Neutrogena T Gel Line Review And Breakdown

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Itching your scalp is never a good look. Having to defend your excessive itching with “I promise it’s not lice, it’s only dandruff” hardly helps. Okay, so maybe you don’t have a parasite infestation in your hair, but your scalp peeling and flaking dead skin is not much of an improvement. You’re not alone. According to a study from 2006, “dandruff is a common complaint and is suffered by as many as 50% of the population at some time during their life”. Most people rush to the nearest drug store to buy an anti-dandruff shampoo to quickly solve this common problem.

However, we forget that while we’re focusing on getting rid of those flakes we’re just fixing the symptom, not the root of the problem. There are three common culprits when it comes to a flaky scalp: seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, and yeast called malassezia.

Seborrheic dermatitis includes symptoms such as reddened, irritated skin and sometimes an oily scalp. The flakes you get are also larger than ‘normal’ dandruff. This is different from psoriasis, where your scalp is inflamed and there is a buildup of powdery plaques on the skin’s surface.

Both are equally uncomfortable and usually embarrassing to deal with. Malassezia is from the fungi family and basically results in yeast growing in the hair follicle producing inflammation. Whether you’re dealing with this yeast or with a skin condition this is where Neutrogena’s T Gel line comes in.

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Neutrogena T Gel Line Explained

Back of woman with short blonde hair.

Woman with healthy, dandruff-free hair.

Neutrogena’s T Gel line is dermatologically recommended. This already tells me that it’s not just a quick-fix anti-dandruff shampoo range but that it contains medicinal ingredients to target the source of my dandruff. The ‘T’ in T Gel is derived from Coal Tar which belongs to the anti-psoriatic and anti-seborrheic family.

These words should sound familiar as they’re the root skin conditions that can cause dandruff. Coal tar is used to treat oily, itchy skin as it has anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. With that many ‘anti’s’ how could you not try it?

Due to these specific elements of Coal Tar, the main symptom that Neutrogena’s T Gel eliminates is the itchiness. Which as we said earlier, is the most noticeable component to getting those unwanted lice comments.

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This T Gel line contains three main active ingredients. The primary substance is Neutar, which is a patented solubilized Coal Tar extract which just means it’s Coal Tar but in an ‘easy-to-use’ version. It normalizes the scalp and reduces inflammation (as mentioned earlier).

The second active ingredient is Zinc Pyrithione. It diminishes yeast production on the scalp, which can be a common source of dandruff. Indeed, a study from 2018 found that Zinc Pyrithione “provided improvement in the main symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis.” Lastly, Salicylic acid helps clear the flake build up, splitting them into smaller pieces which are more easily washed away.

These powerhouses of ingredients mean that Neutrogena’s T Gel line really fights the root cause of your dandruff. There are a number of different products in this range to suit your personal flaky needs, so let’s break down a few of them.

Neutrogena T Gel Therapeutic Shampoo Review

Pair of T gel therapeutic shampoo bottles.

T Gel Therapeutic Shampoo.

The Neutrogena Therapeutic Shampoo is a classic case of not judging a book (or in this case shampoo) by its cover. Okay so maybe it doesn’t look that nice (a brown thick substance), and it sure doesn’t smell that nice (kind of like a tire store). However, with the results, it provides you really can’t complain.

Neutar solution is the active ingredient in this shampoo. It’s a soluble Coal Tar extract which slows the proliferation of the skin cells (overproduction which leads to excess dead skin). It’s also been known to reduce inflammation which decreases any itching.  

I washed my hair, worked the shampoo into my roots and left it in for several minutes. I then proceeded to rinse and repeat, and the results were undeniable. The flakes and redness were reduced from the very first wash. You only need to use it twice a week to treat scalp conditions.

This is also a great product for those of us who suffer from the occasional flaky scalp but no real scalp condition per se. It’s stronger than your drug store anti-dandruff shampoo’s but is mild enough to be used occasionally without any irritation.

If you’ve wasted your time trying every drugstore anti-dandruff shampoo to no avail, then this Therapeutic shampoo is the answer to your prayers.

Neutrogena T Gel Therapeutic Shampoo Extra Strength Review

Neutrogena Extra Strength Shampoo

Neutrogena Extra Strength Shampoo

Neutrogena’s Extra Strength T Gel Therapeutic Shampoo is exactly what it says on the bottle. It’s the same as the original therapeutic shampoo but just a more intense version. It has double the number of active ingredients as the original formula! It contains 4% Neutar which, as we’ve said, helps remove those extra skin cells and calm any inflammation.

Having said that, you definitely shouldn’t be jumping straight to this shampoo without trying the original shampoo first. If the regular Neutrogena T Gel Therapeutic shampoo doesn’t show any improvement to your dandruff after extended use, then this Extra Strength shampoo might be for you! I repeat extended use – it takes some time to see effective results so give it a chance.

The smell of this product is a little stronger than the original but honestly, it’s not unpleasant, just strong. I usually follow up this shampoo with my regular conditioner so that solves the scent problem anyway. My favorite thing that I noticed about this particular product is that my hair felt really clean after use.

It felt significantly cleaner than when I used the original shampoo (which is saying something). You can really feel your hair being stripped of the dirt and oils from your scalp. Nothing better than a squeaky clean, flake-free scalp!

Take me to Amazon: T Gel Therapeutic Shampoo Extra Strength

Neutrogena T Gel Daily Control 2-in-1 Dandruff Shampoo Plus Conditioner Review

2 in 1 Dandruff Shampoo + Conditioner

2 in 1 Dandruff Shampoo + Conditioner

When I have any kind of skin condition I’m the sort of person who will totally overuse any product that can help me. Sunburn? I’m covered in Aloe Vera. Dry skin? I’m drenched in body lotion. Flaky scalp? I’m going to run out of this 2-in-1 before you can even say the word ‘flaky.’

However, the first thing I noticed with this shampoo is that you really don’t need to use a lot of it. After using it for two weeks not even a third of the bottle has been used. And the results are that my hair is thicker, my dandruff has basically disappeared, and I’m not sitting at my office desk scratching away at my scalp.

Being that this product is a 2-in-1 it’s great for those rushed mornings when you just don’t have time for a conditioner (get it here!). However, if I have the time I like to use my usual conditioner in addition to this product as the smell of the T Gel isn’t bad, but it also isn’t great.

Pyrithione Zinc is the active ingredient in Neutrogena’s Daily Control 2-in-1 T Gel shampoo. This substance is an antimicrobial meaning it fights yeast infections – a common cause of scalp conditions. This a milder more commonly used ingredient in fighting dandruff.

That’s why it’s safe for daily use! What’s more is that this product also contains Vitamin E for that added moisture boost. Vitamin E not only nourishes the hair and scalp for that conditioned feel, but it also helps protect the hair from any further damage. It’s a no-brainer choice for those dry scalps out there.

Neutrogena T Gel Therapeutic Shampoo Stubborn Itch Review

Neutrogena Stubborn Itch Shampoo

Neutrogena Stubborn Itch Shampoo

This particular shampoo in the range contains the secret ingredient Menthol to soothe and cool your itchy scalp. The minty harshness not only breaks down the build-up of dead skin but relieves the itchiness that comes with it. You shouldn’t be having to deal with incredibly itchy hair in addition to your already stressful day.

It’s not only embarrassing to continuously scratch away at your head but if you’re anything like me running around like a headless chicken, I don’t have time to be constantly dealing with an itchy scalp. Once you start scratching, it suddenly becomes all you can think about. Neutrogena’s Stubborn Itch shampoo cures what can become an incessant distraction.

The smell of this shampoo is notably stronger than the others in the Neutrogena T Gel line. Personally, it’s a small price to pay to avoid the embarrassment of continued itching throughout the day. The smell only lasts for a few hours.

I use it at night before bed and in the morning the smell is gone. I have to add that the strength of this Stubborn Itch shampoo also has the tendency to dry out your hair. If this is the case, just follow it up with an extra moisturizing conditioner and you’re good to go.

I want it: T Gel Therapeutic Shampoo Stubborn Itch


If I come across any skin conditions I tend to look for natural solutions to my problems. I don’t really see the point of adding chemicals to my clearly already sensitive skin. When it comes to dandruff I usually run to my two basic remedies. The first is adding a couple drops of tea tree oil to my regular shampoo which relieves itching.

If that fails, then my second move is to mix ¼ cup apple cider vinegar and ¼ cup water in a spray bottle and apply it to my scalp. I wrap my damp hair in a towel and let it sit for 15 minutes before washing my hair as usual. If I do this twice a week it balances the pH of my scalp making it harder for any yeast to grow.

If both of these remedies fail, then my go-to product is any of Neutrogena’s T Gel range. The fact that the line contains not just a one-size-fits-all product, but various formulas to tackle specific problems means you can find the right one for you. Dandruff is not the same for everyone and after trying out different products in this line it’s clear that some work better than others for particular scalp conditions.

Whether you need to reduce flakes, minimize itching or just have an easy 2-in-1 go-to solution Neutrogena’s T Gel line has something for your sore scalp. So, if you’ve had enough of justifying your incessant itching go ahead and find the right Neutrogena T Gel product for you!

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