Should you use tea tree oil? What benefits it can bring to your hair? A detailed answer to these questions is what you will find in this article.
The tea tree oil (TTO) has been in use since 100s of years as a natural remedy for skin and hair issues. However, only since a few decades that this natural oil for hair care is getting worldwide recognition for its immense benefits in various hair treatments.
Today, tea tree oil is perhaps the most popularly used oil among all the essential oils. This oil is a trusted ingredient in many of the hair and skin care products such as shampoo, conditioner, skin ointments, face soaps and remedies for lice, dandruff, baldness, psoriasis, and all other types of fungal infection on 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 that are 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 nail).
Today, tea tree oil is widely used in several natural and traditional remedies. 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.
There are clinical trials that 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.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the hair treatments with Melaleuca alternifolia oil for common hair and scalp conditions.
Benefits Of Tea Tree Oil For Hair
The oil extract from tea tree is found to be 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 the daily cleansing of hair and scalp because of the therapeutic properties in it. This natural oil does not damage or make the hair dry.
- Promotes Hair Growth: The TTO helps to unclog hair follicles and nourish the hair roots. It works best for hair growth when it is mixed with other carrier oils such as coconut, jojoba or castor.
- 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.
- Fights Dandruff: 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 given by Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, “Tea tree oil has antifungal properties which are active against P-ovale and may be useful in the treatment of dandruff.
- Eliminates Head Lice: The antifungal and antibacterial agents present in this oil act as a disinfectant that kills hair lice. A research report by Langone Medical Center at New York University (NYU) suggests that a combination of tea tree oil and lavender oil is effective for treating head lice.
How Does Tea Tree Oil Help In Hair Growth?
The TTO does not contain great hair growth nutrients and vitamins, unlike the coconut and castor oil. However, the medicinal properties in this oil create scalp condition conducive for the better growth of hair. Following are some of the benefits of this oil for hair growth:
- The antifungal and antibacterial elements in this oil prevent every type of infections on the scalp that prevent the growth of hair or cause hair fall.
- It unblocks hair follicles, removes the dead cells and increases the supply of oxygen and hair growth nutrients into the hair follicles that is necessary for the better growth of hair.
- Eliminates dandruff and hair lice that cause hair loss and hair breakage
- It moisturizes the scalp and hair that make the hair strong and healthy; also removes the flake formation on the scalp that causes hair loss.
- This oil is good for treating cradle cap in children.
How To Use Tea Tree Oil For Dandruff Removal And Hair Growth?
There are many different ways to use TTO effectively for hair growth and dandruff removal.
You can either make use of the pure TTO mixed with other oils or use the TTO shampoos, conditioners, soaps, body wash, etc. There are also different types of herbal hair treatments that contain this oil as an ingredient.
Let us have a 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 scalp and hair, and scalp infections.
Mash up the avocado to a fine paste form and add 10 drops of argan oil, 2 tablespoons of honey and 10 drops of tea tree oil; mix them thoroughly until it becomes creamy. Apply this mixture on scalp and hair and let it stay there for 15 minutes and then rinse the hair with water.
2. Scalp Massage
Apply a few drops of pure tea tree oil all over 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 the better growth of hair and prevention of hair loss. You can also get rid of dandruff, hair lice and dryness of scalp with this massage treatment.
3. Hot Oil Treatment
Add 5 drops of tea tree oil in 3 tablespoons of carrier oil (use the amount according to the length of hair); 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 length of hair. 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 in which the tea tree oil to 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 getting rid of head lice, dandruff, itchiness, dryness, and help in preventing hair loss.
You can find a whole lot of tea tree oil shampoo or conditioner brands with different ingredients meant for various hair treatments.
Apply the shampoo to wet hair and gently massage the hair for 5 minutes before you rinse the hair.
For expelling the head lice, comb your hair with a narrow/close-teethed comb while shampooing the hair.
You can make tea tree oil shampoo at home by adding a few drops this oil into your favorite shampoo that you are going to use.
5. Oil Spray
The antifungal and antibacterial properties in tea tree oil 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 few ounces of water and mix few drops of tea tree oil and apple cider vinegar in it; 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 you can leave it overnight to stay on 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 absolutely beneficial for the healthy growth and protection of hair.
Add a few drops of rosemary oil and TTO into 3 tablespoons of coconut oil which you are going to apply on scalp and hair. Massage well 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 deep conditions the hair keeps it shiny and helps to control dandruff. A mixture of lavender oil and tea tree oil makes a strong treatment for scalp and hair. The mixture of these two oils assist in the healing of itchy scalp, scalp psoriasis and removes dandruff and head lice. It can also stimulate hair growth and add moisture and shine to the hair.
For the treatment, you can mix few drops of lavender oil and TTO and massage this mixture on the scalp for 5 minutes. You can rinse the hair with water after 15 minutes of applying the oil mixture.
8. Hair Mask With Goat Milk, Egg And TTO Blend
You can make your hair grow faster by using a hair mask treatment. The ingredients required are 2 ounces of goat milk, 1 table spoon each olive oil and castor oil, one country hen egg, and 5 drops of tea tree oil. Make a mixture of these ingredients and apply it on the scalp. You can wash off the mask after 2 hours of treatment. Repeat this treatment twice a week to achieve best hair growth results in 2-3 month’s time.
Tips For Using TTO Effectively
The tea tree oil contains potent antibacterial and antifungal properties that may cause a toxic effect on body and skin in some people. So it is important to use this oil in the right way to reap the best benefits from this oil. 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 scalp and skin to avoid skin irritation.
- Undiluted tea tree tea oil 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 reaction with this oil on your skin.
- Never use an excess amount of 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 what works for you the best
Side Effects Of TTO
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 the 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 conditions of dandruff, wounds, hair loss, acne, etc., you should certainly seek the help of a professional physician before opting for tea tree oil solution for hair growth and dandruff. (stanthony+)