This Local Product Line Teaches Kids About the Good Side of Self-Care

Juniper Kids — a line of modern hair and skin products for kids, created in Fairmount — is something the whole fam can get behind.

Juniper Kids offer a shampoo + body wash and conditioner, among other items, for healthy kids’ hair. | Photos courtesy of Juniper Kids.

My eight- and four-year-old daughters are fascinated by my beauty potions: face masks (the slather-on skin-care kind), exfoliating cleansers, serums … I’ll stop here before I reveal how many beauty products I own. (Embarrassing.) I remember being the same way with my mom’s stuff, her perfume and makeup in particular — women of the ’80s didn’t have as many options as we do.

Annoyingly, my kids also use my shower, and I often find that my good shampoo or blond-correcting hair masque are prematurely empty — squandered up by those pint-size product savages. (I think they use the stuff as good-smelling body wash? I’m not entirely sure what happens in there.) So when someone told me about Kendra Pillich-Rothmaier’s just-launched hair product line, Juniper Kids, I was more than curious.

The inspiration was relatable: “As my kids left babyhood behind, there weren’t many hair- and skin-care options out there for them,” says Pillich-Rothmaier. “What I did find included products with subpar ingredients, artificial-smelling scents, and cartoon/silly designs that didn’t feel hip or modern.”

It’s true. There are plenty of natural, gentle, no-bad-ingredients washes for babies. But when kids age out of no-tear shampoo (and, frankly, when they start really stinking), you’re mostly relegated to the harsh, fragrance-bomb Paw Patrol three-in-one liquids sold at Target.

Juniper Kids conditioning cream and de-tangler with a brush. | Photos courtesy of Juniper Kids.

Juniper Kids’ hair products are made for growing kids who have aged out of baby-geared no-tear shampoo products. | Photos courtesy of Juniper Kids.

Pillich-Rothmaier’s line of goods includes shampoo/body wash, conditioner, leave-in conditioner and detangler. The packaging is kid-appropriate but not pandering, and when I took the bottles out of the box, it was like I was starring in one of those unwrapping YouTube videos — my girls came running over, grabbed the bottles out of my hands, and asked lots of “Ooh, what did you get, Mom?” questions. (They were beyond psyched to learn it was all for them.)

The products smell great — almost beachy, not overpowering or artificial. And they have none of the bad stuff: no parabens, sulfates, phthalates or even gluten. But the real standout aspect of Juniper products is that they’re good for every kind of hair.

“I wanted to create a brand that represented my family,” says Pillich-Rothmaier. “My kids are biracial, and it was important to me to make a line that worked for different hair types, inclusive of race.”

And she said something that made me think I shouldn’t shoo the girls away from my stuff so quickly: “I also want kids to learn the importance of a healthy clean routine and reinforce how that directly relates to feeling comfortable and confident in their own bodies,” she says. Good point. Self-care isn’t just about vanity, after all.

Find all Juniper Kids products here (or follow them on Instagram.) The line launched this past March, and Pillich-Rothmaier has plans to roll out natural deodorant, sunscreen, facial scrub and lip balm. 

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