Tea tree oil is known for treating almost everything from acne to sinusitis to athlete’s foot to various skin issues. Thanks to its antiviral and antibacterial properties, tea tree oil is also beneficial for fighting infections and inflammation. But what about tea tree oil for hair? How can this great essential oil help your hair?
The benefits of this oil come from the tea tree (Melaleuca Alternifolia), a plant native to Australia. If you have any doubts about its usage, just remember that Aboriginal communities have used this oil and plant for antiseptic purposes. They crush the leaves and apply them to cuts, infections, and burns. The Western world became familiar with tea tree oil in the 1920s, thanks to Arthur Penfold, a chemist who published a series of papers about tea tree oil.
But back to the tea tree oil for hair. How can you use it? And why should you use it?
Why you need hair treatments?
Before we go to the section about why you need tea tree oil for hair growth and health, let’s talk a little about our hair. Our hair is susceptible to various environmental elements on a daily basis, such as dust, smoke, wind, harmful chemicals, and sun exposure. As a result, our hair health suffers. Everything that you expose to harmful chemicals will suffer. That’s a fact.
And in the same way we treat our body with healthy nutrients, we need to treat our hair with nutrients as well. Your hair should be washed with gentle, harmless products. The goal is to promote healthy growth while preventing thinning and damage.
What you don’t know is that normal hair shampoos and conditioners sometimes contain harmful, harsh chemicals. They wash your hair, but they cause damage at the same time. Instead of nourishing your hair with nutrients, they harm it. Shampoos nowadays are loaded with polymers, dyes, fragrances, and fillers that make them appealing to customers and consumers. And that’s why you need something natural, like tea tree oil for hair, for example.
Tea tree oil for hair growth
Tea tree oil does not directly encourage hair growth. You won’t see miraculous hair growth in just a few months. However, tea tree oil unclogs the hair follicles, nourishes the roots of your hair, and encourages a healthy environment for hair growth. In addition, tea tree oil helps with dandruff and hair loss problems.
The best way to use tea tree oil for hair is to massage it on your scalp. But first, you have to dilute the oil with a carrier oil, because tea tree oil can be harmful on its own for your hair. Here is one simple way to use tea tree oil for hair growth:
- 10 drops of warm tea tree oil
- 1 teaspoon of any carrier oil
How to do it
- Mix the two oils together, and then apply on your scalp.
- Massage gently for 10 minutes, and then wrap your head with towel.
- Let it stay there for 10 minutes, and then wash with a shampoo.
- Repeat this treatment regularly, at least twice per week to encourage healthy hair growth. Note: you will feel a tingling sensation, which is due to the tea tree oil.
Fight off dandruff
I mentioned that tea tree oil helps hair growth and battles dandruff at the same time. But the treatment is not the same. If you are suffering from dandruff, I have another solution that might come in handy. You can always add about 10 drops of tea tree oil to your shampoo, or you can take things to the next level.
- One small, empty bottle
- Almond oil or olive oil
- 15 drops of tea tree oil
How to do it
- Fill the bottle about three-quarters full with almond oil or olive oil.
- Add 15 drops of tea tree oil. Stir and mix well.
- Apply the mixture on your scalp, and massage for 10 minutes.
- Wrap your hair in a shower cap, and make sure everything is covered. Let it stay overnight.
- In the morning, simply wash your hair with regular shampoo, and then apply some conditioner.
Tea tree oil for itchy scalp
Even if you don’t regularly suffer from itchy scalp, sometimes you may. And itchy scalp is just as irritating as dandruff. Typically caused by bacteria or fungus, or even an allergic reaction, itchy scalp can cause problems for your hair, leading to hair loss.
As mentioned, tea tree oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties, effectively removing the problem. Here is step by step guide for two solutions for itchy scalp.
- Mix one tablespoon of organic coconut oil and 10 drops of tea tree oil in a small bowl. Mix until the coconut oil is completely liquid, and the oils are blended.
- Apply the mixture on your scalp, and massage for 10 minutes. Focus on the dry and itchy areas. Let the mixture stay on your hair for 30 minutes.
- Rinse with shampoo as you normally do. Repeat the process once per week. Alternatively, you can leave the mixture on overnight, and rinse in the morning.
Solution 2, even more potent than Solution 1
- Mix one tablespoon of olive oil, 3 drops of peppermint oil, and 3 drops of tea tree oil.
- Fill a small bowl with warm water (not scalding). Add the oil to the bowl and mix well. Be careful with the ratio, as you don’t want too much water.
- Shampoo your hair as you normally do.
- After you wash your hair, massage the mixture onto your scalp for several minutes, allowing it to penetrate the hair. Rinse thoroughly.
Tea tree oil for lice
Tea tree oil is one of the more potent solutions to fighting off head lice. Anyone who has ever tried it, swears by it. So, I recommend that you try it as well if you ever get head lice.
Here is how you can do it:
- Pour some mild shampoo (about 100 drops) into a small bowl. Add 4 drops of lavender oil and 4 drops of tea tree oil.
- Add one or two teaspoons of extra-virgin olive oil. Mix the ingredients well until they are thoroughly blended. Apply the mixture to your hair, and massage the scalp area.
- Cover the hair with a shower cap, and allow the mixture to penetrate for 30 minutes.
- Rinse with warm water, and make sure all the residue is gone.
- Apply a conditioner.
- Using a lice comb, start from the scalp, moving your way towards the ends.
- Repeat the treatment for seven days to make sure the lice are gone.
Tea tree oil for curly hair
Tea tree oil will not only help you have healthy hair, but it will also help you style it. For those perfect wavy curls, all you need is a simple tea tree oil treatment!
In the evening, wash your hair with shampoo and then apply conditioner. While your hair is wet, apply a few drops of tea tree oil to your scalp. Braid your hair in two parts, one on each side (you’ll make more braids with shorter hair). In the morning, take the braids out, and finger comb your hair. You’ll enjoy your wavy curls for the day.
Tea tree oil for a hair mask
This mask will help you eliminate dandruff, lice, and dryness, and it will also improve the health of your hair. In the summer, this mask will help you refresh your scalp, restoring and rejuvenating hair health. The first step is to cleanse the scalp, and that’s what this mask will do. You can moisturize your hair further with coconut oil and avocado.
To make the hair mask:
- Fill one empty spray bottle with 10 drops of tea tree oil. Then add equal parts of water and apple cider vinegar.
- You can keep the spray bottle in the bathroom. To apply the mask, lightly spritz it on your scalp. Let it stay for 10 minutes.
- Wash your hair with shampoo with some tea tree oil in it. Let the shampoo stay for three minutes, and then rinse.
To moisturize your hair:
- Mix two tablespoons of coconut oil and mashed avocado.
- Apply on your scalp and massage for 10 minutes. Let the mask stay for 30 minutes.
- Rinse with mild shampoo. You can repeat this treatment once per week.
Tips for using tea tree oil for hair
As I’ve mentioned numerous times in this article, one can’t simply apply tea tree oil to the hair and scalp; you need to know how to do it properly. Here are some tips that will help you utilize tea tree oil and obtain the maximum benefits.
- Test if you are allergic to tea tree oil first by applying a small quantity as a patch test. If nothing happens, then you can use it according to the regular quantity.
- Never use tea tree oil orally.
- If you apply too much tea tree oil, you might experience reverse side effects. Tea tree oil should always be used per the directions for hair care.
- Never apply tea tree oil on its own. Even for simple treatments, dilute it in a little carrier oil.
- Use tea-tree oil-based styling gels to provide fullness and shine to your hair.
- Tea tree oil is not effective for all hair types. If you don’t notice results, that means tea tree oil doesn’t work for your hair type.
- Don’t use tea tree oil more than twice per week.
- Make sure to use warm tea tree oil, not hot.
- Don’t use it to increase facial hair growth. It won’t work.