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I always have to use medicated shampoo to keep my scalp healthy, which is rather frustrating; I feel I miss out on trying all the nice fancy new shampoos! I don't really like Head & Shoulders and the similar own-brand supermarket anti-dandruff shampoos because they often either don't work very well, or leave my hair not looking as clean or grease-free as I would expect, directly after washing.
I quite like the idea of 'natural' hair and bodycare products, avoiding sodium laureth sulphate and parabens and so forth - mainly because my mum has told me that those substances might be harmful or irritating to the skin. I tried a 'natural' anti-dandruff shampoo before this one, that left my hair very clean, but smelling awfully of old tyres, because of the sulphur in it which is apparently good for one's scalp.
Optima Australian Organic Tea Tree Oil Anti-Dandruff Shampoo (what a name!) is 'natural' in terms of not containing any parabens or sodium laureth sulphate, and its ingredients are largely 'organic' (the word organic used in this context annoys me slightly, as it just means 'containing carbon' to me). I found it in Holland & Barrett and decided to try it. Its active ingredient is piroctone olamine, rather than the usual anti-fungal used in medicated shampoos: the rather more familiar zinc pyrithone.
The shampoo comes in a green plastic bottle, which is itself in a cardboard box, which is slightly excessive in terms of packaging. The bottle is easily squeezable (I have had some shampoo bottles which are almost impossible to squeeze) and the cap is easily flipped even with wet hands. The shampoo is a transparent, lime green, viscous liquid, and despite the lack of sodium laureth sulphate, a foaming agent, it lathers very nicely. It smells of tea tree oil, which is not really my favourite scent, but it is a clean scent, and it does not linger on your hair for long after rinsing, in my experience. Tea tree oil itself has anti-fungal and other antiseptic qualities, so perhaps this adds to the effectiveness of the shampoo, although I am unsure.
After using this shampoo my scalp feels healthy and my hair looks very nice and clean. My hair needs washing every day and can sometimes look dirty quite quickly, but this shampoo keeps it looking clean for over 24 hours at times, which is great.
Because you only need a small amount of the Optima shampoo for each wash, I find that a bottle lasts me a couple of months with daily use. I've only seen it for sale in Holland & Barrett, and then sometimes only in the larger branches. It's available for £4.75 for a 250ml bottle, currently, and there are frequent offers enabling you to save money on multiple purchases.
If you're fortunate enough not to require medicated shampoo, the Optima Australian Organic Tea Tree range also comprises a non-medicated version.
I would definitely recommend this shampoo to anyone who likes the tea tree oil scent, 'natural' products, has hair that needs frequent washes, or to anyone who is looking to try a new medicated shampoo.