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15 Best Children’s Shampoos – and how to wash your child’s hair

We round up the 15 best shampoos for kids hair and offer up eight handy hints for tip-top hair washing without the tears!

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15 Best Shampoos for Babies, Toddlers and Children

Best Shampoo for babies
Best Shampoo for Babies

1. Organic calendula helps regulate the skin, sweet almond oil prevents dryness and the soft lather doesn’t sting baby’s eyes >> Weleda Calendula Shampoo & Body Wash, £7.29 for 200ml

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2. With almond blossom extract to soothes rashes, jojoba oil to provide long-lasting hydration and calendula (from the bud of the Marigold) gently calms skin irritations. >> Dr. Barbara Sturm Baby & Kids Hair & Body Shampoo £35 for 15oml

3. A gentle, plant-based 98.9% natural formula that will naturally cleanse baby’s soft skin from head to toe >> Burt’s Bees Baby Shampoo and Body Wash, £8.49 for 236ml

4. A tear-free formula that is perfect for the fine, delicate baby hair, from birth onwards >> Mustela Gentle Shampoo, £7.50 for 200ml

5. Sulphate-free hair and body with cleansing clementine, refreshing sweet orange and calming lavender essential oils >> Little B Hair & Body Wash, from £4 for 5oml

Best shamppos for toddlers
Best Shampoos for Toddlers & Children

1. Made from natural ingredients, it’s sure to leave your little one squeaky clean and smelling like sweet oranges and lavender >> Matilda’s Hair & Body Wash, £8 for 500ml

2. SLS free moisturising shampoo, that is gentle on sensitive scalps and skin prone to eczema, psoriasis & dermatitis >> Organic Children Shampoo in Citrus Crush, £11 for 200ml

3. Gentle SLS free shampoo with aloe vera juice, quinoa protein and pro-vitamin B5 >> Curly Ellie Gentle Shampoo, £12.99 for 25oml

4. A natural SLS free formula with linseed oil that nourishes the scalp and leaves hair with a beautiful shine >> Naïf Nourishing Baby Shampoo, €9,95

5. 100% Vegan, SLS free formula with organic emollients and vegetable proteins that detangle and leave hair easy to rinse and comb >> Original Sprout Natural Shampoo, £14.99 for 354ml

Best Shampoos for Kids & Tweens
Best Shampoos for Tweens

1. With wheat bran extract and coconut emollient to leave hair smooth, essential oils to help bust grease and calm the scalp – this is the ideal shampoo for girls long hair >> Spots & Stripes Happy Hair High-Shine Shampoo for Girls, £12 for 250ml (** For boys there is also: Clean Team Shampoo & Body Wash)

2. A sulfate-free shampoo made with gentle natural cleansers that is ideal for fine, thick, coarse, straight, wavy, curly, tight curls, loose curls, tangly or frizzy hair!  >> Jackson & Willow Natural Shampoo Sulphate-Free with Organic Avocado & Quinoa, £10.95 for 200ml

3. A pure, mild and pH-balanced formula that is this specially formulated for children’s sensitive scalp and delicate hair. It contains botanical extract of antioxidant rich wild hawthorn berry without sulphate, silicone and essential oils >> Dandydill Way Wild Hawthorn Berry Shampoo, £18 for 200ml

4. Innovative SLS free shampoo formulas that thoroughly wash the hair according to a child’s age (0-3, 3-8 and 8-12) with an extra gentle cleansing base and active aromatic organic ingredients >> Enfrance Tonic Shampoo 8-12 years old, from €14 for 100ml

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5. Dermatologist and paediatrician-approved for skin prone to eczema and leaves hair soft, shiny and naturally scented >> Child’s Farm Shampoo in Organic Fig £4 for 250ml
washing kids hair
Eight handy hints for tip-top hair washing for babies and children

  • There’s no need to wash your tiny baby’s hair with shampoo. Holding her securely, place your hand firmly behind her head and, making lots of reassuring eye-to-eye contact, rinse her scalp with warm water.
  • Try a shampoo that is specifically aimed at children’s hair, most of which are formulated to cleanse without stinging their eyes.
  • Give older toddlers a folded facecloth to hold over their eyes – but be warned, many small children don’t like the idea of being blindfolded, so this might not work.
  • Wash your child’s hair at a time of the day when she is alert and happy. So just before bed is not necessarily the best time.
  • Keep hair washing time short and sweet. Long hair means longer washing (and even longer combing out – mercy!) so a trip to the hairdresser might be called for.
  • If hair washing really becomes an issue with your child, try sponging out sticky bits or brushing with a damp brush instead for now.
  • Try role play, such as being washed at the sink just like Mummy at the hairdresser. Slip a towel under her neck, get some especially lovely shampoo and make pleasant chit chat.
  • Make hair washing fun and encourage some shampoo hair sculpting. Have a mirror handy to admire the quiffs and spiky punk hairstyles you create. Teach your child to check if her hair is clean by rubbing it between her fingers to create that squeaky sound.