Looking for the best kids shampoo? Get your kids squeaky clean and lather up, without the chemicals! These 13 natural baby shampoos are great non toxic choices.
Just here for the best chemical free shampoo options? Looking for the best organic baby shampoo and don’t have a lot of time to waste? We got you! Here are our picks for the 4 best kids shampoo brands and choices, all of which are non-toxic and packed with moisturizing and nourishing natural ingredients
When I became a parent, my first instinct was to use the same shampoo, conditioner, detangler, and lotion I remember from my own childhood. Before hitting the buy button, however, I did a bit of research and checked in with my mom friends.
And I’m so happy I did!
As it turns out, there are some ingredients in major baby shampoo brands that I’m just not comfortable using with my own baby. Unspecified ingredients like “fragrance” really concern me, because there’s no way of knowing exactly what component ingredients go into making that fragrance. And with fragrance, there are often phthalates (suspected endocrine disruptors).
Now that I’m a full time parenting writer, I am hyper aware of how personal care products like shampoo, conditioner, bar soap and body wash, bubble bath, lotions – heck, even laundry detergent, cleaners, and dish soap – could effect my family’s health in a negative way. Because of that, I now look for non-toxic, plant based baby shampoos with natural ingredients, in addition to other environmentally-safer choices like choosing glass bottles and sippy cups, and plastic free baby spoons.
Today, I want to share that information with you. I hope it helps you make better decisions and find the safest baby shampoo for your own little ones, as well as natural shampoo for kids that are a bit older, too.
The Best Natural Kids Shampoo: Natural Ingredients You Can Feel Good About
I put this list together by consulting a few different resources.
Most importantly, I’ve used the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Skin Deep Database to ensure the kids shampoo I’ve included is non-toxic, and the safest possible.
EWG rates products on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the safest, and 10 being the most concerning. In addition to the 1 to 10 scale, EWG also has a EWG VERIFIED™ mark, which means the product meets the strictest ingredient and manufacturing standards. EWG VERIFIED™ products don’t contain any ingredients the EWG has identified as unacceptable.
I’m pretty strict about the personal care products I use with my own daughter, and really only want to use products that are the safest. That’s also why I make my own soap playdough and bath finger paints.
As such, I’ve only included products ranked as EWG VERIFIED™ (the very best) or 1/10 (the safest rating other than EWG VERIFIED™). I’ve also looked at EWG’s ratings of component ingredients for hazard ratings.
Worth noting, all of the clean kids shampoo I’ve included on this list are available on Amazon.
I don’t have a lot of time for shopping, so do tend to order a lot of my basics via Amazon Prime, and suspect a lot of other parents are the same!
Also worth noting, companies sometimes change formulations – I’ve done my best to ensure this is correct at the time of writing, but it’s subject to change.
If in doubt, I definitely think you should the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Skin Deep Database yourself – it’s a great resource! At the end of the day, this is just my opinion, and you’ll have to form your own!
The Winners – The Safest Baby Shampoo We Could Find
Below, you’ll find the 13 natural baby shampoo products I’ve included in this list. Most of them are either EWG VERIFIED™ as non-toxic or rated as a 1/10 on EWG’s safety scale.
3 of our Top 4 winners are all EWG VERIFIED™. With Babo Botanicals Sensitive and Pipette Baby Shampoo, all component ingredients are individually ranked as 1/10 – which means all the ingredients in these two kids shampoos are the safest possible in my opinion.
I think the Hello Bello is the a great safe option for a scented product, as it is free from phthalates, parabens, artificial fragrance and common allergens, including gluten, peanuts and soy.
- Safest Baby Shampoo & Best Overall – Babo Botanicals Sensitive Baby 2-in-1 Shampoo and Body Wash – EWG VERIFIED™with all ingredients ranked 1/10 on the hazard scale (low hazard).
- Safest Baby Shampoo Runner Up – Pipette Baby Shampoo + Body Wash – EWG VERIFIED™with all ingredients ranked 1/10 on the hazard scale (low hazard).
- Most Affordable Non-Toxic Kids Shampoo – Hello Bello Shampoo and Body Wash
- Safest Scented Baby Shampoo and Best for Bedtime – Babo Botanicals Calming Shampoo and Body Wash – EWG VERIFIED™ with a calming scent for the pre-bedtime routine.
The Runners Up
The other kids shampoos I’ve included are below. Two of them are EWG VERIFIED™ (Baby Mantra 3-in-1 and Baby Mantra Newborn Shampoo and Wash). The remaining choices are all rated 1/10 – the safest rating, other than verified status.
- Baby Mantra 3 in 1 Bubble Bath, Shampoo and Body Wash – EWG VERIFIED™with 2 ingredients ranked 2/10 on the hazard scale [low hazard]).
- Baby Mantra Newborn Shampoo and Body Wash – EWG VERIFIED™with 2 ingredients ranked 2/10 on the hazard scale [low hazard] and 1 ingredient ranked 3/10 [moderate]).
- Burt’s Bees Baby Shampoo
- California Baby Tea Tree and Lavender
- California Baby Super Sensitive
- Nurture my Body Organic Baby Shampoo and Wash
- Aquaphor Baby Wash and Shampoo
- Eucerin Baby Shampoo
- Baby Bum Shampoo and Wash (Fragrance Free)
The Best Natural Shampoo for Kids Reviews
We love that Babo Botanicals makes their products in the USA, and are PETA-certified cruelty free. This natural kids shampoo is also paediatrician and dermatologist tested, tear-free, and free from common allergens like gluten, soy and dairy.
It’s also free from common bad stuff, like sulfates, parabens and phthalates.
All ingredients score a 1/10 on EWG’s Hazard Scale. In my view, that makes this one of the safest kids shampoos you can buy.
This is a tear-free formula made from plant based ingredients. It’s vegan and PETA-certified to be cruelty free. Parents won’t need to worry about any bad stuff in this safe baby shampoo. It’s free from sulphates and synthetic fragrances. Pipette also used biologists, paediatricians, and dermatologists to create it, which we love.
As with the Babo Botanicals Sensitive Shampoo and Wash, all ingredients in this score a 1/10 on EWG’s Hazard Scale, making this one of the safest and best natural shampoo for kids.
Our top choices are fragrance free, but this is a great choice if you want a fragranced shampoo and wash and you want something that’s affordable.
Overall it’s a great choice, and I love that it’s accessible to most families, price point wise.
We’ve used both the scented Hello Bello shampoo and body wash, and the fragrance free version. Despite being sulfates free, I’m still able to get a pretty good lather from it, with descent bubbles to “style” my daughter’s hair while in the bath.
It’s great option if you’d like some fragrance and your kids want to choose, as it comes in a number of scents and colors for the packaging.
Babo Botanicals Lavender and Meadowsweet 3-in-1
This 3-in-1 plant-based shampoo, wash and bubble bath is tear-free and EWG VERIFIED™. It’s sulfate and paraben free, and also free from gluten, soy, dairy, peanuts, almonds and walnuts. Made in the USA, it’s also certified cruelty-free by PETA.
More Picks: Other Safe & Natural Baby Shampoos
Although these 3 additional natural baby shampoos didn’t make our top 3 list, they are all EWG VERIFIED™, making them great options.
Baby Mantra 3-in-1
An EWG VERIFIED™ 3-in-1 shampoo, bubble bath and body wash that’s free from sulfates, parabens, phthalates, dyes, and synthetic fragrances. Made in the USA, it’s allergy tested, PETA- certified cruelty-free, and gluten-free.
Baby Mantra Newborn Shampoo and Wash
This EWG VERIFIED™ shampoo and wash is tear-free and low foaming, making it a good choice for kids under 3. It’s made in the USA, cruelty-free, and free from gluten, sulfates, parabens, phthalates, and synthetic dyes and fragrances.
A few more great natural shampoos for kids…
These final 7 choices aren’t EWG VERIFIED™, but EWG does rate them as 1/10, which they consider to be low risk. We think these are still great choices worth trying out.
The Benefits of Using Organic Children’s Shampoos
Choosing more natural, organic ingredients for the products your kids and family use can make a big difference in terms of reducing exposure to a range of harmful chemicals found in everyday products.
Opting for kids organic shampoos, soaps, and other personal care products means, you can focus on buying natural, pure, and healthy ingredients that are gentle on the scalp and hair, and free from harsh chemicals.
As a baseline, most non-toxic kids shampoos are free from parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and other synthetic fragrances. If you prefer scented products to fragrance-free, look for a natural scent, such as essential oil. They also tend to be free from synthetic dyes, artificial colors, and other harsh ingredients.
Kids shampoo, in particular, is designed to be gentle on the scalp and hair, and to help keep the hair healthy, shiny, and soft. It is often enriched with natural oils, vitamins, and minerals to nourish the scalp and hair.
Organic kids shampoo is usually hypoallergenic, which means it is less likely to cause an allergic reaction. More specifically, many are free from common allergens such as gluten, soy, and dairy.
Some brands are also biodegradable, making it a more sustainable and eco-friendly choice for for the environment when compared to conventional shampoos.
Finally, many of the options are also cruelty-free, with no animal testing (some are also vegan).
Natural and Organic Ingredients Commonly Found in Children’s Shampoos
Organic shampoos typically used natural, organic ingredients. Below, you’ll find some that are gentle and effective for hair and scalp health, and may be a good choice for kid’s shampoo. These include (but aren’t limited to):
Aloe Vera is beneficial for hair and scalp health. It has soothing and moisturizing properties, is gentle, and can help leave your child’s hair softer and smoother (which is great for tangles).
Chamomile has anti-inflammatory and anti-septic properties, and helps soothe an itchy scalp. It’s also said to promote healthy hair growth.
Coconut Oil is rich in fatty acids that can help to nourish and moisturize your child’s hair. It has also been shown to prevent breakage from combing, helping to leave it soft and shiny.
Lavender is well-known for its ability to help calm and relax. It’s a great choice for the pre-bedtime bath routine. However, pure lavender essential oil has also been shown to promote hair growth, and has even been shown to repel head lice!
Jojoba oil has a similar chemical structure to the natural oils produced by our scalps, making it a great choice for nourishing and moisturizing a dry scalp and hair.
Shea butter has been used in cosmetics, including hair care, for thousands of years. It’s rich, oily composition makes an excellent moisturizer. Despite a lack of peer-reviewed studies investigating its benefits in hair care, it’s anecdotally known to be leave hair feeling soft and shiny.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, and is particularly effective for dandruff. It has a strong, invigorating scent that some children might not love, and for this reason it’s less commonly found in children’s shampoos.
Argan oil is rich in free fatty acids (oleic, linoleic, palmitic, and stearic acids) that prevent breakage, and has also been shown to be an effective and healthy antioxidant. In practical terms, it can help reduce frizziness, and is best used as pure argan oil.
Calendula is a gentle ingredient that has anti-fungal properties helpful in dealing with dandruff. It’s also well known as a soothing ingredient.
Ingredients Common in Normal Children’s Shampoo vs Organic
Sulphates are a popular “avoid” ingredient these days, and the sulphate-free shampoo trend is growing.
Sulphates are a surfactant that create lather and bubbles in shampoo (and other products, such as soap and detergent).
Despite having a bad reputation, the EU, Health Canada, and FDA in the US all consider sulphates safe for cosmetic use.
So why the bad reputation? As it turns out, sulphates are extremely effective at washing away dirt and oils. In other words? They can strip a bit too much out.
For kids with sensitive skin, it can create more itching and irritation, which is why gentler alternatives are becoming more common.
Parabens have been shown to slightly disrupt hormones, may effect reproductivity, can irritate skin, and have been found in breast tumours. Health Canada is currently reviewing parabens as food additives, and has concluded that some parabens may pose a risk to human health.
Phthalates are an “everywhere chemical” commonly used in cosmetics and personal care products, such as soap and shampoo/conditioner.
Often, it’s not a listed ingredient, but rather hidden within other ingredients – in particular, synthetic fragrance.
Phthalates are a known endochrine disruptor and have been found to be correlated with social deficits, asthma, and ADHD.
Frequently Asked Questions
Healthcare professionals, including the American Academy of Dermatology, recommend parents consider their child’s hair type, age, and activity level when deciding how often they should wash their hair.
Different hair types require different frequency of washing.
Oily hair, straight hair, and fine hair types need to be washed more often. For pre-teens approaching puberty or those who have entered puberty, the AAD recommends washing it daily or every second day, depending on activity levels. For kids who are younger, once to twice per week is likely enough.
Kids with dry hair, curly hair, or African American hair tend to need less frequent washes. Once every 7 to 10 days is a good rule of thumb, although it should be rinsed and conditioned after sweating or swimming.
Medium hair and wavy hair falls somewhere in between. If you notice your child’s hair or scalp is getting oily, or you notice a distinctive hair odor with your current routine, add an extra shampoo each week until you’ve solved the issue. If their hair is dull or dry, reduce shampoos by once per week until you’ve restored balance.
Using a specifically formulated kids shampoo instead of adult shampoo is a good choice for your children.
Kids shampoo formulations tend to milder and gentler, which is more suitable for kids’ sensitive skin and scalps. It also tends to be less drying, and less likely to strip away the hair’s natural oils.
Importantly, kids shampoo also tends to be “tear free.” That means it doesn’t – or at least is less likely to – cause eye irritation or stinging if it gets in your little one’s eyes during lathering or rinsing.
When it comes to the ingredients label, kids shampoo also tends to have safer ingredients, although it’s worth checking the label yourself to be sure.
I hope this article helped you find the best kids shampoo for your family! If you know parents or care givers who would like to learn about chemical free or clean kids shampoo, please share this article with them!