Hair oils are generally beneficial to the hair.
But the benefits of tea tree oil for hair make it stand out in the world of hair oils.
Come with me as I introduce you to this wonderful gift from nature to human hair.
Where I live, tea tree oil is not as popular as many hair oils such as coconut oil, jojoba oil, or almond oil.
But it offers specifically important benefits, and some of its potential benefits are even still being researched.
Do you have an itchy or flaky scalp? You should pay more attention to this post.
In this post, we’ll discuss what tea tree oil is, its benefits for hair, how to use it for hair, and precautions you should take when using tea tree oil for hair.
At the end of this post, you would have known all you need to know about using tea tree oil for hair. Let’s get started.
- What is Tea Tree Oil?
- Benefits of Tea Tree Oil for Hair and Scalp
- How to Use Tea Tree Oil for the Benefits of Tea Tree Oil for Hair
- Precautions for Using Tea Tree Oil for Hair
What is Tea Tree Oil?
As obvious from its name, tea tree oil is derived from the tea tree. That plant is also known as Melaleuca Alternifolia and is well-found in Australia.
Other species of the plant, such as Melaleuca linariifolia and Melaleuca dissitiflora are also used to derive tea tree oil.
To produce the tea tree oil, fresh leaves and branches are gathered from the tree and are processed through steam distillation. Hence, tea tree oil is an essential oil. The obtained oil looks pale yellow, almost colorless.
Pale as it may look, it is effective hair oil, having properties that enable it to fight microbes, bacteria, and inflammation.
For years it has been used in products for these purposes, especially in the skincare industry. It is well known as an active ingredient in products that are used for curing acne.
Since it is so efficient for skincare, one can expect that it would have a proper place in scalp care.
No disappointments; tea tree oil has proved to be very effective in treating many scalp conditions and caring for the hair generally.
Let’s now see specific benefits you can expect when you use tea tree oil for your hair.
Benefits of Tea Tree Oil for Hair and Scalp
1. Controlled Oil Production
Sometimes, the scalp produces too much oil. This can be very annoying because the hair becomes too oily and greasy.
Then, when you apply hair products such as leave-in conditioners, it weighs on your hair. It leaves the hair feeling heavy, glossy, and unappealing.
This condition has stopped many from using hair products that would otherwise benefit their hair.
Well, tea tree oil can be a savior. Here is why:
Overproduction of oil on the scalp is mostly caused by bacterial presence. Tea tree oil contains antibacterial properties. Hence, it can fight the root cause of oil overproduction. With it gone, your scalp produces just the right amount it needs to stay healthy.
Makes sense, doesn’t it?
For regulated scalp oil production, use tea tree oil!
2. Length Retention
The truth is, your hair is always growing. It grows every day.
Now, some might seem convinced that their hair “has stopped growing.”
Well, the reality is that the hair does not retain length anymore — it falls out easily. Hence, any new growth goes unnoticeable. Tea tree oil helps with this.
A major reason why the hair may be falling out excessively is if it lacks nutrients and moisture. It could lack nutrients and moisture not because you do not give it enough, but because product buildup prevents it from getting in.
Tea tree oil removes such buildup from the scalp, helping your hair absorb the nutrient and moisture it needs to retain its length.
3. Dandruff Control
Dandruff is a scalp condition characterized by itchiness and flakiness. In most cases, it is caused by the overgrowth of fungus Malassezia on the scalp.
Remember, tea tree oil has antifungal properties. Therefore, it can control dandruff by dealing with the root cause.
4. Treatment of Itchy Scalp
An itchy scalp is caused either by dandruff or a dry scalp.
Learn the difference between both scalp conditions here.
We’ve seen above how tea tree oil helps with dandruff.
Well, dry scalp?
The main reason why the scalp becomes so dry that it itches and flakes is a lack of moisture. Tea tree oil clears the scalp pores if clogged, allowing it to absorb moisture very easily. That reduces dryness.
Also, tea tree oil has antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. That simply means that it can fight microbes and harmful compounds present on the scalp. That alone makes it effective for relieving itchiness or scalp soreness.
In a research study published in the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology, shampoos containing as little as 5% of tea tree oil reduced scalp itchiness for the participants.
An improvement rate of 41% was noticed after only four weeks.
So, it is safe to say tea tree oil is effective in the treatment of itchy scalp.
5. Control of Scalp Inflammation
Scalp inflammation could get so bad that it causes excessive hair fall. As the scalp suffers from inflammation, the hair roots become weak and ultimately begin to fall.
Tea tree oil has anti-inflammatory properties, enabling it to treat scalp inflammation.
In that sense, it prevents hair fall.
6. Increased Hair Growth
Tea tree oil makes the scalp healthy, can treat unfavorable hair conditions, and help nutrients get to the hair shaft. It is also effective for soothing the scalp, promoting blood flow within it. All these factors are necessary for healthy hair growth.
So, while tea tree oil doesn’t drag out hair to grow from your scalp, it creates an encouraging environment for your hair to grow as it should.
Therefore, it can be said that using tea tree oil for hair leads to increased growth.
7. Treatment of Hair Lice
The presence of lice on the hair can be very annoying; both for the victim and those around the victim. The majority of the popular treatments for hair lice involve using harsh chemicals or curing it the hard, traditional way.
Can you hear tea tree oil saying, “suffer no more?”
Well, I can.
This research work proves that tea tree oil can play an active role in the treatment of head lice.
However, there’s more to know about treating head lice with tea tree oil and they are discussed in detail here.
How to Use Tea Tree Oil for the Benefits of Tea Tree Oil for Hair
The way you use tea tree oil for your hair depends on the intended purpose.
No matter what the purpose is though, here’s a general warning:
NEVER apply undiluted tea tree oil to your scalp directly.
To experience the benefits of tea tree oil for hair, you either mix a little quantity of it with another hair oil or use hair products that contain tea tree oil.
Here is how to use tea tree oil for specific hair benefits:
To Treat Dandruff
- Get a shampoo that contains about 5% of tea tree oil. Use it to wash your hair for four minutes non-stop. Repeat this process every day for four weeks.
To Control Itchy Scalp
- Apply a leave-in conditioning mist that contains tea tree oil to your scalp consistently.
- Use a shampoo that contains tea tree oil to thoroughly wash your hair every day.
To Treat Hair Lice
- Add four drops of tea tree oil to the quantity of shampoo you need for a one-time hair wash. Use it to wash hair thoroughly.
- Add one teaspoon of tea tree oil to three teaspoons of coconut oil, almond oil, or olive oil. Apply to hair and leave for about 40 minutes. Then try out the comb-out methods described in this post.
For Healthier Hair
- Add a few drops of tea tree oil to any carrier oil such as almond oil or jojoba oil. Apply to your scalp two times weekly.
As a leave-in treatment
- After preparing your hair mask, add a few drops of tea tree oil and mix. Apply to hair and scalp; massage thoroughly.
Precautions for Using Tea Tree Oil for Hair
- Tea oil should never be taken in. Drinking or licking tea tree oil can be toxic, causing drowsiness or even worse. Read more about the side effects of tea tree oil here.
- Do not apply undiluted tea tree oil to your scalp or hair directly. The oil is highly sensitive and can trigger irritation very easily. The best way to use tea tree oil for hair is to use a hair product that contains it or to add a few drops of it to carrier oil. Examples of carrier oils are coconut oil, almond oil, and jojoba oil.
- Before using any hair product that contains tea tree oil, check just how much tea tree oil it contains. This is especially important if you have a sensitive scalp. Those with sensitive scalps should not use shampoos that contain more than 5% of tea tree oil.
- Even when diluted, do a small patch test before applying tea tree oil to your scalp. A patch test is done by applying a little amount of the mixed oil to the dark part of your elbow. You then wait for a few minutes and check for any reaction. If there’s none, then it is safe for you to use. If you notice itchiness, redness, or any discomfort, it is better not to use it.
Tea tree oil is another nice gift from nature to hair and skincare.
From treating bad hair conditions to encouraging hair growth, it offers hair benefits that many people long for.
To enjoy these benefits of tea tree oil for hair, keep in mind the precautions mentioned above.
Your hair will thank you for a job well done.