Like many essential oils tea tree oil has been used for its medicinal benefits for hundreds of years. Tea tree oil is an essential oil that comes from the Australian plant shrub Melaleuca alternifolia. The Australian aboriginal peoples used tea tree oil to clean wounds and treat infections.
Tea tree oil has antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Which allows it to help with all kinds of infections; improve skin conditions, treat acne, treat Athlete’s foot and help wounds heal.
A healthy scalp and shiny hair are a sign of beauty but also of health. Getting that healthy scalp and residue free hair is not as easy as the regular good wash.
Dandruff is related to a yeast microbe which naturally occurs on your scalp. When this microbe feeds on your scalp it creates an acid. If you are sensitive to this acid your scalp cells inflame, dry out and shed. This leads to dead skin build up on the scalp. Dandruff generally causes your scalp to be itchy, dead skin cells to form into white clumps and shed. The antifungal and antibacterial benefits of tea tree oil can help.
In a dandruff study 126 male and female participants 14 or older were assigned to use a 5% tea tree oil shampoo or a placebo shampoo. They used this shampoo daily for 4 weeks. The participants who used the tea tree oil shampoo had a 41% improvement versus the control group who had a 11% improvement. A 5% tea tree oil was effective in the treatment of dandruff.
Tea tree oil is a natural conditioner for the scalp and reduces skin flaking.
Benefits for Hair:
- A good cleanser that unclogs pores on scalp and promotes scalp health
- Removes buildup of dead skin cells
- Can improve and eliminate cradle cap
- Controls excess oil production and yet moisturizes the scalp
- Removes residue from hair products
- Helps prevent scalp itch
- Helps prevent flaky scalp and dry scalp
- Helps treat and prevent dandruff
- Kills lice – A 30 minute tea tree oil treatment can kill 100% of lice. There are products on the market that you can purchase if this ever becomes necessary.
Hair and Scalp Treatment Options:
There are shampoo and conditioner products on the market that already contain tea tree oil ready for purchase. You can also make your own by mixing the essential oil in with a carrier, which could be your current shampoo. Just add a few drops to your regular shampoo or conditioner. Another suggestion is to mix water and a few drops of oil and use as a rinse after you shampoo your hair. You do not want to apply tea tree oil directly to your skin without some type of carrier. It can be too powerful undiluted, however, it is considered a very safe essential oil.
Other Benefits of Tea Tree Oil:
Clears the skin of acne. Acne is improved by using tea tree oil. In study comparing tea tree oil and benzoyl peroxide both reduced the number of inflamed lesions. The benzoyl peroxide group had less oiliness. The tea tree oil group had less scaling and dryness.
Clears Athlete’s Foot and Toe Fungus
Heals cuts and scabs faster. The antiseptic properties of tea tree oil decreases bacterial counts in wounds.
Very safe to use. Very few adverse side effects have been reported.
- Toxic when ingested
- Possible allergic reaction
Could tea tree oil replace antibiotics? There is not enough evidence yet that tea tree oil can replace antibiotics to prevent bacterial, fungal or viral infections but this needs further study. It would be nice if some new alternatives to antibiotics could be found in nature.
If you are struggling with hair and scalp conditions you should do some investigating and try a product that has tea tree oil in it. I for one am particularly pleased with how my scalp and hair have improved since using a tea tree oil product.