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Tea Tree Oil For Hair: Uses & Benefits

Hair Health

16 Min Read

By Nutrafol Team2019-07-01

Over the last few decades, the Australian tea tree oil, or melaleuca, has risen in popularity. Many people now use the oil as a hair treatment for both damaged and healthy locks, and you may have heard it’s a natural solution to grow healthy hair. Read on to learn more about tea tree oil for hair, its benefits, and how to use it.

Tea tree oil uses

Tea tree oil is a naturally occurring oil from a plant called the tea tree shrub; it’s removed with steam distillation. The shrub is native to Australia, and tea tree oil uses began there. The earliest uses of tea tree oil date back thousands of years when native Australian aborigines found tea tree oil uses as an antiseptic for burns, cuts, and boils. There are even records indicating that tea tree oil uses can cure foot fungus. 

Tea tree oil uses antiseptic and antifungal properties, making it popular for medicinal treatments, like disinfecting. Tea tree oil has been used to help acne, skin infections, warts, cold sores, athlete’s foot, and other fungi, earaches, sinus infections, and eczema. Other interesting tea tree oil uses are cleaning mold and killing insects. Today, popular tea tree oil uses are for scalp conditions and hair health. 

Benefits of tea tree oil

Using tea tree oil for hair is very popular and there’s a good reason why. There are many tea tree oil benefits for your hair and scalp.

  • It’s natural. There are many chemicals you can put in your hair, but those chemicals could be potentially damaging. Tea tree oil is completely natural and tea tree oil for hair growth helps maintain the essential nutrients of healthy hair. 
  • It’s a gentle oil. While some oils can be harsh on the skin, you don’t have to worry with tea tree oil. It’s one of the few disinfectants that can be applied directly to the skin. 
  • It can treat dandruff. Dandruff is the build-up of dry and dead skin that comes off in itchy flakes. Dandruff can also inhibit hair growth. Tea tree oil is a natural way to treat dandruff by stopping it at the root cause—a dry scalp. 
  • It can kill lice. If you’ve ever had lice, you know how hard it can be to get rid of and how those chemical-intense shampoos and products can dry out your hair and scalp. Using tea tree oil for hair lice will kill the insects while also moisturizing your scalp.
  • It can facilitate hair growth. Tea tree oil won’t cause your hair to grow faster, but it will help create the conditions for ideal growth by clearing your follicles and moisturizing your scalp.

All these tea tree oil benefits show why tea tree oil has gained worldwide popularity in recent years. Tea tree oil is a natural dandruff, lice, and hair growth solution. The trick is knowing how to use tea tree oil.

How to use tea tree oil for hair

If you want to try tea tree oil for yourself, there are several different types of hair treatments that can easily fit into your routine. Remember that each tea tree oil treatment requires time to see results. Here’s how to use tea tree oil:

  • For cleansing: You can make your regular shampoo tea tree oil shampoo with only a few drops. Mix just a couple of drops into any shampoo,  and then during washing, massage it into your hair and scalp. Rinse the shampoo and enjoy the benefits of tea tree oil.
  • For hair growth: Tea tree oil for hair growth is a popular use. Mix a few drops of tea tree oil with any carrier oil of your choice to create a hair growth promoting mixture. Carrier oils include coconut oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, and similar types of oil. Massage the oil mixture into your hair and scalp and let it sit for a few minutes. Then rinse thoroughly. This treatment will help clear up your follicles and facilitate hair growth. It should take around three weeks to see the growth improvement and tea tree oil benefits. 
  • For dandruff: Follow the instructions for cleansing but use 10 drops of the oil for every eight ounces of shampoo. This slight increase in oil will help moisturize the scalp even more. Leave the mixture in your hair for three to five minutes before rinsing completely. Dandruff should decrease and resolve within four weeks. 
  • For dryness: To remedy a dry scalp, create the mixture used for hair growth by mixing a few drops of tea tree oil with the carrier oil jojoba. This time, massage the mixture into your hair and leave it there for at least 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing. You can leave the tea tree oil mixture in overnight if you want extra moisturization. 
  • For itchiness: You can add tea tree oil to your regular conditioner for a deep conditioning treatment to treat scalp itchiness. Add just a couple of drops of oil to any conditioner and apply after shampooing like usual. Then apply conditioner to your hair and scalp. Let it sit for a couple of minutes before rinsing completely. 
  • For scalp spots: Tea tree oil can be used to treat skin and scalp conditions, such as spots. This is a pre-shower treatment where you add five to seven drops of the oil to a cup of water and mix. For best results, put the mixture in a spray bottle and spritz your hair 20 minutes before showering. Be sure to target the spots specifically with the solution. Then shower like usual. 
  • For refreshing your hair: Follow the same mixing instructions as scalp spots by mixing approximately 5–7 drops of oil with a cup of water and adding it to a spray bottle. This time, lightly spritz your hair and leave it in. 
  • For hot oil treatments: Tea tree oil can be used for a hot oil treatment that can reduce itchiness and dryness. Take a half cup of carrier oil—olive oil is recommended—and mix in a drop or two of tea tree oil. Then either heat the ingredients on the stove or heat water and place the bowl with the oil mixture in the water. Once the oil is warm—but not hot—massage the treatment into your hair from scalp to ends. Leave it in for 30 minutes and shampoo as normal.

However you decide to use tea tree oil for hair help, your scalp and hair will thank you. The tea tree oil benefits of healthy hair and scalp will lead to an increase in hair growth.

Tea Tree Oil Facts

There are some important facts to know about tea tree oil before using it:

  • Never consume tea tree oil. Even though it is natural, it can cause serious effects like a loss of muscle control, poor balance, and even coma if ingested. Tea tree oil is for topical use only.
  • Large quantities are very powerful. Don’t apply large quantities of pure oil to your skin or hair. It can cause irritation and you will end up wasting it. Tea tree oil for hair only takes a little bit, so dilute it before use.
  • Make sure you only use the ratio of 10 drops for eight ounces of shampoo for dandruff. Large amounts of pure oil can actually have the opposite effect and cause brittle and dry hair. A good rule of thumb with tea tree oil is that a little will go a long way.
  • Some people are allergic to tea tree oil. Before using it, apply a small amount of the tea tree oil mixture to your arm or behind your ear. If there hasn’t been a reaction in 24 hours, you’re good to go. If you experience redness or a rash, you may be allergic and should avoid using it.
  • While tea tree oil is very beneficial for your hair, don’t leave it in your hair all the time. It could potentially cause skin irritation.
  • Tea tree oil could affect colored hair. The oil is considered an astringent, which means it fades color. However, this seems to only be when it is used in very large quantities. Many tea tree oil products that are available are safe for colored hair.

The Bottom Line

Tea tree oil for hair growth is natural and gentle on your strands and scalp. You can use any of these tea tree oil treatments, or choose from the many products sold in stores that are tea tree oil-based. Whatever you choose, tea tree oil uses and benefits can help your hair and improve growth.

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