12 Best Shampoos for Kids in 2018

Not many kids are going to turn over the bottle of the shampoo bottle to read the list of ingredients it contains, but as a parent, you sure can!

If you really want to find the best shampoo for kids, you should be scrutinizing the label and understand what ingredients it contains.

Rather than choosing a product based on the scent or the cute décor on the label (typical marketing technique to woo you into spending your money), it’s time to purchase based on the quality of the product.

In our guide below, we’ll not only highlight the top 12 shampoos for kids, but we will also provide you with useful shopping information and detailed reviews of the top five products!

Forget the latest grocery store sale find – it’s time to get your kids something that is both safe and effective.

Top 12 Shampoos for Kids Comparison Chart

DesignNameUseVolumeRating (1-5)
  1. Aveeno Baby Wash & Shampoo Daily Use for Sensitive Skin 12 fl. ounces 4.6
  2. Fairy Tales Repel Shampoo, Rosemary Combats Head Lice 12 fl. ounces 4.4
  3. Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo Original Formula Safe for Psoriasis 16 fl. Ounces 4.4
  4. SheaMoisture Mango & Carrot Kids Extra-Nourishing Shampoo Daily Use 8 fl. ounces 4.4
  5. Moisturizing Shampoo for Dry & Damaged Hair Daily Use 8 fl. ounces 4.3
6. Fresh Monster 2-in-1 Kids Shampoo & Conditioner Daily Use 8 fl. ounces 4.3
7. Babo Botanicals Swim & Sport Shampoo & Wash Daily Use 8 fl. ounces 4.3
8. Aquaphor Baby Wash & Shampoo Daily Use for Sensitive Skin 13.5 fl. ounces 4.5
  9. Puracy Natural Daily Shampoo Daily Use 16 fl. ounces each 4.3
  10. JASON Kids Only, Daily Detangling Shampoo Daily Use 8 fl. ounces 4.2
  11. Natures Baby Organics Shampoo and Body Wash Daily Use for Sensitive Skin 16 fl. ounces 4.2
  12. ANTI-b Antibacterial Shampoo Helps Reduce Ringworm 12 fl. ounces 4.2

Things You Should Take into Consideration

Some children could wash their hair with just about any soap, but others have specific needs when it comes to soap and cleansing products.

Here are a few points you should keep in mind as you shop to help steer you toward the best shampoo for kids in your family.

  • Skin Conditions – Keep in mind that there are certain skin conditions that regular shampoos can’t handle (or that can worsen the problem), making it even more difficult to choose a shampoo.
    • Ringworm – Ringworm is an infection, and while it does tend to occur in the sweaty crevices of the body, it can also occur on the scalp. When it does strike, ringworm usually affects children between 3-7 the most, so check the scalp thoroughly if they complain of itching and you know that lice isn’t the culprit.
    • Psoriasis – Yep, that’s right, Psoriasis isn’t just limited certain areas of the body, it can strike anywhere; the scalp included!
  • Lice – You knew we would mention this one! Head lice is almost expected at some point or another in the elementary school years, so if you’re looking for a great lice shampoo, we included one for you in our table.

Read more about it in our review section: the Fairy Tales Repel Shampoo!

  • Sensitive Skin – Some children could wash their hair with just about any soap, but others have sensitive skin and require a gentler formula.

If you’re simply in need of something for sensitive skin, then we recommend baby shampoos. Forget the fact that it is marketed as a baby product; it’s what’s on the label that counts!

Many baby products work well for kids and adults due to their gentle formulas, so don’t think we included them by mistake in our table.

The only downside that some parents complain about is the fact that they aren’t always good at cleansing the hair. While they may be gentle on the scalp, sometimes the actual cleaning power requires you to wash twice, which results in you using double the product.

How Old Are the Kids?

One of the biggest differences between adult shampoo and kid shampoo is the “tear” factor.

The likelihood that a little product gets in the eyes during bath time is high, especially when it comes to younger children who still need help bathing. If you still help your child bathe or if you have a big kid who hasn’t yet gotten the hang of using soap for the body and shampoo specifically on the scalp, then make sure you opt for a combination body wash and shampoo.

The formulas of a 2-in-1 wash are usually tear-free, so even if a bit of product does get in the eyes, it won’t irritate them.

If you have older kids who have learned the difference between shampoo and a 2-in-1 wash, then a regular shampoo is just fine.

Top 5 Best Shampoo for Kids Reviews

1. Aveeno Baby Wash & Shampoo

The Aveeno Baby Wash & Shampoo isn’t just for babies; kids can use it, too!

We love that the formula is free of soap and parabens. They’ve added in some oat kernel extract that will soothe and gently cleanse the skin without over-drying. In fact, oat kernel extract is known for its soothing properties, so even very mild cases of psoriasis on the scalp might be kept under control with a formula like this.

Many parents find that it is a very effective choice, especially for kids who need to have their hair washed frequently.

It’s a great product, but not the right one for every child. Artificial fragrance is a known skin irritant and considering that this product is, in fact, lightly scented, it won’t work for everyone.

2. Fairy Tales Repel Shampoo

While having head lice isn’t exactly like living in a fairy tale, the Fair Tales Shampoo is certainly good at taking care of this pesky problem!

We love everything about the formula: it is free of sulfates, gluten, dairy, soy and nuts, and the natural formula is quite effective at repelling head lice.

The combination of Rosemary, Citronella, and Tea Tree oil is a surefire way to send those lice packing, and who says you have to wait until they’ve already invaded to start using it?

If there has been an outbreak of head lice in your child’s class, be proactive by washing with this shampoo to prevent an epidemic of your own at home.

We wouldn’t use this on a regular basis, but would definitely recommend that parents have a bottle on hand “just in case.”

3. Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo

Neutrogena’s T/Gel Shampoo is probably best for older kids who are in need of something for Psoriasis outbreaks. It is not a tear-free formula and should be used by kids who can use regular adult shampoos without help from an adult.

The active ingredient is2% Neutar, which is a coal tar extract, and when used on scalps that suffer from Psoriasis or just pesky dandruff, it can help clear up the problem safely and effectively.

Kids only need to use this once a week and only if they have excess dandruff or any of the scalp conditions we mentioned earlier.

Daily use of this product can be counter-effective, so if you’re worried that your child will use too much, you be in charge of the T/Gel schedule and provide it to them once a week as needed.

4. SheaMoisture Mango & Carrot Shampoo

If your child doesn’t have sensitive skin or any scalp conditions, then a shampoo like this is just fine for them.

The sulfate-free formula will help nourish dry, delicate hair, providing it with moisture and strengthening hair to help prevent breakage.

For long hair that tends to tangle easily, this would be a great choice. We see that it contains a bit of Rosemary extract, which is known to help stimulate hair growth.

It is a little on the expensive side, but it works well for kids with longer, curly hair. The lather is rich and sudsy, too!

5. Maple Holistics Hydrate Moisture Control Shampoo

Our final pick for best shampoo for kids is the Hydrate Moisture Control from Maple Holistics.

This shampoo could easily work for the entire family, so if you didn’t like the idea of having to purchase ten different products that all sit on the side of the bathtub, this would be a great “everyone can use it” product.

The formula contains some wonderful ingredients, such as lavender, carrot, parsley seed, silk peptide (it helps improve moisture retention), jojoba and almond oil to help soothe the scalp, and botanical keratin to help tame the frizz.

We love that it does not contain any sulfates, parabens, artificial fragrance (because the scent is natural from the natural ingredients it contains) nor silicone.

Have your kids use this shampoo daily or every other day, as needed, for a refreshing, natural way to clean the scalp.

Final Thoughts

We looked at quite a wide variety of shampoos before settling on the 12 in our list.

Children that suffer from certain skin conditions might benefit from Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo, ANTI-b Antibacterial Shampoo or Fairy Tales Repel Shampoo. The latter helps repel lice, and it never hurts to keep a bottle around for emergencies.

Younger children would probably benefit from the 2-in-1 formulas that function as both body wash and shampoo since the formulas are tear-free. Some of these might be baby products, but that doesn’t mean older users can’t benefit from them, too!

If you have a girl with longer hair, then try the SheaMoisture Mango & Carrot Kids Extra-Nourishing Shampoo or the JASON Kids Only Daily Detangling Shampoo since they’re great at helping you control the tangles.

Children with sensitive skin do best with formulas that are free of artificial fragrances, parabens, and sulfates since all are known to irritate. If this sounds like your child, then you might want to try the Aquaphor Baby Wash & Shampoo since the Aveeno we liked is lightly scented.