Hair Care

Desert Essence Tea Tree Replenishing Shampoo and Conditioner

July 10, 2015
Desert Essence Tea Tree Replenishing Shampoo and Conditioner ($8.99/ea)
Desert Essence Tea Tree Replenishing Shampoo and Conditioner ($8.99/ea)

When I was looking for a new shampoo and conditioner I ended up grabbing for something that was natural, affordable, and available on Amazon. The Tea Tree shampoo and conditioner from Desert Essence are marketed as a fairly “normal” pairing, meaning that they aren’t incredibly hydrating or clarifying, and are meant to work for people who need something balanced, shine-infusing, and gentle.

I love the care put into these. They’re formulated without animal testing, artificial fragrances and dyes, parabens, petroleum compounds (mineral oil/petrolatum/paraffin), SLS, PEGS, PPG, MEA, DEA, TEA, glycols, and phthalates. They boast that the products are recyclable, biodegradable, cruelty-free, and are made using renewable energy sources. The shampoo is also vegan, though the conditioner is not. I haven’t tried a lot from the brand yet, the only thing I can think of is their deodorant, which I did really like.

The pair smell of tea tree and peppermint, and the scent is very pleasant and natural. The scent isn’t terribly strong – it’s nothing like the Tea Tree Lavender Mint products from Paul Mitchell, for example (a range I enjoy, but that can’t boast the many positive qualities highlighted above). The Desert Essence hair care products are also really affordable at around $9 per 13 oz. bottle. They’re widely available at natural health food stores, Vitacost, and Amazon.


The shampoo

Helps restore moisture balance to hair and scalp • Adds shine while helping to reduce flaking • Deeply cleanses without stripping hair’s natural emollients

The shampoo is formulated with tea tree and eucalyptus to help heal a flaking scalp, peppermint to add a cooling sensation, and yucca to condition the hair. I’ve tried a good number of SLS-free shampoos at this point, and some lather more than others. This is a pretty low-lather formula, so that’s definitely something that some people might not like. My boyfriend tried this when he ran out of his shampoo and promptly rushed out to get something stronger for himself. I do find that it works pretty well, but I’d call it a mildly hydrating formula. If you have an oily scalp, I wouldn’t recommend this particular line (but they carry a total of 10 different hair care lines, so there should be something for everyone).

It’s pretty nice for my hair, though. My scalp can be a little sensitive to irritation and prone to itching, and this formula sufficiently cleanses my hair while leaving my scalp feeling very comfortable. I do see on the website that they don’t recommend that people with color treated hair use this line because tea tree can apparently fade hair color. I dye my hair with henna and haven’t noticed any issues with fast fading, but it’s just something to keep in mind. I enjoy it, and appreciate the relatively simple formulation.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Coco-Glucoside (Coconut Derived), Sodium Coco-Sulfate (Coconut Derived), Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Mentha Arvensis Leaf Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Opuntia Vulgaris Extract (Prickly Pear Cactus), Yucca Schidigera Extract (Yucca Cactus), Citric Acid, Glyceryl Oleate (Vegetable Derived), Glyceryl Caprylate (Vegetable Derived), Glycerin (Vegetable Derived), Menthol, Hydroxypropyl Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Benzoate


The conditioner

Removes tangles and minimizes breakage • Helps revive scalp and prevent flaking • Nurtures hair with keratin and vitamin E

The conditioner is formulated with nourishing murumuru butter, healing eucalyptus and tea tree, and aromatic peppermint oil. It’s very creamy in the hand but doesn’t feel ultra slick in the hair. This works very quickly, and I never need to let it sit in my hair for a few minutes in order to get sufficient conditioning. It rinses easily, too. For my normal-ish hair, though, I do find it to be more nourishing than I need. I’ve been doing well with it as long as I’m mindful to not use too much of it. For that reason, I’m working through the bottle of shampoo faster than the conditioner.

Like I said, it’s working fine for me and I’m generally happy. But if we’re getting into the nitty-gritty, I think it has a funny way of feeling a little heavy while still not adding a ton of shine or frizz control. I would totally keep trying out other hair products from Desert Essence, but would likely reach for a different line and definitely wouldn’t be interested in repurchasing this particular conditioner.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Polyglyceryl-2 Stearate, Behenyl Alcohol (Vegetable Derived), Glycerin (Vegetable Derived), Behentrimonium Chloride, Cetearyl Alcohol (Vegetable Derived), Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Keratin Amino Acids, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Hydrolyzed Wheat Starch, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Mentha Arvensis Leaf Oil, Astrocaryum Murumuru Seed Butter, Orbignya Speciosa Kernel Oil, Opuntia Vulgaris Extract (Prickly Pear Cactus), Yucca Schidigera Extract (Yucca Cactus), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Menthol, Citric Acid, Glyceryl Caprylate, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Sodium Chloride


In general, I’d say this pair of products are nice and are a good deal. I think the tea tree line is most appropriate for people with slightly dry hair. They aren’t my favorite hair products in the whole world, but I do appreciate all of the natural and environmentally conscious benefits of them. Their wide availability is a bonus, as well. You can find them at Desert Essence, Whole Foods, Vitacost, Amazon, and natural health food stores for around $9 per bottle.

Have you tried anything from Desert Essence before? What are your favorite natural hair products?

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