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What Is Baby Hair Gel?

Wanda Marie Thibodeaux
Wanda Marie Thibodeaux

Baby hair gel is a hair styling product designed for very young children. Although it is used in the same manner as any hair gel, the formulation tends to be gentler in order to accommodate the sensitive skin of babies and toddlers. These products are recommended for anyone with sensitive skin, however.

Infants and toddlers have skin that generally cannot tolerate harsh chemicals and additives. Subsequently, it is difficult for parents and caregivers to use regular hair gel on children. Manufacturers developed baby hair gels as a response to this problem. Formulas vary by company, but typically are free of chemicals, sulfates parabens, dyes or fragrances to which the skin of the scalp can react. In most instances, baby hair gel is designed to be hypoallergenic and to wash out easily.

A baby.
A baby.

Even though baby hair gel is designed for kids, its gentle formulation makes it a favorite of anyone with sensitive skin. Some people turn to this type of gel because other adult formulations have caused irritation or other reactions. Some manufacturers directly point out that anyone with skin sensitivity can use the "baby" product, thereby expanding their market base.

Baby hair gel.
Baby hair gel.

The primary purpose of a baby hair gel is to let adults or older children control the hair of a baby or toddler for styling purposes. The gels are supposed to tame flyaways, define waves or curls, or provide mild hold of the hair in a particular position. Although advertised to a lesser extent on packaging, a secondary purpose of this product is to keep the hair healthy. The gel goats the hair strand, smoothing the outer cuticle layer for better protection against the environment and improved moisture regulation.

As with other hair gels, caregivers and parents can purchase baby hair gel depending on the type of hair their children have. For instance, gels for very coarse hair tend to be a little thicker, whereas those for fine hair are lighter so as not to weigh the hair down. Some manufacturers advertise gels that are supposed to be acceptable for all hair types, but these do not take the sometimes drastic differences in physical structure between hair types into consideration and thus sometimes are not as effective.

One consideration with baby hair gel is the expense. The cost of these products can exceed that of adult hair care items. This happens because the chemicals and additives in many adult products are cheap for the manufacturer. If the manufacturer cannot use these materials, he has to use more expensive all-natural or organic ingredients. To compensate for the increased production expense, the manufacturer raises the hair gel price. Many parents and caregivers are more than willing to pay a little extra to make their children's hair more manageable and healthier.

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