Girl getting her hair brushed after a bath.
Girl getting her hair brushed after a bath.

Maybe your baby was born with a gloriously thick mop of hair; maybe they were born with, well, absolutely none at all. But whatever hair your little one had (or didn’t have!) when they came into the world, you’ll start to notice hair changing over time as they grow from the delicate little creature you first met to a brave, boisterous toddler and finally an independent big kid. But how do you know when to switch from baby shampoo to kids hair care? And how does hair actually change as kids get older? Well, let’s break it down.


Is hair soft, downy, & all over (and your babe’s brand-new)?

That’s newborn hair, the medical term is "lanugo." Lanugo is fine, usually unpigmented hair that babies develop all over their bodies before they’re born; it’s thought that lanugo helps the protective, moisturizing vernix coating cling to the skin. In the few weeks before birth, babies shed most of this hair—but some babies (especially ones born early) still have this soft layer of full-body fuzz when they enter the world. This hair will naturally shed in the first weeks and months as they grow bigger, so your big goal right now is to help support babies’ developing skin. Because newborns’ skin is so delicate and doesn’t produce much oil, make sure that whatever shampoo and body wash you use won’t strip much-needed moisture from hair and skin; a sponge bath or bath every few days is enough. Our clean, tear-free Baby Shampoo + Wash is sulfate-free, supremely non-irritating, and comes in a fragrance-free version for the tiniest, most sensitive littles.


Is hair extra-extra-fine, like the hairs on your arm?

That’s baby hair, or vellus hair. Hey, there’s a reason we always talk about “baby-fine” hair—it’s because babies are known for extra-delicate, wispy strands in the first year or so of life. Gentleness is key here: that baby hair isn’t exactly the strongest (that’s why you might notice young babies developing a bald spot where their heads rub against their bassinet or crib). Keep up the Baby Shampoo + Wash; it’s made with our ultra-moisturizing hero ingredient, squalane, to maintain the moisture balance of hair and scalp—and we ban over 2000 potentially irritating ingredients from our formula. If your baby’s hair length is still in the super-short pixie stage (which can last all the way until toddlerdom, depending on how fast their hair grows), you likely won’t need a moisturizing conditioner just quite yet (but stay tuned for more on conditioner in a minute!).

As your baby grows and bathtime becomes a little more interactive, it can also become an essential part of the nighttime wind-down ritual. That’s why we created our two 100% plant-derived aromas to make bathtime that much sweeter; our Vanilla + Ylang Ylang Baby Shampoo + Wash has that perfect, powdery-soft “baby” smell, and our dreamy, aromatherapeutic Rose + Geranium Baby Shampoo + Wash is designed to evoke a sense of calm before bedtime. And because we use no synthetic fragrances ever, you know it’s safe for babies’ delicate skin and hair.


“Their hair might be getting wavier, longer and more dense—and you’re likely to see the first beginnings of knots. That’s your first clue that it’s time to switch to kids hair care.”


Is hair thicker & more textured?

That’s toddler hair, more formally known as terminal hair. By age two, your kiddo’s baby hair has been replaced by the type of hair they’ll have through much of childhood—and it might be very different from what they started with. You’ve probably noticed some sort of texture change by this point, and possibly a color change too: maybe your black-haired baby has slowly shifted to brunette—or your tow-headed baby has gone from blond to brown. It’s all completely normal! Their hair might be getting wavier, longer and more dense—and you’re likely to see the first beginnings of knots. That’s your first clue that it’s time to switch to kids hair care. Our Daily Nourishing Shampoo is tear-free and sulfate-free just like our Baby Shampoo + Wash, plus it has additional plant-derived ingredients like quinoa to help keep those thicker hair strands resilient and strong. And now’s the time to get into a conditioning routine on mid-shaft to ends; our Daily Nourishing Conditioner is silicone-free and packed with moisturizing squalane and smoothing panthenol (aka vitamin B5) so that hair gets the additional moisture and hydration it needs as kids get older. As an added bonus, our kids hair care line comes in an irresistible Orange + Vanilla aroma (still free of all synthetic fragrances!) that smells like the best sweet treat ever.


Is hair tangle-prone?

Yep, sounds like big kid hair! As your rough-and-tumble kid gets older (and they start voicing their hair opinions), chances are you’ll find yourself with the dreaded tangles at some point…and while an independent 5, 6 or 7-year-old might be able to start brushing or combing their hair themselves, it doesn’t necessarily mean they can manage hair care entirely solo. And man, do they not like detangling! Our silicone-free Leave-In Detangler is the perfect quick fix for kids on the move, with more of those essential moisturizing and snarl-loosening ingredients to help keep hair manageable; after shampooing and conditioning, spritz Leave-In Detangler onto wet hair from mid-shaft to ends, then gently comb through—no rinsing necessary. (A word to the wise: always comb tangles out by starting at the bottom and slowly working your way up.) Our Leave-In Detangler is also clinically tested to work for all hair types and textures, from kinky to super-straight. The general rule is that the curlier hair is, the thirstier it can be, so don’t be afraid to spray generously! We formulated our Leave-In Detangler so it would sink effortlessly into hair with no tacky residue. Your best route for avoiding hair battles is regular, twice-daily hair combing sessions to work the knots out; make it part of your morning and evening routines so that the tangles don’t have the chance to get too unruly—and so that beautiful big-kid hair stays soft, manageable, and cared-for.


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