October 16, 2007

The Best Natural Clarifying and Dandruff Shampoo I've Found

Tea tree oil is like the Meryl Streep of natural beauty. Just when you think it's impeccably performed every role possible, it plays another one. From Australia's Melaleuca alternifolia plant, tea tree oil is antiseptic, antifungal, and antibacterial. Studies have shown it as effective as benzoyl peroxide in treating acne—without causing redness, dryness, or irritation like BPO does. Tea tree oil is used in toothpaste to fight bad breath, in deodorants to kill odor-causing bacteria, and in shampoos to fight dandruff.

Cult favorite Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Shampoo is the best weekly clarifying and anti-dandruff shampoo I've used. I return to it time after time. Those with exceptionally oily hair, scalp itchiness, or dandruff may opt to use it every other day for a couple weeks.

Pretty factor: The one-two punch of tea tree and peppermint oils de-bacterialize, boost micro circulation (=increased hair growth), and invigorate the senses—hello new day! Interestingly, peppermint is thought to be an anti-androgen, helping to lower the production of the hormone DHT, which is responsible for excess sebum production and hair loss.

Eco factor: Giovanni products are made with natural, organic ingredients. No animal byproducts or testing.

To buy: $7 at drugstore.com and Whole Foods