The 9 Best Shampoos for Kids of 2021

Keep their hair and scalp clean and healthy

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: The Mane Choice Fruit Medley Kids Hydrating Shampoo at themanechoice.com

"It’s made to minimize and protect breakage and split ends, promote growth, and keep the scalp clean and clear."

Best Organic: Hello Bello Kid’s Shampoo & Body Wash at Walmart

"Ideal for kiddos with sensitive skin, it's free of common allergens and even doubles as a body wash."

Best for Kinky Curls: SheaMoisture Mango & Carrots KIDS Extra Nourishing Shampoo at Amazon

"A pick that promotes natural hair growth, it's especially ideal for little ones with kinky curls due to its sulfate-free formula."

Best Lice Treatment: Fairy Tales Rosemary Repel Lice Shampoo at Amazon

"Both a head lice repellent and a daily shampoo, it's made up of organic rosemary, citronella, tea tree oil, and geranium oil."

Best for After Swimming: SoCozy Swim 3-in-1 Shampoo + Conditioner at Amazon

"Perfect for kids who love to swim, it’s formulated to combat the green tones that come from pool chemicals and calcium salt."

Best 2-in-1: Fresh Monster Toxin-free 2-in-1 Kids Shampoo & Conditioner at Amazon

"To make bath time easier, wash your kiddo's hair in one step with this non-toxic shampoo and conditioner combo."

Best for Babies: Mustela Gentle Baby Shampoo & Detangler at Amazon

"It’s safe for babies from birth, and it’s made with chamomile and avocado that cleans without stripping natural oils. "

Best for Big Kids: Fairy Tales TBH Kids Shampoo at Amazon

"A solid pick for active kids, the shampoo features nettle and plant proteins that combat oil buildup and prevent hairline acne."

Best Tear-Free: Johnson’s Ultra-Hydrating Tear-Free Kids’ Shampoo at Amazon

"Formulated to hydrate, nourish, and clean all hair types, it's ideal for particularly delicate and fine hair. "

Whether your kid’s hair is short, long, curly, straight, thick, or thin, it needs to be washed to be healthy. There are a lot of different kids and tweens shampoo options out there, but how do you know which one is the best for your child? Like adults, every kid needs a shampoo that meets their unique needs based on their hair texture, scalp health, and even what activities they’re involved in.

Here are some of the best shampoos for kids.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: The Mane Choice Fruit Medley Kids Hydrating Shampoo

The Mane Choice Fruit Medley Kids Hydrating Shampoo

Courtesy of Walmart

Great for all textures, this shampoo will strengthen and detangle your child’s hair and leave it smelling wonderful thanks to the orange-infused formula. It’s made to minimize and protect breakage and split ends, promote growth, hydrate the hair, and keep the scalp clean and clear. 

Best Organic: Hello Bello Kid’s Shampoo & Body Wash

Hello Bello Kid’s Shampoo & Body Wash

Courtesy of Walmart

Hello Bello’s watermelon shampoo is formulated to work with all hair types and is safe for even the most sensitive skin. Its ingredients include marshmallow root, coconut, and aloe extract and it’s free of common food allergens including peanuts, dairy, soy, and gluten.

You can expect your kid’s hair to be shiny, smooth, and healthy after using this shampoo. An extra bonus is that this delightfully sweet-smelling shampoo can double as a body wash.  

Best for Kinky Curls: SheaMoisture Mango & Carrots KIDS Extra Nourishing Shampoo

Kids with natural kinky curls will benefit from this sulfate-free shampoo that will leave their hair hydrated and strong. It’s made with mango butter, carrot oil, coconut oil, and organic shea butter to moisturize, smooth, and soften brittle, dry, or damaged hair. This shampoo is also great for the scalp and promotes hair growth. 

Best Lice Treatment: Fairy Tales Rosemary Repel Lice Shampoo

No one wants to think about it, but at some point, your child may be exposed to lice. If you use this shampoo, though, your kiddo may be able to dodge the next lice outbreak.

With ingredients like organic rosemary, citronella, tea tree oil, and geranium oil help repel lice and make your child's head an unappealing landing pad. This shampoo is safe, and great, for everyday use and will leave most hair types hydrated, strong, and healthy.

Best for After Swimming: SoCozy Swim 3-in-1 Shampoo + Conditioner

Chlorine, salt water, and sunlight can do a number on the hair, so if your kiddo loves to be in the water, this shampoo is for them. It’s formulated to combat the green tones that come from pool chemicals, calcium salt, chlorine build-up, and general dryness that come along with swimming. Even better, it’s a three-in-one product, so it serves as a shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. 

Best 2-in-1: Fresh Monster Toxin-free 2-in-1 Kids Shampoo & Conditioner

To make bath time easier, wash your kiddo's hair in one step with this shampoo and conditioner combo. It’s free of toxic and harmful chemicals and dyes, it smells delicious, and it leaves hair shiny, soft, and clean. It’s also formulated to be gentle on the eyes and also serves as a detangler. 

Best for Babies: Mustela Gentle Baby Shampoo & Detangler

Babies need products that are as clean and pure as possible, and this shampoo is one of them. It’s safe for babies from birth on and it’s made with chamomile and avocado to clean their scalp without stripping it of its natural oils. This shampoo is hypoallergenic, non-toxic, works as a detangler, and is formulated to hydrate and protect dry scalps. 

Best for Big Kids: Fairy Tales TBH Kids Shampoo

Bigger kids are more active, so they need a shampoo that will work a little harder to cleanse their hair and scalps of dirt and sweat. This shampoo is made for just that with ingredients like nettle, meadowsweet, and plant proteins that combat oil buildup.

Their hair will feel smooth and soft and the shampoo can even help prevent acne breakouts along the hairline. It’s also free of toxic and harmful ingredients, works as a shampoo and conditioner in one, and smells delightful. 

Best Tear-Free: Johnson’s Ultra-Hydrating Tear-Free Kids’ Shampoo

This shampoo is hypoallergenic, free of toxic and harmful chemicals, and is as gentle as water on the eyes. It’s also formulated to hydrate, nourish, strengthen, and clean all hair types, but particularly delicate and fine hair. While it is a moisturizing shampoo, the manufacturer recommends also using the hydrating conditioner for optimal results. 

Final Verdict

The best product for your child depends a lot on their hair texture and needs. That being said, The Mane Choice Fruit Medley Kids Hydrating Shampoo (view on Walmart) is a great choice across the board because it strengthens and detangles, cleans the scalp as well as the hair, smells great, and leaves the hair shiny and healthy. 

What to Look for in a Shampoo for Kids

Ingredients

Make sure you read the ingredients label to ensure you’re not exposing your child to any harmful chemicals. Opt for brands that use natural ingredients and be mindful of allergies or sensitivities to fragrances. 

Purpose

Make sure the shampoo you choose is formulated to work with your child’s hair type or serves a specific purpose (like lice removal or treating cradle cap). Keep hair texture, length, and thickness in mind when picking the best product. 

Why Trust Verywell Family?

Ashley Ziegler is a full-time parenting writer, mom to a 1 and a 4-year-old, and she has personal experience in researching kid’s shampoos and trying different brands out on her two daughters (both with very different hair textures). Key considerations she focused on when selecting these products include personal experience, ingredients, and user reviews.  

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