Last Updated: Oct 15, 2021 @ 2:03 pm.

What's the best baby shampoo and body wash? We tried out 11 different brands of baby shampoo to find the best bets. We then surveyed our parent readers to find their favorites. What was easiest to rinse? Had a gentle formula? Here are the ones we recommend.

FYI: We've been reviewing and rating products for the home and families since 1994. To keep things independent, we don't take money or freebies from brands we review! Our work is 100% reader-supported!


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Best For Dry Hair

Made in the USA
Loved this shampoo, which has no sulfates, phthalates, dyes or parabens. Easy to rinse with slight, pleasant smell (even though it is technically unscented). No soy, oats or dairy.
$33.99 ($1.79 / Fl Oz)

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Best For Dry Hair: California Baby Super Sensitive Shampoo and Body Wash

Let’s talk the best baby shampoo and body wash!

Natural or vegan-friendly shampoos for baby are all the rage. These shampoos replace synthetic ingredients that are hard to pronounce (Decyl Glucoside, anyone?) with naturally-derived alternatives.

That said, let us make an obvious point: just because an ingredient is “natural” or a shampoo is intended for babies with sensitive doesn’t mean your baby won’t have a negative reaction to it.

In fact, some natural baby shampoos have highly allergenic ingredients like coconut and shea butter. 

Our advice: do a patch test on the inside of your baby’s elbow or knee before using these shampoos and body washes all over.

After trying out 11 brands of baby shampoo with actual kiddos and asking our readers for their favorites, we think the best baby shampoo for dry hair is California Baby. Their Super Sensitive Shampoo and Body Wash won over our testers with its performance and scent. 

Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Easy to rinse.

• Smells good! Yes, this shampoo is technically unscented, but it still has a faint smell that is quite pleasing.

• Affordable compared to other natural baby shampoos.

• Tear-free formula.

• No sulfates, parabens, phthalates, dyes.

What Needs Work

• Tear-free didn’t work for some folks.

• Not everyone is a fan of the scent.

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Best Plant-Based

No parabens, petrolatum or sulfates
The mild honey scent here is the star, but we liked the tear-free formula that is both gentle and effective. No animal testing and comes in a recyclable bottle.
$13.99 ($0.67 / Fl Oz)

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Best Plant-Based: Burt’s Bees Baby Shampoo & Wash

Yes, this is a plant-based baby shampoo with 98.9% natural ingredients like soy proteins and xanthan gum. 

This shampoo was a hit with our testers, who loved the gentle formula and mild honey-like scent. 

Here’s more:

What We Liked

 Tear free

• No parabens, phthalates, petrolatum or sulfates.

• Naturally foaming.

• Mild honey scent is pleasing.

• Gentle formula.

• Didn’t over dry skin.

What Needs Work

• Not everyone is a fan of the scent.

• Thin texture.

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Best Shea Butter-Based

Organic shea butter
Coconut oil makes this baby shampoo stand out from the crowd. We loved the vanilla/coconut scent, although critics note it is not tear-free.
$18.19 ($0.70 / Fl Oz)

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Best Shea Butter-Based: SHEA MOISTURE 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Baby Wash & Shampoo

Shea butter is all the rage when it comes to shampoo and body wash. We tried a few entries in this category before deciding Shea Moisture’s baby wash and shampoo is the best, based on our testing.

Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Gentle formula.

• Sulfate free.

• Made with coconut and murumuru butter.

• Shea butter is organic.

• Vanilla/coconut scent.

What Needs Work

• Not tear-free.

• Not everyone is a fan of the scent.

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Best Vegan-Friendly

No synthetic preservatives
Yes, this shampoo hits all the right sustainable buttons: vegan-friendly, biodegradable ingredients plus a recycled bottle. One major caveat: it is NOT tear-free.
$8.08 ($1.01 / Fl Oz)

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Best Vegan-Friendly: Dr. Bronner’s – Pure-Castile Liquid Soap (Baby Unscented)

Rounding out the picks of our recommendations for baby shampoo and body wash is Dr. Bronner’s. This brand boasts a vegan-friendly profile—no synthetic preservatives, detergents or foaming agents.

In our tests, we liked how well it worked . . . and the scent is pleasing.

What We Liked

• Recycled plastic bottle.

• Unscented—although we thought the slight scent was quite nice.

• Includes Vitamin E.

• No synthetic detergents.

What Needs Work

• Pricey.

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do extensive research, evaluating products with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability. When we purchase a product for hands-on testing, we do so with our own money. 

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Our work is 100% reader-supported!

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