The 11 Best Tea Tree Oil Shampoos of 2022

Our top pick is Paul Mitchell's Tea Tree Special Shampoo

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Best Tea Tree Oil Shampoos

Byrdie / Chloe Jeong

Tea tree oil is one of those unique essential oils that pulls double duty, equally beneficial in both skincare and haircare formulas—thanks to its proven anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. That's why it’s often lauded as a top acne-fighting ingredient, an effective natural alternative to options such as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide.

Byrdie Researched & Approved

Our top pick is the best-selling Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo, which uses tea tree and a combination of essential oils to purify for a refreshed scalp. We also love the more affordable Love Beauty & Planet Tea Tree Oil & Vetiver Shampoo because it's sulfate-free and hydrates while cleansing.

When it comes to your scalp, it’s delivering those same benefits, just for the skin on your head. It is said to be particularly beneficial for those dealing with scalp issues such as dryness, itching, flakes, and even full-on dandruff. Not to mention that the essential oil innately feels refreshing, a major win for anyone who craves that ultra-clean, totally refreshed sensation. The easiest way to reap these benefits? With a tea tree oil shampoo, of course.

To find the very best of tea tree oil shampoos, we conducted hours of research—evaluating each on active ingredients and thousands of customer reviews. We also looked for any additional key features, like if they were sulfate-free or contained fragrance. With expert recommendations from Chicago-based celebrity hairstylist Alex Brown and after considering dozens of formulas, we landed on these top-rated tea tree oil shampoos.

Ahead, find the best tea tree oil shampoos on the market.

Best Overall: John Paul Mitchell Systems Tea Tree Special Shampoo

4.4
Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo
Ulta
What We Like
  • Balances oily hair

  • Adds shine

  • Reduces itch

  • Recycled packaging

What We Don't Like
  • Can be drying

Who else recommends it? Women's Wear Daily, Spy, and StyleCraze all picked the Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo.

What do buyers say? 93% of 41,000+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

This is the haircare giant’s best-selling shampoo, no small feat considering the vast array of competition. The tea tree oil works to deeply purify and is paired with peppermint oil and lavender oil to make it feel extra refreshing and even a little tingly (in a good way), a nice pick-me-up on sleepy mornings. All those essential oils also give this a signature clean and spa-like scent.

Reviewers note that this shampoo is a pro at getting rid of dandruff, so it's a great choice if you're dealing with an itchy or flakey scalp, Along with being effective at cleansing, we also love that it revives lifeless hair for strands that look voluminous and vibrant.

Price at time of publish: $25.50 for 16.9 oz bottle

Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: No | Scent: Tea tree | Size: 10.1 ounces, 16.9 ounces, 33.8 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

What Our Testers Say

"The best thing about Paul Mitchell's Tea Tree Special Shampoo is definitely the feeling. Like a mint for your scalp, it’s tingly, refreshing, and super invigorating. Results-wise, I found it did a great job at restoring volume and movement, all without stripping away my natural oils." - Emily Algar, Product Tester

Best Budget: Love Beauty & Planet Tea Tree Oil & Vetiver Sulfate Free Shampoo

Love Beauty & Planet Tea Tree Oil & Vetiver Shampoo

 Courtesy of Walmart

What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Hydrating

  • Adds volume

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't have a strong lather

In theory, tea tree oil can be a bit stripping, which is why we appreciate that it’s combined with coconut oil to keep your strands nice and hydrated in this option from Love Beauty & Planet. It’s also sulfate-free, relying on plant-based cleansers instead—which is always a good thing if your hair goal is to maintain moisture. And even though you can nab this shampoo at the drugstore, the sophisticated scent is much more like something you’d find in a pricier option. It’s a go-to for Brown, who praises not only the scent and price, but also points out that it adds a nice amount of volume to the hair as well.

Price at time of publish: $6.99

Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Vetiver | Size: 13.5 fluid ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Exfoliating: Yes To Tea Tree & Sage Oil Scalp Relief Shampoo

Yes to Tea Tree & Sage Oil Shampoo

 Courtesy of Walmart

What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Has salicylic acid

  • Reduces itch

What We Don't Like
  • Bottle can leak

Here, you get not only tea tree but also soothing sage oil and gently exfoliating salicylic acid, a choice ingredient for helping to break down any flakes, too. The formula is 97 percent natural and pulls in plenty of great reviews from satisfied customers. Plus, it’s another great wallet-friendly option.

Price at time of publish: $16.99 for 2-pack

Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: No | Scent: Carrots, fresh | Size: 12 fluid ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Organic: Avalon Organics Scalp Treatment Tea Tree Shampoo

Avalon Organics Scalp Treatment Shampoo
What We Like
  • Hydrating

  • Strengthening

  • Safe for sensitive scalps

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't have a strong lather

“I love that this supports scalp health with both tea tree oil and vitamin E and contains quinoa protein for hydration and strength,” says Brown. “It cleanses effectively and gently, and it’s also a good option if you’re sensitive to fragrance.” Not to mention that it's squeaky clean with an organic formula that’s even EWG verified and NSF certified (two accreditations that aren’t easy to come by).

Price at time of publish: $19.49 for 32 oz bottle

Hair Type: Dry | Sulfate-Free: No | Scent: Tea tree | Size: 11 ounces, 32 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best for Oily Scalps: OGX Hydrating + Tea Tree Mint Shampoo

OGX Hydrating + Tea Tree Mint Shampoo
What We Like
  • Has witch hazel

  • Has a satisfying tingle

  • Reduces itch

What We Don't Like
  • Can be drying

If your scalp is constantly oily and greasy, consider taking this for a test run. Along with purifying tea tree oil, this formula also has witch hazel, a known astringent that’s especially good at absorbing excess oil. Peppermint oil gives it an invigorating feel, and this earns bonus points for also having an accompanying tea tree conditioner, too.

Price at time of publish: $7.99

Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Tea tree, mint | Size: 13 fluid ounces | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best for Itchy Scalps: Desert Essences Tea Tree Replenishing Shampoo

Desert Essences Tea Tree Replenishing Shampoo
What We Like
  • Rebalances scalp pH

  • Reduces itch

  • Adds shine

What We Don't Like
  • Can be drying

Tea tree oil and peppermint oil deliver tons of soothing benefits, but this formula also claims to be specially made to help rebalance the pH of your scalp and help alleviate itch in the process. It also touts yucca extract, which has some nice effects on the hair, namely, leaving it smoother and shinier.

Price at time of publish: $10.77 for one 12.7 oz bottle

Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: No | Scent: Tea tree | Size: 12.7 fluid ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Hydrating: HoneySkin Tea Tree Oil Shampoo & Conditioner

HoneySkin Tea Tree Oil Shampoo & Conditioner
What We Like
  • Hydrating

  • Lightweight

  • Repairing

What We Don't Like
  • Reviewers note pump bottles sometimes stop working

Brown says that the addition of coconut oil makes this pick ideal for helping to hydrate the hair, though both the shampoo and conditioner (you get both as a set) are still lightweight enough that they won’t weigh down the hair. Further upping the hydration ante are aloe vera and manuka honey.

Price at time of publish: $26.34 for two 8 oz bottles

Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Tea tree | Size: 8 fluid ounces, 16 fluid ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best for Dandruff: Head & Shoulders Dandruff Shampoo and Conditioner with Tea Tree Oil

Head & Shoulders Dandruff Shampoo with Tea Tree Oil

Courtesy of Target

What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Reduces dandruff

  • Has a satisfying tingle

What We Don't Like
  • Strong scent

Tea tree oil can be a great pick for those dealing with dandruff, and reviewers note that this shampoo is especially great at getting rid of flakes. This formula also boasts pyrithione zinc, which is another proven anti-dandruff ingredient.

Price at time of publish: $5.94

Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: No | Scent: Tea tree | Size: 13.5 fluid ounces | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

For the best results, let it sit on the scalp for a few minutes before rinsing.

Best for Natural Hair: Eden Bodyworks Peppermint Tea Tree Clear Clarifying Shampoo

EDEN BodyWorks Peppermint Tea Tree Clear Clarifying Shampoo
What We Like
  • Hydrating

  • Balances hair's pH level

  • Leaves hair soft

What We Don't Like
  • Reviewers note that smell can be strong

Since some tea tree oil shampoos can be stripping, natural hair types might think they should avoid them. But this sulfate-free formula is a great choice because it efficiently cleanses and removes product buildup without drying out the scalp. Reviewers love that their scalp felt clean and refreshed, and that their hair was easier to detangle and style after use.

Price at time of publish: $14.95

Hair Type: Curly, wavy | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Size: 8 fluid ounces | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Sulfate-Free: Luseta Tea Tree Shampoo

Luseta Tea Tree Shampoo
What We Like
  • Hydrating

  • Reduces itch

  • Lathers well

What We Don't Like
  • Can be drying

If you have a scalp that’s easily irritated or have hair that’s dry or damaged, seeking out a sulfate-free shampoo is always a good move. This one fits the bill and is paraben-free, too. Tea tree oil makes for a nice deep clean, while argan oil softens, smooths, and adds plenty of shine to your strands. It’s an Amazon fan-favorite, with reviewers pointing out how well it works on both their hair and scalp.

Price at time of publish: $18.99 for 16.9 oz bottle

Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Tea tree, argan oil | Size: 16.9 ounces, 33.8 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Tea Tree Oil: Briogeo B.Well Australian 100% Tea Tree Skin & Scalp Oil

Briogeo B.Well Australian 100% Tea Tree Skin & Scalp Oil
What We Like
  • Mixes with any shampoo

  • Doubles as a skincare product

  • Reduces itch

What We Don't Like
  • Small amount

Ever wish you could transform your favorite shampoo into a tea tree oil shampoo? You can with this pick—a pure version of tea tree oil. All you have to do is add a few drops to any shampoo, and you're on your way to a hydrated and itch-free scalp. And because this contains just straight-up tea tree oil, you can also easily use it for skin care purposes. Multi-tasking for the win.

Price at time of publish: $32

Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Size: 1 fluid ounce | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Final Verdict

Our top pick is the Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo. It deeply cleanses the hair and has a great refreshing feeling to it, thanks to the addition of lavender and peppermint oil. However, if you're looking for something that won't break the bank, you can't go wrong with the Love Beauty & Planet Tea Tree Oil & Vetiver Sulfate-Free Shampoo.

Meet the Expert

Alex Brown is a Chicago-based celebrity hairstylist and the owner of her private hair studio, Space by Alex Brown. She previously worked with celebrity stylist, Jen Atkin and has worked with celebrities across the globe.

What to Look for in a Tea Tree Oil Shampoo

Tea Tree Oil

Sounds silly, but do a quick check to make sure it’s high up on the ingredient list to ensure that there’s actually enough of it in the formula to make a difference. The lower it is in the ingredient list, the less effective it may be. Since you're most likely using a tea tree oil shampoo for a specific hair concern, you want to make sure that the ingredient is prevalent in the overall formula.

Sulfate-Free

According to Brown, this is one of the more important criteria to look for. If you’re using a tea tree oil shampoo, you likely have some type of issue happening with your scalp, and sulfates will only exacerbate that. Sulfate-free formulas are usually more gentle on the hair, and can cleanse without irritating your scalp,

FAQ
  • What are the benefits of tea tree oil shampoo?

    “Tea tree shampoo is helpful for unclogging hair follicles without stripping away the natural oils,” says Brown, who also points out that it’s great for addressing both scalp irritation and dandruff.  

  • How often should you use tea tree oil shampoos?

    Tea tree oil is a great ingredient, but too much of it can have the opposite of its intended effect. Rather than using it daily or every time you wash, Brown suggests using it every other day or every other wash.

Why Trust Byrdie

Byrdie contributor Melanie Rud has over a decade of experience in the beauty industry, writing for some of the biggest magazines and websites out there.

Updated by Shannon Stubbs
Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
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  2. Satchell AC, Saurajen A, Bell C, Barnetson RS. Treatment of Dandruff With 5% Tea Tree Oil ShampooJ Am Acad Dermatol. 2002;47(6):852-855. doi:10.1067/mjd.2002.122734

  3. The 11 best tea tree oil shampoos for oily scalps. Women's Wear Daily. https://wwd.com/shop/shop-beauty/best-tea-tree-oil-shampoos-1234688529

  4. The 13 best tea tree oil shampoos to soothe dandruff, scalp itch and thinning Hair. Spy. https://spy.com/articles/grooming/hair/best-tea-tree-oil-shampoo-213371

  5. 15 best tea tree oil shampoos to keep your scalp clean (2022). StyleCraze. https://www.stylecraze.com/articles/best-tea-tree-oil-shampoos

  6. Arif T. Salicylic Acid As a Peeling Agent: A Comprehensive Review. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2015;8:455-461. doi:10.2147/CCID.S84765

  7. Trüeb RM. North American Virginian Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana): Based Scalp Care and Protection for Sensitive Scalp, Red Scalp, and Scalp Burn-Out. Int J Trichology. 2014;6(3):100-103. doi:10.4103/0974-7753.139079

  8. Park M, Cho YJ, Lee YW, Jung WH. Understanding the Mechanism of Action of the Anti-dandruff Agent Zinc Pyrithione Against Malassezia Restricta. Sci Rep. 2018;8(1):12086. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-30588-2

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