouldn’t.

Truthfully, the significant difference between adult and baby formulas is that they are typically harsher. However, because it’s made without sulfates and with added oils, it should be soft and gentle on their skin. It contains zero harsh chemicals, and because they have a 100% satisfaction guarantee, there is no financial risk to trying it out!

We’d recommend it highly to those who have neutral and wavy or straight hair. It’s not overly conditioning like those for afro hair, but it does contain a decent quantity of oils and butter for softening. The reason we love it is that it includes zero alcohol and is incredibly gentle, while somehow offering a deep cleanse. We recommend it highly!

Shea Moisture Kids

Formulated with large amounts of shea butter, it’s an incredibly healthy product. The shampoo alone will leave your hair feeling loved and cared. Typically, it’s going to work best for curly and afro hair, which can get dry because of the tight knots. By using this shampoo, it will detangle, moisturize and make your hair feel luxurious.

For your baby, it’s soft and gentle because it uses natural ingredients. Reviewers consistently mentioned how easy it made brushing their babies hair after a bath. Clearly, for an afro and curled hair, this is a life saver. Babies can experience severe pain from combing and brushing if you don’t use a shampoo and conditioning like this first, to soften their locks.

Fresh Monster Hypoallergenic Shampoo and Conditioner

This product is fantastic for parents who are worried about hypoallergenic ingredients and chemicals. It’s free of everything that you could list that might or might not be harmful to your baby's scalp. You can be confident that they’ll feel no pain, irritation or suffer redness on their skin after using it.

Due to this gentle formula, it’s also safe if a small amount gets into their eyes. As a parent, you know how hard it is to avoid that! Reviewers noted that they loved the natural fragrance, which doesn’t come from harsh chemicals or perfumes. They said the smell wasn’t strong but left their babies hair smelling fresh and cleansed.

It’s a Curl!

Finally, we wanted to mention this powerful combination. If your baby has particularly tight curls, primarily for afro hair, you need something strong. Beware, this combination isn’t going to work for soft or wavy hair; it’s going to make it overly oiled and greasy. But for black hair which needs extra love to soften and feel luxurious, this is the right choice.

While we’ve listed shea butter options on this list, this is far stronger. It’s designed exclusively for afro hair, so that you know you’re getting everything you need in a bottle, without any compromises. Reviewers mentioned how effective it was at detangling their babies hair, making it comfortable and straightforward to comb without any pain or tugging.

Buyers Guide: Choosing a Baby Shampoo and Conditioner

Little toddler boy bathing
Image source: freepik

The first step in choosing a product is identifying your baby's hair type and what issues they are facing. These are common hairs traits:

  • Oily
  • Dry
  • Neutral
  • Straight
  • Curly
  • Wavy

If they have oily, dry or normal hair, they will need a specific type. Likewise, depending on if their hair is straight or curly, they may prefer a certain kind of shampoo and conditioner to perfect their hair.

From there, if they have specific ailments like a dry scalp or irritation, you should look for a solution. It’s possible that sulfates or other ingredients could be causing these problems. Specialized baby shampoo and conditioners exist for these issues and can be very effective at reducing the symptoms that your child experiences.

Feature image source: freepik

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