Updated on by Lyric Fergusson
Is there anything softer or better smelling than a baby’s hair? You may be wondering why these supple locks even need moisturizer. In reality, a baby’s hair is quite delicate, and the love and attention you give your little one’s tresses can translate into a lifetime of great hair days. Choosing the right moisturizer can be tricky, and you want to be sure to look for an effective combination of natural ingredients.
For the best results, see my top picks for baby hair moisturizers that pass the smell test!
Best Moisturizers for Baby Hair
(Best value — $)
Why it’s great: This product is exceptional at gently detangling baby’s hair and this is a sizable bottle for the price! To gently condition and moisturize your baby’s hair without any oily residue, use this natural leave-in conditioner after shampooing. This can also serve as a daily moisturizer. The jojoba oil and shea butter leave hair and skin feeling noticeably soft. This hair moisturizer works great on curly or textured hair, making it a great choice for any child’s hair type.
Keep in mind: CARA B Naturally has an entire line of baby hair products that complement the leave-in conditioner as well.
Good for: Babies of all ethnicities.
(Best for sensitive skin — $$$)
Why it’s great: The moisturizing power of coconut is the perfect alternative to harsh chemicals and this organic formula is just as gentle on baby’s hair and skin as it is on yours. Besides keeping your baby’s hair moisturized and smelling great, this product can serve as a diaper cream, lip balm, or make-up remover for mom. As an added bonus, it works great on cradle-cap and any other sensitive skin conditions.
Keep in mind: Coconut oils will not look the same at all temperatures. Coconut Baby works the same, but melts above 75 degrees F and becomes more solid if cooler.
Good for: Babies with sensitive skin.
(Ethically sourced — $$)
Why it’s great: This coconut-based formula is nourishing for baby’s skin and hair and it isn’t greasy at all! Cocobelle is a cost-effective option, with beautiful packaging, and is also ethically sourced. This formula is the perfect post-bath moisturizer for skin and hair and is especially great for curly hair. The product also has a mild fragrance, so it’s not overwhelming for those who are sensitive to scents.
Keep in mind: As with any new product, make sure to spot test it to ensure your baby does not have an allergy or sensitivity you have not discovered yet.
Good for: Baby shower gifts and for babies or adults who are sensitive to strong odors.
(Best fragrance — $$)
Why it’s great: Not only will this help to moisturize your baby’s hair, but it also smells amazing! It contains moringa oil, avocado oil, and orange oil, which all work together to nourish your child’s hair and make it more manageable. For curly or frizzy hair, this balm helps to tame it and protects it from breakage. Plus, a little goes a long way, so even though the bottle is small, it lasts for a long time.
Keep in mind: This is meant for dry hair, so if your baby’s hair is on the normal to oily side, it may leave their hair oily.
Good for: Babies with dry hair and skin that need a lot of moisturizer.
(Best for curly hair — $$)
Why it’s great: There’s nothing more adorable than watching your baby’s curly hair bounce around while they play. This product strikes the perfect balance between providing curl definition and soft, touchable baby hair. This leave-in cream is an amazing styler that works to enhance, defrizz, and define curly tresses. It also works well on straight or scant hair due to its gentle natural ingredients and vitamins.
Keep in mind: Jojoba oil is a powerful natural ingredient for moisturizing hair and skin, but the scent may not be for everyone.
Good for: Babies and adults with curly hair.
(Best for taming hair — $$)
Why it’s great: If you need a styling cream that also works to moisturize your baby’s hair, this is the choice for you! T is for Tame works to calm unruly hair and makes it easier to get those flyaways and little hairs that stick straight up to lay down. Plus, it’s not sticky or greasy and is made of all organic ingredients, such as coconut oil and jojoba oil. These oils are also extremely hydrating and will keep your baby’s hair feeling healthy and soft.
Keep in mind: While this is very moisturizing, it’s meant to be used more as a styling or taming cream. Also, a little goes a long way, so be careful that you don’t use too much.
Good for: Babies with a lot of hair that likes to stick up or just won’t lay flat after regular brushing.
(Best for bald babies — $$)
Why it’s great: This moisturizer is excellent for both skin and hair, which is perfect for bald newborns or even for baby acne. Era Organics natural formula includes chamomile, sunflower oil, calendula oil, and beeswax, which are all proven ingredients in combating cradle cap, baby eczema, rashes, dry skin, and more. When your baby’s hair grows out, this ointment will ensure it stays moisturized without harmful chemicals.
Keep in mind: For babies with thinner hair, try diluting this product with water so it doesn’t weigh down the hair.
Good for: Bald babies and newborns with little hair.
(Most moisturizing — $)
Why it’s great: SheaMoisture makes all kinds of skin and hair products that are all organic, safe, and chemical free. This curling butter cream contains coconut oil, hibiscus flower, and slippery elm extract to tame and moisturize thick, curly hair. Coconut oil provides all the hydration your baby’s hair could need, while also helping to define curls. The hibiscus flower creates volume and shine, giving your child’s hair a healthier look. The slippery elm extract works to smooth thick hair and protect it from damage or breakage. Just use a small amount and work it through your child’s hair for long lasting moisture and control.
Keep in mind: For straight or fine hair, use a smaller amount, as this is intended to smooth thick hair.
Good for: Babies with thicker or curlier hair.
(Best for hair growth — $$$)
Why it’s great: For babies with slow or uneven hair growth, this is a magic potion for growing copious amounts of healthy baby hair. This product is packed with nutrients recommended to safely and naturally stimulate your baby’s hair follicles quickly. This scalp stimulator is the perfect solution for bald babies or babies with uneven hair growth. It’s also safe to use at any age and on wet or dry hair.
Keep in mind: This is a more fragrant option, so you may want to dilute this for children sensitive to smells.
Good for: Parents looking to help grow their baby’s hair more quickly.
(Best budget option — $)
Why it’s great: At the lowest price for a large amount, this moisturizer is perfect for parents on a budget. It also has a pleasant scent that’s not overwhelming. Cantu Care doesn’t contain any chemicals and is gentle on sensitive skin. It contains shea butter, coconut oil, and honey to help moisturize and protect your baby’s hair. These ingredients also help to tame frizz, define curls, and manage unruly hair.
Keep in mind: This is another moisturizer that’s meant for thick or curly hair, so use less or dilute for straight or fine hair.
Good for: Textured or curly haired babies and parents on a budget.
(Easiest application — $$)
Why it’s great: This is an excellent solution for hair care on the go. A couple of spritzes of this product will evenly moisturize your baby’s hair and the skin around it. This combination of organic natural oils is also a powerful facial moisturizer and is outstanding for nail and cuticle care. For babies and parents with rosacea, massaging this product into the skin provides instant, safe relief.
Keep in mind: This product smells like lavender, which is not everyone’s cup of tea.
Good for: Parents who are looking for homeopathic skin remedies.
FAQs about Moisturizer for Baby Hair
1. Why do I need to moisturize my baby’s hair?
As with adult hair, a baby’s dry hair is susceptible to breakage and tangling, so it is vital to create a natural hair care routine from a young age. Moisturizing your baby’s hair and scalp will also encourage new growth. Little ones typically don’t like to sit still, so try to find a fast, easy, and effective routine.
2. What should I consider when trying a new moisturizer?
The more natural the ingredients, the better for your baby. With any new baby product, you will want to test a small amount on a square inch of your baby’s arm or leg to make sure that the product does not cause an allergic reaction or other irritation.
3. What ingredients should I avoid in a moisturizer for my baby?
Avoiding harmful chemicals in your baby’s products may seem overwhelming, but it’s much easier when you know what toxic chemicals to look for. Try your best to use organic, natural baby products and be on the lookout for formaldehyde, sulfates, parabens, and synthetic fragrances.
Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and a severe respiratory irritant that is often added to products like shampoo to prevent bacteria growth. Formaldehyde can cause damage to the central nervous system. Sulfates are a skin irritant often used to increase foaming in bath products. Similarly, parabens are preservatives often used in baby care products to extend shelf life. Research has shown that infant exposure to parabens and sulfates may cause growth issues during the first few years of life. Synthetic fragrances may add a pleasant scent, but manufacturers are often deliberately nebulous about these chemical compounds’ ingredients.
4. How often should I moisturize my baby’s hair?
You don’t have to wash your baby’s hair often; once a week should be enough. If you like to bathe your baby more often, wipe down their hair with a wet washcloth and stay away from soapy products. If you put too many soapy products on your little one’s hair, it can cause it to dry out and get damaged.
After you wash your baby’s hair, use a conditioner to make sure it retains the moisture to avoid breaking. Textured hair needs even more moisture than straight hair. Many products can care for baby hair, but you should use natural products at this stage in your child’s life. A leave-in conditioner is often an excellent choice for hair that is prone to drying out.
5. My baby’s scalp is flaky. Is it dandruff?
One of the most common types of dry scalp seen in babies is cradle-cap. While the exact cause is not clear, cradle-cap may result from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Cradle-cap causes thick, oily patches on the scalp that may range from white to yellow in color. Fortunately, it does not itch or bother your baby.
Dandruff can also cause a dry scalp. Unlike cradle-cap, dandruff is white, dry, and sometimes itchy. If you have dry skin, your baby could have dry skin too. Overwashing your baby’s skin will not cause dandruff, but if your baby has dandruff, you may want to shampoo their scalp less frequently.
Allergies can also cause your baby to have a dry scalp, though this is less common. If a red, itchy rash accompanies the dry scalp, allergies may be the cause.
Many babies are born with no hair at all, while others have a full head. Baby hair can range from tight curls to straight wispy locks. No matter what type of hair your baby has at the time of birth, your little one’s hair and scalp need care, love, and attention from day one.
The baby hair care products mentioned above have no harmful chemicals and are made of natural ingredients. Once you have selected a baby moisturizer for your bundle of joy, be sure to note what works best and refine the routine as they grow.
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