Shampoos are essential for every healthy hair care regimen. If you find that your child’s hair feels excessively dry, brittle, and breaks easily, it may mean that she needs a good cleanse. This is why I have compiled this list of the best moisturizing shampoos for kids. These shampoos can be used on kids age two and above.
Before I get to listing out recommended kid-friendly shampoos, I’d first like to answer some frequently asked questions about shampooing children’s hair and how to pick a good bottle of shampoo.
What is a moisturizing shampoo?
A moisturizing shampoo cleans the hair and scalp without stripping it of its natural oils and moisture like a clarifying shampoo would. Moisturizing shampoos will give your daughter a good cleanse, without leaving her hair feeling dry and stripped. To summarize, moisturizing shampoos are the best cleansing product for kids due to the following reasons:
They hydrate the hair
They are gentle on the hair and scalp
They add shine and vibrancy to dull hair
They are formulated with nourishing ingredients that are not harsh on the hair.
Are moisturizing shampoos good for children’s hair?
Yes, moisturizing shampoos are good for children’s hair. If your child has excessively dry hair, struggles with length retention, hair growth, and breakage, you can still get away with washing her hair often with a moisturizing shampoo.
What is the difference between moisturizing and hydrating shampoo?
In all honestly, hydrating and moisturizing are just marketing terms that brands use to market their products. At the end of the day, it all boils down to reading the ingredients list to see what the shampoo is made out of. I have personally seen bottles of hair products with the exact same ingredients marketed differently with different marketing words.
But if you’re still struggling with the difference between hydrating and moisturizing shampoos, here’s a quick distinction.
Hydrating shampoos are used to add moisture to the hair while moisturizing shampoos are used to achieve smoother and softer hair.
Hydrating shampoos are formulated with humectants that attract moisture into the hair while moisturizing shampoos are formulated with hydrophobic oils to seal in the moisture.
You can use hydrating shampoos if your child’s hair lacks moisture. If she needs more manageability and struggles with chronic dry hair, a good moisturizing shampoo will help solve this problem.
At the end of the day, moisture and hydration both involve water, which is used to add moisture to the hair, so it’s less stiff, more pliable, and more manageable.
Are sulfates bad for children’s hair? Can I use shampoos with sulfates on my child’s hair?
Sulfates are not recommended for kids’ hair due to their stripping nature. While they seem to do a good job at cleaning dirt, sulfates strip off even the much-needed natural oils and moisture from the hair, causing dryness, frizz, and brittleness.
Sulfates also do carry some risks on children’s hair such as skin irritation and eye irritation.
This, however, does not mean that sulfates are entirely bad, just that excessive use or long-term use can be damaging to your child’s hair.
If your child has type 4 hair, you want to use sulfate-based shampoos less, and sulfate-free shampoos more often. This way, you can minimize dry hair, reduce breakage, and most importantly, eliminate painful hair days.
When should I switch from baby shampoo to kids shampoo?
Baby shampoos should be used until the baby’s second birthday after which you can switch to kids shampoos. After they turn two, you may notice that the baby shampoo no longer removes all the dirt and greasiness that it used to before. You can however switch to kids’ shampoos earlier, if you find that baby shampoos are no longer effective on your child’s hair, or if you have a more elaborate hair routine that involves multiple hair products.
When switching to a kid’s shampoo ensure you go for a tear-free formula to protect their eyes from irritation.
How do I choose a shampoo for my child’s hair?
Considering that a child has a delicate scalp and fragile hair, it’s only necessary that you go for a mild and gentle shampoo. Shampoos that are specially formulated for kids.
For babies younger than 2 years old, you want to stick to baby shampoos with a neutral PH and only use small amounts every wash day. For kids older than two, you can switch to cleansing shampoos as their hair tend to be more greasy. For both age groups, tear-free formula is highly recommended.
Remember to minimize shampoos with parabens, mineral oils, sulfates, silicones, and other harmful ingredients. These can damage your child’s hair in the long run.
Which shampoo is best for children’s hair?
Any shampoo specially formulated for kids are often the best one for children’s hair care. It should be moisturizing, nourishing, and possess detangling properties to help soften their hair and minimize tangles.
It should also be mild and gentle, hypoallergenic, free of parabens and other harmful ingredients.
All the shampoos I recommend below fits what I just described to be good shampoos for kids. All you have to do is to pick a shampoo that works best for your child’s hair texture and needs.
This post contains affiliate links which means that I make a small commission at no additional cost to you if you make a purchase with my link. Should you have additional products to add to this list, please feel free to add them in the comment section below.
If you find a discontinued product on this list, please do let me know so I can keep this post updated. I’d also like to inform you that brands change their product packaging from time to time, which means that the product picture in this post might look a bit different from the retailer’s website at the time you decide to make a purchase.
Product Promise: Ouch-less hair shampoo, conditioner, and softener. Softens hair on contact, conditions, moisturizes. Enriched with nutrients for stronger, healthier hair. Ideal for kinky, wavy, and natural hair kids. You will be pleased with how easy combing and styling your child’s hair will become. Moisture-based and are guaranteed to make your child’s hair more manageable.
Customer Review:“This is the best shampoo for kids with kinky curls. My son’s hair is thick and dry. This cleans his hair, leaves it soft, and doesn’t dry it out. Rinses quick and easy.”
Product promise: Contains only the finest natural ingredients created to gently cleanse and moisturize your baby’s hair, scalp, and skin. Also contains Vitamin E, Coconut Oil, and Aloe Vera. Has a smooth, rich lather and is tear-free. Great for ethnic hair. Soothes sensitive skin. Certified Natural product. Contains no parabens, sulfates, phthalates, petrolatum, or mineral oil.
Customer Review:“My daughter has sensitive skin and this product is the only one I’ve used that doesn’t cause her breakout bumps”
Product promise: Our kids’ shampoo cleanses and moisturizes curly kinky hair while gently soothing the scalp. Made with natural ingredients, including rosemary and honey, and free of harmful ingredients such as sulfates, parabens, and mineral oil.
Customer Review:“Smells good and is a gentle, but strong enough shampoo for my little guy’s hair!”
Product promise: Perfect for your children’s hair, scalp, and delicate skin. It effectively cleanses while maintaining natural moisture balance. Gentle enough for daily use. Great for hair type 3 & 4. Highly recommended for hair that tends to look and feel dry, or when enhanced manageability and balanced hydration is desired. Imparts shine to hair, smoothes, and moisturizes the skin.
Customer Review:“I love the smell and it makes it easier on my baby doing her hair. I’m not a hairdresser but I like how she at least now lets me do her hair.”
Product Promise: Developed for naturally curly, coily, and wavy hair. Made with coconut oil, Shea butter, and Extra virgin Olive oil. Replenishes moisture and softens hard-to-manage hair. Gently, yet thoroughly cleanses hair; luscious lather. Helps hair to retain its natural oils.
Customer Review:“Love this product! Smells good and makes my 2-year-olds curls look good and feel so soft.”
Product Promise: Cleans all curly hair textures. The special non-drying formula helps to reduce breakage and leaves hair healthier and more manageable. Does not contain petrolatum, mineral oil, sulfates, or parabens.
Customer Review: “This product is amazing. It makes my daughter’s hair so soft and shiny without any added weight to it. Definitely get rid of tangles. I will be purchasing more.”
Product Promise: Perfect for multi-textured and mixed-race / heritage curls. Help you detangle and tame, fight frizz and unruliness, nourish, protect and perfect those precious curls and make bathing and styling fun again. Gentle on the hair and scalp, yet effective in removing the dirt and grime children’s hair.
Customer Review:“This is the best shampoo for my half Jamaican, half white 4-year old. She loves the smell and followed with the mixed chicks conditioner and leave-in conditioner her curls are perfect”
Product Promise: A top-notch moisturizing and cruelty-free shampoo that bathes young hair strands in nourishing coconut oil and olive oil along with certified organic shea butter. Also made with carrot, mango, and citrus extracts. Gently cleanses and detangles fine and delicate hair. Contains no parabens, no phthalates, and no sulfates. kid-friendly, and enhances curl definition.
Customer Review:“We love Shea Moisture products for our babies. We don’t use anything but their stuff. It’s all organic and so gentle on the baby’s skin. We have mixed children so their skin is temperamental and this works wonders!”
Product Promise:A win-win for parents and children. Your child enjoys a refreshing detangling cleanse, while a beautiful aroma of lightly scented oranges fragrances their hair. Super gentle on the hair & tough on tangles. Promotes growth & retention. Gently washes away the buildup. Leaves hair feeling soft & tangle-free. Strengthens, hydrates & moisturizes. Minimize split-ends & breakage
Customer Review:“I bought this for my two-year-old daughter and it did exactly what it said on the bottle. It was very moisturizing and her hair was clean without being stripped and detangled!”
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Product Promise:No time For Tears. Gently cleanses children’s hair without stripping away moisture. Features strengthening amino acids and wheat protein to fortify each strand, lock in hydration, and detangle dehydrated strands. Hair is left with a softened texture and a healthy sheen.
Customer Review:“I use this on my daughter’s hair. She is 2. It smells wonderful and lasts all day. The hair feels nice and clean too.”
Product Promise: Gently cleanses the hair and scalp while protecting and restoring the natural moisture balance. Our healing blend of honey and chamomile leaves the hair and scalp moisturized which helps in protection from dry and flaky scalp. Does Not Contain: parabens, phthalates, petrolatum, propylene glycol, mineral oil, PABA, synthetic color, DEA, sulfates, and no animal testing.
Customer Review: “Makes my 2-year-old hair clean, soft, and smells good. It lathers very well.”
Product Promise: A sulfate-free detangling shampoo that cleanses and hydrates kinks, coils, and curls. The Marshmallow Root Extract, Cocoa Butter and Raw Honey help detangle, nourish and hydrate while gently removing build-up and impurities. Rinses away to reveal cleaner, happier hair.
Customer Review:“Great product smells amazing. Very mild. I use it on my 1-year-old daughter and it does not bother her eyes or irritate her scalp. I would highly recommend it.”
Product Promise: Sulfate-Free Shampoo provides a gentle non-drying alternative that cleans hair without compromising the creamy rich lather. Hair is left feeling soft, hydrated, and shiny. Enriched with coconut milk to replenish moisture and naturally soften and detangle your natural hair. Shea butter works to help deeply moisturize, strengthen and protect your natural hair. Aids in preventing breakage.
Customer Review:“Leaves my daughter’s hair soft and silky”
Product Promise: Tangles are practically nonexistent, detangling afterward is simple. Foamy, but not out of control. The fragrance is light but fun. sulfate-free, paraben-free gentle surfactant blend to cleanse without tears. Contains a thoughtful amount of Vitamin B5 to help with moisture and prevent scalp irritation.
Customer Review:“This stuff is amazing for curly hair!!! I use it every time I wash my 8-year-olds hair! Keeps it smooth and easy to brush.”
Product Promise: Gently cleanses and promotes healthy hair growth. It is the perfect blend of 100% pure shea butter, coconut oil, and honey formulated without harsh ingredients. Nurture and nourish fragile coils, curls, and waves with Cantu’s gentle care for textured hair. No mineral oil, sulfates, parabens, silicones, phthalates, gluten, paraffin, PABA, DEA.
Customer Review:“This stuff is amazing for curly hair!!! I use it every time I wash my 8-year-olds hair! Keeps it smooth and easy to brush.”
Product promise: Easy to use. Revives and protects hair. Perfect for natural and relaxed hair. Moisturizes and smooths for easier combing. Gently removes build-up on hair. Key ingredients include argan oil, shea butter, and sunflower oil. This product is manufactured in the United States.
Customer Review:“Works wonders in my daughter’s hair when detangling.”
Product Promise: Effectively moisturizes dry hair. Instantly detangles hair. Guaranteed to soften the kinkiest curl, moisturize the driest lock, and detangle the most unruly tresses. Great for all hair types, including coarse, dry, damaged, and chemically treated kinky, medium, or coarse curly hair. Protects the hair from brutal UV and UB rays.
Customer Review:“This product smells like cookies and is the best conditioner I’ve used on my bi-racial daughters’ hair.”
Product Promise: A gentle curl cleanser that removes dirt and buildup while reinforcing and preserving curls’ natural moisture balance. Softens, moisturizes, and adds shine. Reduces breakage and improves elasticity without stripping or drying out hair. Follow with a curl conditioner for best results.
Customer Review:“Made my daughters’ curls look so bouncy and full of life. Her hair is so soft too! Great product.”
Do you have any questions about shampooing kids hair? Have additional products you’d like to add to this list? Please send me a direct message on my Instagram page right HERE.
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