Unsung Heroes: Dandruff-Defeating Neutrogena T/Gel Shampoo Original Formula

neutrogena tgelT/Gel to the rescue

I’m gonna put this out there and say that I think dandruff shampoo is easily top three least sexy beauty products. I mean, shiny patent-leather lipgloss or dandruff shampoo: which is a sexier conversation starter?

Dandruff happens, though, and I get it every once in a while, usually around this time of year and during winter. With the cooler weather, my scalp’s been going nuts. It’s flake city.

Enter today’s unsung hero, my old standby, Neutrogena T/Gel Shampoo Original Formula (there are a few different versions).

It’s the only dandruff shampoo that really works for me, and I know this because I ran out last month and decided to try some other dandruff shampoos, and nothing — NOTHING! — worked as well as T/Gel did for me.

What’s an unsung makeup hero? For me, it’s an oftentimes underrated makeup morsel, a permanent collection product that scoots under the radar screen of many makeup lovers but regularly rocks my world. The long-running Unsung Heroes series features some of my favorites.

This caramel-colored shampoo smells like Ricola Cough Drops. The scent is sort of clinical and medicinal, which some people might even call stinky, but I’ve grown to appreciate the scent over the 10+ years I’ve used it.

The active ingredient is coal tar, which is a byproduct of coal processing, and it stops dandruff by slowing the rate at which the skin cells on your scalp die and flake (you can read more about it here).

Active ingredients
Coal Tar 0.5% (2% Neutar® Solubilized Coal Tar Extract) (Anti-dandruff, Anti-seborrheic dermatitis, Anti-psoriasis)

Inactive ingredients
Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamide MEA, Laureth-4, Fragrance, Sodium Chloride, Polysorbate 20, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, DMDM Hydantoin, Citric Acid, Tetrasodium EDTA

Trying those other dandruff shampoos made me realize that there’s a lot out there that just doesn’t work for me. T/Gel works immediately — like, right after the first shampoo. My scalp feels clean, doesn’t itch, and the flakiness — which I was seeing mostly around my hairline right near my bangs — is completely gone. My roots don’t feel greasy or coated with product, either, which happened after I used the other anti-dandruff shampoos. After T/Gel, my scalp and hair feel really, really clean. AHHHHH!

I use it on my roots, and I don’t take it from the roots to the ends, because I just don’t feel like that’s necessary. I coat the mid-shaft and ends with the conditioner first, and then work T/Gel into my roots. Then I leave it in while I shave, sing and think about cats… So, usually three or four minutes. Then I rinse it out.

I don’t think you have to wait like that, but I kind of feel like it gives the medicine a little more time to work. I dunno…

Afterward, the flakes are gone, and my scalp feels much better.

I REALLY love this stuff. We’ve been together for at least 10 years, and we’re still going strong.

I usually buy mine at Target, where it’s $7.99 for an 8.5-ounce bottle, but you can pretty much find it at any drugstore or grocery.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


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