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Best Pregnancy-Safe Shampoos of 2021

Updated
Are you pregnant and concerned about the ingredients in your shampoo?

Shampoos and conditioners are generally safe for everyone. However, although they undergo testing before they hit the market, healthcare, hygiene, and cosmetic products are not tested on pregnant women for obvious reasons.

It’s doubtful your shampoo or conditioner will affect your unborn child. But if you have concerns about their safety, some products are likely to be a better pick than others. We’ll cover all the things you need to know about the best pregnancy-safe shampoos.

Our Top Picks

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Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Product Image of the Herbal Essences, Sulfate Free Shampoo and Conditioner Kit With Natural Source...
Best Value Pregnancy-Safe Shampoo
Herbal Essences BioRenew
  • Dye-, paraben-, sulfate-free
  • Readily available in the market
  • Includes matching conditioner
Product Image of the ATTITUDE Super Leaves, Hypoallergenic Moisture Rich Shampoo, Quinoa & Jojoba, 16...
Best Scented Pregnancy-Safe Shampoo
Attitude Hypoallergenic Shampoo
  • Appealing scent
  • Dermatologically tested
  • Cruelty-free
Product Image of the Aveeno Scalp Soothing Fresh Greens Blend 2-in-1 Shampoo + Conditioner, 12 Ounce
Best Shampoo & Conditioner Combo
Aveeno Scalp Fresh Greens Blend
  • Available in multiple variants
  • Oatmeal is main ingredient
  • Comes in various scents
Product Image of the Babo Botanicals Eucalyptus Remedy Plant Based 3-in-1 Shampoo, Bubble Bath &...
Best Shampoo & Bodywash
Babo Botanicals Eucalyptus Remedy
  • Gluten, soy, & dairy-free
  • Certified organic ingredients
  • Made in the USA
Product Image of the Free & Clear Hair Shampoo | Fragrance, Gluten and Sulfate Free | For Sensitive...
Best Fragrance-Free Shampoo
Free & Clear Hair Shampoo
  • No added fragrances
  • Excellent for eczema
  • pH-balanced
Product Image of the AROMATICA Cypress Deep Cleansing Shampoo 13.53oz / Vegan, EWG Verified,...
Best Natural Pregnancy-Safe Shampoo
Aromatica Deep Cleanse Shampoo
  • Washes out styling products
  • Gentle for daily use
  • Gel-like consistency
Product Image of the Herbal Essences, Sulfate Free Shampoo & Conditioner, Potent Aloe + Hemp, Bio...
Best for Curly Hair
Herbal Essences Shampoo
  • Controls fizz
  • Lathers well
  • Smooth, creamy texture
Product Image of the Shampoo, Burt's Bees Sulfate Free, Volumizing Hair Care, All Natural with...
Best Budget Pregnancy-Safe Shampoo
Burt's Bees Pomegranate Seed Oil Shampoo
  • Light fragrance
  • Creamy texture
  • Good lather
Product Image of the BIGGREEN 23 Natural Daily Scalp Shampoo - Big Green All-Natural Shampoo -...
Best for Daily Use
BIGGREEN Natural Daily Shampoo
  • Rinses well
  • Lathers in hard water
  • Moisturizes the scalp
Product Image of the CLEVOS Natura Foresta Natural Organic Hair Shampoo 17.92 Fl Oz for Dry,...
Best for Dandruff
CLEVOS Natura Foresta
  • Cruelty-free
  • Luxurious packaging
  • Certified organic

What Happens to Your Hair During Pregnancy?

From about the eighth week of pregnancy onwards, changes to your hormone levels can alter your hair’s natural growth cycle. For many women, this can mean your hair grows faster, and natural hair loss slows down. That means your hair can feel much thicker (1).

The downside to this is you may discover hair growing in places you do not want it. If this happens, don’t worry. Additional hair can be plucked if it bothers you, and hair growth patterns will return to normal after giving birth.

Luxurious locks aren’t necessarily a guarantee, though, while you’re expecting. Some women find they lose more hair than usual.

If this happens, it is usually the result of a decrease in estrogen after stopping the pill. However, it can be caused by hormone imbalances, so, to be on the safe side, it’s worth mentioning to your healthcare professional.

Finally, you may experience other changes to your hair.

Curly hair may appear straighter, and straight, smooth hair can become kinky and flyaway. It may become coarser, more unruly, or drier than usual. Alternatively, you might find it is greasier or that you experience dandruff.

Does Shampoo Affect Pregnancy?

Little research has been done on whether hair care products affect pregnancy (2). Opinions differ, and while some doctors say your usual routine is fine while you are pregnant, others advise caution.

With the lack of evidence, either way, you should choose what makes you feel best and most secure. If you’re a worrier, it might be worth investing in pregnancy-safe shampoos for a few months to ease your concerns. If you’re not worried at all, you can keep using your typical shampoo.

Shampoo Ingredients to Avoid During Pregnancy

If you have already used products with any of these ingredients, don’t worry, it doesn’t mean you have caused harm to your baby. All of these ingredients are currently considered safe at the levels found in shampoos and conditioners.

We have listed them here only because although there is no direct evidence to prove them harmful, there is nothing to definitively prove them safe. Some studies have linked them to issues in animals, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are bad for humans.

With that in mind, there are some ingredients to avoid during pregnancy if you’re intent on playing it completely safe:

  • Formaldehyde: Found in some hair straightening and other personal care products, formaldehyde is believed to cause congenital disabilities and miscarriage (3).
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, also listed as SLS: SLS has been linked to congenital disabilities in animal studies. This should not be confused with Sodium Laureth Sulfate, sometimes listed as SLES, which is much milder, and considered safe (4).
  • Parabens: Parabens are considered to be endocrine disruptors, which can result in lower birth weight and preterm birth (5).
  • Phthalates: Phthalates have been linked to reproductive development issues in animal studies, and experts advise caution in their use during pregnancy (6).

The Best Pregnancy Safe Shampoos of 2021

We combined our existing knowledge and experience, online research, and information from the Environmental Working Group to choose 10 pregnancy-safe shampoos for a variety of hair types (7).

1. Herbal Essences BioRenew Honey and Vitamin B

Best Value Pregnancy-Safe Shampoo

This rich, creamy shampoo is listed as being extra gentle and especially good for color-treated hair. However, your hair doesn’t have to be color-treated to benefit. It leaves hair shiny, manageable, and free from build-up after several washes.

The fragrance is pleasant and not overpowering, even when you use the matching conditioner and have two “layers of smell.”

The label says 87 percent natural origin shampoo, which is a fancy way of saying 13 percent of the shampoo in the bottle has artificial origins. That’s another way to say human-made. However, having artificial ingredients does not mean you should not use a product.

The shampoo makers have submitted a detailed list of every ingredient to the Environmental Working Group, which assesses products for their impact on human health. The EWG verified this shampoo as being free from any ingredients with health concerns.

Pros

  • Independently verified as safe without dye, parabens, or sulfate.
  • Readily available.
  • Matching conditioner.

Cons

  • Not the best for greasy hair.

Additional Specs

Hair Type Dry to normal
Fragrance Honey, jasmine, and vanilla
Indications Good for color-treated hair
Size 12.2 fluid ounces
EWG Verified? Yes

2. Attitude Hypoallergenic Quinoa & Jojoba

Best Scented Pregnancy-Safe Shampoo

Choosing the best scented pregnancy-safe shampoo was especially tricky. One person’s wonderful scent is another person’s repulsive. We tried multiple pregnancy-safe shampoos and chose the one with the fragrance most people liked.

This shampoo from Attitude was popular not only for the scent itself but because the smell wasn’t overpowering. This is an essential consideration for those who become especially sensitive to smells while pregnant.

Users found they did not need an excessive amount of shampoo to work up a good lather, and it was easy to rinse out. Once dry, hair was left feeling reasonably soft when used without any conditioner and soft and shiny when used with.

Even though it is not specifically formulated for dry, frizzy tresses, users with this type of hair were especially happy with the results. They reported a reduction in frizz and an increase in manageability.

Pros

  • Appealing scent.
  • Dermatologically tested.
  • Cruelty-free.

Cons

  • Some users said it didn’t clean their hair enough, while others loved it.

Additional Specs

Hair Type Dry to normal
Fragrance Quinoa and jojoba
Indications Good for brittle hair
Size 16 fluid ounces
EWG Verified? Yes

3. Aveeno Scalp Soothing Fresh Greens Blend

Best Pregnancy-Safe Shampoo and Conditioner Combo

If you are a fan of products where the shampoo and conditioner are all in one, then Aveeno’s Soothing Fresh Greens Blend is an excellent pregnancy-safe shampoo.

Pregnant women shouldn’t consume rosemary or peppermint oils in quantity high enough to be considered medicinal. However, the rosemary you might have on food and peppermint flavor items are fine. Likewise, they do not pose a danger when used topically in this shampoo.

For those who like shampoos with ingredients that are sourced in the U.S., the oats used in these products are grown in the Mississippi River Valley.

If you’re not a fan of the smell of rosemary and mint, there are other scents, such as Aveeno Apple Cider Vinegar Blend, Aveeno Almond Oil Blend, and more.

Pros

  • Also available as a single shampoo, conditioner, and as dry shampoo.
  • Oatmeal is the first ingredient rather than water.
  • Various scents to choose from.

Cons

  • The scent is too strong for some people’s liking.

Additional Specs

Hair Type All
Fragrance Rosemary, peppermint, and cucumber
Indications Good for fine hair
Size 12 fluid ounces
EWG Verified? No

4. Babo Botanicals Eucalyptus Remedy Shampoo

Best Pregnancy-Safe Shampoo And Bodywash In One

Formulated for family use and gentle enough for newborn babies, the Babo Botanicals eucalyptus remedy shampoo can also be used as a body wash and bubble bath.

The ingredients include Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, a water-soluble organic compound that sounds like something you want to avoid but is benign. GHC is an excellent conditioner that prevents your hair from becoming tangled, allowing it to remain silky and volumized without becoming weighed down.

The shampoo doesn’t become too foamy, and as it’s also a body wash, you can use it in the bath or shower without worrying about skin irritation. In addition, the eucalyptus in this shampoo and bubble bath acts as a relaxing and soothing addition, helping you unwind and aiding restful sleep.

The only disadvantage is that because it is mild enough for newborns, it may not be strong enough to clean your locks in one application, especially if you have thicker hair.

Pros

  • Gluten, soy, and dairy-free.
  • Certified organic ingredients.
  • Made in the U.S.

Cons

  • May be too mild.

Additional Specs

Hair Type Any
Fragrance Eucalyptus, rosemary, peppermint
Indications None
Size 15 fluid ounces
EWG Verified? Yes

5. Free & Clear Hair Shampoo

Best Fragrance-Free Pregnancy-Safe Shampoo

If you have allergies, easily irritated skin, or respiratory sensitivities to perfumes, even the mildest shampoo can trigger an adverse reaction. Somewhat surprisingly, shampoos without added fragrances are not necessarily free from other potentially harmful substances.

Fortunately, we tracked down Free & Clear shampoo and conditioner, which has everything you need to clean your hair with only the bare minimum ingredients.

It should be noted that while this shampoo is considered fragrance-free, this is because it has no ingredients added to make it smell a particular way. This does not mean it is free from any smell at all.

Some users report noticing a slight “waxy” type of smell if they hold the bottle up to their nose. However, everyone said there was no discernible aroma while using the shampoo or residual perfume after use.

Pros

  • No added fragrances.
  • Excellent for eczema sufferers.
  • It is pH-balanced, so it works on all hair types.

Cons

  • Not a tearless shampoo.

Additional Specs

Hair Type All hair types
Fragrance None added
Indications None
Size 12 fluid ounces
EWG Verified? No

6. Aromatica Cyprus Deep Cleansing Shampoo

Best Natural Pregnancy-Safe Shampoo

Aromatica produces a wide range of hair care products free from sulfates, phthalates, and silicone. They are also vegan, cruelty-free, and the Cyprus formula makes our list because it can deep clean without astringent chemicals.

The alpha-pinene and camphene provide a pleasant, stimulating feel on the scalp that makes your head feel like it has been cleaned. This is especially popular among users with oily hair and those who worked in environments that leave them feeling oily or grubby.

The use of pine, French Cyprus, and eucalyptus give the shampoo an aroma best described as foresty. Users agree there is not a discernible, single scent, just an overall smell of the woods.

In some parts of the world, spending time in the forest is considered a therapeutic practice that medical professionals sometimes prescribe to promote destressing. If you can’t make it to a forest to unwind and reconnect with yourself and nature, Aromatica Cyprus might stimulate some of those feelings.

Pros

  • Excellent at removing styling products.
  • Gentle enough for daily use.
  • Gel-like consistency.

Cons

  • Has a strong, zingy feel that’s not for everyone.

Additional Specs

Hair Type Oily to normal
Fragrance Woodsy
Indications Good for oily hair
Size 13.53 fluid ounces
EWG Verified? Yes

7. Herbal Essences Sulfate-Free Shampoo & Conditioner

Best Pregnancy-Safe Shampoo for Curly Hair

Frizz control shampoos for curly and unruly hair are easy to find. What’s not so easy is finding an effective one without a slew of potentially harmful ingredients. But this is it.

I am used to creamy looking frizz control shampoos, so I was skeptical when I saw the clear liquid on my hands. However, I was in for a pleasant surprise. Once you have lathered up your hair, the shampoo takes on a creamy feel, without the heaviness of some other options.

A tiny amount in the palm of your hand is enough to work up a good lather on a head full of long, thick hair. This decent sized bottle lasted for weeks, even with daily use.

And speaking of daily use, even when washing my hair every morning, Herbal Essences left me with soft, frizz-free, manageable tresses, which is almost unheard of with other products.

Pros

  • Lathers well.
  • Small amount needed.
  • Excellent value.

Cons

  • Distinct scent.

Additional Specs

Hair Type Dry
Fragrance Aloe
Indications Good for frizzy, curly, and unruly hair
Size 20.2 fluid ounces
EWG Verified? Yes

8. Burt's Bees Pomegranate Seed Oil Shampoo

Best Budget Pregnancy-Safe Shampoo

While we spent a lot of time researching the best pregnancy-safe shampoos, with help from the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep website, their verification program is dependent on product manufacturers providing detailed information about ingredients that may not be included on product labels.

Burt’s Bees have not taken this step, so the “fragrance” details on the label cannot be independently assessed. Consequently, this shampoo doesn’t qualify as “verified.” However, we found no ingredients of concern for use during pregnancy.

The shampoo itself has mixed reviews. Users seem to love it or hate it, with very little middle ground. They all agreed that the shampoo lathered well, the scent was light and pleasant, and that the shampoo texture was pleasing.

However, one group adored how the shampoos made their hair look and feel, while others felt it left their hair feeling flat, with residue build-up after extended use.

We think it is worth giving this one a try.

Pros

  • Light fragrance.
  • Creamy texture.
  • Good lather.

Cons

  • Users either love it or hate it.
  • Can build up in hair.

Additional Specs

Hair Type All
Fragrance Pomegranate
Indications Good for lackluster hair
Size 10 fluid ounces
EWG Verified? No

9. BIGGREEN 23 Natural Daily Shampoo

Best Pregnancy-Safe Shampoo For Daily Use

If you need to wash your hair every day because of oil, build-up, or simply because you prefer to wash your hair daily, finding a shampoo that doesn’t dry your hair or scalp too much is essential.

Natural Daily Shampoo from BIGGREEN is specially formulated to keep hair clean and your scalp well moisturized, which is a pretty smart trick, especially when it comes to oily hair.

Users appreciated that the shampoo lathered up well, even for those who live in hard water areas. Following a good lather, it was easy to rinse, so there was no need to spend too long with the water running on that sensitive skin on your head.

The one problem that some people encountered was that they felt a lot of shampoo was needed to get that good lather. Whether this is an issue seems to depend on the shampoo you were using before switching to BIGGREEN.

Pros

  • Rinses well.
  • Lathers in hard water.
  • Moisturizes the scalp.

Cons

  • Too gentle for some.
  • Too strong for others.

Additional Specs

Hair Type Normal to oily
Fragrance Citrus
Indications Good for sensitive scalp
Size 10.1 fluid ounces
EWG Verified? No

10. CLEVOS Natura Foresta

Best Pregnancy-Safe Shampoo for Dandruff

Clevos Natura Foresta Eucalyptus has a bright, zingy scent that falls just short of being medicinal. You can work up a decent foam with one squirt of the dispenser, but for longer hair, you might need a second wash.

This was our favorite pregnancy-safe shampoo for dandruff and dry, flaky skin on the scalp. It cleared things up quickly, but this was a double-edged sword. Users with oily hair had to switch this shampoo in and out of their routine as its scalp moisturizing properties were too much for their naturally oily heads.

The fancy looking bottle looks nice in the bathroom and has a handy pump dispenser, which is great for the shower. However, every now and then, the pump would stick, meaning you had to unscrew the top, wiggle it about a bit, screw the top back on and test the pumping action.

This wasn’t the end of the world but was a point against this shampoo, especially as it is at the less affordable end of the pricing spectrum.

Pros

  • Cruelty-free.
  • Luxurious packaging.
  • Certified organic.

Cons

  • No matching conditioners.
  • Temperamental pump bottle.

Additional Specs

Hair Type Sensitive, dry, normal
Fragrance Eucalyptus
Indications Good for dandruff
Size 17.92 fluid ounces
EWG Verified? Yes

Pregnancy-Safe Shampoo Comparison Chart

Product Best Hair Type Fragrance Good For Size EWG Verified?
Herbal Essences BioRenew Value For Money Dry to normal Honey, jasmine, & vanilla Color-treated hair 12.2 oz Yes
Attitude Hypoallergenic Shampoo Scented Dry to normal Quinoa & jojoba Brittle hair 16 oz Yes
Aveeno Scalp Fresh Greens Blend Shampoo & Conditioner All Rosemary, peppermint, & cucumber Fine hair 12 oz No
Babo Botanicals Eucalyptus Shampoo & Bodywash Any Eucalyptus, rosemary, peppermint Gentle cleanse 15 oz Yes
Free & Clear Hair Shampoo Fragrance-Free All hair types None Sensitive Skin 12 oz No
Aromatica Cyprus Deep Cleansing Natural Oily to normal Woodsy Oily hair 13.53 oz Yes
Herbal Essences Shampoo Curly Hair Dry Aloe Frizzy, curly, & unruly hair 20.2 oz Yes
Burt’s Bees Pomegranate Seed Oil Budget Pick All Pomegranate Lackluster hair 10 oz No
BIGGREEN Natural Daily Shampoo Daily Use Normal to oily Citrus Sensitive scalp 10.1 oz No
CLEVOS Natura Foresta Dandruff Sensitive, dry, normal Eucalyptus Dandruff 17.92 oz Yes

Is Baby Shampoo Safe During Pregnancy?

Baby shampoos can contain the same ingredients as regular brands. Therefore, they are no better or no worse for you than any other shampoo. Also, because baby shampoos have milder cleansers, you may have to wash and rinse multiple times to get your hair clean.

How to Care for Your Hair During Pregnancy

Most of the things on this list are good for you and your baby in general. As a bonus, they may also help your hair.

Avoid Chemical Treatments

Consider giving the hair dye, straightening, or perming a pass, especially during the first trimester. This will minimize your exposure to chemicals.

Eat Well

Fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, seeds, and protein-rich foods will do your locks a world of good. Staying well hydrated won’t hurt either.

Be Aware Of Changes

Once a week or so, take a few minutes to pay attention to the look and feel of your hair and scalp. This provides an early warning for changes such as increasing oil levels or a flaky scalp and will allow you to adjust your hair care routine accordingly.

Shampoo And Condition

Unless you have exceptionally oily hair, use shampoo and conditioner at every wash. Even if your tresses are a greasy mess, an oily hair conditioner can help.

Trim Don’t Chop

Keeping the ends of your hair trimmed will improve your hair’s overall appearance. However, avoid any significant changes to your style, especially if you have experienced substantial changes to your hair’s texture or thickness.

Avoid Tight Hairstyles

Tight buns, ponytails, cornrows, and other hairstyles that pull the hair firmly back from the scalp should be avoided. Those styles can cause breakage.

Don’t Brush When Wet

Brushing your hair when it is wet can cause stretching and damage. You should avoid doing this at any time.

Massage With Oil

A gentle scalp massage with oil can promote follicle health and keep the skin of your scalp soft and supple.

However, some essential oils should be avoided during pregnancy, so always check that the product you use does not contain potentially harmful varieties.

Relax

Stress can have all kinds of adverse effects, and your hair is not immune. Take the time to relax whenever you can.


Love The Hair You Have

Whether you are pregnant or not, it is important to embrace what’s sprouting from your head and love the hair you have.

Doing this during pregnancy doesn’t have to be hard. Look after yourself, eat well, respond to changes, avoid unnecessary chemicals, and do your best to relax. These are things we should do but often forget to, unless we have a baby onboard.

If you are not usually inclined to take care of yourself, use your pregnancy as a motivator, and develop new self-care habits. Your hair, and the rest of you, will thank you.

Headshot of Patricia Barnes

About the Author

Patricia Barnes

Patricia Barnes is a homeschooling mom of 5 who has been featured on Global TV, quoted in Parents magazine, and writes for a variety of websites and publications. Doing her best to keep it together in a life of constant chaos, Patti would describe herself as an eclectic mess maker, lousy crafter, book lover, autism mom, and insomniac.