Did you know that scalp-based issues are mostly hereditary? However, in today’s time, harsh chemicals, pollutants, and various other environmental stressors play a significant role in damaging your scalp and hair health.
Tea tree oil is a popular natural and potent remedy that offers a multitude of benefits to your scalp and hair. Due to its antimicrobial activity, tea tree oil acts as a powerful scalp and hair cleansing agent.
Scroll down to know the benefits of tea tree oil for your hair, and how to use it for your scalp and hair.
Is Tea Tree Oil Good For Your Hair?
Yes, tea tree oil is beneficial for your scalp and hair in several ways due to its numerous natural, and useful properties. It is an active agent in various commercial hair care products like shampoos, serums, hair masks, and conditioners. Additionally, it can be effectively used in home and natural remedies which benefit all skin and hair types.
1. Origin & Properties
Belonging to the plant family, Myrtaceae, tea tree is closely related to the myrtle plant. Tea tree oil is extracted from Melaleuca alternifolia, a plant which is native to New South Wales and Southeast Queensland, Australia.
Tea tree oil is also known as ti tree oil or melaleuca oil. It is a pale yellow to colourless essential oil. It is a clear liquid with a camphoraceous fragrance.
Tea tree oil is popularly used to treat and heal numerous skin conditions, and hair and scalp issues. Since ancient times, the medicinal and antimicrobial properties of tea tree oil have been used in traditional treatments.
- It has been used as a powerful antiseptic agent for healing boils, burns, and cuts.
- In traditional medicine, tea tree oil has been used to treat bacterial and fungal infections, dandruff, blisters, cold sores, acne breakouts, and various other conditions.
It takes almost a ton of shredded leaves and branches of a tea tree to extract two and a half gallons of pure, undiluted tea tree oil.
What Does Tea Tree Oil Do For Your Hair?
Good hair health is a direct result of a healthy scalp. Your scalp has numerous hair follicles, which are microscopic openings responsible for hair growth and development. When pollutants, impurities, dead skin cells, and excess sebum clog the hair follicles, it results in dandruff, thinning of hair, and hair breakage.
1. Prevents hair loss and dandruff
Tea tree oil is known to be effective and useful when issues like hair loss and dandruff  are chronic due to irregular cleaning of scalp, causing accumulation of impurities and pollutants.
2. Protects and repairs sun-damaged hair
Prolonged exposure to harsh sunlight can result in loss of natural moisture and conditioning of your hair. Sun damage adversely affects the natural growth and development process of the hair, leading to dryness and dead skin accumulation. Tea tree oil helps moisturize the scalp as well as deliver essential supplements and nutrients which support the hair growth process.
3. Unclogs blocked hair follicles
Tea tree oil helps open blocked hair follicles. The antiseptic and antimicrobial properties of tea tree oil prove beneficial for your scalp and hair by reducing build-up of hair care products, sebum, and dead skin cells. This in turn helps increase nutrient and oxygen supply to the hair follicles as well as shield the scalp from various infections.
“Tea tree oil promotes a healthy scalp biome thus positively aids hair and scalp health,” says Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix.
Tea tree oil contains approximately 100 natural ingredients which are extracted from the tea trees found in Australia.
What Are The Benefits Of Tea Tree Oil For Your Hair?
1. Eliminating Head Lice
Head lice appear when they are transferred from an individual’s infected scalp to another. They are usually harmful to your overall health as these tiny insects extract blood from your scalp, leading to itchiness, redness, and inflammation.
Tea tree oil has insecticidal properties which reduce the activity and occurrence of head lice . Active ingredients such as terpinen-4-ol and 1,8-cineole are found in tea tree oil which eliminate head lice. Additionally, the essential oil helps prevent eggs of the lice from adhering to the scalp and hair.
How To Use:
- To eliminate head lice, add around 8-9 drops of tea tree oil and one tsp of vegetable oil.
- Apply it onto your scalp and hair.
- Leave it overnight.
- Cover your scalp with a shower cap which allows better absorption of the essential oil.
- Next morning take off the shower cap and use a fine comb to gently brush your scalp and hair 6-7 times.
- Rinse it off with a mild, herbal hair cleanser.
2. Treating Dry Scalp
Studies indicate that tea tree oil may help alleviate symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis. This prevalent skin condition results in the appearance of scaly patches on your scalp. Studies also show relief from greasiness and itchiness after rinsing hair and scalp with tea tree oil-based shampoo.
Additionally, tea tree oil helps soothe and calm wounds and irritation due to its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It also works as an excellent natural conditioner for your scalp and reduces the causative agents of flaky skin.
3. Treating Dandruff
Dandruff is a common skin condition which results in the appearance of white, dry flakes of dead skin on your scalp. The common symptoms of dandruff include dryness, itching, redness, and inflamed skin. Other than just a dry scalp, dandruff may be caused by poor hygiene, irritated skin, excess oil production, fungal infection from Malassezia, or skin issues such as contact dermatitis.
Tea tree oil is renowned for its antimicrobial and antifungal activity. Also, it is a powerful cleanser. Therefore, regular usage may help keep your scalp clear from dead skin cells and impurities, ensuring that hair follicles are free of dandruff and build-up.
The essential oil may also help regulate excess natural oil secretion by the sebaceous glands, keeping your scalp conditioned and moisturized.
4. Preventing Hair Fall
Dandruff is one of the primary reasons for hair fall. When hair grows and develops on a dandruff-laden scalp, it undergoes massive protein and cuticle damage. Continuous scratching and inflammation of the scalp leads to damaged hair follicles and hair fall. Tea tree oil helps soothe and calm an irritated and inflamed scalp as well as control dandruff, thereby minimizing excessive hair breakage.
Excess sebum and dandruff may clog the hair follicles in your scalp, resulting in weaker hair roots and hair breakage. As the essential oil addresses both these issues and keeps your scalp clear, it is highly effective in preventing hair loss.
5. Healthy Hair Growth
Tea tree oil helps promote rapid hair growth. It deeply nourishes the hair roots and follicles, thereby promoting thick, luscious, and strong hair. It works by enhancing nutrient and oxygen supply to the hair follicles and roots. It balances the optimum pH level of your scalp, and regulates the hair growth cycle ensuring strong, healthy, and thick hair.
Always keep in mind that tea tree oil should never be directly applied in the concentrated form as it is highly potent. If you accidentally apply it directly onto your skin, scalp, or hair, then you may risk an allergic reaction or inflammation of the affected area. This may further worsen your existing condition which you are trying to cure and heal.
How To Use Tea Tree Oil For Your Hair & Scalp?
Using tea tree oil is beneficial and therapeutic for your scalp and hair. The essential oil has antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties that are useful for maintaining good hair health . By regularly using tea tree oil, the hair follicles in the scalp become more receptive to oxygen and nutrition, thereby promoting hair growth.
Now that you are aware of the benefits of tea tree oil for your scalp and hair, let us find out how to use the essential oil for your hair and include it in your daily hair care regimen.
1. Hot Oil Treatment
For hot oil treatment, you may choose a suitable carrier oil such as almond, coconut, sesame, castor, jojoba, or olive oil. Take half a cup of any of the above-mentioned carrier oils and add 2-3 drops of tea tree oil. If you have an oily hair type, then use only 1-2 drops of tea tree oil. For a dry scalp and hair, increase the quantity of tea tree oil.
How To Use:
- To warm the oil mixture, begin with heating some plain water in a bowl. Once the water is hot, remove the bowl from the flame.
- Place the bowl containing the oil mixture into the warm water and leave it till it becomes warm.
- Before using the essential oil, test the oil temperature on your palm or wrist.
- Section your hair into four parts for even and better distribution of the oil.
- Start applying the oil mixture onto your scalp and hair with your fingers or an applicator.
- Gently massage the oil into the scalp and evenly apply it onto your hair.
- Wear a shower cap to properly cover your scalp and hair.
- Leave it for at least half an hour before rinsing off with a mild, herbal shampoo followed by a conditioner.
2. Hair Mask
A hair mask containing the essential oil may be effective in minimizing itchy skin, dryness, and dandruff. Choose a thick base for the hair mask. You can use a cup of plain yogurt, or a single mashed avocado. These two ingredients are thick in consistency, and help form a smooth paste. Additionally, they are a rich source of healthy fats which deeply hydrate and moisturize your scalp and hair.
How To Use:
- Take either one of the natural ingredients as the base, and add 10-11 drops of argan oil along with two tbsps of pure honey. These two ingredients will act as an adhesive as well as help hydrate your hair.
- Add a few drops of tea tree oil into the mixture and mix it properly to get a smooth and creamy texture.
- Apply the hair mask directly onto your scalp with glove-covered hands.
- Gently massage your scalp with your fingertips for a few minutes.
- Leave the hair mask for around 10-15 minutes before rinsing it thoroughly with a mild, herbal shampoo.
3. Scalp Cleanser
You may mix tea tree oil and baking soda together to eliminate harmful bacterial and fungal infections from your scalp. Baking soda has powerful antifungal and antibacterial properties that eliminate the harmful microbes from the scalp.
The anti-inflammatory property of baking soda helps maintain the pH balance of the skin. Also, the excess oil on the scalp is absorbed. Similar to tea tree oil, it helps open the blocked skin pores. Both the ingredients help fight the bacterial and fungal infections to maintain a clean and healthy scalp. They also help eliminate the accumulated dead skin cells.
How To Use:
- Take one tbsp of baking soda and add 3-5 drops of tea tree oil along with 2-3 tbsp of pure honey.
- Apply the mixture onto your scalp and massage it gently for 5-10 minutes.
- Leave it for 30-35 minutes before rinsing off with a mild, herbal shampoo.
- For best results, repeat the steps twice a week.
4. Hair Rinse
Using a combination of tea tree oil with apple cider vinegar helps to cleanse your scalp and hair, thereby ensuring a healthy scalp and promoting hair growth. Apple cider vinegar is a popular ingredient in traditional and alternative medical practices.
It offers a host of hair and skin benefits. Its cleansing and clarifying action helps rejuvenate your scalp and hair. Additionally, it helps unclog blocked skin pores, and removes residual build-up of hair care products. Apple cider vinegar also helps impart natural shine to your hair, and treats split ends by closing the open hair cuticles.
How To Use:
- Take a cup of apple cider vinegar and dilute it into a cup of plain water.
- Add 10 drops of tea tree oil into the diluted apple cider vinegar.
- Use this mixture as a hair rinse for clean and healthy scalp and hair.
5. Overnight Hair Mask
Coconut oil is a natural ingredient which works wonders for your hair growth and health. It easily penetrates into the hair shaft, making it a perfect carrier oil for various essential oils. Similar to tea tree oil, it helps fight fungal infections of the scalp, promotes hair growth, and improves overall scalp health.
Coconut oil also helps add volume and shine to your hair, making it thick, lustrous, and strong.
How To Use:
- Rinse your hair with a mild, herbal shampoo and gently pat it dry with a soft towel. Keep it moist and damp.
- Add 3-5 drops of tea tree oil into a tbsp of coconut oil.
- Massage the mixture gently onto your damp hair.
- Leave it overnight and rinse your hair with mild shampoo and conditioner in the morning.
6. Vitamin Booster
Both aloe vera and tea tree oil help make your hair strong, thick, and healthy. Aloe vera is a rich source of Vitamin A which helps produce natural sebum . Sebum helps keep your scalp and hair from flaking, itching, and drying.
Aloe vera also helps protect your hair from free radical damage. It also contains Vitamin B12 which helps in eliminating impurities from your hair follicles, thereby promoting new hair growth.
How To Use:
- Add 5-7 drops of tea tree oil into 3-4 tbsp of freshly extracted aloe vera gel.
- Apply this mixture evenly onto your scalp.
- Leave it overnight for best results.
- If you are in a hurry, then you may leave it for 20-25 minutes before rinsing off with a mild, herbal shampoo.
7. Leave-In Conditioner
You may also use the essential oil as a hair spray which works perfectly as a nourishing and hydrating leave-in conditioner.
How To Use:
- Add 5-6 drops of tea tree oil in a cup of mineral water.
- Pour this diluted essential oil into a glass spray bottle.
- Shake it gently to ensure that both water and oil have mixed properly.
- You may spray a little amount of this mixture after towel-drying your hair.
Vedix Tip: Always opt for 100% pure and organic tea tree oil for reaping the maximum hair, scalp, and skin benefits. Check the label for the accurate name of Melaleuca alternifolia in the packaged bottle.
Since heat, direct light, and exposure to moisture and air may adversely affect the stability of tea tree oil, always store the essential oil in dry, cool, and dark places within a glass container.
Does Tea Tree Oil Have Any Side-Effects?
There aren’t several potential risks linked with using tea tree oil. Although, using concentrated essential oil directly onto your skin, scalp, or hair may cause an allergic reaction or rash.
Recent studies indicate that there may be a hidden link between breast formation in adolescent boys and usage of tea tree oil, which is medically called prepubertal gynecomastia . Even though more concrete evidence is required to understand this association, it is imperative to consult a knowledgeable pediatrician before using the essential oil on children.
The regular use of tea tree oil on your skin may cause allergic reactions. While using the essential oil on your scalp and hair, opt for freshly extracted tea tree oil as the preserved variant may cause allergies on the scalp.
Always perform a patch test on a small section of your skin before using the essential oil directly onto your hair and scalp.
Also, keep in mind that tea tree oil should not be orally consumed as the pure, concentrated form is toxic when swallowed by people and pets like dogs and cats. Ensure that you store the essential oil in a closed glass container and out of the reach of your children and pets.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Tea Tree Oil
1. Can You Apply Tea Tree Oil Directly On Your Hair?
No, it is advisable to never apply the essential oil directly onto your hair and scalp as it is available in concentrated form which may irritate and inflame your skin.
2. Can You Leave Tea Tree Oil In Your Hair Overnight?
Tea tree oil provides deep nourishment to your scalp and hair and helps maintain good hair health. Hence, the essential oil may be left overnight on your hair for deep conditioning when it is mixed with a suitable carrier oil. When used regularly, tea tree oil helps your scalp to restore its lost hydration and moisture, leading to smooth, shiny hair.
3. Do You Have To Wash Tea Tree Oil Out Of Your Hair?
It is not advisable to leave the essential oil in your scalp and hair, as it may irritate and aggravate the hair follicles and skin on your scalp. Hence, try and avoid leaving it on your hair for a long duration.
4. Can Tea Tree Oil Cause Hair Fall?
If you are allergic to tea tree oil, then it may cause hair breakage and hair loss. Hence, it is recommended to perform a patch test behind your ear or on the inside of your arm before using it on your scalp and hair.
If you observe any skin rash, inflammation, or redness, then stay away from using tea tree oil on your skin, scalp, and hair.
The Last Word
Tea tree oil is a natural and effective way to treat and manage a wide-range of scalp and hair issues, ensuring healthy, strong, and lustrous hair. Always opt for hair care products which contain the essential oil as an active ingredient. Remember to do a patch test to ensure that you are not allergic to the essential oil.
To reap the maximum benefits for your hair, you may begin applying a hair pack or herbal shampoo containing tea tree oil on a regular basis. A diluted form of the essential oil is less likely to cause any skin rash or allergic reaction. Say hello to clean, thick, and lustrous hair with the right use of tea tree oil!Know Your Dosha Now
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