Do you have children? First, my congratulations. And, second, my condolences. Kids are hard work, right? You love them more than anything or anyone, and at the same time, you’re also thinking: just go to bed already!
But before bed can happen and you’re granted those few peaceful minutes of sanity before you pass out yourself, there is the (dreaded) bath time. All kids go through their love/hate/love the bath again phase. And that makes the right shampoo and conditioner for kids even more important.
What you don’t want is a product you love but they hate. Why would a kid hate a shampoo? It usually has less to do with scent or cleansing power, and nearly 100-percent to do with the eye factor. Does it burn? Even slightly? That last part is a bit of a trick question. Because to kids, it either burns like hellfire, or it does not. There is no “mild” eye irritation.
So, you need shampoos and conditioners that take care of those cute first tufts and curls without the slightest possible burning. And you need products that adhere to your cruelty-free ethos as well. Impossible? Nope.
In fact, it’s more possible than ever to find effective and safe products for bath time. Grab your rubber ducky and let’s get a scrubbin’.
1. JASON Shampoo
The good folks at JASON make clean, fragrant, and super eye-friendly “extra-gentle” shampoo. It’s also scented with calendula, marigold, and chamomile, which can calm and soothe the bath-haters among us. Consider it a pre-bedtime scent if there ever was one. It’s softening enough for thin hair that you don’t need a follow-up conditioner. But for older kids or those with lots of locks, you can follow up with the JASON conditioner, too.
2. Everyone 3-in-1
I’m not one to burst any bath bubbles, but here’s a little real talk: You don’t really need all those bath products. Especially if you don’t quite have your grown-up teeth yet. The folks at Everyone Products know this, too. This gentle kids shampoo is also the perfect body wash and bubble bath. It’s pleasantly unscented for the most sensitive littles, but you can add a few drops of lavender essential oil for a great pre-bedtime scent. You may even get to that grown-up pass out a few minutes earlier.
3. Shea Moisture Detangler and Shampoos
Soothing and smoothing coconut and shea make the kids shampoo a luxe indulgence parents may even love, too. A little goes a long way, but it will leave all hair types feeling silky soft and smooth for days. And the good folks at Shea Moisture are in the no-more-tears business in a big, big way. Not just because the kid-friendly shampoo doesn’t burn eyes. The detanglers help make hair-brushing less of a global crisis, too. A few spritzes to any hair prone to tangling works almost like magic. Use a wet brush or a comb to help end this child torture as fast as humanly possible and you may just avoid the night terrors.
4. Babo Botanicals
Formulated for the most sensitive new skin, Babo Botanicals uses a blend of oat milk and calendula to help heal and prevent conditions like eczema and cradle cap. And it’s just as gentle on eyes, too. Skin and hair are left feeling soft and silky for days, reducing the need for frequent hair washing. The Environmental Working Group gives Babo’s its top safety rating. It also makes products for older kids including a swim and sport shampoo and even a “lice repel” option. (I told you parenting was hard.)
5. Burt’s Bees
Burt’s Bees made its name by promoting products from bees. But it’s since moved into more compassionate directions with cruelty-free options, including its Baby Bee Shampoo and Wash. This tear-free formula makes bathtime a breeze. Use it from head to toe for a squeaky clean little bundle. You can follow-up with other Burt’s products like its Baby Bee Dusting Powder, creams, and lotions.
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Please note: A product appearing in our blog is not an official Kinder Beauty endorsement. While every product we feature in an article is cruelty-free and vegan, these products do not necessarily meet all of our strict brand standards for curation in a Kinder box.
Jill Ettinger is an LA-based writer and editor focused on vegan and cruelty-free living.