Your baby has extremely sensitive skin. This goes for the skin on the scalp as well. Shampoos are vital to clean your baby’s hair and scalp effectively. They are essential to maintain the hygiene of your baby’s head. There are a number of shampoos available in the market for adults. It is wrong to assume that these can be used for babies as well. Normal shampoos contain various chemicals and fragrances that are not suited for babies.
There are many baby shampoos that you can buy. Choosing the right one out of these can be challenging. Most of these come loaded with chemicals that can prove hazardous to the child’s health in the long run. When you are out shopping for a shampoo that will keep your baby’s hair and scalp clean and safe, there are a few factors to consider and look out for.
Good baby shampoos are clinically proven to be safe for your baby. They do not pose any side effects. They usually contain naturally-derived ingredients that will be safe for your baby’s soft and delicate skin. Sensitive skin tends to dry out quickly and you have to avoid ingredients that may aid this process.
The first factor to consider is the skin type of your baby. It is necessary to know the skin type of your baby to choose the right shampoo. Baby shampoos are available in the market in different types and categories. These are based on the scalp of the baby. An example of this is if your baby has a dry scalp, you will need a shampoo that provides extra moisture and nourishment when compared to other baby shampoos.
Look for shampoos that contain natural ingredients. Natural ingredients have been used in shampoos for many years to keep the hair and scalp clean and healthy. Chemical-based shampoos can harm the skin of the baby and can lead to allergic reactions on the scalp. Shampoos that are made with natural ingredients are safer for use on baby hair and scalp. They will help to retain the moisture and shine of hair. While many shampoos may claim to use only natural products, they may use some chemicals to enhance the shampoo. Watch out for these.
There are many organic shampoos available in the market today that are specifically tailored for use on babies. Much like organic products for adults, they are safe for use without any side effects. Key benefits of using organic shampoos include nourishing the hair, protecting it from sun damage, and improving its texture. Organic shampoos are known to work well with all types of hair, be it normal, dry, or oily.
Fragrance-Free Shampoo Products
Shampoos that are fragrant use chemicals to attain their fragrant nature. Chemical fragrances and sweeteners tend to be too harsh for children’s hair and scalp. These fragrant shampoos contain ingredients that can be too toxic for a baby’s delicate skin. You should look at buying fragrance-free shampoos for your babies. In case your baby has redness on the scalp from shampooing, try switching to a fragrance-free shampoo for better results. Fragrance-free shampoos are recommended by most pediatricians to keep your baby’s hair and scalp healthy.
Choose A No-Tear Formula
Baby shampoos may contain ingredients that may irritate the baby not just on the skin, but the eyes as well. These ingredients can cause itchiness or redness in a baby’s eyes. You should look at getting a shampoo that has a no-tear formula that will not make your baby cry by causing irritation in their eyes. Shampoos that have a no-tear formula do not cause tears when you wash your baby’s head, and the shampoo gets into their eyes. Sulfates like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium Laureth sulfate (SLES) are approved for use for babies. There are quite a lot of baby brands that offer no-tear shampoos.
Alcohol is another commonly used ingredient in baby shampoos that are considered harmful for babies. There are baby shampoos that are specifically formulated with non-alcoholic ingredients. These no-alcohol shampoos are specially formulated for babies and children. Shampoos that have a no-alcohol formula are recommended by pediatricians and dermatologists for babies. They provide all the benefits of regular shampoos that are available for babies like making the hair smell good, and making it soft and shiny. Aloe vera and chamomile are commonly used alternatives in shampoos that do not contain alcohol.
The pH value of an aqueous solution is a numerical value that is used to denote its relative acidity or alkalinity. You should choose a shampoo that is neither too alkaline nor too acidic. These are known as pH-neutral products. A neutral pH shampoo that is available for babies will be gentle on the scalp. They will provide adequate cleaning for your baby’s hair, and give the required moisture and shine.
Avoid Shampoos with Dyes
Some shampoos may contain synthetic dyes. Dyes can cause health issues in the long run, and it is best to avoid them when choosing the right dye for your baby. Even in the short term, dyes can easily irritate the sensitive skin and scalp of babies. Look for a shampoo that is dye-free to avoid these problems.
Check Expiry Dates
Baby shampoos have a very limited shelf life. With your baby being extremely sensitive to various items, it is highly inadvisable to use products that have crossed the expiry date. This is an often-overlooked detail when going shopping, and it is important to check the manufacturing date and expiry date of the product before you buy it. By doing this, you can ensure that your baby is not exposed to an expired product.
A baby’s skin is too delicate and is prone to hypersensitivity. There are several reported cases of allergic reactions that babies may have due to fragrances, preservatives, and other chemicals that may be present in shampoos. Hypoallergenic shampoos are available for babies, which are a long-term skin-safe option. These tend to be milder on the scalp and skin and are less likely to cause irritation. Hypoallergenic shampoos will mention it on the label and it is good to check the label for this when buying the shampoo for your baby.
Parabens are an artificial preservative. Paraben contains properties similar to the female hormone estrogen. Although parabens have been proven to cause some issues in animals, parabens have not been known to affect humans. Nevertheless, it is recommended that you buy a paraben-free shampoo for your baby, as you never know what can cause a reaction on your baby’s sensitive skin.
Phthalates are often listed as a fragrance. Similar to parabens, there is not much evidence that points to adverse health risks that are associated with phthalates in humans. Some medical experts are still skeptical of the safety of phthalates in infant toiletries. As with everything associated with babies, better to be safe than sorry, and look for products that say phthalate-free on the label.
Cocamide DEA is a chemically-modified version of coconut oil commonly used in shampoos. This is used to thicken and cause foaming in products. DEA is approved for use in human toiletries, although there have been some studies that have found a relation between DEA and cancers in animals.
There are also certain conditions that are common to babies that you have to watch out for. There are shampoos that are specially formulated to treat these and can help your baby recover faster.
Cradle Cap: At times, you may notice that your baby’s scalp has yellow-colored scales or is extremely dry. This means your baby might have a cradle cap. Cradle cap is quite common in babies. Your doctor will recommend natural remedies or cradle-cap formulated shampoos to treat the same.
Eczema: If your baby has extremely dry skin or eczema, your doctor may recommend buying an eczema-friendly shampoo. Eczema-friendly shampoos are formulated to be extremely moisturizing and are known to reduce dryness and irritation.
When choosing a baby shampoo, the most expensive one might not necessarily be the best one. Talk to your friends who have had babies for recommendations on the products they have used that they and their babies were happy with. Your pediatrician will also be able to recommend brands and products that are safe for use. They will also recommend specific products in case your baby has a condition on the scalp that requires specialized care.
However careful you are, you may see some reaction from your baby when using a particular shampoo. In case your baby is allergic to shampoo, stop using it immediately and switch to another. Also, talk to your pediatrician to figure out any underlying conditions or specific allergies that your baby might have or may have developed. We hope this has given you an idea of how to choose the best shampoo for your baby.