This Shampoo Worked So Well On My Dry, Irritated Scalp

You know those “expectation vs. reality” memes? For me, a veteran beauty editor, my “expectation” side is one in which I’m looking glam to the nines with shiny, voluminous hair. The “reality,” though, is someone who is constantly fighting flat hair while simultaneously brushing off white flakes. Yes, I’m talking about dandruff. Most people would probably agree that dandruff is not an ideal look. But walking into a room where you’re considered a “beauty expert” makes the stakes feel even higher when it comes to making a positive first impression. (I realize these are expectations I put on myself, and they go hand-in-hand with the fear of being judged by others.) I’m also quick to remind myself, though: Dandruff affects more than half the adult population, and likely even more if you count dry, flaky scalps, too. We are not alone, nor should we be ashamed to talk about it. So here we go — it started with a fortuitous Head & Shoulders purchase at Costco.

My issues with dandruff usually start around winter with an itch near the front of my scalp, close to my bangs, that won’t let up until it causes flakes. More recently, though, it flared up since being at home for an extended period and experiencing dry everything — dry skin, dry lips, and yes, dry scalp.

It felt like my husband (who also started complaining about the same thing) and I tried everything: oils, hair masks, laying off styling products, but to no avail. We ended up beelining to a trusted brand, Head & Shoulders. I came across their Tea Tree & Ginger Root 2 in 1 formula at Costco which, by the way, comes in a MASSIVE 40-fluid-ounce bottle that will surely last us for a good amount of time.

I got my husband into tea tree oil because of its inherent antimicrobial properties, so we usually have a small bottle in our bathroom cabinet. For myself, I’m a huge ginger fanatic (seriously, it has to be in my tea, I love it in my soda, I even like ginger chews… we’re a safe space here, right?). But besides my taste for it, my Indian mother instilled a real love for ginger in my beauty regimen as well. Growing up, she would often incorporate it into homemade face masks for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties. So a product with both tea tree and ginger root meant the best of both worlds as far as I was concerned.

The first thing I noticed in the shower was its light, refreshing scent. It wasn’t overpowering by any means. My second thought was how much time it was saving by being a shampoo and conditioner in one. I lathered it up in my hair — concentrating on giving my scalp a good massage — rinsed, and I was done. Not only did it do a thorough job cleansing, but it didn’t leave my strands feeling dry. My hair just felt healthy and soft.

The big test was after my blow-dry, which is when pesky dandruff always seems to appear. I’m happy to report, after several uses, my scalp is thanking me. As a true New Yorker, black makes up most of my wardrobe, but now I don’t have to do a “flake check” before I have a video call. Head & Shoulders Tea Tree & Ginger Root 2 in 1 shampoo was my savior. Now I can go back to more important things in my day (which lately is a lot of screen time talking to my family). Who knew something as simple as a shampoo switch could move the needle a little closer between my expectation vs. reality? If you’re looking for “the one” when it comes to dandruff shampoo, I suggest you put your Costco card to use and try it, too.

Head & Shoulders Tea Tree & Ginger Root 2 in 1 is available for purchase now on and in Costco stores.

All photos courtesy of writer.

This post is sponsored by Head & Shoulders.

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