My toddler was born with a full head of hair, so I’ve been mindful of keeping his locks healthy and shiny from the beginning. The best shampoo for kids works for your child’s hair type — whether they rock curls or straight hair — and have nourishing ingredients without harsh ones, like parabens.
Determining your kid’s hair type is a helpful step in finding the right shampoo for them. Straight hair (Type 1) is naturally more prone to knots and can benefit from detangling shampoos that will help keep knots at bay. Wavy hair (Type 2) is best nourished by shampoos that smooth strands, moisturize thicker waves, or mitigate oiliness, depending on the hair. Curls (Type 3) and coils (Type 4) benefit from moisturizing shampoos that clean hair without stripping natural oils; keeping strands hydrated is key.
You’ll start to notice a few ingredients in kids' shampoos that show up time and time again for their particular benefits. Shea butter is excellent for moisturizing hair and the scalp. Coconut oil helps remove sebum buildup from the hair's follicles and strengthens strands, while olive oil softens hair and can even help get rid of dandruff.
Then there are some ingredients that are best to avoid. Harsher shampoo ingredients you may want to skip in your child’s hair care include phthalates, parabens, and sulfates (which can be irritating or drying, especially if your child is prone to eczema). If your child has especially sensitive skin, you may want to avoid products with fragrance as well.
With all this in mind, below are the best shampoos for kids. Each of my eight picks is highly rated on Amazon, including a few with thousands of reviews.
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