Neutrogena T Gel Therapeutic Shampoo Review

If you suffer from psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, or dandruff, you know how difficult it can be to find a shampoo that works. However, Neutrogena T Gel Therapeutic Shampoo may be the answer you’ve been looking for.

This derma-approved shampoo is specifically formulated to help relieve the symptoms of these conditions. If you are not familiar with this product or if you are wondering if Neutrogena’s T Gel shampoo is right for you, then you’ve come to the right place.

In this Neutrogena T gel Therapeutic 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!

What is Neutrogena T Gel Therapeutic Shampoo

Neutrogena T Gel Therapeutic Shampoo Review

Neutrogena is an American skincare, haircare, and cosmetics company that was founded in 1930 by Emanuel Stolaroff. The company is headquartered in Los Angeles, California, and is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.

Neutrogena’s main focus is on providing products that are gentle yet effective, and they offer a wide range of skincare, haircare, and cosmetics products for all skin types. Neutrogena’s T Gel shampoo is one of their best-selling anti-dandruff product today.

This shampoo is a derma-approved therapeutic shampoo that aims to relieve and control itchy and flaking scalp conditions. Its main active ingredient is Neutar Solubilized Coal Tar Extract, a patented variation of the topical medication coal tar.

The main difference between the Neutrogena T Gel Therapeutic 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. In fact, 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.

Neutrogena T Gel Therapeutic 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 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 are what dermatologists recommend and prescribe to patients with seborrheic dermatitis, scalp psoriasis, and other dandruff-related scalp diseases.

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.

Take note that 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.

Sodium Laureth Sulfate

Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) is a detergent and surfactant that is widely used in cleaning products, shampoos, and other personal care items. Made from palm kernel oil or coconut oil, Sodium Laureth Sulfate is a detergent, surfactant and 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.

However, SLES has come under scrutiny in recent years due to its potential health risks. One of the biggest concerns is that SLES can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, a known carcinogen. In fact, studies have shown that 1,4-dioxane can penetrate the skin and enter the bloodstream, where it can cause organ damage. Aside from this, SLES is a skin irritant and can cause eye irritation. As a result, people with sensitive skin or allergies may want to avoid products that contain this ingredient.

Foaming & Thickening Agents

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

Other Ingredients

Neutrogena T Gel Therapeutic Shampoo also contains Citric Acid which helps decrease 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 with antibacterial properties to prevent the spoilage of the shampoo.

Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo Original...
  • 16-fluid ounce bottle of Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic and Anti-Dandruff Shampoo to get long lasting relief from itching and flaking
  • Original therapeutic formula helps control scalp itching and flaking caused by chronic scalp psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis and even common dandruff
  • Contains coal tar extract, which scientific tests have proved continues to work for hours after the shampoo is rinsed off

Neutrogena T Gel Shampoo Uses:

Neutrogena T Gel is a medication that is used for the treatment of various skin conditions. It is a topical shampoo that contains ingredients that help to reduce inflammation and itching. Neutrogena T Gel Therapeutic Shampoo is most commonly used for the treatment of dandruff, scalp Psoriasis, and seborrheic dermatitis. It can also be used for the treatment of other common scalp conditions such as eczema, acne, and rosacea.

T/Gel Shampoo for Dandruff

t gel-shampoo hair loss

Dandruff is one of the most common skin conditions that affect the scalp. It can cause the skin to become oily or dry, and it can also lead to itchiness and redness.

There are a variety of treatments available for dandruff, depending on the severity of the condition. For mild cases, over-the-counter anti-dandruff shampoo can be effective. For more severe cases, prescription-strength coal tar shampoo or anti-fungal cream may be necessary. 

T/Gel Shampoo for Dermatitis and Eczema

Seborrheic dermatitis is a common skin condition that affects 3-5% of the world’s population. This inflammatory skin condition causes a red, itchy rash. The rash is often covered with white or yellow scales. It usually appears on the scalp, face, chest, and back. However, seborrheic dermatitis is not contagious and can’t be passed through skin contact.

The exact cause of seborrheic dermatitis is unknown, but it is thought to be related to a combination of factors, including an overgrowth of a yeast called Malassezia, an oily skin type, and a weak immune system.

There are several treatments for seborrheic dermatitis, including antifungal shampoos or creams, corticosteroid creams or ointments, and light therapy. In most cases, seborrheic dermatitis can be controlled with over-the-counter products. However, severe cases may require prescription-strength medications or other treatments.

T Gel Shampoo for Psoriasis

Just like seborrheic dermatitis, scalp psoriasis is a skin condition that causes extreme itchiness, scalp irritation, and large skin flakes. The main difference is chronic scalp psoriasis causes skin lesions too that sometimes take too much time to heal and cause 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 psoriasis is triggered by one’s stress levels too.

When it comes to recommended treatments, Dermatologists often prescribe Neutrogena T Gel Therapeutic Shampoo for people with mild to moderate psoriasis. It is one of the oldest treatments for this condition, and it is still considered to be very effective.

Is T Gel Shampoo Good for Hair Loss? 

First of all, the Neutrogena T Gel Therapeutic Shampoo is not an anti-hair loss or hair growth shampoo. This is a type of shampoo that treats itchy scalp, stops dry scalp inflammation, and prevents dandruff build-up. It is commonly prescribed along with other medications to help people with Seborrheic Dermatitis and Psoriasis.

Where to Buy Neutrogena T Gel Therapeutic Shampoo

The Neutrogena T Gel Therapeutic Shampoo 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 $15-$20. Check its latest price below.

How To Use Neutrogena T Gel Therapeutic 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 hair with warm water before application
  2. Get considerable amounts of 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 it 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 itching and inflammation. But if the cause of your hair loss is not these diseases, this scalp treatment may not be able to help you. Please consult your doctor to get the best advice and proper treatment.

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 some other products for dandruff and dermatitis called T Sal Shampoo and a 2-in-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

T Gel Original Formula vs Extra Strength vs Stubborn Itch

All of these 3 types have the same formula, and 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 Therapeutic Shampoo – 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

View Latest Price

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 incorrectly

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.

View Latest Price

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: The 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.

View Latest Price

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 Neutrogena T Gel Therapeutic 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 or hair follicles inflammation
  • irritation
  • contact allergy
  • allergic reactions

It also may contain carcinogens. 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.

Neutrogena T Gel Therapeutic 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 Neutrogena T Gel Therapeutic Shampoo 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 manufacturers and dermatologists, the Neutrogena T Gel Therapeutic Shampoo 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, and 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 when they are extremely stressed, emotionally and psychologically. That’s why some form of treatments, like relaxation therapies, yoga, and 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?

Neutrogena T Gel Therapeutic 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 creams 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 non-itchy bumps.

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 completely stopped using the product when I realized that the Neutrogena T Gel Therapeutic Shampoo is causing my hair loss.

What I did instead: I’ve found out that dairy, nuts, and processed meat/products cause flare-ups, so I started avoiding these foods. Drinking herbal teas like oregano tea and lemongrass also helped alleviate the itching.

I’ve also discovered that I usually get flare-ups when I’m super stressed. So I tried to find ways to reduce stress by getting enough sunlight and sleep and doing long walks every afternoon.

What I like about Neutrogena T Gel Therapeutic 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 Therapeutic 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 Therapeutic 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 for 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 Therapeutic 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 Neutrogena T Gel Therapeutic 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.

The 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 Neutrogena T Gel Therapeutic Shampoo may cause temporary hair loss, especially if you’re allergic or sensitive to its main ingredients. Prolonged 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 Therapeutic Shampoo 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 serious side effects. Look for products formulated with natural ingredients or products with sulfur, like Sulfur 8 Shampoo, or zinc like Zincon Shampoo and DHS Zinc Shampoo. Other potent anti-dandruff shampoo is Nizoral A-D Anti-Dandruff Shampoo and ketoconazole shampoo products.

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 the risk of skin cancer.

Does T gel damage hair?

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

Neutrogena T gel Therapeutic Shampoo Review: Final Verdict

A lot of users attest to the efficacy of Neutrogena T Gel Therapeutic Shampoo, and 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 stress-management therapies, it’s most likely that you’ll not need it for a long time. And you’ll definitely not experience the worst t gel shampoo hair loss side effects!

I hope 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.

Gen R.

Gen is a Master Stylist in Tampa, Florida who specializes in extremely thin hair and hair loss care. Working with hundreds of clients with hair loss/thinning concerns allowed her to recognize products and routines that can cause damage. She has discovered what hair products work and what doesn’t and shares all of this info to the readers of Union of Barber. When she’s not writing, you can find Gen hiking or at home with her army of cats!  

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