The best shampoos for pregnancy are the ones you find in the “clean” or “conscious” beauty departments. Everyone from Ulta to Sephora to Bluemercury to Credo are focusing on “clean” beauty for a reason— we are fed up with feeding our bodies possibly bad-for-you ingredients. Since learning that parabens, phthlates, sulfates (and so many other things) are not good for us, it’s even more clear that drinking in those things while pregnant is definitely not safe. This means hair products, face cleansers, body wash and deodorants all need a clean sweep when you’re pregnant (or even thinking of getting pregnant).
Dr. Sandy Skotnicki, Dermatologist and author of Beyond Soap, The Real Truth About What You Are Doing to Your Skin and How to Fix It for a Beautiful, Healthy Glow knows all about “problem ingredients.” She says, “There have been several studies showing that essential oils like lavender and tea tree oil have hormone-disrupting effects. It’s best to avoid using undiluted essential oils if you’re pregnant or trying to conceive.” Also, “if there is any time to try fragrance free skin and haircare it’s during pregnancy. Why not? It is not essential to how your products work.”
Skotnicki also knows a lot about the cleanliness obsession, and thinks in general “washing less and shampooing less is a good idea and during pregnancy even better.” She reminds us, “there is no need to shampoo your hair daily.” (Doctor’s orders!)
Switching to “clean” shampoos and conditioners has never been easier— our favorite stores have done the research and are using their brand power to demand the best in safe ingredients.
Danielle Keasling, our Ulta Beauty Pro Team Member shares, “A good rule of thumb is to seek out products that are clean, nontoxic, nourishing and contain good-for-you ingredients.” She recommends using products made with natural ingredients such as shea butter and aloe vera. Crucial, though is “how important it is to eliminate the toxic ingredients first. You don’t want to use products that have some good ingredients but still contain bad ones, as you’re defeating the purpose. Focus on what is actually toxic, eliminate it, and then introduce beneficial ingredients into your beauty routine and diet. These healthy practices go beyond hair and will help nourish your body and benefit your baby in the process.”
We’ve curated a group of the best shampoos that are effective, smell great and are safe for pregnancy. Keasling reminds us, “feed your body, hair and soul with super foods, balance, and self-care.”
Best Pregnancy-Safe Shampoos:
Love Beauty and Planet is a favorite brand in the clean beauty category, especially when it comes to their reasonable prices. The Coconut Water and Mimosa Flower Volumizing set gives us what all new mamas need— volume. Thinning hair is the new normal, so we’ll take anything that helps rejuvenate and hydrate our fine, flat hair— especially when it involves coconut. Heather, who calls it heaven in a bottle, says, “Not only is my hair softer and shinier than ever but also my scalp is calmer and WAY less flaky! My hair smells like I’ve been living at the beach (with way less tourists). It’s seriously heaven in a bottle. I’m obsessed!!!”
Pacifica is known for their gentle (yet effective) ingredients that are vegan and cruelty-free. Coconut Power (free of parabens and phthalates) hydrates and strengthens hair, so it’s the perfect shampoo before *and* after you give birth (when many people experience hair loss). But they also have other varieties, like Pineapple Curls (for curl-defining), Rose Water (hydrates and leaves hair super shiny), Rosemary Purify (includes rosemary and mint to invigorate the scalp and clean excess build-up), and Salty Waves (creates textured, beach-y waves).
Playa’s Everyday shampoo is loved for its clean formula (as in, no sulfates SLS and SLES, parabens, formaldehydes, formaldehyde-releasing agents, phthalates, mineral oil, retinyl palmitate, oxybenzone, coal tar, hydroquinone, triclosan, triclocarban — and it’s only made with 1% synthetic fragrances), how well it lathers and cleans, and how SOFT and HEALTHY it leaves your hair. This coconut-derived shampoo is gentle, yet the perfect shampoo to use when you really want to give your scalp a good scrub (without completely stripping it of its healthy, natural oils). It’s great for all hair types, and it smells like heaven. You may also want to pair it with the cult-favorite Playa Supernatural conditioner, which was sold out for weeks (it’s back now, thank god).
Thicker hair. Something we’ll all be dreaming of once baby comes and our hair starts to fall out (sorry, Mamas). Thinning hair and hair loss becomes more common than it should. This Derma E Thickening Shampoo, part of Ulta’s Conscious Beauty initiative, uses a blend of proteins, vitamins and oils to rejuvenate hair and reduce thinning. The eucalyptus and spearmint extracts support hair growth and nourish the scalp. Reviewers love the effectiveness, the price, and especially the mint scent and sensation.
Since before most of us were born, Klorane has been focusing on clean beauty and sustainability. This deeply moisturizing shampoo repairs dry, damaged hair with organic Cupuaçu Butter, sustainably sourced from the Amazon Rainforest. The creamy texture naturally boosts shine and strength. Works great for women with very dry, damaged, wavy, or curly hair. It’s also safe for color-treated and highlighted hair as well.
With almost 5,000 Amazon reviews and a 4.6 rating, people love SheaMoisture’s shampoo and conditioning set. Manuka Honey and Mafura Oil are all about rich, intensive hydration— something pregnant moms desperately need. The certified organic raw shea butter and anti-oxidant rich African Rock Fig restores hair leaving it soft, shiny and frizz free. Even shoppers with serious curls raved about their shine and curl definition!
Ever wondered what’s really going on with your hair? Strands uses science to tell you the truth, and to formulate a shampoo and conditioner set made just for you. You will have to gather hair from your brush and answer a few Q’s in order to complete your personalized kit, but it’s so worth it once you get your results and custom product. Just don’t freak out when you see the microsopic view of your hair cuticle— all those years of heat and color may have taken a toll. Strands will help rebuild with ingredients like walnut leaf extract, Vitamin E, Jojoba seed oil and other nutrients added specifically for you.
Scents may not be your best friend during pregnancy (or ever), but the light tropical notes of mango and passionfruit makes us happy. This deeply hydrating cream formula hydrates the scalp and balances the hair with Morete Oil, an oil from tree nuts found in the Amazon Rainforest. It’s great for severely dry hair and very beneficial in extending the life of colored hair, which is helpful since salon time has fallen off the schedule.
If it’s good enough for bb, it’s good enough for Mama, right? Get a head start on something you’ll be sharing for years. This ultra gentle, multi-use shampoo and body-wash has Baby’s sensitive skin in mind. Naturally moisturizing ingredients include monoi coconut oil, aloe and white ginger. Follow it up with the Conditioning Detangler— also very light and equally shareable. Baby Bum’s products are pediatrician and dermatologist tested— and are lightly scented with a hint of sweet banana.
This Australian made formula works wonders to rebuild and regrow hair— something you need to get ahead of before bb comes (yes, losing hair postpartum is a real thing). The vitamins, minerals and amino acids aid the growth which is given the stamp of approval from Ulta’s Conscious Beauty initiative. The first ingredient is Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, which is something unique since most shampoos are mostly water (often the #1 ingredient). Megg, an Ulta reviewer says, “I was losing hair like CRAZY over the course of 6-9 mo, all of a sudden— like huge clumps every single time I would brush/wash it, etc. and I’ve NEVER had issues like this before either…I however am a lifelong customer now as far as I’m concerned, I’ve been extremely happy with my results!!!”
With the Credo Clean Standard Stamp, you can trust this has been vetted by industry experts. Innersense uses only certified organic plant ingredients, including aloe, pumpkin seed, shea butter and coconut oils. Customers with oily, thin, dry, and wavy hair all rave about the hydration and shine they get using this as a daily shampoo. They also love the scent, which is 100% transparent as part of Credo’s radical fragrance transparency policy. Brands can’t use the word “fragrance” and leave it at that anymore—they share the specifics so we can decide.
Showerless Shampoo seems like it was made for moms, and that includes moms-to-be. Swair’s formula gets sprayed on (no water!) and starts to repel dirt, sweat and grime on its own. Better than dry shampoo that can leave flakes, this easy-to-use shampoo does the work while you’re trying to manage everything else. The formula cleans and controls frizz— all in just one spray.
Reviewers love this gentle, moisturizing shampoo with a great scent for all hair types. This It’s A 10 Miracle Shampoo with added Keratin protects your color and shields hair from heat and environmental damage. Kaitlyn says, “This product is amazing!! The whole It’s A 10 Keratin line did my hair wonders!! My hair never grows and is very dry and damaged, my best friend is a hair dresser and she recommended It’s A 10 and let me tell you what even though it’s as expensive as it is it works great!!”
You can lean on Fekkai’s Technician Color Shampoo and Conditioner to extend your color, since you’re probably not coloring much (or at all) during your pregnancy. This rich, tropical-scented shampoo has Mirabelle Plum Seed Oil for color protection and vibrancy plus rice, sunflower and rosemary extract. Part of Ulta’s Conscious Beauty group, reviewers love it for the scent and lather— for fine, straight and even very curly hair.
Made with certified organic aloe, this hair and body cleanse is delicate— even enough for people with super sensitive scalps. It’s gluten free, mineral-oil free, paraben free, petroleum free, and sulfate free yet full of unique, organic ingredients. Aloe stem cells soothe and calm skin, water lily provides hydration, and colloidal oatmeal soothes redness and dry skin. It smells great (almost spa-like) and lathers really well, great for hair and body all at once.
This is really the best of the best when you’ve got fine, thinning hair. And that means most of us during pregnancy. OUAI’s fine shampoo uses keratin, biotin and chia seed oil to nourish and strengthen lifeless hair, just when we need it most. Stephanie said it stands by its promise, “Excellent product!!! I have both very fine and oily hair…difficult combination when it comes to trying to attain volume, thickness and texture.”
If you’re looking to save yourself and the planet from harmful toxins and plastics, it’s time for something new. Shambar’s solid shampoos take the place of two 18 oz single-use plastic shampoo bottles. Choose from Awaken, Hydrate, or Soothe and get the free silicone soap dish on which to rest your new treat. The Hydrate has Manuka Honey and Mango Butter to soothe your locks, while the Awaken has Spruce Oil and Nettle and Soothe has Burdock, Mint and Jasmine. Try a three pack and you can experience each new product for yourself.
Clean beauty is more than just shampoo— check out our other mom approved safe for pregnancy beauty finds.