Should you use tea tree oil? What benefits can it bring to your hair? A detailed answer to these questions is what you will find in this article.
Tea tree oil (TTO) has been used for 100s of years as a natural remedy for skin and hair issues; however, only a few decades has this natural oil for hair care been getting worldwide recognition for its immense benefits in various hair treatments.
Tea tree oil is perhaps the most popularly used oil among all the essential oils today. This oil is a trusted ingredient in many hair and skincare products such as shampoo, conditioner, skin ointments, face soaps, and remedies for lice, dandruff, baldness, psoriasis, and all other types of fungal infection on the scalp and skin.
More importantly, TTO has well-documented research-based medicinal properties that are extremely beneficial in treating various skin and hair conditions.
The TTO is extracted from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia trees, mostly found in Australia. The indigenous people of Australia have been using tea tree oil medicinally for centuries to treat various skin infections and to heal wounds.
Tea tree oil is primarily used topically (only for external application on skin, hair, and nails).
Tea tree oil is widely used in several natural and traditional remedies today. Smaller-scale clinical studies have had positive results with tea tree oil for treating acne, wounds, burns, nail fungus, athlete’s foot, lice, dandruff, skin lesions, oral candidiasis, etc.
Clinical trials have proved the presence of beneficial antimicrobial and other medicinal properties in this oil that can effectively treat common infections and diseases that affect skin and hair.
This article will examine some hair treatments with Melaleuca alternifolia oil for common hair and scalp conditions.
Benefits of Tea Tree Oil for Hair
The oil extract from the tea tree is beneficial and effective in many hair treatments. Some of the major benefits of this oil for hair are as follows:
For Daily Cleansing of Hair and Scalp
It is good for daily hair and scalp cleansing because of its therapeutic properties. This natural oil does not damage or make the hair dry.
Promotes Hair Growth
Improves Scalp Health
The TTO can moisturize and nourish the scalp and hair. It unblocks the pores and facilitates the increased supply of oxygen and nutrients to hair follicles.
The tea tree oil is truly medicinal because of the antifungal and antibacterial properties abundantly present in it. This oil eliminates the fungus that causes dandruff, removes the dead cells, and moisturizes the scalp. According to a study report from the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, “Tea tree oil has antifungal properties which are active against P-value and may be useful in dandruff treatment.
Eliminates Head Lice
This oil’s antifungal and antibacterial agents act as a disinfectant that kills hair lice. A research report by Langone Medical Center at New York University (NYU) suggests that combining tea tree oil and lavender oil is effective for treating head lice.
How Does Tea Tree Oil Help Hair Growth?
Unlike coconut and castor oil, the TTO does not contain great hair growth nutrients and vitamins. However, the medicinal properties in this oil create scalp conditions conducive to the better growth of hair. Following are some of the benefits of this oil for hair growth:
- This oil’s antifungal and antibacterial elements prevent every type of infection on the scalp that prevents hair growth or causes hair fall.
- It unblocks hair follicles, removes dead cells, and increases the supply of oxygen and hair growth nutrients into the hair follicles necessary for better hair growth.
- Eliminates dandruff and hair lice that cause hair loss and hair breakage
- It moisturizes the scalp and hair, making the hair strong and healthy; it also removes the flake formation on the scalp that causes hair loss.
- This oil is good for treating cradle caps in children.
How Do You Use Tea Tree Oil for Dandruff Removal and Hair Growth?
There are many ways to use TTO effectively for hair growth and removal of dandruff.
You can use the pure TTO mixed with other oils or the TTO shampoos, conditioners, soaps, body wash, etc. Different types of herbal hair treatments contain this oil as an ingredient.
Let us look at some of the very popular methods of hair treatment using this oil.
1. Hair Mask Treatment With Avocado
This hair mask treatment is effective for getting rid of dandruff, dryness of the scalp and hair, and scalp infections.
Mash up the avocado to a fine paste form and add ten drops of argan oil, two tablespoons of honey, and ten drops of tea tree oil; mix them thoroughly until they become creamy. Apply this mixture on the scalp and hair and let it stay there for 15 minutes, then rinse the hair with water.
2. Scalp Massage
Apply a few drops of pure tea tree oil to your scalp, and then massage the scalp for 3 minutes. You can wash the hair and scalp after 15 minutes of massage. Repeat this treatment daily to keep your scalp healthy for hair growth and prevention. You can also get rid of dandruff, hair lice, and scalp dryness with this massage treatment.
3. Hot Oil Treatment
Add five drops of tea tree oil in 3 tablespoons of carrier oil (use the amount according to hair length); the best base/carrier oils for hair are jojoba oil, coconut oil, castor oil, or almond oil.
First, heat the oil mixture over a stove or heating burner. When the oil mixture is cooled down, apply it on the scalp and full hair length. You can rinse the hair after 30 minutes of the oil treatment.
You can use different carrier oils according to the particular benefits you want. Baby oil, olive oil, sesame oil, rosemary oil, lavender oil, and mustard oil could also be used as a carrier oil for the tea tree oil, which can be mixed.
Tea tree oil shampoo is the most popular among all the hair treatments with this oil. The shampoo with the TTO is effective for removing head lice, dandruff, itchiness, and dryness and helps prevent hair loss.
You can find many tea tree oil shampoo or conditioner brands with different ingredients for various hair treatments.
Apply the shampoo to wet hair and gently massage it for 5 minutes before rinse it.
To expel the head lice, comb your hair with a narrow/close-tethered comb while shampooing the hair.
You can make tea tree oil shampoo at home by adding a few drops of this oil to your favorite shampoo that you are going to use.
5. Oil Spray
Tea tree oil’s antifungal and antibacterial properties are exceptionally effective for getting rid of dandruff, head lice, and scalp infections; using the TTO Spray is an easy-to-use remedy. This spray remedy for hair also adds shine and moisture to the hair.
Fill the spray bottle with a few ounces of water and mix a few drops of tea tree oil and apple cider vinegar; shake the bottle well and use this spray on your hair. You can rinse the hair after 30 minutes of using the spray or even leave it overnight to stay on the hair.
6. Rosemary Oil and TTO Blend
Rosemary oil is known for its effectiveness in promoting faster hair growth.
Many people also claim that rosemary oil can slow down graying, prevent baldness, and can be used to treat dry scalp and dandruff.
A mixture of tea tree oil, rosemary oil, and coconut oil is beneficial for healthy growth and hair protection.
Add a few drops of rosemary oil and TTO into 3 tablespoons of coconut oil, which you will apply on the scalp and hair. Massage this oil mixture on the scalp and hair; rinse the hair with water and mild shampoo after one hour or more.
7. Lavender Oil and TTO Blend
Lavender oil deepens the hair, keeps it shiny, and helps to control dandruff. A mixture of lavender oil and tea tree oil makes a strong treatment for the scalp and hair. The mixture of these two oils assists in the healing of itchy scalp psoriasis and removes dandruff and head lice. It can also stimulate hair growth and add moisture and shine.
Mix a few drops of lavender oil and TTO for the treatment and massage this mixture on the scalp for 5 minutes. After 15 minutes of applying the oil mixture, you can rinse the hair with water.
8. Hair Mask with Goat Milk, Egg, and TTO Blend
You can make your hair grow faster by using a hair mask treatment. The required ingredients are 2 ounces of goat milk, one tablespoon of olive and castor oil, one country hen egg, and five drops of tea tree oil. Make a mixture of these ingredients and apply it to the scalp. You can wash off the mask after 2 hours of treatment. Repeat this treatment twice weekly to achieve the best hair growth results in 2-3 months.
Tips for Effectively Using Tea Tree Oil
The tea tree oil contains potent antibacterial and antifungal properties that may cause a toxic effect on the body and skin in some people. So, it is important to use this oil correctly to reap its best benefits. Here are a few tips on the correct usage of this oil:-
- Always dilute the tea tree oil with other carrier oils or water; avoid directly using it on the scalp and skin to avoid skin irritation.
- Undiluted tea tree tea oil is not to be ingested
- If you are using it for the first time, test the oil on a small area of your skin to find any allergic reactions with this oil on your skin.
- Never use excessive tea tree oil; most treatments with TTO will require only 4 to 10 drops of this oil.
- This oil is suitable for all types of hair but may not be good for people with highly sensitive skin
- Stop using tea tree oil if you notice redness, rash, or irritation on the skin.
- Test different hair treatments with tea tree oil to find the best for you.
Possible Side Effects
The tea tree oil has a couple of possible side effects.
Tea tree oil contains varying amounts of 1,8-cineole, a skin irritant. Any product with an excess amount of TTO could cause skin irritation, and it may trigger allergic reactions in some.
Tea tree oil, if consumed in undiluted form, can cause a toxic effect, especially in children, leading to rash, disorientation, drowsiness, and ataxia. There is a reported case of a person who went into a coma after drinking half a cup of tea tree oil.
If you have severe dandruff conditions, wounds, hair loss, acne, etc., you should certainly seek the help of a professional physician before opting for a tea tree oil solution for hair growth and dandruff.