14 Best Baby Shampoos For Dry Scalp, In 2023: According To Dermatologists

It is normal for babies to have a dry scalp. From cradle cap to infant case of dandruff, the white powdery stuff usually disappears on its own within a few days or weeks. However, one of the easiest home remedies is to choose the best baby shampoo for dry skin. Pediatricians approve the regular use of such gentle shampoos made with care to cleanse and rinse a baby’s soft scalp.

Dr. Enrizza Factor, a board-certified dermatologist, says, “The market is replete with baby shampoos; thus, it is important to consider your baby’s skin type before choosing one. The baby shampoos for dry skin should have natural, organic ingredients with moisturizing properties and be devoid of alcohol and dyes.”

We know it is not easy to choose the right shampoo for a baby’s dry scalp. So here is a list of safe products that will make your task easy.

In This Article

Why Do Babies Have A Dry Scalp?

One of the most common reasons that causes dry scalp among babies is cradle cap. It is also known as infantile seborrheic dermatitis. Although the precise reason is unknown, cradle cap is attributed to a combination of environmental and genetic factors. Sometimes, it is also caused by the overgrowth of Malassezia fungi in sebum under the skin.

14 Best Baby Shampoos For Dry Scalp

1. Best Dermatologically-Tested:Cetaphil Baby Wash & Shampoo

Featuring a two-in-one creamy formula, this tear-free shampoo blends into a rich lather that gently cleanses your baby’s delicate hair and skin, leaving them clean and soft. The shampoo doesn’t dry the scalp, helps retain moisture, and eliminates baby dandruff. This expert-approved shampoo for dry scalp is made of calendula from the marigold flower that helps soothe, moisturize, and soften the skin. Over 14,000 users have left good reviews about this shampoo on Amazon, reflecting the tester’s experience. Watch this review video to know about Cetaphil Baby Wash & Shampoo in detail.

Also Recommended By: Healthline, Whattoexpect and Parenthoodtimes have also listed the Cetaphil Baby Wash & Shampoo.[1]13 Best Baby Shampoos & Body Washes of 2023
[2]Best Shampoos for Cradle Cap https://www.whattoexpect.com/baby-products/bath-and-skincare/best-cradle-cap-shampoos/[3]10 Best Baby Shampoo For Dry Scalp and Dandruff in 2023 https://parenthoodtimes.com/best-baby-shampoo-for-dry-scalp/
Hair type: Dry| Item form: Liquid| Age range: Baby| Scent: Fresh| Item weight: 7.8oz


  • Dermatologically tested
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Free from mineral oils, colorants, and parabens
  • Contains vitamin E and B5 along with aloe vera
  • Colorant-free


  • May not be completely tear-free
  • May cause rashes

protip_icon Caution
Diluted calendula can have benefits when used in baby shampoos, but calendula is a known allergen and should be avoided by pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

This product is a hit with users, evidenced by the 1,741 fine reviews on Amazon.

2. Best Fragrance-Free:CeraVe Baby Wash & Shampoo

CeraVe Baby Wash And Shampoo Image: Cerave
Now 10% Off

The baby wash and shampoo by CeraVe features a gentle formula that cleanses and nourishes the baby’s delicate skin and hair. Containing three essential ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin B5, the fragrance-free product helps restore the skin’s natural barrier and keeps it hydrated. This trusted brand’s product is paraben-free and sulfate-free, making it safe for your baby’s sensitive skin. Moreover, it is developed with dermatologists and pediatricians to ensure the best care for your little one.

Hair type: All| Item form: Liquid| Age range: Baby| Scent: Unscented| Item weight: 8oz


  • Tear-free
  • Suitable for curly hair
  • Accepted by National Eczema Association
  • Leaves no residue
  • pH-balanced


  • May require a decent amount to build sufficient leather
  • Pump may be flimsy

3. Best Natural:Bella B Bee Gone Cradle Cap Baby Shampoo

Paraben-free and hypoallergenic, this baby shampoo comes with a light, fresh scent. It is made of natural ingredients, such as organic shea butter, vitamin E, aloe vera, organic flower extracts, and oatmeal, to safeguard your baby’s sensitive skin and help maintain hygiene. Also, the safety-tested shampoo contains pharmaceutical-grade tea tree oil that helps heal dry scalps. This shampoo for cradle cap has over 1,000 glowing reviews on Amazon, showcasing the reviewers’ experiences.

Hair type: Dry| Item form: Liquid| Age range: Baby| Scent: Fresh| Item weight: 8oz


  • Soothes itchy, flaky skin
  • Infused with antioxidant properties
  • No artificial preservatives
  • Comes with a cradle cap brush


  • Might make the scalp dry
  • May not be tear-free

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The 1,736 positive customer reviews on Amazon attest to the product’s quality.

Best Dermatologically-Tested
Best Fragrance-Free
Best Natural
Cetaphil Baby Wash & Shampoo CeraVe Baby Wash & Shampoo Bella B Bee Gone Cradle Cap Baby Shampoo
Hair Type Dry All Dry
Weight ‎0.4 ounces--
Dimensions ‎7 x 2.8 x 1.5 inches 2.8 x 2.8 x 6.75 inches 2 x 2 x 6 inches
Weight- 10.4 Ounces 5.6 Ounces
Buy NowBuy NowBuy Now

4. Best For Soothing Irritation:Happy Cappy Medicated Shampoo

The shampoo is meant to fight flaking, irritation, redness, scaling, and itching on both skin and scalp and is made for children of all ages. It contains various active ingredients, such as pyrithione zinc, safe and effective in curing baby dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. This shampoo for baby dry scalp also contains natural ingredients, including licorice root extract, to help soothe redness.

Hair type: Dry| oily| Item form: Gel| Age range: Baby and normal kid| Scent: Fragrance-free| Item weight: 8oz


  • Doesn’t have an artificial fragrance
  • Dermatologically tested
  • Free of alcohol, paraben, sulfate, and BPA
  • Helps eliminate flaking and keeps hair smooth


  • May cause white flakes in the hair
  • May cause mild irritation

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The product boasts 1,278 reviews on Amazon, and many buyers have said they would purchase the product again.

5. Best Gentle Formula: Mustela Cradle Cap Foam Shampoo For Newborns

Mustela Cradle Cap Foam Shampoo For Newborns Image: Mustela

Featuring a gentle and effective formula, the Mustela cradle cap shampoo for newborns helps prevent and treat scaly patches on the baby’s scalp caused due to cradle cap. Its primary active ingredient is natural avocado perseose, which helps strengthen the skin’s natural barrier and helps preserve the cellular richness of the baby’s skin, protecting it from environmental stressors. Moreover, this tried-and-tested product’s tear-free and fragrance-free properties make the shampoo safe and comfortable for the baby.

Hair type: All| Item form: Liquid/Foam| Age range: Baby| Scent: Unscented| Item weight: 5.07oz


  • Hypoallergenic formula
  • Dermatologist- and pediatrician-tested
  • Made with 99% plant-based ingredients
  • Paraben- and Phthalate-free
  • B-Corp-certified


  • May not be effective for some
  • May be a bit drying

6. Best For Sensitive Skin:Babo Botanicals Sensitive Baby 2-In-1 Shampoo & Wash

Babo Botanicals Sensitive Baby 2-In-1 Shampoo & Wash Image: Babo Botanicals

Formulated with natural ingredients, the Babo Botanicals sensitive baby 2-in-1 shampoo and wash gently cleanses your baby’s delicate skin and hair and provides hydration. It contains nourishing organic ingredients like shea butter, cocoa butter, and aloe vera, offering skin-soothing benefits. This pediatrician-approved and dermatologist-tested natural baby shampoo is specifically formulated for dry, sensitive, and flaky skin.

Hair type: Dry| Item form: Gel| Age range: Baby| Scent: Unscented| Item weight: 16oz


  • Fragrance-free
  • EWG-verified
  • Cruelty-free and vegan
  • Made with 23 plant-based ingredients
  • Also suitable for adults with sensitive skin


  • Might leave a greasy residue
  • May not be entirely tear-free

7. Best With Milk Protein:Noodle & Boo Extra Gentle Shampoo

Noodle & Boo Extra Gentle Shampoo Image: Noodleandboo

The mild and soothing shampoo by Noodle & Boo features a gentle, low-sud formula that helps clean your baby’s scalp without irritating it. Made with naturally sourced skin-safe ingredients like nutrient milk protein, vitamin E, and provitamin B, it helps nourish and protect your baby’s skin and hair. Moreover, the natural baby shampoo has a light and fresh scent that does not irritate your baby and leaves them smelling sweet and cuddly.

Hair type: All| Item form: Liquid| Age range: Baby| Scent: Crème Douce| Item weight: 16oz


  • Hypoallergenic product
  • No animal testing
  • Sulfate-free shampoo
  • Mild baby shampoo
  • Coconut oil as light, natural foaming agent


  • May not come with enough quantity
  • Doesn’t lather a lot

8. Best For Itching:Wild Naturals Eczema Psoriasis Shampoo

Wild Naturals Eczema Psoriasis Shampoo Image: Wild Naturals

Wild Naturals baby shampoo for itchy scalp contains cehami extract, organic aloe vera, and other natural ingredients to offer natural relief from itching. They penetrate deep into the skin and help decrease redness. This shampoo for baby dry scalp is steroid-free and non-medicated; hence, you can use it daily. It is also devoid of fragrances, parabens, SLS, and other harsh chemicals. Have a look at this user review video to learn more about Wild Naturals Eczema Psoriasis Shampoo.

Hair type: All| Item form: Liquid| Age range: Adult and baby| Scent: Fragrance-free| Item weight: 8oz


  • Hypoallergenic product
  • No animal testing
  • Sulfate-free shampoo
  • Coconut oil as light, natural foaming agent


  • May not come with enough quantity
  • Doesn’t lather a lot

protip_icon Did you know?
Aloe vera is a natural UV protector and has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Aloe vera pulp is also deeply moisturizing and can help reduce inflammation.

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The 296 reviews on Amazon indicate that this product has a loyal following.

9. Best Conditioning:Himalaya Gentle Baby Shampoo

Himalaya Gentle Baby Shampoo Image: Himalaya

The Himalaya gentle baby shampoo is a mild and nourishing shampoo that effectively cleanses your baby’s dry scalp and hair, leaving them conditioned and soft. Enriched with natural ingredients such as chickpea, hibiscus, rice extracts, and vetiver root, the product soothes the irritated scalp and makes the hair soft and shiny. It is also free of harsh chemicals, such as parabens, SLS, SLES, phthalates, and silicones, ensuring safe use and making it one of the popular mom’s choice shampoos.

Hair type: All| Item form: Liquid| Age range: Baby| Scent: Fresh| Item weight: 13.53oz


  • Non-greasy
  • Tear-free
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Dermatologically tested
  • Leaves a cooling effect on the scalp
  • Cruelty-free


  • Some may not like the consistency of the product
  • Might strip off natural oils

10. Best Skin-Friendly:California Baby Shampoo


With a brisk blend of lavender and tea tree essential oils, this baby shampoo helps soothe sensitive scalps. This two-in-one baby shampoo for itchy scalp cleanses hair, body, face, and sensitive areas. It gently washes out chlorine and salt while rebalancing the natural pH level of your hair. It contains certified organic, sustainably harvested soap bark along with plant-based glucosides. Check out this user review video to get a better idea about California Baby Shampoo.

Hair type: All| Item form: Liquid| Age range: All ages| Scent: Tea tree and lavender| Item weight: 8.5oz


  • Skin-friendly shampoo
  • Tested for allergies
  • Has a pleasant scent
  • Can be used as a body wash too
  • Enriched with organic, pure calendula extract and aloe vera


  • May cause some rashes
  • May not work for extremely sensitive skin

11. Best For Dandruff:Original Sprout Classic Shampoo

Original Sprout Classic Shampoo Image: Original Sprout - Safe, Effective And Non Toxic Logo

The Original Sprout classic shampoo is formulated with natural ingredients, including rosemary, calendula, and cucumber, that help calm and soothe the irritated scalp skin of the baby while offering nourishment and hydration. The unique recipe of this gentle shampoo also includes arnica, which offers antiseptic and anti-inflammatory benefits, relieving cracked and inflamed scalp due to dryness. Moreover, the doctor-approved baby dandruff shampoo is sulfate-free, allergen-free, and phthalate-free to ensure it does not irritate newborn skin. It is also suitable for toddlers and adults with sensitive skin.

Hair type: Dry| Item form: Liquid| Age range: Baby| Scent: Rosemary| Item weight: 12oz


  • Non-irritating formula
  • Safe for all skin types
  • Reduces dandruff
  • Made with plant-based ingredients
  • Soy- and gluten-free
  • Dermatologist- and pediatrician-tested


  • Might make the hair greasy
  • Scent may be overpowering for some

12. Best Chemical-Free:T Is For Tame Cradle Cap Shampoo

T Is For Tame Cradle Cap Shampoo Image: Tisfortame

With gently lifting and rinsing flakes, this shampoo is scientifically formulated with a natural exfoliant and salicylic acid. It helps prevent and reduce cradle cap to a great extent. The presence of organic calendula helps soothing irritation linked to the scalp and skin conditions.

Hair type: Dry| Item form: Foam| Age range: Baby| Scent: Fragrance-free| Item weight: 6.76oz


  • Foaming pump dispenser for easy application
  • Helps prevent irritation
  • Formulated with natural and USDA certified organic ingredients
  • No harmful chemicals


  • May have a strong smell
  • May not wash adequately

13. Best Tear-Free:Mee Beauty Baby Wash Kids Shampoo

With organic and natural ingredients, this shampoo helps calming and soothing sensitive skin. This moisturizing baby shampoo also nourishes, protects, and soothes irritated skin. The tear-free shampoo works wonders on dry scalp, cradle cap, and eczema-prone skin.


  • Pump dispenser for ease of use
  • Includes 32 vitamins and minerals
  • Comes with 75 nutrients and hundreds of active enzymes
  • Moisturizes the skin


  • May have some irritants
  • Fragrance could be too strong

protip_icon Quick tip
Using a soft-bristled brush while shampooing the baby’s hair can help you remove dead skin trapped between the hair strands or stuck on the scalp (2).

14. Best Hypoallergenic:Vivvi & Bloom 2-in-1 Baby Wash & Shampoo Cleansing Gel


Vivvi & Bloom’s cleansing gel for babies offers a gentle yet effective way to cleanse and moisturize your baby’s sensitive and dry scalp. Its fragrance-free formula contains 96% naturally sourced ingredients that help safely clean the scalp and hair and shea butter for intense moisturization. This clinically tested, hypoallergenic and pH-balanced shampoo helps maintain the natural moisture barrier of the baby’s skin. Furthermore, it is free of sulfates, parabens, dyes, and artificial fragrances, making it safe for baby skin.

Hair type: Dry| Item form: Gel| Age range: Baby| Scent: Unscented| Item weight: 10oz


  • Tear-free
  • Pediatrician-, dermatologist- and ophthalmologist-tested
  • EWG-Verified
  • Non-toxic formula
  • Vegan and cruelty-free


  • May leave residue
  • May be challenging to rinse out completely
*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

How To Choose The Right Baby Shampoo For Dry Scalp?

While choosing the right baby shampoo for itchy scalp, keep these factors in mind.

  1. Ingredients: Ensure the shampoo doesn’t contain any harmful or harsh chemicals and ingredients. It should be enriched with naturally sourced extracts and clean ingredients to make it safe for the baby.
  2. Hypoallergenic: You should go with a hypoallergenic shampoo to ensure that your baby doesn’t face any reactions or allergies.
  3. Artificial fragrances or dyes: You should make this a thumb rule to read the ingredient list and check everything the shampoo contains. The safety-tested product should not have any artificial fragrances or dyes as they can cause allergies to sensitive baby skin.
  4. Tear-free: Choosing a shampoo that features a tear-free formula is recommended. This will allow you to wash the baby’s scalp thoroughly and maintain hygiene without any fear of itchy and irritating eyes.

Why Trust MomJunction?

Vibha Navarathna, our in-house writer and reviewer of baby products, has compiled this list of the best baby shampoos for dry scalp after evaluating different products and considering the user reviews and ratings from numerous websites. Keeping your baby’s requirements and safety in mind, she has handpicked each and included the detailed specifications. Vibha has also included a buying guide to help you choose the right baby shampoo for itchy scalp and dry baby skin.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can regular baby shampoo help with dry and irritated scalp?

A dry scalp is more common in babies, but the dryness generally goes away after a couple of washes. If your little one is experiencing baby dandruff or scalp itchiness, it may be due to some underlying cause. It needs immediate medical attention.

2. Is there a difference between a cradle cap and a dry scalp?

A cradle cap is usually oily patches on the scalp that cause itchiness and pain. These are thick and hard to remove. Usually, cradle caps are not itchy (1). Dry scalp may be rough to the touch. It may sometimes be flaky, possibly a cause of dandruff.

3. Can I leave coconut oil on my baby’s scalp overnight?

Coconut oil would be beneficial for cradle caps and baby dandruff. But it is not recommended to leave the oil overnight on the scalp as it can clog the oil glands and worsen the condition.

4. Is baby shampoo better than regular shampoo, and is it suitable for adults?

Yes, it is. Baby shampoos are gentler on the scalp and hair. They are formulated free of harmful chemicals and allergens. However, it is worth keeping in mind that baby shampoos cannot clean an adult scalp as desired.

5. How should I get rid of my baby’s dry scalp?

Dry scalp in babies needs immediate care. Wash your baby’s scalp and hair thoroughly to get rid of it. Use gentle shampoos that are hypoallergenic, safe, and effective for proven performance. Avoid shampoos that aggravate scalp dryness.

6. Is a dry scalp the same as dandruff?

Dry scalp and dandruff in babies both make the scalp look dry. A dry scalp can be due to loss of hydration. Dandruff makes the scalp flaky besides causing dryness. If baby dandruff goes untreated, it may cause other serious conditions like cradle cap.

The Bottom Line

Your baby’s dry scalp requires an extra dose of nourishment, and some baby shampoos have proven themselves to be excellent sources of that. Baby shampoos are formulated to be gentle and tear-free, helping to moisturize, soothe, and soften your little one’s skin. In addition, the best baby shampoos for dry scalp are dermatologically tested and free of harmful toxins that can irritate your baby’s sensitive skin as exemplified by the Cetaphil Baby Wash & Shampoo. Consider the Noodle & Boo Extra Gentle Shampoo made from naturally sourced ingredients or the proven gentle CeraVe Baby Wash & Shampoo. When choosing a baby shampoo for cradle cap or itchy scalp, make sure to check the ingredients for any allergens or fragrances that might not suit your baby.

Infographic: Step-By-Step Guide To Applying Shampoo For Baby’s Dry Scalp

Babies are born with delicate skin and hair. And although the exact reason behind their dry scalp may not be known, certain shampoos may help reduce the flakiness. So here we provide step-by-step instructions to apply shampoo to your baby’s dry scalp and keep their hair and scalp soft and healthy.

How To Apply Baby Shampoo For Dry Scalp

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

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MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.

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