One of the common ingredients you’ll find in many hair products today is tea tree oil. This is due to its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties which provide the scalp and hair with so many benefits. This article will explain to you what tea tree oil is, its benefits and how to use it.
What is Tea Tree Oil?
Tea tree oil is a natural essential oil used to treat hair and skin issues. The oil is extracted from the leaves of a plant called Melaleuca alternifolia. As mentioned already, many haircare companies use this oil in their products like shampoos because of its numerous benefits such as:
1. Treatment of Hair and Scalp Conditions
Hair and scalp conditions like dandruff, dry and itchy scalp, and hair loss, among others, can be bothersome and worrying. Research shows that tea tree oil can help to treat these conditions. As a matter of fact, a team of researchers carried out a clinical trial in 2002 to test the effectiveness of tea tree oil in treating dandruff. Although it was only 5% used, the results showed that tea tree oil successfully treated dandruff.
2. Treatment of Lice
Head lice can be difficult to get rid of especially because they breed rapidly. Tea tree oil has been proven effective in getting rid of lice in infected hair. It can also stop new eggs from hatching.
3. Helping To Balance In Oil Production
The scalp itself produces natural oil which is known as sebum. This oil helps to moisturize the scalp and hair roots, thus, keeping them from going dry. However, in some cases, some people’s scalp tends to overproduce this oil. This then leads to dandruff, flaking and greasy hair and scalp. Tea tree oil can help to control the production of sebum on a scalp. This then results in a healthier scalp.
4. Boosting New Hair Growth
When your scalp is free from issues, it can lead to new hair growth. Because tea tree oil helps to combat scalp issues, new healthy hair can begin to grow on the scalp.
5. Suitable For All Hair Types
Tea tree oil is suitable for all hair types. Whether your hair is natural, texturized, relaxed, straight or curly, tea tree oil will work well for it.
How to Use Tea Tree Oil For Hair
There are two ways you can use tea tree oil: The first is as an ingredient in a hair product. The second way is in its pure form.
1. As An Ingredient In Hair Products
Combine With Your Shampoo
You will find tea tree oil as an ingredient in many shampoos. If you have sensitive skin, it is best to try tea tree oil this way. Also, these hair products have different percentages of tea tree oil added to them. So, do well to check the label to know how much concentration you can tolerate. If you do not have a product containing tea tree oil, you can do a mix yourself. Add a couple of drops of the oil to a rationed amount of shampoo (not the entire bottle) and mix. Then let it sit on your scalp for 5 – 10 minutes before you rinse it out. You should not apply the oil to an entire bottle of shampoo because of the possibility of irritation.
Add It To Your Hair Mask
Hair masks are deep conditioning treatments that fight dryness and dandruff. They also repair the hair from damage and strengthen it. Adding a few drops of tea tree oil to your hair mask helps to boost its effectiveness. Do this combination once a week. This will then result in moisturized healthy hair.
2. In Its Pure Form
Tea tree oil in its pure form can lead to severe irritation if you apply it directly onto your skin. As such, you should dilute it with carrier oils like olive oil, almond oil and sunflower oil. Experts recommend that you mix a drop or two of tea tree oil in 10-12 drops of your carrier oil. You can then massage the mix into your scalp to stimulate and increase blood flow.
Frequently Asked Questions About Tea Tree Oil
Can I apply tea tree oil directly to the hair?
No, you should not do this. As mentioned already, if you use tea tree oil in its pure undiluted form, it can irritate your scalp.
How long should I leave it on my hair?
If you’re using it as a scalp oil, you can leave it until your next wash day. However, if mixed with your shampoo, rinse off after 5 – 10 minutes.