Everybody is talking about Tea tree oil and how it treats all sorts of hair issues these days. It is said to cure dandruff, lice, dryness, and even baldness and a lot more. However, lots of these claims may not be scientifically proven, so I am going to give a balanced opinion about its effectiveness so that you can properly decide if all the claims are true or not.
What is Tea Tree Oil?
Tea tree oil also known as melaleuca oil is an essential oil taken from the leaves of the Tea tree which is native to Australia.
It has a fresh camphor smell and its colour ranges from pale yellow to nearly colourless and clear. It is a versatile oil commonly used for a variety of medicinal purposes, such as acne, fungus infections, athlete’s foot, and many other uses including hair due to its antiseptic properties, in that it essentially, kills bacteria and fungi (this is its most basic function).
Despite its many uses it is very toxic if taken internally so it’s important to be careful when using it. It can also cause allergic reactions with some people. So if you have any problems with it, then stop using it.
How does Tea tree oil help your hair?
There are really a few ways in which it can help your hair.
- It helps moisturize your scalp which is great for your hair.
- It helps clean the follicles because of its antiseptic properties.
Ways of using Tea tree oil on hair
There are three main ways you can use it on hair
- Put it directly on your scalp (with another oil, preferably a carrier oil): Don’t put it directly on your scalp without another oil because it will dry out your hair. Dilute it with another oil making sure that the Tea tree oil is actually only a small part of the larger mixture, usually a few drops of it with an entire table spoon of another oil.
- Get a shampoo that has tea tree oil: The shampoos usually have about a 5% dose as you do not need much of it to get the benefits. This is because too much of it can be a problem.
- You can also fortify your shampoo/conditioner by adding few drops of pure tea tree oil to it.
Combating Dandruff and Lice with Tea Tree Oil:
The antifungal and antibacterial properties of Tea tree oil makes it useful in cleansing and maintaining the health of hair follicles. Researches have shown that applying a 5% Tea tree oil shampoo three minutes daily for four weeks reduces scalp lesions, scalp itchiness, and greasiness in people with dandruff. So if you have dandruff problems, a 5% tea tree oil shampoo is definitely an effective way to make your scalp more healthy. You can fortify your shampoo with a few drops of this essential oil. Applying a combination of lavender and Tea tree oil kills lice eggs and reduces the number of live lice.
Tea Tree Oil for Hair Growth:
Does it stimulate hair growth? I can’t decisively say that it does because the evidence for that is insufficient. However, it creates the optimal conditions for hair growth. That therefore, means that it may not help everyone. If you’re experience hair problems relating to unhealthy hair follicles, then it would be promising since it cleanses out hair follicles and support the hair. But if there is another reason for the hair loss (like some medical conditions), I can’t conclusively say that it would reverse hair loss. But for some people in that situation, it could still help with the health of your existing hairs. Take few drops of it, mix it with any carrier oil and simply massage it onto your scalp.
Moisturizing your Scalp with Tea Tree Oil:
It moisturizes by nourishing your scalp and your hair eliminating dryness and itching really well. Mix it with any carrier oil like jojoba oil and massage gently onto your scalp for 10-15 minutes. Leave it on for some time and wash thoroughly. Tea tree oil shampoo can also be effective for moisturizing your scalp. It is definitely worth trying it if you find your scalp and hair to be dry and damaged.