What’s the best shampoo for some baby scrub-a-dub-dub?
Well, we definitely know what it isn’t.
Conventional shampoo, including those designed for babies, contain ingredients even rubber duckies would avoid: detergents (which can be toxic if swallowed or splashed in the eyes), phthalates, fragrances, and parabens.
Not to mention the other zillion ingredients ending in -eth, and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, which are often found in ‘tear-free’ shampoos.
If you were up with a fussy baby at 3am do you really want to whip out your magnifying glass and start researching formulas nobody can pronounce?
Yeah, we didn’t think so.
Organic baby shampoo is the safest baby shampoo money can buy (and you can even pronounce the ingredients listed!).
Lots of brands are recognizing the importance of making non-toxic baby bath products, but let’s throw a quick reveal party for the top organic baby shampoo brands:
You’ll find Earth Mama’s natural shampoo for babies in many hospital NICUs—so it’s safe to say that’s some good ‘poo. Friendly Soap’s natural baby soap and shampoo only has four ingredients.
And bāeo’s USDA organic baby shampoo is a go-to choice for supporting young skin (and our environment).
Start at the roots and work your way to the end of the follicles to see how we scoured reviews and ingredient lists to come up with the best organic baby shampoos.
*This post contains affilate links
*Note: We are confirming policies directly with this brand. Their shampoos appear vegan but they do not explicitly state this.
Leave it to Earth Mama to produce the best organic shampoo for babies.
The organic lavender baby shampoo (which doubles as a body wash), is calming and self-foaming sans SLS or synthetic surfactants—or triclosan, parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and artificial fragrance.
Made with Oregon Tilth-certified organic herbs and oils, it’s one of the safest baby shampoos out there.
It’s actually been the soap of choice for many hospital NICUs and rates highest on EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database.
We’re admittedly not thrilled about the plastic bottle, but we weren’t the unlucky person sliced by a glass nipple butter jar that was broken during transport.
That’s why they switched to BPA-free plastic. While we don’t love any type of plastic, we do appreciate a brand that listens to its customers. Hopefully they’ll find a safe eco alternative soon.
Melinda is the Earth Mama behind the brand.
Between juggling kids, working as a nurse, and tending to her plants, she somehow found the time to create herbal alternatives to many of our toxic everyday products.
The Oregon brand wants to do what’s best for our planet, make use of nature’s pharmacy, and encourage mamas to support one another.
“Mama” isn’t just the conventionally used term either.
The brand proudly features pregnant women as models and shares information about the stigmatized postpartum depression.
As they say, Mom knows best, and we’re hopeful that other brands will follow Earth Mama’s lead and adopt a more inclusive view of motherhood.
Available: Earth Mama
*Note: We are confirming policies directly with this brand. While not a vegan brand, the shampoos appear to be vegan, but they don’t explicitly mention it.
Bare Suds is the bāeo version of a do-it-all organic body wash + shampoo.
As the name suggests, it’s mild enough for freshly-home-from-the-hospital babies, but strong enough to clean.
Made with many locally-sourced and/or USDA-certified organic ingredients, it’s free of all the stuff that should never find its way into a product for babies.
Like synthetic fragrances, but don’t think that means it doesn’t smell great.
We do know it’s cruelty-free, but we’re going to double-check to be sure it’s also vegan and palm oil-free.
It also comes in recyclable and reusable plastic-free packaging.
bāeo (short for Bare Essential Organics) is our bae when it comes to body care products for adults and babies alike.
Aside from using pure, ethically sourced, and environmentally friendly botanical elements, we love them for their partnership with ethical and women-empowering organizations.
One of these includes the ethical shoe brand ABLE, a champion brand of wage-transparency.
Then there’s the fact that their bottles are recyclable, they donate 1% of profits to charity, and they give out 15% discounts for recommending a friend to the brand.
This plastic-free Certified B Corp always impresses us, and their clever product names are no exception.
“Little Ethique” is the brand’s organic baby products category.
It includes bath mylk, a massage bar, conditioner, baby bott[om] balm, and the Tip-To-Tot natural baby shampoo.
Technically it’s a multi-purpose bar, so you can use it as baby body wash, too.
Mother Earth (and your baby) definitely won’t have tears in her eyes with this natural baby shampoo and body wash. It contains mild, gentle, and pH-balanced ingredients for a baby’s introduction to wash-rinse-repeat.
That said, balancing pH is one of the best ways to get an organic tear free baby shampoo (more on that later).
All Ethique products tick the important boxes.
They’re vegan, cruelty-free, palm oil-free, and plastic-free. Voila!
You get a zero-dirt zero waste baby.
This everything-bar brand got its start in New Zealand, and now has a United States-based headquarters to meet the demands of their American customers with a penchant for reduced impact.
Not that their own impact was much to begin with.
In less than a decade, they’ve kept more than nine million single-use plastic bottles out of production!
Their carefully-selected ingredients make what’s contained in the compostable/recyclable boxes (like their zero waste shampoo and conditioner bars) even more special.
Everything is plant-based, biodegradable, sustainably sourced, and free from anything that could cause health risks.
If you’re worried about the impact of the compostable cardboard box, don’t. They donate 20% of profits to conservation organizations that plant trees, among many other feel-good projects.
For new parents, safety is paramount.
And few things are actually safer than scrubbing those cute little baby locks with the same thing YOU use: Plaine Products.
This one-for-the-whole-family shampoo works especially well as organic baby shampoo because each ingredient is non-GMO, biodegradable, and checked against the Environmental Working Group’s database.
Instead of water being the main (and frankly, unnecessary) ingredient, theirs is scalp-soothing aloe.
Choose between rosemary mint vanilla, citrus lavender, and unscented for those kitchen sink spa sessions.
Plaine Products are plain in all the best ways.
Minimalist for our planet without compromising on their vegan hair products quality.
Just ask Forbes, Elle, Rolling Stone, Good Housekeeping, or any one of the other publications that has raved about Plaine.
Not only is this one of the best organic baby shampoos, but all around shampoo!
What’s more is that it comes in minimalist packaging (aluminum bottles) to allow for refills via their refill-return program.
The one area they’re not so plain on is their certifications, holding those such as WBENC (women’s business enterprise), cruelty-free and vegan, and carbon neutral.
Their products are made in the USA and they’re a member of 1% for the Planet.
*Note: We are confirming policies directly with this brand.
If safe shampooing is on your mind (and we’re assuming it is), you can jump right to Babo Botanicals’ EWG VERIFIED section on their website.
They have a few select products: Sensitive Baby Shampoo and Wash and Sensitive Newborn Foam Baby Wash.
These organic baby shampoo and wash options are made with mostly organic, easily-recognizable ingredients.
They’re also free of many allergens, formaldehyde, and all of those dangerous three-letter acronyms nobody understands (MEA, DEA, TEA, and SLS).
They’re fragrance-free too—because who needs to cover that wonderful natural baby smell (provided they have a clean eco friendly diaper, that is)?
Outside the EWG verified products, they also have a Moisturizing Baby Shampoo and Wash that’s just as natural, but is scented like calendula and has an added Nutri-Soothe Complex to soothe dry skin.
While these baby shampoos are vegan, some Babo products do contain animal-derived ingredients.
Babo Botanicals makes some of the most natural, gentle, and effective baby products.
They’re natural on our planet, too.
Their vegan sunscreen is reef safe, and everything—including their gentle organic baby shampoo and conditioner—is made on a certified organic farm in New York.
This Certified B Corp is committed to more than just a bottom line.
Available: Babo Botanicals
Note: Dr Bronner’s has gone the extra mile to ensure their palm oil is truly ethically and sustainably harvested. Read more about this here.
Pure and natural is what you’ll get with Dr. Bronner’s.
While we personally love them for a lot of things, we’re here to highlight the fact that they’re one of the best organic baby shampoo for newborns.
It’s not just us who thinks that, either.
A New York Magazine article listed Castile soap as one of the best choices for babies.
The light blue bottle of highly concentrated soap (so please dilute!) is unscented, mild, vegan, fully biodegradable, and made with 90% organic and 70% fair trade ingredients.
That’s a lot of accolades for one bottle of shampoo.
This organic baby shampoo and body wash does come in a plastic bottle but it’s made from 100% post-consumer recycled materials.
Refills are also available at many locations (like health food stores and organic grocery stores like Whole Foods).
If this doctor isn’t a household name, it should be.
Whether you need natural laundry detergent, organic body soap, vegan shampoo and conditioner, or cruelty free teeth toothpaste, Dr Bronner’s will help you do it all…in ethical style.
Best of all, as an 18-in-1 Castile soap, all those applications are contained in a single bottle.
They have a slew of certifications under their belt: Certified B Corp, Leaping Bunny Certified, OK Kosher Certified, USDA, and Organic Tilth certified organic, home” target=”_blank” aria-label=” (opens in a new tab)” rel=”noreferrer noopener” class=”rank-math-link”>Fair for Life Certified, and more…
They’re also pursuing a Regenerative Organic Certification for all major ingredients and a climate positive impact by 2025.
*Note: Green People is not palm oil free but theirs is sourced ethically from regions that do not endanger orangutans.
The lavender shampoo is suited for regular use while the berry shampoo is ideal for straight hair.
The citrus is one of the best organic shampoo for curly haired babies, as it’s great at freeing tangles without fuss.
Organic aloe is one of foundational ingredients, which is especially suited to sensitive scalps and babies prone to dermatitis, psoriasis, and eczema.
Any palm oil used is from certified organic sources in the Philippines or Ecuador. Neither country have ever had Orangutans so the palm oil plantations are not putting the species in danger.
As for the other ingredients, they vary slightly but are 77% certified organic and some fair trade.
These shampoos are vegan (although not all Green People products are), cruelty-free, and free from SLS and the like. There’s also a organic baby soap and shampoo combo with similar organic ingredients.
When Charlotte Vohtz’s young daughter started suffering from eczema and allergies, she started searching for a natural, healing alternative to shampoos made with almost exclusively synthetic ingredients.
Her search turned up empty, so she created her own.
Green People is committed to organic products (sans synthetic ingredients or animal testing) that are healing for people with sensitive skin.
Charlotte herself is committed to changing the industry on the whole.
She’s a member of the Soil Association, who are committed to developing the first standards of organic beauty—meaning ‘natural’ products would finally have to contain more than just 1% natural ingredients.
Their plant-based packaging is carbon-neutral and made from renewable sugar cane. It’s recyclable in the UK, but double-check with local centers before tossing it into your bin.
As their name suggests, Friendly Soap makes an all natural baby shampoo bar that’s pretty friendly on sensitive baby skin.
While this bar is not actually made specifically for babies, the Fragrance Free Shampoo Bar is just as clean (if not more) than many that are.
It’s made with just four ingredients (without preservatives, palm oil, or sulfates).
Argan oil, castor oil, coconut oil, and olive oil support sensitive skin and scalps by maintaining the skin’s natural moisture barrier.
Speaking of barriers, all soaps are sent in recycled and compostable plastic-free boxes.
For Friendly Soap, ethics come before profits.
Founders Rob and Geoff grew up in the British hippie era of the 1970s—which kicked off their ‘radical’ political bent against greedy capitalist business greed.
Friendly Soap is all about feel-good friendly manufacturing (vegan, cruelty free, recycled packaging, carefully selected ingredients) and fabulous natural soap that actually works.
They also plant trees locally to reduce their carbon footprint and give back to the world at large.
Every purchase means a donation to Just a Drop, an international organization supporting hygiene projects.
*Note: ecostore baby shampoos contain RSPO-certified palm oil. While not a vegan company, the baby shampoos are vegan.
Looking to make parenting a little easier?
ecostore’s organic baby soap and shampoo is the soothing solution your baby needs for a good night’s sleep.
With a touch of relaxing lavender and organic chamomile, it might also give you a good night’s sleep.
Their dermatologically-certified baby wash and shampoo soothes sensitive skin, without stripping away moisture.
A nod to the brand’s home, it also contains nourishing New Zealand harakeke, a type of green flax.
While initially founded by eco-village creators Malcolm and Melanie Rands (fitting background, right?), they’ve passed the reins to another owner.
ecostore continues to do an amazing job making products that are safer for us and kinder to the planet.
From zero waste dish soap to cruelty free toothpaste, this New Zealand based ethical beauty brand does it all and does it well with top-notch plant and mineral-based formulations.
They’re guided by precautionary principle, which means even if there’s a teeny tiny doubt about the safety of a certain ingredient, they avoid it.
They source ingredients sustainably and only choose those that are biodegradable, compatible with greywater systems, and mineral-based (never petrochemicals).
They are not palm oil free but they source from fully traceable supply lines that lead back to RSPO-certifie palm farms.
To the question as to why they don’t switch fully to coconut oil, they write:
“Some of our competitors have switched from palm oil to coconut oil, however this is not a long term solution as all viable plant‐based substitutes for palm oil including coconut have even greater environmental impacts, including higher contribution to global warming and significantly lower yield per square metre.“
Their factory is also certified carbon zero and the bottles are made from sugarcane (100% recyclable in most municipal facilities).
You may have noticed that we’ve barely touched on something: tear free organic baby shampoo.
No need to cry, there’s more than meets the eye with this one…
While pH can be adjusted to minimize tears, more often it requires the addition of polyethoxylated surfactants, like cocamide MEA (something often excluded with natural shampoos).
Or even worse eye anesthetizing agents that are also found in pesticides to anesthetize insects.
Seriously. Read that line again.
All the tears in the world are better than an anesthetic that literally numbs your baby’s eyes and can cause organ toxicity. Just our opinion.
Ethical beauty might not sound like it has much to do with babies who are beautiful, just as they are (but then again, so are us adults!).
On the bath side of things, it helps us seek out ethical deodorant, natural body wash, and the best organic baby wash and shampoo brands.
Essentially, our definition of ethical beauty is broken down into six categories, and while we can’t always tick them all, we aim to get as many as possible:
- Non-toxic natural & organic ingredients: This was our deal-breaker for this article (and just about all of them, actually)
- Palm oil-free – If it is used, it’s only from organic or certified responsible sources
- Ethical ingredient sourcing policies
- Thoughtful packaging: At the very least, recyclable/recycled but ideally zero waste (compostable cardboard or reusable aluminum and glass)
Baby skin is soft and porous.
Which is why natural and organic baby products are even more necessary than organic underwear is for us adults…but(t) that’s still pretty important, too.
As a new parent, it can be easy and, dare we say, enjoyable to make the switch to a safe natural baby shampoo.
With the likes of chamomile and lavender essential oils, bath time can in fact be a relaxing and fun experience for both shampooer and shampoo-ee.
More than anything, supporting one of these brands is a vote for a cleaner, safer future for you and your baby.
Wash-rinse-repeat this guide over to a friend or family member who could use a little tear free organic shampoo.