Do you have a baby and are wondering how to tame their mane? Or maybe your baby is bald and you’re wondering why in the world your baby care kit came with a brush and comb.
Brushing your baby’s hair is about more than just a neat appearance — it can also contribute to scalp health. Choosing the right brush for the job is important to keep your baby’s hair healthy and prevent it from hurting the tender skin on their head.
For everything you need to know about the best baby hair brushes, read on.
Quick ComparisonOur Top Baby Hair Brush Picks of 2020 Read Full Reviews
Does My Baby Need a Brush?
There are several reasons you’ll want to use a hair brush on your baby.
- Grooming: This is the most straightforward use of a baby brush. Some babies have more hair than others, but their scalps are much more sensitive than adults’. If your little one has hair that needs to be groomed to look neat and tidy, you’ll want to opt for a baby brush with its soft bristles rather than a regular brush so you don’t damage their scalp.
- Scalp health: Brushing helps to stimulate blood flow to the scalp. While that doesn’t mean it will help your baby’s hair grow, it does help the scalp remain healthy. Brushing can also help to prevent and treat cradle cap (1).
- Stimulating: Have you ever had a scalp massage? They are so relaxing, and the gentle bristles while brushing your little one’s hair may have the same effect on your baby.Brushing your baby’s hair and scalp can be relaxing and also stimulate their neurological system. Plus, it’s a great time for bonding between you and your babe.
Types of Baby Brushes
There are two main types of brushes for babies.
- Soft-bristled: These brushes have ultra-soft bristles. They mainly smooth the hair and won’t work to remove tangles as the bristles don’t comb through the hair like a regular brush. They are exceptionally gentle on your baby’s scalp and perfect for grooming ultra-fine baby hair. Some are made of synthetic fibers, while others may be made of natural animal hair so make sure you read the label if you prefer one type of bristle over the other.
- Massaging bristles: These types of brushes are used more for scalp care than for regular grooming. They are a little more firm, and the bristles may be made of plastic, rubber, or silicone. However, they aren’t the best for longer hair as they can catch the hair and pull.
Baby Brush Checklist
When purchasing a baby hairbrush, look for the following:
- Purpose of brush: Why do you need a brush? If you need one because your baby’s hair is crazy and needs to be tamed, choose a soft bristled brush. If you’re primarily concerned about scalp health or cradle cap, pick one that has a little more firmness to massage their scalp.
- Types of fibers: Decide if you prefer synthetic fibers or natural fibers. Read the labels carefully if you have a strong preference either way.
- Ergonomic handle: For some reason they make baby brushes with tiny handles even though grown-ups are the ones using them. Pay attention to the design of the brush and pick one that will be comfortable for you to use on your little one. Although this may be important to some- it takes just a few minutes to brush a baby’s hair.
- Material construction: Wooden brushes may seem natural and wonderful, but they can be more difficult to clean since generally wood shouldn’t be submerged in water for long periods of time. If you plan to use the brush in the bathtub or intend to clean it regularly, you may want to opt for plastic.
The Best Baby Hair Brushes of 2020
These are the top 5 baby brushes currently on the market:
1. FridaBaby DermFrida SkinSoother
If your baby struggles with cradle cap, choose a brush that can gently grip and massage the flakes on their scalp to help loosen and remove them. A regular soft-bristled baby brush probably won’t quite do the trick; instead, find one with plastic or silicone brushes. And since you’ll be using them in the bath, skip the wooden brushes.
This multi-functional bathtime tool will allow you to keep your baby’s scalp and skin healthy without the need to purchase multiple products. It was designed to be soft enough to brush and clean your baby’s skin as well as their scalp.
It not only helps with gentle cleansing, but can be used to help with cradle cap and eczema as well. The gentle massaging motion helps to exfoliate the skin and stimulate blood flow.
With this product, you do not need to use a baby washcloth, nor do you need to bring your baby’s regular brush into the bath and expose it to extra moisture and grime.
It’s made of silicone so it will not absorb water and needs no dry time. It is also antibacterial so you can be sure it remains safe to use and will not spread germs.
This brush fits between your fingers so it’s easy and ergonomic to use, and you even get an extra replacement brush with your purchase.
Not only is it comfortable for you to use, but it’s comfortable for your baby as well. You’ll enjoy knowing they’re clean, and they’ll enjoy the massage they get in the process.
- It is ergonomic for parents.
- You get two brushes in a pack.
- It is antibacterial.
- It is not for daily grooming.
- It is one of the more expensive products.
- It is fairly small.
2. Royal Infant Natural Goat Hair Brush
Made from all-natural materials, you’ll love how good this brush is for both your baby and the environment. The wooden handle is made from beech wood and the soft-bristles are made from goat hair. Together, they form a premium brush that detangles hair, stimulates the scalp, and increases circulation.
The natural materials help to ensure your baby’s skin and scalp are irritant-free. This brush is also good for treating cradle cap.
One thing moms will want to watch out for is the shedding of bristles. Don’t worry! Brushes made with natural goat hair often do this, especially when they’re brand new.
To minimize and prevent this, rub the brush on your hand or a microfiber towel. This will remove any loose bristles and ensure nothing comes out on your baby’s head.
Another reason to love this brush? With each one purchased, the company will make a charitable donation to the Make-A-Wish foundation.
- All-natural ingredients prevent irritation.
- Helps with cradle cap.
- The company donates to charity with each purchase.
- Bristles may shed.
3. Summer Infant Brush & Comb
Before long, your baby will have hair long enough to need more mainstream products, so it’s understandable you don’t want to spend a ton. Choose a product that will still treat your baby’s scalp right and will hold up to water and washing.
You can’t get a much better value than this Summer Infant brush and comb set. You get two products for less than the price you’d pay for a single brush from most other manufacturers.
In a trendy and gender-neutral teal-and-white color palate, you can buy this for either a boy or a girl.
The brush has a longer handle than many other baby brushes, making it easier for you to use comfortably. The comb also has different types of teeth, along with a wide-tooth section with features that will aid in detangling. For this reason, the comb may continue to be useful to you well after your little one has outgrown the “baby brush” stage.
The brush itself has thicker and denser bristles than many of the other brush options on the market. It will still be soft on your baby’s scalp and not cause damage, but that also means it can continue to be effective as your baby’s hair grows, and may even apply enough friction to help with cradle cap when used in the bath.
It is made of plastic so will be easily cleaned in soap and warm water.
- The brush has a long handle.
- The comb has a detangling feature.
- It is inexpensive.
- There is only one color.
- It may not be appropriate for coarse or ethnic hair.
- Some people found the brush bristles bent over time.
4. Safety 1st Easy Grip Brush & Comb
Baby brushes can help to smooth the hair, but if you need to make a part or get rid of any tangles, it helps to have a comb, too. Buy them together so the set matches, and you’ll probably get a better value than if you bought them separately.
With this cute set you get a matching brush and comb for one low price, so it’s a really good value. It comes in two different colors so you can customize “pink” or “blue” for your little one.
The handles are big and ergonomic, so they will be easy for you to hold when you are using them on your child. But because they’re also chunky, your little one will be able to grip them, too, once they get to the point where they start wanting to do everything by themselves.
The brush is extra-soft for your baby’s sensitive scalp, and the comb has dual-density teeth. This means you can choose from using the end with the fine teeth or the end with wide teeth, depending on your child’s grooming needs.
It is made of plastic so it will be easy to clean with hot soap and water. And, you can also feel comfortable because the plastic is BPA free.
This set is also tested and approved as a “Hospital’s Choice” product, which means it meets or exceeds all applicable safety standards.
- It is easy to clean.
- It is a good value.
- The comb has both wide and fine teeth.
- It will not help with cradle cap.
- Some people found the bristles fell out easily.
- It may not be durable long-term.
5. Disney Minnie Brush & Comb Set
Functionality is one thing, but your baby still deserves cuteness, too. There are lots of designs and colors -- consider choosing one that matches your diaper bag if you plan to carry it around, or that goes with your baby’s nursery theme so it looks like custom decor as it sits atop their dresser.
Your baby won’t fight getting their hair brushed if you do it with this adorable brush and comb set. Decorated with every little girl’s favorite mouse, the pink-with-white-polka-dot design will capture their attention while you go about taming their mane.
This brush has ultra-soft bristles so it will be gentle on your baby’s scalp. However, because of the softness of the bristles, it won’t do much to help exfoliate the scalp if your baby has cradle cap.
The comb has both fine and wide teeth, so you can choose the side that works best for your baby.
Because it’s made out of plastic, this brush is easy to clean and won’t harbor bacteria. And it has a thick handle so it will be easy for your baby to grip if they want to play with it.
And even after your little one has grown and no longer technically needs a “baby brush,” you can give this to them to continue to use as a toy. Since it won’t pull or damage their hair, you can let them play and brush their hair to their heart’s content without worrying about them getting hurt.
- It is cute.
- It can be used as a toy for older kids.
- It is made of plastic.
- It may trap bacteria where the bristles are attached to the brush.
- The design may not appeal to all kids.
- Some people found it was difficult for an adult grip.
When To Start Brushing Baby’s Hair?
You can start brushing your baby’s hair right away. Some moms are afraid of hurting their baby’s “soft spot,” particularly immediately after birth (2). However, it is actually a lot stronger than it seems so you don’t have to worry about causing any sort of harm to your baby from brushing with soft bristles.
Brush for aesthetic grooming as often as necessary. If your baby doesn’t have hair initially, just brush their scalp every time you bathe your baby.
You may notice the amount of hair your baby has varies from month to month, so their grooming needs may change. If your baby is born with hair, they’ll likely lose it after a few months due to hormonal changes. They may also rub a bald spot on the back of their head where it rubs against the mattress while they’re sleeping.
When their hair starts to regrow, you may notice it’s a completely different color or texture than the one they were born with. And still adorable!
How To Brush Baby’s Hair
You’ll use different techniques to brush your baby’s hair depending on whether you’re doing it for grooming or to keep their scalp healthy.
How to Brush Your Baby’s Hair for Grooming
- Use a soft bristled brush.
- Brush your baby’s hair forward.
- Make a part on one side of their head. You may find that one side parts easier than the other.
- Sweep the hair in the front away from the part.
- If you have a girl, avoid using clips, headbands, or elastics as they can pull and break the fine hair strands (3).
How to Brush Your Baby’s Hair for Scalp Health
- When you bathe your baby, massage shampoo and water into their scalp.
- Rinse the shampoo so you have a clear visual of the scalp.
- Brush the hair in the opposite direction of how it is growing.
- If you see spots of cradle cap, give them extra attention. However, don’t expect to fully get rid of all cradle cap spots in one session.
- Rinse your baby’s hair again to remove skin flakes that have fallen off. Shampoo again if necessary.
- Do not avoid washing and brushing the soft spot.
How To Clean Baby’s Brush
You may notice — especially if your child has cradle cap or a particularly oily scalp — that your baby’s brush starts to build up dirt and debris.
You will need to clean it if this happens.
- Rinse your child’s brush in warm water to get rid of any loose particles that may be trapped in the bristles. While rinsing it, rub the bristles against your hand to loosen more particles.
- Drop some of your baby’s shampoo into a plugged sink, wash basin, or wide-mouthed cup. Fill it with warm water so you have a soapy mixture.
- Place your baby’s brush into the water.
- Allow it to soak anywhere from 15 minutes to overnight.
- Rinse the brush under warm running water to get rid of new particles that have loosened from soaking.
As your baby’s brush is not used in their mouth and is only on closed skin, there is no need to go through extra steps to sanitize it. Regular cleaning with soap and water is sufficient.
Can Brushing Help with Cradle Cap?
Brushing your child’s hair in conjunction with bathing is the main way to combat cradle cap. Here’s what you need to know.
What Is Cradle Cap?
Cradle cap is an incredibly common scalp condition (4). It occurs most often in newborns, but can actually occur in children up to age three.
Cradle cap appears as crusty yellow or brown patches on your baby’s scalp. There may be a small patch, or larger patches may nearly cover the entire scalp.
Cradle cap is not painful, itchy, or harmful to your baby. It is primarily a cosmetic issue.
The exact cause of cradle cap isn’t known, but it is not indicative of poor hygiene (5). It is believed to be a result of excess oil production.
Brushing your baby’s scalp during bath time may help prevent the development of cradle cap, but if it still appears it doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong.
How Is Cradle Cap Treated?
If your baby has cradle cap, it does not need special medications or medical treatment.
You can manage it at home with the following steps.
- Wet your baby’s scalp and massage shampoo into it as normal.
- Allow the moisture to soak into the crusty patches to help loosen them.
- Rinse the shampoo from your baby’s hair.
- Gently brush your baby’s scalp to loosen the scales. Brush opposite the direction of hair growth.
- Rinse your baby’s hair to remove any skin debris that may have loosened.
Keep in mind that it may take awhile for the cradle cap to resolve completely. Treat your child’s scalp gently, and do not try to get rid of all of the patches in one session. You may need to shampoo your baby more frequently — even daily — until the cradle cap has cleared up.
Some parents use petroleum jelly or baby oil into the patches to help loosen them (6). Others use hydrocortisone cream or over-the-counter dandruff shampoo. Do not do these things unless you have been approved by your doctor first.
A trick to helping get rid of cradle cap is to massage a little oil into their scalp before brushing and shampooing. It helps remove the little plaques that have developed. And if you accidentally use too much oil, like I did a natural powder like cornstarch before shampooing will remove excess oil
Editor's Note:Katelyn Holt RN, BSN, BC
Which Brushes Can Help Cradle Cap?
When treating your baby’s cradle cap, you’ll want to choose a brush that has bristles made of plastic or silicone that are a little more firm than soft-bristled grooming brushes. This will allow you to massage the scaly patches with gentle friction and help them loosen.
The Bottom Line
Our top pick for the best baby hair brush is the FridaBaby DermFrida SkinSoother. It is made of 100 percent silicone so it will not harbor bacteria, and its multifunctional properties allow you to also use it in place of washcloths, which need regular laundering. It is effective in preventing and treating cradle cap, and fits easily between your fingers so you don’t even need to grip it.