Neutrogena T Gel Shampoo Hair Loss Link – Does T Gel Cause Hair Loss?

If you’re one of the people who suffer from dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis, you’ve probably heard of T/Gel shampoo or any coal tar shampoo products. But if you are not familiar with this product or if you are thinking of buying Neutrogena’s T Gel shampoo, then you’ve come to the right place. In this T Gel Shampoo review, I’ll let you know more about this medicated shampoo, discuss how it works, and get to the bottom of this t gel shampoo hair loss link! 

You may like to read: 5 Best Antifungal Shampoo

What is Neutrogena T/Gel Shampoo

Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo Original Formula, Anti-Dandruff Treatment for Lasting Relief of Itching Flaking Scalp as a Result of Psoriasis & Seborrheic Dermatitis, 2 x 8.5 fl. oz

Neutrogena is an American hair and skincare brand that caters to people with very sensitive skin and hair. In fact, they have all kinds of products including soap, shampoos, and ointments created especially for people with allergies, sensitive skin, and skin disorders. Furthermore, they make products suitable for each age group, they have products for babies, children, adults, and older men and women. 

Neutrogena’s T Gel shampoo is one of their best-selling products today. This shampoo is a derma-approved therapeutic shampoo that aims to relieve and control itchy and flaking scalp. Its main active ingredient is Neutar Solubilized Coal Tar Extract, a patented variation of the topical medication coal tar. 

The main difference of the T Gel shampoo from other brands is that it is made fragrant and more suitable for daily use. Although more people attest to its efficacy, there are people that also say that it causes some negative side effects. You can even see that t gel shampoo hair loss and t gel shampoo for hair loss is a very popular search term on Google today. But in this article, I’ll clear this up and let you know if you should be worried about the T Gel shampoo hair loss side effects.

You may like to Read:

Is T Gel Shampoo Good for Hair Loss? 

First of all, Neutrogena’s T-Gel shampoo is not an anti-hair loss shampoo. It is a medicated shampoo that treats itchy scalp, stops scalp inflammation, and prevents dandruff build-up. It is commonly prescribed along with other medications to help people with Seborrheic Dermatitis and Psoriasis.

T Gel Benefits:

T/Gel Shampoo for Dandruff

Dandruff is one of the most common skin issues most of us may have experienced. It causes mild itching and small flakes. It usually comes and goes, depending on the season or your stress levels. 

t gel-shampoo hair loss

T/Gel Shampoo for Dermatitis and Eczema

Seborrheic Dermatitis or Scalp Eczema is a skin disease that causes your scalp to itch and flake. The main difference from dandruff is that it creates larger patches of scalp flakes. Because of the itch, people are prone to picking and damaging your scalp more. 

It usually affects the scalp but it also manifests in the eyebrows, eyelids and ears. Seborrheic dermatitis is believed to be caused by the Malassezia fungi. That’s why most treatments include antifungal agents in addition to the anti-inflammatory medications. 

T Gel Shampoo for Psoriasis

Just like seborrheic dermatitis, scalp psoriasis causes extreme itchiness, scalp irritation, and large skin flakes. The main difference is scalp psoriasis causes skin lesions too that sometimes take too much time to heal and causes more pain and itchiness.

Scalp psoriasis is considered an autoimmune disease and the real cause of it hasn’t been discovered yet. Dermatologists believe that this can be hereditary but some studies show that it is related to one’s stress levels too.

Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo Original...
  • 16-fluid ounce bottle of Neutrogena T/Gel...
  • Original therapeutic formula helps control scalp...
  • Contains coal tar extract, which scientific tests...
  • This dandruff treatment shampoo helps maintain a...
  • Designed for daily use. For best results, use at...

Neutrogena T/Gel Shampoo Ingredients

Coal Tar or Solubilized Coal Tar Extract

Coal Tar is one of the most popular ingredients in anti-dandruff shampoos, soap and ointments today. This dark and viscous liquid is a by-product of the coal/coke manufacturing. In 1655, it was discovered that coal tar has a lot of medicinal properties including antifungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-itch, and antiparasitic properties. 

Shampoos infused with coal tar  is the main shampoo that dermatologists recommend and prescribe to patients with seborrheic dermatitis, scalp psoriasis and other dandruff related scalp diseases. There are also concentrated ointments and creams for more extreme cases. 

The only problem with coal tar is that prolonged use can cause a lot of negative side effects. This includes hair loss, skin irritation and skin discoloration. That’s why this shampoo is formulated with a very small amount (0.5%) of this potent medication. And Neutrogena also doesn’t recommend this shampoo for prolonged use. Dermatologists usually recommend this shampoo to be used for 1 month maximum along with other anti-inflammatory pills and ointments. 

Other Inactive Ingredients

Made from palm kernel oil or coconut oil, Sodium Laureth Sulfate is a detergent, surfactant and a foaming agent mainly used in personal care products including shampoos and soaps. It works by emulsifying oil-based dirt in your hair so that you can easily rinse it after use. 

The other ingredients in the T/Gel shampoo that acts as foaming/cleaning agents, surfactants are Cocamide MEA, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Polysorbate 20 andTetrasodium EDTA. Additionally, Sodium Chloride or table salt is used to increase viscosity and make the shampoo thicker or more creamier. 

Citric Acid on the other hand decreases the overall ph of the hair and makes it less frizzy. Neutrogena also has added fragrance ingredients to make it suitable for daily use. Last but not the least, the DMDM Hydantoin, is a popular cosmetic ingredient that has antibacterial properties to prevent the spoilage of the shampoo.

Types of Neutrogena T/Gel Shampoo

People who are familiar with T Gel shampoo may only be familiar with the original formula. But Neutrogena T/Gel comes in 3 types, the original formula, the extra strength and the stubborn itch. Neutrogena also offers another product for dandruff and dermatitis called T Sal Shampoo and a 2in 1 Shampoo with 4% Pyrithione Zinc.

Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo Original Formula, Anti-Dandruff Treatment for Long-Lasting Relief of Itching and Flaking Scalp as a Result of Psoriasis and Seborrheic Dermatitis, 16 Fl Oz

Neutrogena T Gl Original Formula vs Extra Strength vs Stubborn Itch

All of these 3 types have the same formula, the only difference is the amount of coal tar or the Neutar® ingredient. The original formula contains 0.5% coal tar and 2% Neutar formula while the Extra Strength contains twice the amount of these ingredients (1% coal tar and 4%Neutar). The T Gel Stubborn itch on the other hand, contains the same amount of coal tar but has menthol to soothe itching.

Below, I’ll show you what the individual boxes look like to help you differentiate and pick the best one for you!

Neutrogena T Gel Original Formula

Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo Original Formula, Anti-Dandruff Treatment for Long-Lasting Relief of Itching and Flaking Scalp as a Result of Psoriasis and Seborrheic Dermatitis, 16 Fl Oz

  • Coal Tar: 0.5%
  • Neutar® Solubilized Coal Tar Extract: 2%

Pros: Instantly relieves itching and flaking
Cons: Prolonged and inappropriate use may cause adverse side effects

Ingredients: Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamide MEA, Laureth-4, Fragrance, Sodium Chloride, Polysorbate 20, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, DMDM Hydantoin, Citric Acid, Tetrasodium EDTA

Neutrogena T Gel Original Formula Reviews:

I have thick, naturally curly hair. I wash, blow dry, and use a straightener on it every other day. The days I don’t wash my hair, I still use the hair dryer and hair straightener to do my hair. Because of this, my scalp gets very dry and in the winter months, it’s even worse. I use this once a week and this keep my dandruff and dry scalp under control. By Sonya

I’ll handle the scent for the flakes to go buh-bye! This product is pure magic, after one time it always works. I’ll use it for a bit and then give my scalp a break and a few months later if it starts again ( normally seasonal or stress related) I’ll start it again. Trust this product!!!! By Kerri Adams

This product works! But because of the coal tar within it, my hair smells like a newly paved driveway. It’s worth it though because it part of my healthy scalp remedy. I will continue to purchase this. By Christina

Buy on Amazon

Neutrogena T Gel Extra Strength

Neutrogena T Gel Shampoo Extra Strength For Dandruff Seborrheic Dermatitis 6oz 177ml (Pack of 1)

  • Coal Tar: 1%
  • Neutar® Solubilized Coal Tar Extract: 4%

Pros: Best for people with more severe dandruff or dermatitis
Cons: Because of its stronger formula it has a stronger smell and may cause more adverse side effects if used incorectly

Ingredients:  Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Polysorbate 20, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Bishydroxyethyl Dihydroxypropyl Stearammonium Chloride, Fragrance, Cocamide MEA, PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, DMDM Hydantoin, Tetrasodium EDTA, Sodium Hydroxide, Citric Acid, Sodium Chloride, Triethanolamine.

Neutrogena T Gel Extra Strength Therapeutic Shampoo Reviews:

This specific product was recommended by my doctor after a hospital EEG (electro-encephalograph) left me for more than a month with a spectacular case of dandruff, probably from sensitivity to the conductive gel used with the 20+ electrodes on my scalp. The flakes were as big as snowflakes and my scalp itched continually. Two treatments a day apart with this extra-strength TGel, followed by using the regular-strength TGel every two days (as my doc recommends) cured me in 10 days. My scalp is essentially normal and my hair doesn’t seem dried out, even without using any conditioner. By Daniel Lufkin

I have dandruff and psoriasis, I have used Head and Shoulders Clinical Strength And Selsun Blue along with others. None worked in the long run. My goodness this shampoo works, the dry scalp is gone, the flaking is gone, the psoriasis has calmed over 99%. My scalp is not tight after use. By Vivian Schuler

This is the only product i have found to treat my seborrheic dermatitis. It works so well i can go between washes and not have intense flakes. I have used so many different products but this one has by far worked the best. By Caroline Kelly

Buy on Amazon

Neutrogena T Gel Stubborn Itch

Neutrogena T Gel Shampoo Stubborn Itch

  • Coal Tar: 0.5%
  • Neutar® Solubilized Coal Tar Extract: 2%
  • Additional Ingredient: Menthol

Pros: The Menthol ingredients provide instant relief
Cons: Product is discontinued

Ingredients: Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamide MEA, Laureth-4, Polysorbate 20, Fragrance, Dimer Dilinoleamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Polyquaternium-46, Menthol, Propylene Glycol, PEG-55 Propylene Glycol Oleate, Dimethiconol, Tetrasodium EDTA, Citric Acid, DMDM Hydantoin.

Neutrogena T Gel Stubborn Itch Reviews:

I developed a chronic itchy scalp recently, and scratched to the point of near constant dryness. My scalp was covered in scabs and was sore in addition to being itchy. After using this for a week, my problems were solved! No more itching or flaking, right up until the day I am going to use it. I use this approximately every 3-4 days.  I do not wash with other shampoos in-between. By Laurel

Well, it certainly works when it comes to less dandruff, but in exchange your hair will smell like tar even after rinsing off well. In my case, I rather not have dandruff, plus not like my coworkers are going to get close enough to smell my hair. By C. Abe

My wife suffer itchy, red patch and flaky scalp problem. Her problem is caused by weather. The symptoms got worst during the winter, especially during low humidity. This shampoo help control her symptom and minimize the out break. So far she use this 4 times a week, and her scalp is getting better and under control.  By K-Mak

Buy on Amazon

Where to Buy Neutrogena T Gel Shampoo

Neutrogena T/Gel is a medicated shampoo but it doesn’t require any prescription to buy one. It can be easily bought in drugstores and skincare shops. You can also buy a 16 Fl Oz online on Amazon for around $14. Check its latest price below.

How To Use T Gel Shampoo

Just like any other medicated shampoo, T/Gel shampoo is recommended to be used 2x a week for best results. To use it:

  1. Completely wet your hair with warm water before application
  2. Get considerable amounts of the shampoo and massage it to your scalp. 
  3. Let it sit for a few minutes to enable the coal tar to treat your skin
  4. Rinse and repeat as your derma recommends


This product is not for internal use, do not swallow and avoid getting it to your eyes. In addition to that, you should avoid exposing the treated area to sunlight for long hours. Prolonged use is not recommended too, discontinue if skin irritation occurs. And always follow your doctor’s prescription and additional advice on how to use the product. 

Can You Use T Gel Shampoo for Hair Loss?

If you have psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis, then aside from itching and dandruff, you may encounter hair loss as well. Some people even find that hair picking sometimes can bring them relief.  Although T/Gel Shampoo is not formulated to treat hair loss, it can indirectly help hair loss as it removes the itching and inflammation. But if the cause of your hair loss is not these diseases, this product may not be able to help you. Please consult your doctor to get the best advice and proper treatment.

TGel vs TSal

Neutrogena T/Sal Therapeutic Shampoo, Scalp Build-up Control 4.5 fl oz Pack of (1)If you’re one of the people who are actively looking for the best solution for your psoriasis or other scalp problem, you may have heard of TSal. Unlike TGel which uses coal tar to relieve itching and prevent build-up, the Neutrogena TSal‘s main ingredient is salicylic acid.

Salicylic acid is a very popular compound used in the treatment of different skin problems like acne and fungal infections like dandruff. It has also been found in several studies, that combining other topical treatments with salicylic increases their efficacy.

Difference Between T gel and T sal

The main action of TSal is the removal of dandruff buildup. TGel on the other hand prevents or stops build-up and relieves itching. Although I haven’t tried the TSal shampoo, I’ve personally tried other salicylic acid products before but it doesn’t stop the itching and the flaking, unlike the TGel shampoo. That’s why I highly recommend taking the TGel shampoo instead if you want instant relief.

Just like the TGel shampoo, the TSal shampoo should only be used 1-2 times a week. Also, salicylic acid has a lot of adverse side effects if used incorrectly or over a long period of time. I found that it stings and dries my skin making it itchier. It can also be toxic if used for large body surfaces and is not recommended for pregnant women.

T Gel Shampoo Hair Loss Side Effects

T Gel Shampoo contains coal tar, a very potent ingredient that may cause the following side effects:

  • folliculitis
  • irritation
  • contact allergy

It also contains carcinogens and possible long-term risks and side effects of using T Gel Shampoo or coal tar are internal and skin tumors. Aside from these, T Gel also contains strong sulfates and DMDM Hydantoin that can irritate the scalp and can cause itching, allergy, and hair loss. T Gel shampoo can also strip hair color or cause discoloration.

T Gel Shampoo Warning

With so many positive reviews, coal tar or Neutrogena T/Gel shampoo has become a popular shampoo for people with scalp diseases. And because this product can be easily bought without a prescription, improper use and prolonged application are some of the reasons why it got a bad reputation. 

As directed by the manufacturers and dermatologists, this product shouldn’t be used for long periods of time. But because of its great benefits, people tend to use it longer than recommended and much more frequently. This may result in skin irritation, skin burning, skin peeling which is also the cause of hair loss and hair thinning.

Managing Scalp Related Diseases 

As I have mentioned above, doctors haven’t found the real causes of dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, and scalp psoriasis. But there are recent studies that link not only these skin diseases but also all autoimmune disorders to STRESS

Clinical occurrence reporting shows that patients’ flare-ups happen usually during periods where they are extremely stressed, emotionally and psychologically. That’s why some form of treatments like relaxation therapies, yoga, spending time in nature and yoga greatly improves most of these cases. 

It will take time before your body fully heals. That’s why, in addition to stress management, most dermatologists recommend coal tar shampoo or shampoos with salicylic acid to clean the hair. Anti-inflammatory ointments and pills are usually prescribed too to reduce swelling, itchiness, and skin irritation.

It is very important to consult your doctor or dermatologist if you believe that you have one of these skin disorders. To prevent the adverse effects, follow your doctor’s orders and do not take drugs/medications that some people online recommend.

This is one of the reasons why some people associate t gel shampoo & hair loss. It really works and it alleviates the symptoms. But because they don’t manage their stress and continually use this medication for a long time, they are at risk of developing more skin disorders including hair loss.

Does T gel Cause Hair Loss?

T Gel Shampoo Review: My Personal Experience

I’ve personally tried the T/Gel shampoo because it was recommended to me by my dermatologist. Along with this shampoo, I was prescribed anti-inflammatory meds and cream for one week. After each use, the itching goes away. I stopped using the pills and continued using the shampoo and cream. After one month, the large scaly flakes are replaced with small bumps that are not itchy.

I didn’t go back to my dermatologist and continued using the product for 2-3 months more. I usually apply it directly to my scalp when I feel the itch and leave it there for some time before rinsing. After months of using it regularly, I started noticing more hair fall, and the itchy parts where I lather the shampoo started to thin.

Although this product instantly relieves itching, I’ve completely stopped using the product when I realized that the t gel shampoo is causing my hair loss. I’ve tried to find other herbal and natural remedies instead and started to be mindful of what I’m eating as well.

I’ve found out that dairy, nuts, and processed meat/products cause flare-ups, so I’ve avoided these. I’ve also started managing stress by reducing my work hours, doing long walks every day, and getting enough sunlight and sleep.

We at UnionofBarbers review several scalp treatments and anti-dandruff products you may want to check out too: 

What I like about Neutrogena T/Gel Shampoo

  1. Effective treatment for dandruff and mild seborrheic dermatitis
  2. Derma-approved ingredients
  3. Coal tar has a distinctive smell and sticky texture but the patented formulation smells great and doesn’t leave a gummy feeling to your hair

What I don’t like about Neutrogena T/Gel Shampoo

  1. Some people are allergic to sulfates and surfactants. 
  2. The ingredients may cause skin irritation for people with sensitive skin
  3. The coal tar ingredient may cause hair loss after prolonged use 

FAQs about Neutrogena T/Gel Shampoo

Does T Gel shampoo cause hair loss?

Some of the side effects of coal tar, the active ingredient of T Gel shampoo are stinging, burning scalp, and skin peeling. And because you don’t need a doctor’s prescription to buy T Gel shampoo, overdosage is very common. Dermatologists usually recommend the use of T Gel along with other anti-inflammatory products to maximize the result and prevent clients from using the product for long periods of time. Consult your doctor to get the right dosage and more accurate information about your skin problems.

Does coal tar shampoo cause hair loss?

Coal Tar Shampoos like the Neutrogena T/Gel shampoo may cause temporary hair loss if used for a long period of time. This medicated shampoo should only be used 2-3 times a week for up to 6 weeks or depending on your doctor’s recommendation.

Is T Gel bad for your hair?

The T/Gel shampoo should only be used by people suffering from seborrheic dermatitis or psoriasis. It is not a gentle cleanser as it contains formaldehyde that preserves the active ingredients of the shampoo. Majority of users also experience drier hair after using this shampoo. One tip to prevent this is to lather the shampoo directly on your scalp instead of your hair. Rinse and use your favorite conditioner to bring the moisture back to your hair.

Does T Gel cause hair loss?

Yes, the T/Gel shampoo may cause temporary hair loss especially if you’re allergic or sensitive to its main ingredients. Prolong use and overdosage may also be one of the reasons why users report hair loss after using this product.

What Can I Use Instead of T Gel?

I highly suggest that you try Neutrogena T Gel to get instant relief from itching and flaking. But there are a lot of anti-dandruff products that you can use alternately with T Gel to avoid the adverse side effects. Look for products formulate with natural ingredients like Pura D’Or Scalp Therapy Shampoo or products with sulfur, like Sulfur 8 Shampoo or zinc like Zincon Shampoo and DHS Zinc Shampoo. Another potent anti-dandruff shampoo is Nizoral A-D Anti-Dandruff or any shampoo that contains ketoconazole.

Did Neutrogena discontinue T Gel?

The original formula and extra strength T Gel are still available but are always sold out. The Neutrogena T Gel Stubborn Itch has been discontinued.

Does t gel have sulfates?

T Gel contains Sodium Laureth Sulfate, so if you want to avoid sulfates, T Gel may not be fore you.

Does t gel or coal tar shampoo cause cancer?

Occupational exposure to coal tar shampoo increases the risk of different types of cancer. But 1 cohort study, which evaluated 13,200 patients with psoriasis and eczema concluded that coal tar used topically for 6 months did not increase risk of skin cancer.

Does t/gel damage hair?

T Gel Shampoo contains sulfates that can damage hair if used regularly.

Neutrogena T Gel Shampoo Review: Final Verdict

A lot of users attest to the efficacy of T Gel shampoo, as studies have proven that this product is effective too. There’s no doubt that T/Gel shampoo can definitely help treat dandruff and mild dermatitis and psoriasis. In addition to your dermatologist’s prescription, a healthy diet, and with stress-management therapies, it’s most likely that you’ll not need it for a long time. And you’ll definitely not experience worst t gel shampoo hair loss side effects!

I hope that this article has helped you find the solution to your itchy and flaky scalp. If you have comments and suggestions, don’t hesitate to leave a message in the comment section. 

Leave a Comment