9 Baby Hair Brushes for Gentle Styling (and Cradle Cap!)

Combat scalp scales and straighten up strands with these go-to baby brush options.
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By Martina Garvey, E-Commerce Editor
Updated December 29, 2022
mother brushing baby's hair with baby hair brush
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Baby hair is pretty fickle. Some kids are born with luscious locks; others come out looking bald. What’s more, strands may sprout out in patches or shed and regrow into a totally new ‘do. Needless to say, at one point or another, you’ll want to tame your infant’s tresses. So it’s always good to have a baby hair brush on hand for a funny case of bed—ahem, crib—head.

But hair isn’t the only thing that requires a baby brush. Many children develop cradle cap, which is a skin condition characterized by a flaky, greasy scalp rash. A good cradle cap brush can alleviate symptoms by getting rid of all that buildup. Here, we’re sharing the best baby brushes for basic grooming and treating cradle cap.

Types of Baby Brushes and Combs

Can’t tell a cradle cap comb from a baby hairbrush? Below find the three main types of baby brushes on offer.

  • Cradle cap comb. Typically used during bathtime, cradle cap combs can be used in combination with a gentle baby shampoo to remove scales and excess buildup. These handheld combs have super-soft bristles often made from silicone or rubber making them super-easy to sanitize between treatments.
  • Cradle cap brush. Cradle cap brushes look similar to a regular hairbrush, but are specifically designed to prevent and treat scalp irritation. The brushes often have a lightweight wooden handle and super-soft bristles made from natural fibers like boar or goat hair.
  • Gentle baby hair brush. A baby hair brush can relieve your child of tangles, tidy up those adorable tufts and even stimulate their scalp—the last of which is thought to promote hair growth. You’ll want a baby brush that does the job delicately, since infant hair is typically very fine and babies are undeniably sensitive. With this in mind opt for a brush with soft bristles made from natural fibers and make sure it’s lightweight and easy to grip. Decorative metal brushes may look lovely, but they’re heavy and are more likely to slip from your grasp while you tame baby’s locks.

How to Use a Cradle Cap Brush

Cradle cap is a harmless condition and typically clears up on its own. With that said, there are steps you can take to treat cradle cap at home. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends shampooing baby’s hair before using a soft brush or cradle cap comb to gently remove flaky skin and buildup. For stubborn scales the American Association of Dermatology (AAD) suggests parents apply a little baby oil to the spot in question, before shampooing the hair and gently massaging the scale with a finger, brush or comb. The AAD stresses that parents should “never scratch or pick at cradle cap, as this could cause an infection.”

Best Cradle Cap Brushes and Combs

Cradle cap is very common, but that doesn’t make it any less annoying. These gentle baby brushes and combs prevent the buildup that causes the condition and will help you rid your child’s scalp of the rash’s signature scales.

Best cradle cap comb

Frida Baby DermaFrida The SkinSoother Set
Image: Target

Many parents treat cradle cap at bathtime, which is where a baby wet brush comes in. Use FridaBaby’s SkinSoother with a gentle shampoo to cleanse baby’s skin and descale that scalp. The brush has soft bristles and beads, so circular brushing will feel like a lovely and calming massage. Better yet, it’s made from bacteria-resistant silicone and suctions onto the side of the tub for fast-drying and easy access.

What We Love
  • Anti-bacterial silicone bristles
  • Massage beads provide gentle exfoliation
  • Fast-drying
Things To Consider
  • Some parents say the comb doesn’t work well on babies with thick hair

Best cradle cap brush

Keababies baby brush can be used on wet or dry hair, making it a versatile pick for new parents. Use the brush on wet hair to gently loosen cradle cap scales and dry skin. Or try dry brushing to promote blood circulation and relax baby before bed. Either way you (and baby) will appreciate the premium natural materials and super-soft goat bristles.

What We Love
  • Premium-grade goat bristles
  • Natural beech wood handle
  • Can be used to treat cradle cap or for gently brushing baby’s hair
Things To Consider
  • Brush may have a natural scent that fades over time

Best disposable cradle cap brush

This multipurpose baby brush has hundreds of bristles that offer a safe-but-effective clean. For even gentler cleansing, switch over to the sponge end—it’s also great for rinse time when you want to wipe off leftover soap. Just remember: You have to replace all sponges, including this one, on a regular basis.

What We Love
  • Brush side has 800 soft bristles
  • Sponge side can be used for gentle cleansing
  • Each brush is sterilized and individually wrapped
Things To Consider
  • Disposable brush isn’t suitable for longtime use

Best brush and cradle cap comb combo

Safety 1st Cradle Cap Brush and Comb
Image: Target

Check out this all-in-one brush and comb designed specifically for cradle cap. The soft rubber bristles work to loosen scales while the fine-toothed attachment combs flakes out of hair. Plus, the tool slides over your hand meaning it's easy to hold and maneuver, so you aren’t left fumbling.

What We Love
  • Affordable price point
  • Ergonomic handheld design
  • Rubber brush bristles loosens flakes while fine-tooth comb removes them
Things To Consider
  • Parents say it didn’t work well on babies with thick hair

Best baby styling brush

Bachca Paris - Baby Wooden Hair Brush
Image: Walmart
Buying Options

If you believe in the power of pampering, this fancy Parisian brush is perfect for your baby. (It’s never too early to instill in your child the importance of self-care!) It has a chic, modern design and detangles and smooths fine hair with ease thanks to the natural boar bristles. It’s suited for all hair types and is anything but an eyesore.

What We Love
  • Natural boar bristles
  • Smoothes and detangles fine hair
Things To Consider
  • High price point
  • Not specifically designed to treat cradle cap

Best wooden baby cradle cap brush

Natemia Brush
Image: Target

Many baby brush bristles are made from goat hair—yes goat hair!—because it’s super-soft. This brush promises to groom, sooth and redistribute oil for a healthy mini-mane. Use it daily to prevent cradle cap from cropping up in the first place.

What We Love
  • Soft goat hair bristles
  • Natural beech wood handle
  • Paddle brush design
Things To Consider
  • Some parents say bristles fell out on the first use

Best affordable baby brush set

American Red Cross Baby Brush & Comb Baby Grooming Set
Image: Target
Buying Options

Looking for a fuss-free way to style baby’s hair? Check out this two-piece set officially licenced by the American Red Cross. The grooming kit includes a comb with rounded tines that won’t tug or tangle hair and a soft bristled brush to style baby’s barnet. All that for under $5? Bargain!

What We Love
  • Affordable price point
  • Detangling comb has rounded tines
  • Baby hairbrush has an ergonomic handle
Things To Consider
  • Not specifically designed for treating cradle cap

Best handheld cradle cap brush

haakaa Silicone Shampoo Brush
Image: Amazon
Buying Options

If you’re already a fan of haakaa’s manual breast pump, why not give the brand’s cradle cap brush a go? It’s made from flexible silicone and slips on over your hand, making it super-easy to grip. Use it at bathtime to gently massage baby’s scalp and loosen dry flakey skin.

What We Love
  • Flexible silicone bristles
  • Handheld design
Things To Consider
  • Some parents say it isn’t very effective at removing cradle cap

Best baby brush set

Three-Piece Bamboo Brush & Comb Set
Image: Maisonette

Shopping for the perfect baby shower present? Try this adorable yet practical baby hairbrush set. This set includes one soft goat hair bristle brush, a bamboo massage brush, and a rounded comb for detangling longer locks. Together these items will keep baby's hair and scalp smooth, healthy and knot-free.

What We Love
  • Beautifully presented
  • Soft goat bristle brush treats cradle cap
  • Natural Bamboo brush handles and comb
Things To Consider
  • Slightly higher price point than other brush sets

How We Chose the Best Baby Brushes and Combs

We get it—baby’s health and wellness is at the forefront of your mind, and the appearance of a rash can be scary to say the least. Fortunately, cradle cap is normal and not something you should be overly concerned about. That said, a good baby hairbrush or comb can help clear up this common skin condition. To help you find the best brush for your needs our goal is to do the bulk of the research for you, so you don’t have to spend hours scrolling through online retailers. We do this by considering a list of criteria when sourcing products, including quality, bristle type, value and effectiveness. This way you can count on getting the best bang for your buck, while also having a dependable baby hairbrush that will meet your and your child’s needs.

Interested in learning more about our editorial process? Read about how our team develops and reviews all articles here.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.


American Academy of Pediatrics, Cradle Cap, November 2019

American Academy of Dermatology Association, How to Treat Cradle Cap, August 2022

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