First, congratulations on looking for tea tree oil shampoos to treat dandruff, promote hair growth and get stronger, shiny hair.
You’re one step ahead of the majority of women looking for healthier-looking hair but still using regular shampoos.
Adding tea tree oil shampoos to your daily hair care routine can be a major game-changer for treating a variety of hair problems, preventing hair loss, promoting hair growth, strengthening roots and follicles, and making your hair appear shinier.
A few years back, finding tea tree oil shampoos at regular retail stores was quite a challenge, since they were mostly sold at organic or health food stores.
That’s why women who wanted problem-free, gorgeous hair had to buy tea tree oil separately, then add this essential oil to our regular shampoo.
But today, there are so many different tea tree oil shampoos available on the market, it’s sometimes easy to get confused.
That’s why I’m encouraging you to learn more about how tea tree oil works, and check out my list of things to look for when buying a tea tree oil shampoo (as well my list of things to avoid).
I will also list my top 5 favorite tea tree oil shampoos.
Top 5 Best Tea Tree Oil Shampoos
A product that promises to be both gentle and effective, Keeva’s shampoo comes with three essential oils: Tea tree oil, argan oil, and coconut oil.
Keeva is an organic beauty company that emphasizes the use of natural earth-based ingredients, rather than synthetic chemicals.
This sulfate- and paraben-free product comes with a pleasantly mild natural scent, and helps you fight dry and damaged hair.
The moisturizing formula works wonders for even the most problematic hair, despite constant challenges due to styling or environment.
Keeva’s Revitalizing Shampoo contains a slew of ingredients that will help your hair remain nourished.
For example, the tea tree oil may kill harmful bacteria and prevent allergic skin reactions, argan oil gives your hair gloss, and coconut oil keeps your hair thick and strong.
Other ingredients also deliver notable benefits to your hair:
Rose water promotes hair growth, white willow bark extract contains sebum production, hydrolyzed wheat protein adds volume and shine, olive oil helps prevents dandruff and split ends, vitamin B2 lowers rate of hair damage, and so on.
Unlike many other products on the market that claim to be wholly organic and chemical-free, Keeva’s product is actually true to its word.
For example, many products claim to contain no parabens, but still do have phenoxyethanol in them.
However, this shampoo uses radish root ferment filtrate instead, which is much safer.
And instead of butylated hydroxytoluene, a synthetic antioxidant used as preservative that can promote tumors and suppress testosterone in high doses, and salicylic acid which can cause skin irritation, the product uses white willow bark extract with none of those side effects.
Other than its benefits to hair, it also has a soothing effect.
- Components such as Aloe Vera extract and D-menthol soothe the scalp and prevent itchiness
- The packaging is easy to use: It comes with a pump that can be locked while traveling, and also has a bag in which it can be kept
- It has a light floral fragrance that keeps your hair smelling good
- Makes your hair silky and easy to manage, and its restorative properties work on even the most dry or damaged hair
- It contains cocamidopropyl betaine, a synthetic surfactant that can possibly cause skin irritation or allergic contact dermatitis for some people
- Can cause painful burning sensation if it gets in the eyes
- Although the bottle is large, the shampoo might not spread or foam easily, so you might end up using more than you normally would
- It might be more suitable for dry than greasy hair types, since the oils in the product might just add to the oiliness
ArtNaturals is another company that places immense value on using natural ingredients in its products.
This duo set contains both a shampoo to cleanse your hair deeply, and conditioner to leave it feeling smooth and radiant.
Blended with essential oils and botanical extracts, the shampoo cleans away all grime and dirt from the hair, exfoliates dead skin cells from the scalp, and removes unhealthy bacteria.
The conditioner then moisturizes the hair cells and the scalp to protect it from damaging dryness.
It is especially beneficial for curly hair, which tends naturally to be drier than straight hair.
This product makes use of some of the best natural ingredients out there for healthy hair.
The tea tree oil helps unclog hair follicles and nourishes your roots, allowing your hair to grow uninhibited. It also has germicidal, fungicidal, and antiseptic effects; this help prevent itchiness or irritation of the scalp, and keeps it from dryness and flaking.
The shampoo and conditioner set also contains vitamin A, vitamin E, and forms of vitamin B which prevent hair from becoming brittle and easily damaged, and a lot of other components that boost the quality of hair.
This product stands out because of its grade-A natural ingredients.
Apart from tea tree oil and vitamins, the shampoo also contains ingredients such as seaweed extract which prevents hair from thinning and makes it bouncy, rosemary extract which stimulates hair growth, rosehip which renews hair cells, licorice which fights dandruff, and Aloe Vera which hydrates and soothes.
The conditioner too has many benefits to offer; for example, it contains jojoba oil and watercress extract, both of which gently cleanse hair while removing flakes.
Furthermore, nettle bark prevents hair loss due to DTH hormone, and soap bark extract helps remove dead cells.
Antioxidants vitamins C and E, as well as soy and quinoa protein, meanwhile protect the hair from free radical damage to keep it thick and shiny.
- A combination of lavender oil, eucalyptus oil, spearmint, and peppermint give a refreshing scent
- Top quality tea tree oil, imported from parts of Queensland and New South Wales in Australia, is used
- The product is cruelty-free, with no animal products used or testing done on animals
- The shampoo and conditioner have multiple benefits for the hair, making it all-around healthy and vibrant
- Some people might experience skin irritation due to sensitivity to essential oils
- Both the shampoo and conditioner should be kept away from the eyes, since they can cause them to burn and water
- Some people find that it doesn’t moisturize enough, and leaves the hair dryer than it should
- The shampoo also doesn’t form a lather very well, so a lot of it might be needed to clean your hair
This product is a creation of John Paul Mitchell Systems, a company that focuses solely on giving customers healthy and beautiful hair.
Started more than 35 years ago, it aims to deliver luxury hair care at an affordable price.
This tea tree special shampoo helps invigorate the hair and gently washes away all the impurities that have accumulated which make it look dull and damaged.
Regular use of the product will give it a healthy shine, a soft feel, and will provide a calming sensation on your scalp.
The main ingredient in this shampoo—clearly—is tea tree oil.
It prevents the buildup of dead skin cells and chemicals on your head so that your hair follicles aren’t blocked or damaged.
Because of its antifungal and antibacterial effects, tea tree oil can also prevent dandruff which is caused by too much dry, scaly skin on the scalp.
Similarly, peppermint oil has antimicrobial properties, helping prevent dead cell accumulation and subsequent flaking.
Furthermore, it has menthol which soothes the scalp and also aids in vasodilation, helping increase blood flow to the scalp and preventing hair loss.
Finally, it contains lavender oil that reduces excessive hair breakage due to damage, and also hydrates hair so that it is lustrous.
Unlike many other products with harsh chemicals, this shampoo is a mild cleanser that does not strip away necessary nutrients from hair follicles.
It also stands out because it is a vegan product that is cruelty-free.
Not only does the company behind the product value the well-being of animals, it also makes it a point to be environmentally-friendly.
It advocates the preservation of natural resources, and has sustainable practices such as planting trees.
Furthermore, it supports multiple charities, as well as athletes and national sport tours.
By buying a Paul Mitchell product you not only help your hair, you also indirectly help the environment and larger community.
- Unlike many other similar products, this shampoo lathers well and helps properly clean out all the dirt from hair
- It is suitable for colored hair, and helps maintain the vibrancy of the initial dye
- It has a pleasant fragrance and gives a nice tingle to your scalp
- The product is cruelty-free and comes from a company with sustainable and ethical business practices
- Some people find that it is too expensive given the quantity and the cost of other similar shampoo products
- The shampoo might not help with dandruff issues for everyone
- Essential oils can cause skin irritation or an allergic reaction in some people, and can also make the skin sensitive to light for a few hours after application
This is another shampoo and conditioner duo, this time from organic beauty company Maple Holistics.
With a tea tree oil base, and a whole range of other beneficial ingredients, this shampoo and conditioner set nourishes the scalp and hair follicles, and protects them from damage.
The tea tree oil comes from high-rated Australian distillation sources, while the other ingredients too are all-natural and of high quality.
Free from sulfates and parabens, it keep your hair voluminous and young, without the irritation or dryness that other products can cause.
The main base ingredient tea tree oil addresses the problem of an itchy scalp with its anti-fungal and antibacterial properties, and also nourishes hair follicles deeply to prevent dryness.
The shampoo contains other helpful ingredients such as wax esters which are very similar to the oil the body naturally produces, so they renew the nourishment that is stripped away by other chemicals while washing.
Similarly, rosemary oil stimulates hair growth so that your hair becomes thick and luscious, botanical keratin helps smooth out frizzy hair and strengthen hair, glycerin keeps the hair moisturized throughout the day, and so on.
Additional ingredients in the conditioner also contribute to better hair, with green tea extract fighting dandruff and stimulating growth, shea butter softening the hair and providing protection from UV rays’ and environmental pollutants’ damage, silk amino acids providing moisture, hibiscus extract protecting natural luster, and so on.
Maple Holistics’ products are guaranteed to be of superior quality, with their ingredients coming from certified sources across the world to the United States, where they are assembled to make the final product.
The product does not wash out color, so those with dyed hair can use it without worry.
It is also an all-natural cruelty-free product, so is suitable for vegans and those who believe in animal rights against testing.
The shampoo and conditioner enhance each other, and together deliver all the right nutrients to your hair to keep it thick, strong, and shiny.
- The shampoo and conditioner set effectively repair hair that is dry, thinning, or prone to breakage
- The products are safe for color-treated hair
- The products are cruelty-free and use natural ingredients
- They ease flakiness and dryness from the scalp
- Some find that the product actually increases dryness for them
- The product doesn’t lather well so it might not clean hair well enough for some, or may require large amounts of shampoo or multiple washes
- Some find the scent too strong and medicinal
- It contains phenoxyethanol, a preservative used to limit bacterial growth, which can cause allergic reactions or eczema in some users
This shampoo comes from Generic Value Products, and is designed specifically to compare to Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo. Generic Value Products develops similar formulas to products with high-end tags and steep prices, and offers them at a much more affordable rate.
This shampoo has been developed with many of the same ingredients to add luster and vibrancy to hair, and prevent dryness and flaking.
It has a refreshing minty fragrance, and gives your scalp that pleasant tingling sensation.
As with the Paul Mitchell product, this shampoo from General Value Products also uses tea tree oil as a base.
Tea tree oil prevents bacteria or fungus from causing irritation or damage on your scalp, and also prevents the buildup of dead cells which can cause dandruff and itchiness.
It can also control the excess sebum production that blocks hair follicles, allowing the hair to grow freely and become lustrous and strong.
Other ingredients work alongside the tea tree oil to protect your hair.
Jojoba seed oil nourishes your hair follicles, algae extract reduces inflammation, heals the scalp, and fights hair loss, wheat germ oil provides vitamins such as vitamin E that can stimulate hair growth, menthol cleans and purifies follicles while treating dandruff spots, and so on.
What really sets this shampoo apart is that it uses almost all the same ingredients as the actual Paul Mitchell product—so, in essence, you’re buying the same product (albeit the formula and composition is not identical) but at a much lower price.
For those who find themselves unable or unwilling to pay the cost of the original, this is a close substitute that might solve their hair problems in a similar manner.
While users may or may not agree that it compares well to the original product, it is definitely close behind if not better, so it might be the wiser alternative for many people.
- The product is similar to Paul Mitchell’s Tea Tree Special Shampoo, but comes at a much more affordable price
- It uses an array of botanical, non-toxic ingredients that naturally improve your hair’s quality
- The shampoo lathers well and deeply cleanses hair to free it from all dust and accumulation of other pollutants
- Not all users find it as effective as Paul Mitchell’s Tea Tree Special Shampoo, and some find it a much weaker version
- The scent might not be strong or pleasant enough for all users
- It contains some sulfates which can irritate the scalp
- Essential oils in the product can cause irritation, allergic reactions, or photosensitivity for some people
What is Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil (aka melaleuca oil) is derived from the leaves of the tea tree (the Australian native plant Melaleuca alternifolia).
Its color varies from being fully transparent and colorless to a pale yellow.
Organic tea tree oil is mostly a clear substance that smells like mint or camphor.
Although tea tree oil has been used throughout Australia for centuries, this essential oil only found its way into globally popular shampoo brands (such as Head & Shoulders) a few years ago.
This oil is derived from the leaves of tea trees, which grows along swamps and streams.
It offers a wide array of clinically proven health benefits (including antimicrobial and anti-dandruff properties) (1).
With its rich content of more than 98 compounds, tea tree oil is becoming an increasingly popular ingredient in many body products (including skin lotions, creams, and shampoos).
When used for natural haircare, tea tree oil can be used alone or paired with other products (such as shampoos, jojoba oil, and coconut oil).
Scientific research has proven that tea tree oil helps treat the following conditions: acne, head lice, respiratory tract infections, nail infections, bacterial infections, psoriasis, bad breath, sores, sunburns, fungal infections, insect bites, dry cuticles (2), and even the deadly Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) (3).
In fact, to date, there are more than 300 scientific studies that are solely about tea tree oil’s antimicrobial properties.
Tea tree oil is effective for skin and haircare, and it can be used as a household cleaner, natural deodorant, insect repellant, laundry freshener, and mold remover.
Tea tree oil deserves praise for its potent antimicrobial, germicidal, and antiseptic properties, which help get rid of dandruff and keep your hair and scalp clean.
Another great thing about using tea tree oil and tea tree oil shampoos is that they can be used by women with all hair types: straight, wavy, curly, coiled, and even colored.
In fact, it’s safe for women of all ages to use tea tree oil beauty products.
In other words, even though tea tree oil has potent antimicrobial abilities, women with thinning hair can safely use tea tree oil to promote hair growth and make their hair look healthier.
Trust me, as a 35-year-old mother-of-one, I know that it can be quite a drag to only be able to choose health-conscious, completely-safe-to-use shampoos and beauty products to keep my hair healthy and prevent hair loss.
However, all tea tree oil shampoos aren’t equally safe, and some don’t contain an efficient amount of tea tree oil.
So in order to get dandruff-free, stronger, shinier hair, you need to find the right tea tree oil shampoo for you.
Benefits of Tea Tree Oil Shampoos
Tea tree oil shampoos offer a wide array of benefits for your hair and skin.
Using such shampoos as part of your daily haircare regimen can significantly improve scalp health and promote hair growth.
Using a tea tree oil shampoo is a healthy way to fight dandruff and treat various other conditions without using artificial chemicals and detergents.
(But make sure your tea tree oil shampoo is naturally formulated and doesn’t contain any chemicals and detergents.)
Tea tree oil shampoos also provide a calming relief for your scalp and skin, reduce itching, treat dry scalp conditions, and help prevent hair loss (4).
The most potent ingredient in tea tree oil is terpinen-4-0L, which has powerful antimicrobial, germicidal, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.
It’s effective against bacteria, fungi, yeasts, and even antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria (such as MRSA) (5).
In addition to helping you treat various hair and scalp conditions, tea tree oil shampoos also help unclog pores and get rid of dirt and dead skin cells (both of which attribute to hair growth).
I’m sure you’ve been adopting various lifestyle changes to encourage hair growth, including drinking more water, eating lots of protein, maintaining a healthy diet, using nourishing conditioners, regularly getting your hair trimmed, and sleeping at least 8 hours per night.
However, it turns out that simply incorporating a tea tree oil shampoo into your daily hair care routine can do so much more.
While the above-mentioned factors are undoubtedly vital to promoting hair growth, numerous studies have shown that tea tree oil effectively enables hair maintenance and growth.
Due to its potent antifungal and antibacterial properties, tea tree oil shampoo is often called one of the most effective natural remedies for treating dandruff.
People with dandruff often experience an excessive production of sebum on their skin and scalp, which triggers the inflammatory process on the surface of the scalp.
This condition results in the scaling or flaking that we call dandruff.
By regularly using a tea tree oil shampoo, you can effectively battle mild-to-moderate dandruff (6).
A shampoo formulated with this potent essential oil also serves as a natural conditioner, which will prevent scalp flaking if you decide to keep such a shampoo in your daily beauty arsenal.
And the best part is that despite its potent antibacterial properties, tea tree oil won’t dry out the scalp as most anti-dandruff shampoos usually do.
And speaking of dry, itchy scalp…
Help Dry and Itchy Scalp
Even if you’ve never had dandruff, you may be experiencing dry, itchy scalp (which can be quite annoying and irritating, especially in the winter).
A dry, itchy scalp can be triggered by your hair’s intolerance to harsh hair products, excessive hair washing, or frequent use of a hair dryer.
It’s also been proven that low humidity and some medical conditions can cause dry, itchy scalp, which is often accompanied by irritation and redness (7).
But you can finally put annoying issues with dry, itchy scalp behind you for good, thanks to the potent antibacterial properties of tea tree oil shampoo.
While the main reasons for dry scalp are infections, fungus, bacteria, and an allergic reaction, tea tree oil has a proven track record for battling all these problems.
If you’re suffering from an itchy, dry scalp, I recommend using tea tree oil shampoos as one of the fastest ways to get rid of it — because this condition could eventually lead to other hair problems (such as hair loss).
The typical 5% concentration of tea tree oil in a shampoo can be enough to address dandruff and other scalp issues.
Promote Longer, Thicker Hair
Although tea tree oil doesn’t directly speed up hair growth, it can indirectly promote growth.
By using a tea tree oil shampoo, you can unclog hair follicles, get rid of the dirt and dead skin cells, and nourish the roots.
These three steps are vital for encouraging hair growth.
Perhaps you’re suffering from dandruff, and you’ve started noticing hair loss or thinning hair.
The reason is that the flaking from dandruff tends to clog our pores, and it leads to inflammation in the follicles, which causes hair to fall out (8).
So basically, hair loss can be a side effect of dandruff.
And by treating dandruff, you get rid of hair loss and promote longer, thicker hair.
Studies have shown that there are several factors associated with tea tree oil’s ability to stimulate hair growth (9):
- It effectively moisturizes the hair and scalp, eliminating dry and itchy sensations.
- It prevents dead skin cells and dirt from building up and clogging the pores.
- It cleanses the pores from the residue of haircare products, which can block hair follicles.
- It controls oil production in the scalp.
Treat Head Lice
While more research is needed for doctors to start recommending tea tree oil as a safe, clinically proven way to treat head lice, more and more people have tried using this essential oil to it.
They claim that washing your head with tea tree oil shampoo is actually effective.
Several studies have found tea tree oil to be effective for killing lice before they reach full maturity.
In fact, tea tree oil shampoos have also been associated with reducing the number of lice eggs that hatch (10).
But it’s not surprising that tea tree oil is capable of eliminating head lice, considering its potent antimicrobial, germicidal, and antiseptic properties.
If tea tree oil can treat seborrheic dermatitis and even the deadly MRSA, it makes sense that studies have concluded that tea tree oil can treat head lice.
Regular use of tea tree oil shampoos removes the enzymes that head lice feed on, which gradually decreases the number of lice eggs and active lice on the scalp.
Here’s the greatest thing about tea tree oil shampoos: unlike other anti-lice hair products, it doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals and detergents that are supposed to help you get rid of head lice.
In other words, tea tree oil shampoos won’t cause redness or irritation to the scalp, and they’re completely safe for treating children with head lice.
Treat Seborrheic Dermatitis
Numerous studies have proven tea tree oil’s effectiveness at killing Malassezia yeasts, which are responsible for seborrheic dermatitis and other hair problems.
Several studies even found tea tree oil to be as effective against Malassezia yeasts as ketoconazole, which is often prescribed to treat seborrheic dermatitis.
In fact, tea tree oil shampoos can be more effective against this condition than using miconazole and econazole (3, 11).
Battle Scalp Psoriasis
There are also several studies that suggest that tea tree oil could be effective at treating scalp psoriasis, which is an inflammatory condition caused by the buildup of inflammatory cells (12).
Although more research is needed to evaluate tea tree oil’s effect on scalp psoriasis, there are anecdotal reports that washing your hair with tea tree oil shampoos helps alleviate symptoms of this inflammatory condition.
Overall Hair Cleaner
By now, you’re probably thinking that it’d be a good idea to start using tea tree oil shampoo as an overall hair cleaner since it treats so many hair and scalp problems and promotes healthy hair growth.
Well, you’re totally right!
In addition to its potent antibacterial action, tea tree oil shampoos improve the overall state of your hair, moisturize the scalp and hair, and remove the dirt and dead skin cells that may clog the pores and damage your hair.
In other words, you can totally benefit from using tea tree shampoos as part of your everyday hair care regimen, even if you’re not suffering from dandruff, head lice, and other hair and scalp problems.
By improving scalp health and removing dead skin cells and the bacteria that are so eager to feed on them, you’ll get rid of odors and flakes, and you’ll prevent a number of other hair and scalp problems.
How Tea Tree Oil Works
Tea tree oil attributes most of its healing and antimicrobial properties to its major ingredient (terpinen-4-ol), which has clinically proven abilities to suppress inflammatory and microbial processes in the human body (13).
The second ingredient found in tea tree oil that kills fungi and yeast in the hair and scalp is 1,8-cineole, which has clinically proven antimicrobial properties (14).
Tea tree oil shampoo’s ability to stimulate new hair growth stems from its brushing effect in the hair follicles.
This essential oil has a natural ability to penetrate the hair follicles and clear out dead skin cells, dirt, and microorganisms.
Remember, natural compounds found in tea tree oil also nourish the roots, moisturize the hair and scalp, and regulate sebum production.
All of these factors are vital for stimulating hair growth (15).
In addition to removing nits and lice eggs, terpinen-4-ol acts as an antifungal agent and kills bacteria that cause excess production of oil, which may lead to white flakes (dandruff).
If you have an itchy, dry scalp, tea tree oil exerts both moisturizing and antibacterial effects that help treat itchy scalp and moisturize the hair and scalp, thus preventing and eliminating dryness.
In addition to its natural germicidal and antiseptic properties, tea tree oil removes excess oil and dirt particles from the scalp, which makes your hair appear healthier and problem-free (16).
If you’ve used tea tree oil before, you’re probably aware of its minty smell and tingly feeling that provide freshness.
When combined with a shampoo, tea tree oil doubles that fresh feeling.
How to Use Tea Tree Oil Shampoos
First and foremost, no matter what tea tree oil shampoo you’ve purchased, make sure you check the instructions on the label.
Each and every tea tree oil shampoo has a unique formula, a set of ingredients, and different amounts of tea tree oil added to it.
In other words, each tea tree oil shampoo may vary from product to product.
Premixed tea tree oil shampoos didn’t exist until recently, or they were extremely difficult to find.
So people had to mix their regular shampoos with tea tree oil at home by adding 3, 5, or even 10 drops.
People had no idea how to mix tea tree oil with shampoos, so we could only guess how to use it in our daily haircare routine.
Some people recommended washing your hair with it twice a day; others said you should let it set for 10 minutes before washing it off.
But nowadays, you can easily find tea tree oil shampoos in retail stores, and we now know the most effective, scientifically proven ways to use tea tree oil shampoos to get all the benefits (from eliminating dandruff and head lice to stimulating hair growth).
While most shampoo manufacturers include instructions about how to use tea tree oil shampoos on the labels, here’s the most common, effective way to use tea tree oil shampoos (in case the product you’ve purchased provides no instructions):
- Step 1: Wet your hair, and pour tea tree oil shampoo into your palm. The amount of shampoo for one washing depends on your hair length (the longer the hair, the more shampoo you need to use).
- Step 2: Rub your palms together, then apply the shampoo to your wet hair.
- Step 3: When shampooing, gently massage the tea tree oil shampoo into your hair and scalp for 3-5 minutes. Then you’ll get better blood circulation to the area.
- Step 4: Make sure no shampoo gets in your eyes, as it may sting a little. In case it does, immediately wash your eyes with lukewarm water.
- Step 5: Let the tea tree oil shampoo set for about 2 minutes before washing it off.
- Step 6: Wash the hair thoroughly
- Step 7: Apply hair conditioner (if you use one). You can use coconut oil as a conditioner for extra-deep conditioning and thorough moisturizing.
It’s safe to wash your hair with tea tree oil shampoos every day, and even replace your regular everyday shampoo with it.
And keep in mind that you’ll only see the benefits if you regularly use tea tree oil shampoos (rather than only once or twice per month).
What to Look for in Tea Tree Oil Shampoos
When purchasing these shampoos, make sure you check how much tea tree oil it contains.
You want to make sure you’re actually buying a tea tree oil shampoo, right?
You’re certainly not looking for some regular shampoo with a tiny drop of tea tree oil in it, while the rest of its content is chemicals and detergents.
That’s why reading the ingredients list on the label is a must!
The problem is that some brands don’t include the actual amount of tea tree oil used to make the shampoo.
But there’s still a way for you to check to see if it contains the sufficient amount of this active ingredient.
The majority of manufacturers list the ingredients in order, according to how much each of them is in the shampoo.
So for example, perhaps 85% of the shampoo is made up of water, 5% is sodium Laureth sulfate, and the rest of the ingredients are less than 10%.
If so, then water will be listed first on the ingredient list, followed by sodium Laureth sulfate (17).
But in our case, we’re looking for tea tree oil.
So if you happen to find tea tree oil listed at the end of the ingredients list of tea tree oil shampoo, you’re better off choosing another one, because this product most likely has a very low (and thus ineffective) concentration of tea tree oil.
Note: Some shampoo manufacturers may list tea tree oil as melaleuca oil.
Look for tea tree oil shampoos with at least 5% tea tree oil.
Since we’ve now established the importance of the concentration of tea tree oil, let’s define a good-quality tea tree oil shampoo.
First of all, look for brands you can trust. Make sure that the brand has a good reputation.
It should only add natural ingredients and have no track record for stuffing its products with harsh chemicals and detergents.
Several studies have shown how these ingredients can damage your hair (18).
All tea tree oil shampoos aren’t safe to use, and they’re not all equally effective.
That’s why you’ll need to find a trusted shampoo manufacturer, which makes a well-balanced formula and doesn’t scrimp on tea tree oil in the shampoo’s content.
When shopping for a tea tree oil shampoo, don’t expect a cheap product to contain high-quality tea tree oil.
You’ll be disappointed with the absence of benefits and results, and you’ll risk stuffing yourself with potentially dangerous chemicals.
Also, make sure the label doesn’t list any ingredients you’re allergic to.
Both sodium Laureth sulfate (SLS) and ammonium laureth sulfate (ALS) can cause allergic reactions and skin irritations (19, 20).
That’s why my advice is to spend more time choosing the right tea tree oil shampoo.
You don’t want to put your health at risk.
What to Avoid in Tea Tree Oil Shampoos
First and foremost, avoid cheap tea tree oil shampoos made by manufacturers with iffy reputations.
And avoid shampoos that list tea tree oil at the very bottom of their ingredients list; they contain an insufficient amount of the essential oil.
Remember to avoid tea tree shampoos containing ingredients you may be allergic to or (if you have sensitive skin) any chemicals and detergents.
Just because a shampoo contains tea tree oil, that doesn’t mean it can minimize all the harm from chemicals.
It’s highly recommended to avoid tea tree shampoos that contain SLS, which is a chemical that you’ll most likely find in most shampoos available on the market today.
The original purpose of SLS was to help remove grease from household surfaces.
It’s commonly added to shampoos and other cleansing products because it makes them more sudsy and foamy.
Prolonged exposure to SLS may result in skin or scalp irritation (21).
Another chemical commonly used in shampoo manufacturing is methylisothiazolinone (MIT), which is added to water-based products to prevent bacteria growth (22).
Several studies have shown that MIT may cause allergic reactions, and it can even negatively affect the nervous system (23, 24).
If you have irritated, itchy, or dry skin, you could be having a reaction to SLS or MIT.
I recommend using a chemical-free shampoo, soap, and other cosmetics for at least two weeks.
Then you can check for improvements in the skin or scalp, which would indicate that you’ve actually developed a reaction to SLS or MIT.
Another great thing about using tea tree oil shampoos is that the essential oil’s potent antimicrobial and cleansing abilities eliminate the need for having SLS and MIT in a shampoo.
That’s why some shampoo manufacturers aren’t scrimping on tea tree oil concentrations in their products or adding SLS and MIT.
There are certain precautions you need to take before starting to use tea tree oil shampoos (just as you would when using any other shampoo).
Remember, it’s important to only choose high-quality tea tree oil shampoos that contain 100% pure tea tree oil, instead of diluted, cheap versions that may cause side effects after prolonged use.
However, even 100% pure tea tree oil can cause side effects and serious damage (if not used properly and cautiously).
Some people are intolerant to tea tree oil, as they can develop allergic reactions to it (including skin irritation, redness, itchiness, and blistering) (25).
That’s why it’s recommended to apply a small amount of tea tree oil shampoo to a small part of your skin.
Then you can make sure you don’t develop any allergic reactions.
For adults, it goes without saying that swallowing tea tree oil shampoos can be toxic.
That’s why all tea tree oil-based products must be kept away from children (26, 27).
While the typical 5 to 10% of tea tree oil in shampoos is lower than the amount that leads to severe symptoms, it’s still recommended to monitor your children when washing with tea tree shampoos.
You must avoid tea tree oil getting on any broken skin or rashes, as the potent compounds found in the essential oil may irritate the skin and exacerbate symptoms.
Some studies suggest that tea tree oil can cause hearing loss when used in the ears, which must be considered before using any tea tree oil cosmetics, especially shampoos.
However, while the studies tested undiluted tea tree oil with high doses, a 2% concentration didn’t show negative effects on hearing.
If you have sensitive skin, tea tree oil shampoos may cause scalp irritations.
The same goes for eucalyptol; if you’re allergic to it, keep in mind that most tea tree oil products often contain it, which can cause skin irritations in the form of rashes, blisters, or even severe spotting.
Remember, it’s also not the best idea to use tea tree oil shampoos if you’re suffering from eczema, as high concentrations of the essential oil may worsen the symptoms (29).
In fact, if you happen to have a bottle of pure tea tree oil, never apply it to your scalp when it’s undiluted and in high doses.
When applied directly to the skin or scalp, tea tree oil may cause allergic reactions.
However, it’s basically impossible to evaluate the real risk of developing skin allergies or irritation after using tea tree oil shampoos.
Most studies have excluded people with previous allergic reactions or skin diseases.
Several studies have shown that most allergies or skin irritations occur after using tea tree oil at concentrations above 5% and that most people tolerate the essential oil well (30).
It’s also recommended to protect tea tree oil products from the air and heat, as the elements found in the essential oil are more likely to irritate the skin or scalp after they oxidize it (31).
Other studies have found that tea tree oil may cause severe blood cell abnormalities, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, hallucinations, drowsiness, stomach ache, and even coma.
However, more clinical studies are needed to research these side effects.
If you want to see truly effective, fast results from using tea tree oil shampoos, it’s recommended that you combine proper hygiene with a healthy diet, get more physical activity, reduce stress levels, stay hydrated throughout the day, and sleep at least 8 hours every night.
Tea tree oil shampoos are becoming more popular worldwide, and there are many options to choose from.
Tea tree oil boasts an impressive list of benefits, including stimulating hair growth, moisturizing the scalp, reducing itching, and eliminating dandruff, head lice, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, baldness, MRSA, and many other hair-related problems.
Tea tree oil shampoos are hailed for all the right reasons.
This essential oil has clinically proven antimicrobial, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, germicide, and moisturizing efficiency.
However, all tea tree oil shampoos aren’t equally effective or safe to use, which is why it’s so important to know what you need to look for when buying tea tree oil shampoos.
It’s also important to know how to properly use tea tree oil shampoos to soak up all the benefits.
Then you’ll also become familiar with all the precautions you need to take before you start washing your hair with tea tree oil shampoos every day.
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