Natural Product Review: Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo
As a person with thin, picky hair, I have struggled with finding just the right shampoo and conditioner. Having stayed with a typical shelf brand for literally years, I was hesitant when it came to trying something new in an effort to “go green.” However, learning more about sulfates and parabens definitely gave me a kick-start to dump the chemical-filled products in my bathroom.

Why rid my shower of products with sulfates and parabens?
Sulfates are used to make products foam up and create suds, which is not a bad thing in and of itself, but sulfates are also toxic and known to over-dry the skin and hair. Of course, shampoo by definition is supposed to rid a person’s hair of excess oil, and most people find this desirable. Over-drying however, which sulfates are known to do, can actually be a cause of oily hair because a person’s oil glands try to over-compensate if the skin or hair is dry. So here I was suffering from oily hair, and washing it more with sulfate-filled shampoo so that it wouldn’t be so oily, and all I was doing was making it worse! Balancing the oils in one’s scalp is key to healthy, strong, and shiny hair.Parabens are a class of chemicals used as preservatives in many personal care products. Parabens imitate estrogen, and can interfere with the natural hormones in one’s body, and may be linked to some types of cancer and reproductive issues. While there are limits to the concentration of parabens a manufacturer can put in a product, there aren’t limits for how many various types of parabens can be included, or how much exposure a person gets from all his or her various products. Really, there is still a lot of research being done to discover just how these chemicals may be reacting with our bodies, but in my opinion, toxic products really don’t belong on my skin.

Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle: Pros
After deciding that sulfate- and paraben-free is the way to go, good ol’ TJ’s was right there for me, waiting with an affordable and high-quality option. Tea Tree Tingle serves its name well—it’s refreshing, cooling, and has a slight clean tingle to it. One great thing about Tea Tree Tingle that other sulfate-free shampoos often miss is the lathering factor. Despite its lack of sulfates, the shampoo still lathers well, which most of us are accustomed to. Finally, this shampoo cleans your hair–that’s what it’s meant to do right?! It doesn’t make any fantastic claims to give you amazing body or lift or curl or that it will make you look like a hair model, but it cleans your hair, and does it well. It leaves my hair soft and well cleaned, but not stripped of all moisture or full of conditioner build-up. In fact, the longer I’ve used this shampoo and conditioner set, the less I have to wash my hair. Once an every-day shampooing devotee, I now shampoo every-other day; Tea Tree Tingle would be to use in a low-poo or co-washing routine, too. I tribute the gentle, yet effective wash in part to the natural foaming agent (cocamidopropyl betaine) and natural preservative (grapefruit seed extract) used in Tea Tree Tingle. The more natural and effective ingredients used, the better; thanks to TJ’s Tea Tree Tingle for my naturally balanced hair oils!

Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle: Cons
Unfortunately, while this product is sulfate- and paraben-free, it does list small amounts of two ingredients with debated implications for health: C12-14 olefin sulfonate and sodium hydroxymethylglycinate. First, olefin sulfonate is a foaming agent related to sulfates; while olefin sulfonate is less toxic that SLS or SLES, it can also be drying. Tea Tree Tingle does list the safer, gentler cocamidopropyl betaine as a secondary foaming agent, but I wish it were the only foaming agent used here. Second, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate is a preservative used in place of parabens, but can also be a skin irritant in high doses. Again, grapefruit seed is listed as a secondary preservative; I just wish it were the only preservative used. I use up my shampoo fast enough, anyway!Bear in mind that I can speak only for my hair, which I mentioned has been thin and lifeless; should you have hair that is thick and full of life (congratulations!) I would still suggest giving Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle a shot, as it’s the best and most affordable sulfate- and paraben-free shampoo and conditioner I’ve tried.

Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle: Ingredients
Shampoo: Aqua (purified water) with *tea tree (melaleuca alternifolia) oil, *peppermind (mentha piperita) oil, *eucalyptus (eucalyptus officinalis) oil, *rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis) oil, *nettle (urtica dioica) oil, *thyme (thymus vulgaris) oil, birch leaf (betula alba) oil, *chamomile (anthemis nobilis flower), *clar

y (salvia sclarea), *lavender (lavandula angustifolia), *coltsfoot leaf (tussilago fargara), *yarrow (achillea millefolium) oil, *mallow (malva sylvestris), *horsetail (equisetum arvense) oil, *soybean protein (glycine soja), C12-14 olefin sulfonate (coconut derived), cocamidopropyl betaine, Tocopherol (vitamin E), trace minerals, citric acid (corn), sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, sodium chloride (sea salt), grapefruit seed (citrus derived). *organic

Aqua (purified water) with *tea tree (melaleuca alternifolia) oil, *peppermind (mentha piperita) oil, *eucalyptus (eucalyptus officinalis) oil, *rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis) oil, *nettle (urtica dioica) oil, *thyme (thymus vulgaris) oil, birch leaf (betula alba) oil, *chamomile (anthemis nobilis flower), *clary (salvia sclarea), *lavender (lavandula angustifolia), *coltsfoot leaf (tussilago fargara), *yarrow (achillea millefolium) oil, *mallow (malva sylvestris), *horsetail (equisetum arvense) oil, *soybean protein (glycine soja), cetyl alcohol (plant derived), Tocopherol (vitamin E), trace minerals, citric acid (corn), sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, grapefruit seed (citrus derived). *organic

Originally posted 2013-01-15 00:42:00.

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6 Responses

  1. I hate this product started using it two weeks ago and my hair never feel or smells clean. I wake up with greasy hair every morning

    • Oh no! Every person’s hair is different, and what works for one may not work for someone else. In my experience, I definitely had to push through a greasy hair period — about a month, I would say. My hair was so reliant on over-drying products that it took some time to achieve a more natural balance.

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