Best Tea Tree Shampoos

Updated December 2021
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Buying guide for best tea tree shampoos

You may have heard of the wonders of tea tree oil. This essential oil is used in many applications, including tea tree shampoo, which can help with dandruff, hair loss, and head lice. In addition to soothing and cleansing the skin, tea tree shampoo gives your freshly cleaned scalp a tingly feeling that can be a pleasant way to start your day.

Tea tree oil comes from a small Australian tree called Melaleuca alternifolia. Tea tree oil shampoos come in a variety of scents, from pure tea tree oil to mint. The tea tree oil content varies from one product to the next, and shampoos with a higher concentration are slightly harsher. You should choose a tea tree shampoo based on your personal needs, keeping in mind any skin conditions or infections you may have.

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Many people find the tingling sensation of tea tree oil pleasant, though it can take some getting used to.

Benefits of tea tree oil

First, a word about the central ingredient of tea tree shampoo: tea tree oil. Also called melaleuca oil, tea tree oil is naturally antibacterial and antifungal. The conditions that tea tree oil shampoo can treat include the following.       

Head lice: Tea tree oil can destroy the enzymes that support head lice, causing them to die off. It can be used to treat an existing infestation or to prevent future infestations.

Hair loss: By strengthening the roots of your hair and clearing out dirt that can slow hair growth, tea tree oil is thought to reduce hair loss and encourage new hair growth.  

Seborrhoeic dermatitis: Also known as dandruff, this skin condition exists in conjunction with a fungus that occurs naturally on the scalp. Tea tree oil can greatly reduce dandruff.

Psoriasis: Many people find that tea tree shampoo can soothe and reduce psoriasis on the scalp. 

Even if you don’t have a specific condition that needs treatment, tea tree shampoo is an excellent shampoo that can keep your hair healthy, clean, and moisturized. The oil coats your hair, giving it natural protection — a great benefit if you use chemical-heavy hair products.

Key considerations

As with any shampoo, tea tree shampoos vary in scent, texture, and ingredients. To find the right tea tree shampoo for your hair and scalp, first consider factors like tea tree oil content and the presence of additional ingredients in a product. How would they affect your hair type?

Tea tree oil content

While many companies do not list the exact tea tree oil content, you should look for a shampoo with around 5% tea tree oil for best results.

Also, note whether a shampoo contains 100% pure tea tree oil. If a product does not mention pure tea tree oil, this is a red flag that you may be looking at a lower-quality product that wouldn’t offer the same benefits as a 100% tea tree oil shampoo.

Your hair and scalp type

Tea tree oil shampoos come in as many varieties as regular shampoo and are not limited to any one hair type or scalp type.

If you have an overly oily scalp, look for a shampoo with a formula focused on removing excess oil and cleansing your skin. Stay away from products focused on hydration: tea tree oil already adds natural hydration.

If you have a dry scalp, you should avoid volumizing shampoos, as these can remove moisture from your skin.

For brittle or thin hair, a fortifying shampoo — especially one with tea tree oil — is your best option to prevent breakage and strengthen your hair.

For curly or fluffy hair, a moisturizing shampoo helps reduce volume and frizz.

If you have oily or greasy hair, a balancing shampoo helps your hair reach a midpoint between frizzy and oily for a healthy, moisturized feel.


Many tea tree oils have a minty scent that is often associated with tea tree oil. This may take some getting used to, and some people find the fragrance overwhelming.

Additional scents in tea tree shampoos may include lavender, peppermint, or rosemary. Check the ingredients to see whether these fragrances are added naturally or artificially.

Bottle style

The bottle style can affect not only how you dispense your shampoo but also how it feels on your head.

Pump bottles allow for easy dispensing and only take one hand to use. However, they are prone to leaking and can be difficult to take with you when you travel. Some pump bottles foam the shampoo so you don’t have to whip it into a lather on your head.

Screw-top and flip-top bottles are the classic choices. The mechanism is straightforward, relying on gravity or physical squeezing to dispense the shampoo.

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Did you know?
Pure tea tree oil can irritate your skin, but when diluted in shampoo, it is an excellent ingredient for protecting your hair and scalp.

Ingredients to avoid

Just because a shampoo contains tea tree oil doesn’t mean it’s free of harmful ingredients that could irritate your skin or damage your hair.

Sulfates are added to many shampoos to increase the foaming quality of the product. However, they also dry out skin and can worsen conditions like eczema, seborrhoeic dermatitis, and psoriasis.

Parabens are preservatives designed to reduce mold and bacteria growth in shampoos (and countless other beauty products). The adverse health effects of parabens are unclear, but many choose to steer clear of them just to be safe.

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For your safety
If you regularly use hair products like gel or spray, tea tree shampoo can protect your hair from potentially damaging chemicals.

Tea tree shampoo prices

Basic tea tree shampoos for $5 to $10 are usually all-around products that don’t focus on specific hair types or skin issues. These may include sulfates and parabens, and the tea tree oil may not be 100% pure.

For $10 to $20, you’ll find tea tree oils that focus on a variety of hair types and specific skin issues. Some organic shampoos can be found in this range.

Tea tree shampoos that sell for $20 to $40 often have organic ingredients and almost always contain 100% pure tea tree oil. These may include other beneficial natural oils, such as avocado oil or essential oil. Some shampoos in this range are designed to target specific issues.


  • Do not ingest tea tree shampoo. This could have harmful effects. As a topical treatment, however, it is perfectly safe.
  • Test the shampoo first. Some people are sensitive to tea tree oil. Before lathering your hair, apply a bit of it to a discreet place to see how your skin reacts.
  • Explore hair care options that complement your shampoo. Tea tree oil shampoo pairs well with other natural conditioners and hair products. This is particularly helpful if you want to establish a chemical-free hair care routine.
  • Consider additional tea tree products. If you find that tea tree shampoo works well for your hair and skin, you may also appreciate a tea tree soap or face wash.
"The best tea tree oils are 100% pure and come from Australia, where the tea tree is found. "

Other products we considered

For a shampoo and conditioner combo, the ArtNaturals Tea Tree Shampoo and Conditioner Set is an excellent option for treating a dry or itchy scalp. The inclusion of ingredients like aloe vera and rosemary makes this a soothing pair of products, and many customers find them to be pleasingly affordable.

Another popular option is the Honeydew Tea Tree Peppermint Moisturizing Shampoo, which features a mix of 100% organic essential oils. Customers find this to be an effective product for dealing with head lice or greasy hair.

For treating dandruff and itchiness, the Baebody Tea Tree Oil Shampoo is another reliable option that gives your hair a soft feel and doesn’t lead to oil buildup. It works well on color-treated hair, and it does an excellent job of reducing itching.

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As with any shampoo designed to treat skin issues, it may take several weeks before tea tree shampoo yields noticeable results.


Q. Are tea tree shampoos safe for color-treated hair?
Many are, but you should check first. Look for a statement from the manufacturer that the shampoo will not damage color-treated hair.

Q. Can tea tree shampoo be left in?
No. Tea tree shampoo should be washed out of your hair. However, there are some tea tree conditioners that can be left in.

Q. Can I use tea tree shampoo as body wash?
You could, as tea tree shampoo is designed to treat your scalp just as much as it treats your hair. However, you may find that a tea tree body wash works better.

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