John Paul Mitchell Systems Tea Tree Special Shampoo
Helps balance oily hair
Invigorating tea tree and peppermint scent
Post-consumer recycled packaging
Likely not nourishing enough for dry hair types
Active ingredients (including tea tree) may prove harsh for daily use
John Paul Mitchell Systems Tea Tree Special Shampoo
We put Paul Mitchell's Tea Tree Special Shampoo to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.
Washing your hair can be a mundane beauty chore—or it can be an enjoyable ritual. It all depends on how you look at it and the products you’re using. Personally, I love the sensory benefits that come with a fresh-scented shampoo. Who doesn’t want to turn their shower into a mini day spa?
The Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo is a product that fits the above bill perfectly. Enriched with tea tree, peppermint, and lavender essential oils, this product is not only great for hair health, but it has a certain zingy quality that’s hard to resist.
But how does it fare against my regular shampoo of choice, and is it suitable for all hair types? Of course, I detailed my experience with it below. Keep scrolling for my full review.
Best for: Normal to oily, fine hair types. The brand also claims the product is safe for colored hair.
Uses: An invigorating shampoo that helps with oil and scalp health. Depending on your hair type, it can work for regular use or as a periodic clarifying shampoo.
Hero ingredients: Tea tree oil, peppermint oil, lavender oil, panthenol, glycerin
Byrdie Clean? No; contains PEGs, methylchloroisothiazolinone, and methylisothiazolinone.
About the brand: Paul Mitchell is a haircare brand founded by friends John Paul DeJoria and Paul Mitchell. It’s part of the broader JPMS haircare group, which creates tools and haircare for use both at home and in the salon.
About My Hair: Fine with oily roots and dry ends
My hair is short, fine, and prone to greasiness around the roots. It’s also very soft because I don’t color it. I’m always on the hunt for shampoos that will remove buildup and create volume without stripping or damaging my hair.
The Ingredients: An invigorating essential oil blend
What sets this shampoo apart from others is the inclusion of tea tree, peppermint, and lavender essential oils. This blend brings the benefits of the oils together to improve hair and scalp health while providing a lovely sensory experience.
Tea tree oil has been used in Australia for hundreds of years to treat cuts, bites, infections, and some rashes. While the evidence is minimal, some studies suggest it possesses antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. This is good news for those who experience dandruff and flaking, but if this is your main concern, a dedicated scalp care product with clinically backed ingredients is still probably a better option. What I can attest to is that the tea tree, along with the peppermint and lavender oils, imparts this cooling, tingly, and overall refreshing feeling that I really enjoyed.
A couple other ingredients worth mentioning are panthenol (or vitamin B5) and glycerin. Both of these are well-known moisturizers, so they can assist with creating soft, shiny, manageable hair.
How to Use It: As a standard shampoo
Using the Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo is pretty straightforward. Personally, I like to wash my hair every second night, so I’ve been using the formula about three to four times weekly, massaging it into my roots before rinsing and following up with conditioner. Those who have drier hair types or want to use this product to target product buildup could use this shampoo as a weekly deep clean treatment, as well.
Hair Type Considerations
Because of the deep cleanse it provides, I personally think this shampoo is a top choice for normal to oily hair that’s prone to greasy roots. While it does contain sulfates, the brand does claim that this product is still safe for colored hair. Do with that information what you will, as my hair isn’t colored, so I can’t speak to this specifically.
This product has some unisex appeal, and I’ll also add that my boyfriend tried this product and loved it, claiming it was great for removing residual hair pomade. The scent is also green and herbaceous, which creates a refreshing shower experience and is ideal for anyone who prefers to avoid floral or sweet fragrances.
The Results: Clean, voluminous, revived strands
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.
I will say, however, that the “tingle” effect is pretty intense, and I’m not sure how it would fare with my scalp long term. While I enjoyed the experience, I don’t think I would include it in my hair care routine permanently.
The Value: Not a bargain, but accessible and worth it
At $23 for a 16.9-oz. bottle, Paul Mitchell's Tea Tree Special Shampoo is more expensive than drugstore options, but it's on the accessible end for salon and prestige brands. I love that the product comes in a recycled bottle and uses some nice ingredients, but if you want something at a different price point, you'll find that tea tree shampoos are available at all levels (a few are below). However, this product does what it claims and is a delight to use, making it worth the investment if its benefits sound right for you. It's also available in multiple size options, so you can give the 2.5-oz. size a try for just $7, or get the 33.8-oz. bottle for $38 if you want to get the most bang for your buck.
Similar Products: You've got options
OGX Hydrating + Tea Tree Mint Shampoo: This affordable, sulfate-free formula ($6) uses peppermint and mint for a refreshing shampoo experience. There’s also milk protein to assist with hair strength.
Malin+Goetz Peppermint Shampoo: Rich in amino acids, this fresh formula from Malin+Goetz ($22) has a silky foam that leaves the hair soft, clean, and bouncy. The smell is subtle, but it's really invigorating, too.
Philip B Peppermint Avocado Shampoo: For those who have drier hair or love a luxurious experience, this shampoo from Philip B ($115) also incorporates avocado oil to nourish and soften. In addition, 16 plant extracts work to support overall hair health.
I really enjoyed the Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo. It’s a refreshing formula, which feels great after a particularly sweaty workout, an ocean swim, or on days when your roots are extra greasy. I do worry about using such potent essential oils on my scalp long-term, so I’m not sure I’d repurchase the product immediately. But if you want a shampoo that’s invigorating while simultaneously caring for your hair, you’ll love it.
- Product Name Tea Tree Special Shampoo
- Product Brand John Paul Mitchell Systems
- Price $23.00
- Weight 16.9 oz.
- Full Ingredient List Aqua (Water, Eau), Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Cocamide MIPA, Parfum (Fragrance), Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Panthenol, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Menthol, Hedychium Coronarium (White Ginger) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Algae Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Leaf Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Oleamidopropyl Betaine, Propylene Glycol, Glycol Stearate, PEG-150 Distearate, Citric Acid, Tetrasodium EDTA, Polyquaternium-7, Bisamino PEG/PPG-41/3 Aminoethyl PG-Propyl Dimethicone, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Magnesium Chloride, Magnesium Nitrate, Limonene, Linalool, Citronellol, CI 42090 (Blue 1), CI 19140 (Yellow 5).
Carson CF, Hammer KA, Riley TV. Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) oil: a review of antimicrobial and other medicinal properties. Clin Microbiol Rev. 2006;19(1):50-62. doi:10.1128/CMR.19.1.50-62.2006