I Tried Trader Joe’s Peppermint and Tea Tree Shampoo Bar, And Here’s What I Thought

published Sep 29, 2020
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Credit: Nicoletta Richardson

Confession: I have never used a shampoo bar. Maybe it’s because the idea of rubbing my hair with something that resembles a traditional bar soap makes me cringe. But, in an effort to be more sustainable with my product choices, I decided gave Trader Joe’s‘ new peppermint and tea tree shampoo bar a whirl.

The shampoo bar came out back in July, but because I don’t shampoo my hair too frequently, it’s taken me a while to be able to give this product a proper review.

The ingredients have, as the name suggests, peppermint oil and tea tree leaf oil in it, but the oils don’t stop there: coconut oil, olive fruit oil, castor seed oil, jojoba seed oil, and eucalyptus dives leaf oil are also listed. With all those oils, the bar has a peppermint scent with subtle notes of fruitiness to it—it reminded me of burning my first holiday candle of the season. Additionally, the shampoo bar is paraben-free, sulfate-free, and color-safe, according to the label.

The paper packaging created a biodegradable soap dish, and although I was concerned that it would thin out as it got wet, it maintained its shape and sturdiness until about a month in (that’s a pretty big win in my book). And even then, it still was able to contain the soap securely, and I could easily pop the lid on top until my next use.

Credit: Nicoletta Richardson

Once the shampoo bar was wet, it easily slid down my long hair and quickly started to lather, just as any of my other shampoos would. I conditioned, towel dried my hair a bit, then threw it into a braid per usual, then let it air dry. Lather, rinse, repeat for two months, and here’s my conclusion: while I can’t report a noticeable difference, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. And for the price, longevity, peppermint scent, and sustainability, I’d definitely say it’s worth the $4.

In a Reddit thread commenting on the product, the reviews differed, depending on hair type.

Redditor asthmatics wrote: “I’ve been having trouble with not being able to go multiple days without washing my hair because I feel oily (even if it doesn’t show to be oily). My hair still felt so clean on the second day!” to which another Redditor crystalballer21 relied: “Thank you for this. I have extremely oily hair and have been searching for something to help with that so I don’t have to wash my hair every single day.”

However, asthmatics did mention stripping, which could mean the shampoo bar won’t work well with people who already have dry hair. Redditor mrspawsgraf wrote, “The tea tree shampoo worked great for my hair for a month or two, but then super dried it out and weakened it. I was so sad! The TJ’s spa shampoo rehabbed it some.”

Redditor twentyonerooms had an experience that aligned with mine: “I actually just tried this tonight and I loved it! I’ve never used a shampoo bar before so I was a little wary, but it lathered up quite nicely and gave my hair a fresh, tingly feeling.”

So it might not be a fit for everyone, but at least $4 is not much to lose if you’re interested in trying it. And as a conditioner girl, I’m hopeful that’s the next hair product to be released *crosses fingers*.