Best forParents looking for a scented baby shampoo that cleans and conditions
Top BenefitsEnriched with oat, wheat and vitamin E, lathers nicely
Bottom lineFormulated to be gentle on dry skin, Aveeno Baby Gentle Conditioning Shampoo lathers up nicely and leaves your little one’s hair feeling clean and soft
Just when you think you're done with the often-overwhelming task of buying the big-ticket items for your baby, it hits you that there are lots of little things you're going to need—like baby shampoo. There are tons of baby shampoos to choose from, so we tested a wide range of them to bring you a selection of the best—and one of our top picks is Aveeno Baby Gentle Conditioning Shampoo. Made with oat extract, wheat and vitamin E, this scented baby shampoo cleans and conditions your little one's hair, and both our editors and parent testers were impressed with how well it does the job, as well as its accessible price point. Plus, it's free of parabens, a possible endocrine disruptor that many new parents worry about.
To assess how gentle this baby shampoo is, we started out by testing its pH. The pH scale tells us how acidic or alkaline (basic) a liquid is, and it's important because the level of acidity or alkalinity can affect baby's skin. Research indicates that a pH level around 5.5 (up to 7) is the ideal when it comes to baby wash products—and shampoo is going to come in contact with your baby's skin. Products with a much higher or lower pH could impact the pH of baby's still-developing skin barrier, which could make them more prone to skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis or eczema. In our lab tests, Aveeno Baby Gentle Conditioning Shampoo was right on the money with a pH of 5.5.
Next, our editors zeroed in on the practical stuff that parents will appreciate: opening and closing the bottle with one hand, handling it with wet hands and its overall effectiveness. We appreciated that you can use just one finger (and a little bit of pressure) to open and close the lid of this bottle—a definite plus when dealing with a wriggling tot. Plus, an audible click lets you know you’ve properly closed it, so there’s little chance of spills and wasted shampoo. The size of the bottle also makes it easy to grip, and it doesn’t get slippery when it’s wet. And thanks to the shampoo's thick, creamy formula, you get a precise pour, so you can dispense just what you need.
Both our editors and parent testers noted that this shampoo applies, lathers and rinses well, and they said their child's hair feels clean an soft after using this shampoo. They also found that a small amount of shampoo goes a long way, so it wasn't a surprise that most of our parent testers felt that Aveeno Baby Gentle Conditioning Shampoo provides great value at its price point, which is in the middle range of the shampoos we tested.
If you or your baby are particularly sensitive to scents, you may want to take a whiff of the Aveeno Baby Gentle Conditioning Shampoo before you buy, because it is scented. (It’s worth noting that the chemical components of "fragrance" aren’t, and don't have to be, disclosed.) While most of our parent testers liked its sweet fragrance, one mom told us her baby was sensitive to the scent and had some skin irritation after using this shampoo. On the other hand, another tester found that their baby's cradle cap cleared up when they used this shampoo in combination with gentle brushing. As with a lot of baby care products, if your little one is sensitive to certain ingredients or scents, there might be some trial and error in selecting products, or you might find it best to opt for an unscented product.
There's a lot to like about Aveeno Baby Gentle Conditioning Shampoo. It applies quickly and easily, lathers well and keeps your baby's hair soft to avoid tangles. Most of our testers gave it good to very good ratings for ease of use, quality and value for money, and most would recommend it to other parents or parents-to-be. Considering its accessible price point and the fact that a little goes a long way, it's pretty easy on your budget, too.
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