Thursday, January 24, 2008

Product Review: Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo

When my beloved Costco-sized bottle of Paul Mitchell's Shampoo Two ran out last month, I kept my fingers crossed that CVS would have the product in stock. I'm far too lazy to drive to my hair salon every time I want to pick up a fancy-schmancy hair product, so I take my chances with what's on the shelf at my local drugstore or grocery store. Of course, the selection varies greatly month to month (salon brands only show up in regular stores because a salon owner has decided to sell off extra merchandise to Target or Rite Aid, not because these stores order directly from Paul Mitchell, Redken or any other salon brand). I'm such a creature of habit that I would buy the same product forever if it was available, so the narrow selection often ends up leading me to try new products.

CVS didn't have my Shampoo Two, but since I've become quite loyal to Paul Mitchell (high quality products, nice scents, cool minimalist packaging), I looked around for an appropriate shampoo for my hair type that I hadn't tried yet. The strangely shaped bottle of Tea Tree Shampoo caught my eye, and I picked it up to take a whiff. I have to admit that I'm a sucker for anything with the words "minty," "tingly" and "invigorating" on the bottle, but I was particularly impressed by the shampoo's scent, which was more warmer and more complex than your typical peppermint patty-scented product. I haven't had the best experiences in the past with scented beauty products, since brands often attach a strong scent to a worthless product, hoping consumers will like the smell enough to ignore the fact that the cleanser/lotion/conditioner does nothing. But I decided to give it a try (I saved my receipt just in case).


The true test of the shampoo was whether it could leave my naturally oily hair and scalp feeling squeaky clean after a long workout, as the Shampoo Two did. I poured a quarter-sized dollop of shampoo into my hands and worked it into a lather. Right away my shower filled with the minty tea tree scent, while my head felt tingly and refreshed. When I washed the product out, I was glad to see that there was no need for a second shampoo, and even after putting in conditioner, my scalp was still tingling. It still felt nice and cool after I got out of the shower, and my hair looked great once I blowdryed and styled it.

My boyfriend, who's usually oblivious to subtle changes in my beauty routine, complimented me right away on how good I smelled, the scent still present a few hours after I'd washed my hair. But the true sign of how great this shampoo is came when I flew home to Michigan for the holidays and did something totally out of character. Instead of threatening my younger sister with a slow, painful death if she used my beauty products, I told her she should try my new shampoo next time she took a shower. She looked a little dumbstruck at the news, but eager to take advantage of my curious generosity, she went to take a shower. She came out raving about how nice her head felt, asking me where she could pick up the shampoo (for a girl who usually buys whatever is on clearance at the drug store, this was quite a step).

In reading reviews online, it seems that a lot of people with both oily and dry, dandruff-prone scalps have had positive experiences with this shampoo, though I would be careful if your hair is chemically processed, since it is a very strong cleanser. Like any strong scent, not everyone will love this one, and you might want to stay away if you wear certain perfumes or scented products, as it could compete. But more than a month later, I'm still in love with this product, and plan on ordering my next bottle online, just in case CVS is out.

9 comments:

Mikaela said...

This stuff is the best. I also love the deep treatment conditioner with the beads in it. Great when you want a really clean feeling, and fantastic in summer because it's so cooling.

However, I must get after you for buying these products at the drugstore, that is diversion! I'm licensed, and it is just forbidden that you ever sell product to mass merchants...

Anonymous said...

Actually, the Beauty Brains posted a great response to this.

http://thebeautybrains.com/2006/06/11/are-salon-products-in-regular-stores-the-same-as-those-in-salons/

Anonymous said...

Meg - I will definitely be trying this! I seem to fall in love with all Paul Mitchell products. However, Right now I am using Aveda's rosemary mint shampoo and conditioner, which I highly recommend to everyone, its really fabulous and it gives you that clean and refreshing tingly feeling and great smell for hours after!

Anonymous said...

My high school gym teacher (who still has the strongest, shiniest, healthiest head of hair I've ever seen) once told me she used this shampoo, and I've used it ever since. It's great! I do find that it's kind of hard to use at night because of the tingly-scalp feeling, but I love using it in the morning, especially for those 9 AM classes I always seem to sign myself up for. I currently have the shampoo in the tall white bottle, but my conditioner is in the same bottle as your picture, and I find that it has a sort of weird plasticy smell associated with it that I don't smell with the shampoo. Really that's my only gripe.

anastasia said...

Hmm, I only wash my hair about once every two weeks (I wet and condition every day, but it's super curly and naturally dry), still, I love love love tingly minty tea tree kind of things. My shampoo bottles last months and months, so maybe I'll pick up a bottle and try it.

Scale Junkie said...

I love this shampoo too because its the only thing that works on my winter flaky scalp. I ran out once a few winters ago and couldn't find it, it was Sunday and every salon I went to was closed so I wandered into Sally Beauty Supply and found a generic version of the Tea Tree shampoo and conditioner. Its slightly milder than the original but it worked just as well for me at a fraction of the price. So if you are ever stuck without access to it again and there is a Sally near by, give it a try.

Anonymous said...

im a big paul mitchell fan and am trained in their systems.
diversion is so sketchy!
they can sometimes have counterfeit or watered down product for almost double the cost!
not to mention the gross bacteria content found in diverted product.
i suggest stocking up now, as the liter duos of shampoo and conditioner are on sale for 35 instead of about 60 dollars.
www.behindthebottle.com

thefashionablepundit said...

This is a wonderful product alas I can no longer use it as the smell reminds me of my first love.

Anonymous said...

I will agree with the last to second comment. I am a graduate from Paul Mitchell School and diversion is BAD BAD BAD. You are taking a chance on what you are buying and placing onto your head ans scalp. There has been so many cases of bacteria growth from diversion products at Target and Walgreens. You are not buying it from a salon so therefore, it is not gaurenteed!!! There has even been cases of ACID and HOUSEHOLD cleaners in these bottles. So be very weary. Also, you must try the scalp and hair repair from tea tree..... it is awesome