PAYDAY EXCLUSIVE | 20% OFF £30

Code:PAYDAY
 

PAYDAY EXCLUSIVE | 20% OFF £30

Code:PAYDAY

🏷️ Buy 1 Get 1 Free☀️ Summer ShopOffersOffers HubBuy one get one 1/2 priceSave up to 1/2 PriceBuy 1 Get 1 Free25% off Online Only OfferOutletFree gift with purchase1/2 Price2 for £50Short DatedBuy 6 for £15 Mix & MatchVitamins & SupplementsVitamins & Supplements HubVitamins & Supplements Shop AllCBDShop all CBDCBD OilCBD CapsulesCBD SprayCBD GummiesCollagen & SilicaHair, Skin & NailsShop all Hair, Skin & NailsHair GrowthFunctional MushroomsVitaminsShop all VitaminsMultivitaminsVitamin AVitamin BVitamin CVitamin DVitamin EVitamin KVitamin DrinksMineralsShop all MineralsMagnesiumIronZincCalciumSeleniumChromiumSupplementsShop all SupplementsFibre SupplementsAcidophilus & Friendly BacteriaPeppermint OilGrapeseed ExtractLecithinCollagen & SilicaOmega & Fish OilsPlant Sourced SupplementsSuperfood SupplementsArnicaApple CiderRaspberry KetonesAloe VeraChondroitin & MSMCo Enzyme Q10Evening Primrose OilGarlicGinkgo BilobaGlucosamineGlucomannanSeaweed, Kelps and Aquaceuticals5 HTPSaw palmettoCharcoalWomen's HealthShop all Women's HealthMenopauseMenstrual SupportUrinary Tract HealthPregnancy & ConceptionMen's HealthShop all Men's HealthProstate HealthChildren's HealthConditionShop all ConditionWater RetentionAllergy & Hay Fever CareAnxiety SupportBone & Muscle HealthMuscle Support & Joint PainBrain & Memory SupportWomen's HealthMen's HealthChildren's HealthPain ReliefCold & Immune SupportFatigueDigestive HealthHair, Skin & NailsHeart & CirculationLiver CareMood SupportSexual HealthSleep & RelaxationStress ReliefVisionHerbal & Licensed RemediesShop all Herbal & Licensed RemediesValerianSt John's WortRescue RemedyAgnus CastusAshwagandhaEchinaceaMilk ThistleDevil's ClawGinseng & GuaranaBlack CohoshHomeopathic & Flower RemediesShop all Homeopathic & Flower RemediesRescue RemedyTissue SaltsFlower RemediesHomeopathic RemediesAt-Home TestsVegan Vitamins & SupplementsBuy one get one 1/2 priceBuy 1 Get 1 FreeSave up to 1/2 PriceHolland & BarrettVitabioticsSolgarWeledaNew NordicBioglanBetterYouNatures AidGrass & Co.Nature's WayDairy FreeGluten FreeSesame Seed FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeEgg FreeFish FreeKiwi FreeLupin FreeNew inFood & DrinkFood & Drink HubFood & Drink Shop AllHoney, Jams & SpreadsShop all Honey, Jams & SpreadsManuka HoneyHoneyNut ButtersJams & ChutneysSpreadsPateSuperfoodsShop all SuperfoodsSuperfood PowdersMaca PowderGoji BerriesBaobabMoringa PowderFlaxseedSpirulinaChia SeedsDried Fruit, Nuts & SeedsShop all Dried Fruit, Nuts & SeedsNutsDried FruitSeedsMixesTeas, Coffee & Hot BeveragesShop all Teas, Coffee & Hot BeveragesCoffee & Coffee SubstitutesMushroom DrinksTeasSuperfood TeasMatcha & Green TeaSleep & RelaxationDairy AlternativesShop all Dairy AlternativesOat, Rice & Hemp DrinksSoya DrinksNut DrinksCoconut DrinksFood CupboardShop all Food CupboardHoney, Jams & SpreadsBreakfast CerealsSuperfoodsApple Cider VinegarCondiments & SaucesTinned FoodsRice, Pasta, Pulses & GrainsBreakfast CerealsShop all Breakfast CerealsCereals, Bran & FlakesGranolaMuesliOats & PorridgeBreakfast BarsVegan FoodSnacksShop all SnacksProtein BarsLow Calorie SnacksChocolate, Cakes & BiscuitsCrisps & ChipsSavoury SnacksSweet SnacksSnack BarsFlapjacksPopcornDrinks & JuicesShop all Drinks & JuicesNatural Energy DrinksKombuchaJuicesSoft DrinksWaterAlcohol Free DrinksCookingShop all CookingCooking IngredientsApple Cider VinegarCondiments & SaucesSoya & Meat AlternativeSoup & Ready MealsRice, Pasta, Pulses & GrainsHerbs, Spices & SeasoningGravy & StockHome BakingShop all Home BakingBaking MixesBreadFlourSweeteners & Sugar AlternativesEgg SubstitutesNutritionally Complete FoodBuy one get one 1/2 priceSave up to 1/2 Price25% off Online Only OfferHolland & BarrettNaturyaHeath & HeatherPukkaGrenadeMeridianTwiningsBionaNakdHuelGluten FreeDairy FreeEgg FreeWheat FreeMilk FreeMustard FreeCelery FreeFish FreeCrustaceans FreeKiwi FreeNew inSports NutritionSports Nutrition HubSports Nutrition Shop AllProteinShop all ProteinClear ProteinWhey ProteinMass GainersVegan ProteinDiet ProteinCaseinSports SupplementsShop all Sports SupplementsTestosteroneSports CollagenBars, Drinks & SnacksShop all Bars, Drinks & SnacksEnergy BarsProtein BarsProtein ShakesProtein SnacksNutritionally Complete FoodMeal Replacement ShakesPre Workout & EnergyShop all Pre Workout & EnergyPre WorkoutAmino Energy PowdersIntra WorkoutKetoPost WorkoutAmino AcidsShop all Amino AcidsAmino Energy PowdersBCAAL-LysineGlutamineCarnitineArginineCreatineShop all CreatineCreatine PowderCreatine CapsulesRehydrationShop all RehydrationElectrolytesEnergy GelsVegan Sports NutritionShop all Vegan Sports NutritionVegan ProteinVegan Protein BarsVegan Pre Workout & EnergyVegan Amino AcidsVegan CreatineSports AccessoriesShop all Sports AccessoriesBottles & ShakersFitness EquipmentFitness GoalShop all Fitness GoalRecoveryMuscle & StrengthLean MuscleEnergy & EnduranceDiet & Weight LossSave up to 1/2 PriceBuy one get one 1/2 price2 for £50Optimum NutritionPE NutritionUSNGrenadeApplied NutritionPhDSiSFoodspringHuelYfoodDairy FreeGluten FreeSugar FreeSoya FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeEgg FreeFish FreeKiwi FreeNew inBeautyBeauty HubNatural Beauty Shop AllAromatherapy & HomeShop all Aromatherapy & HomePure Essential OilsBlended Essential OilsBase & Carrier OilsHolisticSkincareShop all SkincarePremium SkincareFace CareBody CareSun CareTanning & BronzingEye CareLip CareFoot CareHand & Nail CareSkin AilmentsSkin OilsCBD BeautySun CareShop all Sun CareSun Lotion SPFAfter SunHair Skin & NailsWashing & BathingShop all Washing & BathingShampoo & ConditionerBathing AccessoriesShower Gel & Body WashDeodorantDentalHand WashSoapBath Soak & OilBody ScrubBath Bombs & SaltsFeminine CareIncontinence SupportHair CareShop all Hair CareShampoo & ConditionerHair ColouringHair MasksHair Oil & SerumHair Spray, Gel & MousseHair AccessoriesMother & BabyShop all Mother & BabyBaby Skincare & ToiletriesElectrical WellnessSexual WellnessSave up to 1/2 PriceBuy 1 Get 1 FreeBuy one get one 1/2 priceDr OrganicFaith in NatureWeledaNaturtintTisserandSukinMiaromaQ+AEthiqueSo EcoAlcohol FreeParfum FreeParaben FreeSLS FreePalm Oil FreeGluten FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeEgg FreeNew inCBDWeight ManagementWeight Management HubWeight Management Shop AllFat Burners, Binders & Appetite SuppressantsShop all Fat Burners, Binders & Appetite SuppressantsFat BurnersFat BindersAppetite SuppressantsSlimming TabletsShakes & Weight Management ShotsShop all Shakes & Weight Management ShotsMeal Replacement ShakesDiet ProteinDiet Food & DrinkShop all Diet Food & DrinkDiet FoodLow Calorie SnacksSlimming TeaExercise SupportShop all Exercise SupportFitness EquipmentMeal Replacement ShakesDiet ProteinProtein BarsSave up to 1/2 PriceBuy one get one 1/2 price2 for £50Optimum NutritionGrenadeHolland & BarrettPulsinUSNPhDEat WaterNew NordicSlimExpertNatures AidDairy FreeGluten FreeSugar FreeWheat FreeNew inVeganHealth & WellnessShop all Health & WellnessJoints Bones & MusclesGut HealthHair Skin & NailsStress AnxietySleep & RelaxationBuy one get one 1/2 priceSave up to 1/2 PriceBuy 1 Get 1 FreeHolland & BarrettWeledaVitabioticsDr OrganicSolgarNaturtintOptimum NutritionNew NordicHeath & HeatherBioglanDairy FreeGluten FreeParaben FreeSLS FreeAlcohol FreeParfum FreeSugar FreeWheat FreeSoya FreeEgg FreeNew inShop for your WellnessWomen's HealthMenstrual HealthMenopauseSkincareJoints, Bones & MusclesGut HealthHair, Skin & NailsImmunitySleep & RelaxationFood & DietChildren's HealthStress ReliefHealthy HeartEnergyLow Mood & DepressionConcentration & AlertnessEye HealthSexual HealthLearn about WellnessWomen's HealthPeriods & Cycle HealthMenopauseJoints, Bones & MusclesImmunityGut HealthFood & DietSports & FitnessSleep & RelaxationHair Skin & NailsAll articlesHealthFood & nutritionGut healthImmunityJoints, bones & musclesWomen's healthWellnessHair & skinMental wellbeingSeasonalSleep & relaxationSports nutritionRecipesAll recipesGluten freeLow sugarVeganDairy freePodcast

8 of the best baby shampoos

best baby shampoo
If you’re using regular shampoo on your baby’s hair – stop! Their scalp is made of more delicate stuff than ours, so they need a gentle shampoo free from nasties. Read on to find out more.

If you’re a parent, you’ll probably agree there’s nothing quite like the smell of your baby’s head.

In fact, studies have found that the smell given off by a baby’s scalp are designed to attract their mothers and facilitate bonding – so there’s a good reason you may not be able to stop sniffing it!1

However, your baby’s head does still get dirty and you do still need to wash it.

But what with? And how often? And which is the best baby shampoo?

Relax, we have all the answers.

Do I need to wash my baby’s hair? 

You may think your baby’s hair never looks greasy or dirty, and it’s true that their oil glands aren’t producing large amounts of sebum compared to say, a teenager.

However, your baby’s hair still needs to be washed regularly to remove the dirt, bacteria and dead skin cells which build up there.

How often do I need to wash my baby’s hair?

Everyone has their own opinion on this topic, but a good rule of thumb is to wash your baby’s hair about three to four times per week.2

In most cases, every day is too often. Your baby won’t be getting very dirty (yet!) so daily hair washing isn’t necessary – plus it can strip the sebum (a natural oil) and cause dryness to the scalp.

However, if your baby has cradle cap, it’s recommended that you wash their hair every day until the symptoms go away.

Handpicked contentWhat is cradle cap & how can I get rid of it?

When should I give my baby their first hair wash? 

In terms of the first hair wash, you can do this from birth, especially if there is dried matter from the birth in the hair and scalp. Otherwise, a baby comb can be used to remove skin flakes and other debris.3

The NHS recommends that you only use plain water for newborn babies – and introduce mild cleansers from about four to six weeks.4

What is special about baby shampoo? 

The main difference between baby shampoo and regular shampoo is that regular shampoo contains certain ingredients which are fine for adults, but are more likely to irritate sensitive baby skin.

Certain baby shampoo ingredients might be best avoided as they have the potential to irritate your baby’s scalp or eyes.

Look for the following ingredients, which offer a gentle wash without stripping the natural oils and causing dryness:

  • Aloe vera – a gentle plant associated with hydration 
  • Chamomile – a soothing herb with a softening effect on the skin5
  • Calendula – a herb known for soothing dry skin6
  • Coco-betaine – a mild, natural substance derived from coconut oil which helps shampoo spread7

Some ingredients which pop up in personal care products contain very small amounts of substances which, in concentrated and high doses, have been linked with various health problems.

Other ingredients have been known to cause rashes, skin irritation and allergic reactions in some people. Baby skin is thin and sensitive, so exposure to potential toxins should be limited wherever possible.

We recommend you check with a healthcare professional before using any new ingredients on your newborn baby.

Take care when using the following ingredients:

  • Cocamidopropyl betaine (CAPB) 

This foaming agent helps water to mix with oil and dirt to enable them to wash away.8

Most babies won’t have any issue with CAPB – it’s considered very safe and even ‘hypoallergenic’, however, some children can be extra sensitive to CAPB and there’s been a link between its use and atopic dermatitis in children.9

  • Parabens 

Synthetic parabens are useful preservatives which stop mould and bacteria growing in your personal care products.

However, there have been concerns in recent years about parabens’ potential to disturb the hormonal balance and increase oestrogen levels. Some major companies have stopped using certain parabens in their baby products, and the EU banned them in products for newborns in 2014.10,11

  • Phthalates 

Phthalates are man-made chemicals which, much like parabens, might potentially interfere with hormones. Children under the age of three are more at risk from phthalates as their bodies are smaller.12

Don’t worry too much, though. Companies are aware of the concern surrounding phthalates, and in one 2011 review, 26 out of 30 baby products tested didn’t contain them.13

  • Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) 

Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), is a detergent found in many toiletries. It helps products like shampoos to foam, ensuring you get a really deep clean.

However, it has been linked with irritation in sensitive skin for some people, and exacerbating eczema, so not something you want to expose your newborn’s delicate skin to if you can avoid it.14 Soap contains SLS, so don’t use soap during your baby’s bathtimes.15

  • Alcohol (may be listed as ethanol or isopropyl alcohol) 

Alcohol is common in skincare products for adults, but it’s well-known in skincare circles to be potentially drying – bad news for sensitive or dry skin types.

Baby skin is especially sensitive, so products containing alcohol may lead to a dry scalp prone to flakiness or redness.

Don’t worry…

It’s natural for a parent to be concerned about what’s in their little one’s shampoo – but don’t lose perspective and become too worried.

In the UK, any skincare product must pass strict regulatory tests and is covered by a robust safety legislation.16

Can I use my usual shampoo on my baby’s hair? 

No. There are ingredients in shampoos designed for adults which may irritate a baby’s scalp. These may have strong fragrances and colours which aren’t suitable for delicate newborn skin.

If your baby has dandruff, don’t use the same anti-dandruff shampoo that you’d use. These contain ingredients like salicylic acid which do a great job of sloughing off flakes on adult scalps – but are too harsh and are likely to be irritating for sensitive skin.

If your baby has dandruff, use soft baby brush during hair washes, or try a special baby dandruff shampoo until the flakes have cleared.

Do I need to wash my baby’s hair – even if they don’t have any? 

Yes. Even if your baby is bald, their scalp will be covered with a soft down and the oil glands beneath will still be secreting sebum. Further, bacteria and dead skin cells will build up on the surface of their scalp. Wash your baby’s scalp gently two or three times a week to remove this.

Which is the best baby shampoo? 

There are many options out there when it comes to baby shampoo. Luckily for you, we've rounded up 8 of the best shampoos for you to use on your baby's scalp, keeping it fresh and clean. 

8 of the best baby shampoos

1. Little Siberica Mild Baby Shampoo - 250ml

This baby shampoo contains no silicones or synthetic dyes.

It will gently wash away dirt and oil while leaving your baby’s scalp as soft as nature intended.

2. Weleda Calendula Baby Shampoo & Bodywash - 200ml

This award-winning 2 in 1 baby shampoo and body wash will help prevent dryness, while helping preserve the skin’s protective layer.

It contains no synthetic preservatives, fragrance or colours.

3. Odylique Baby Gentle Wash & Shampoo 200ml Odylique Baby Gentle Wash & Shampoo - 200ml

This shampoo and body wash combo contains organic aloe vera, chamomile and extra virgin olive oil to help maintain the natural oil and acid balance of your baby's skin.

It’s also pH neutral at 5.5 – the same as your baby’s skin.

4. Childs Farm Baby Shampoo - Unfragranced 250ml

This mild and unfragranced baby shampoo does a great job of clearing away dead skin and grime while caring for the skin. 

5. Green People Baby Wash & Shampoo - Lavender 150ml

Made with extracts of aloe vera and camomile, this organic baby shampoo and wash gently cleanses while leaving the natural beneficial scalp oils behind.

You only need a tiny amount, too, as a little goes a long way.

6. Burt's Bees Baby Bee Shampoo & Wash - 235ml

This plant-based shampoo & wash contains natural moisturisers and soy proteins to gently clean your baby’s delicate skin and hair without drying it out.

7. Mumma Love Organics Kids Shampoo & Conditioner - 200ml

This 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner is clinically tested to be suitable even for sensitive and eczema-prone baby skin.

A great baby shampoo for dry scalp issues, it contains calendula, which is a plant known for helping to keep skin soft and supple.

8. Good Bubble Cloudberry Shampoo - 250ml

This dermatologically tested formula is free from artificial colours. It’s got a fruity fragrance, so is great for toddlers and older kids.

Is it good to wash hair with baby shampoo? 

Yes, you can wash your own hair with baby shampoo. The gentler formulas are great for anyone who suffers from scalp dryness or feels that regular shampoo is stripping their hair of natural oils leaving it dry.

It’s worth noting that you might not get as good a lather with baby shampoo, due to their lack of foaming agents like SLS.

Read next: Best natural mother & baby care products

The advice in this article is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP or healthcare professional before trying any supplements, treatments or remedies. Food supplements must not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.

Last updated: 03 May 2021

Related Articles

  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • PayPal
  • AmericanExpress
  • ApplePay
  • ClearPay
  • AliPay
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
Copyright © Holland & Barrett Retail Limited, 2024. All rights reserved. hollandandbarrett.com is a trading name of Holland & Barrett Retail Limited,. Registered office: Samuel Ryder House, Barling Way, Nuneaton, Warwickshire CV10 7RH. Registered in England: company no. 2758955. Registered VAT no. 211727395.