Who doesn’t want their hair to be stronger, shinier, and healthier? But, due to some or the other reason, our hair follicles become gray, dull, frizzy, and dry (1). There may be several reasons behind all these problems, such as pollution, exposure to UV rays, use of harmful products and chemical, and many more. But, do you know that only a single ingredient can solve almost all the troubles related to hair? Yes, you heard it right! You can solve them all with a readily available oil viz., tea tree oil.
Tea tree oil or Melaleuca alternifolia oil is extracted from the plant native to Australia. It has been widely used for the treatment of several diseases and maladies of the body (2). Now, people have started using it for hair problems too. But, is it really effective? There are many such questions that come to our mind before trying any new ingredient. Let us see what are the properties of the oil that make it a perfect care product and how can we make use of this oil.
Is Tea Tree Oil Really Effective For Hair
We have seen that tea tree oil solves many problems of our body and skin. But, is tea tree oil good for hair or not? Let’s find out!
Tea tree oil is enriched with lots of antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties, which is why there are lots of tea tree oil benefits for hair. The oil possesses these qualities due to the presence of compounds called terpinen-4-ol and 1,8-cineole (3).
Tea Tree Oil Benefits for Hair
1. Heals Dandruff and Dry Scalp
Seborrheic dermatitis or commonly referred as dandruff is the condition where the dead skin from the scalp sheds off (6). It can cause itching and scaling of the scalp and is a long lasting problem, thus, it must be treated as early as possible (7). Tea tree oil has lots of properties that make it a perfect remedy for dry and dandruff prone scalp. The 5% concentration of the oil has been proved effective for the dry scalp in several studies (8).
2. Treats Oily Scalp
Some people have to struggle a lot with greasy scalp, as their hair retains oil just after a few hours of washing. It is generally caused by hormonal imbalance, riboflavin, folic acid, and vitamin B-2 deficiency (9). Tea tree oil has the ability to control the excess oil and at the same time, provide required nourishment to the follicles (10).
3. Tea Tree Oil for Hair Loss
The problem of thin hair due to the loss is not only common with women but with men also. Sometimes, the hair loss is due to natural factors but it may be due to some of the diseases like thyroid, diabetes, etc. It can be the result of chemotherapy as well (11). Tea tree oil, being rich in may nutrients that our follicle love, prevents andreduces hair fall (12, 13).
4. Tea Tree Oil for Hair Growth
The growth of hair is also affected by the damage caused by pollution, use of chemical based products, the residue of shampoo or conditioner, etc. Tea tree oil helps treat the damage caused and enhances the length and volume of your strands by nourishing the follicles and the roots (14).
5. Beneficial for Lice Treatment
Lice are one of the common problems in children, but it may affect adults also. The condition is called pediculosis. This oil is also effective for the treatment of head lice due to its antibacterial nature. Many studies have proved the efficacy of the oil in killing these small creatures (15, 16).
How to Use Tea Tree Oil for Hair
1. Tea Tree Oil
This is the easiest method that you can incorporate into your daily regime for wonderful, natural looking hair. It is generally used at 5-10 % of concentration (17). The oil can also solve the problem of scaling of the scalp caused by psoriasis (18).
All you need to do is take some oil in your palm and massage on your head, especially roots. This will provide them deep nourishment, make them stronger, and will also eliminate the itching and scaling.
- You can use the oil to get wavy curls also. Firstly, wet your hair and apply some oil on your scalp. Divide your hair into two parts and make a braid in both the parts. Open the braid the following morning and use fingers to comb them.
2. Tea Tree Oil and Shampoo
The market is filled with numerous shampoos containing this oil for dandruff and other problems. They are effective and studies have also proved the same. It was observed that washing hair with the shampoo containing 5% tea tree oil is very beneficial for hair (19). But, why to buy the shampoo when you can prepare it at home? Just mix a few drops of the oil in your regular shampoo and/or conditioner and wash your hair with it. Do this every day, or as per requirement.
Note: You can use the oil alone if you are suffering from dandruff (20).
3. Tea Tree Oil with Carrier Oil
This method is also for almost all the problems related to your scalp. Just mix a few drops (10-12) of warm tea tree oil with 1 tsp of any of the oil like olive, jojoba, almond, etc. Massage your scalp with this oil and leave it for about half an hour. Wash your hair after that with a shampoo. Carrier oil like olive oil and other such oils are very effective in promoting hair health (21) and therefore, the blend is a perfect remedy.
4. Tea Tree Oil and Rosemary Oil
Mix a few drops of tea tree and rosemary oil with any carrier oil. Apply it to your scalp by massaging gently. Leave it for a minimum of 2 or 3 hours and rinse well with warm water.
- Alternatively, mix 10 drops of tea tree oil, 15 drops of rosemary oil, and 50 ml of jojoba oil thoroughly. Apply it on your scalp and hair thoroughly and massage gently for some time. Cover your head with a shower cap and then with a warm towel for 1 hour. Rinse well with warm water after that or leave it for a whole day. Wash off with lukewarm water. Repeat the method regularly for the best results.
5. Tea Tree and Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is also one of the best oils for hair due to the fact that it provides nourishment and essential nutrients like vitamin E, A, etc.(26) to our follicle and thus, keeps the scalp free from flakes (27). It is used to prevent damage caused by several reasons (28). This method will prevent itching, eczema, and other problems, effectively.
For this, mix 10 drops of the essential oil and 1 tbsp of melted coconut oil (preferably unfiltered) together. Leave it for 2-3 hours or overnight. Rinse well afterward.
6. Tea Tree Oil with Lavender Oil
Lavender oil provides instant relief from headaches and other disorders, when used in aromatherapy (29). Massaging with this oil also improves circulation (30). In order to promote hair growth and to enhance the benefits of the oil, combine it with tea tree oil.
For this, first of all, wash your hair with shampoo. Now, mix equal amount of both the essential oil and massage gently for a few minutes. Let it stay for 10 minutes and then wash off with regular water.
7. Tea Tree Oil Spray
Fill an empty spray bottle with water. Add a few drops of tea tree oil to it and spray on your head. Cover your head with a warm towel and leave it for 15 minutes. Rinse well with a mild shampoo.
- Alternatively, add an equal quantity of water and vinegar in place of only water for better results.
8. Egg and Tea Tree Oil Mask
If your scalp is dry or is losing nourishment, then you can also prepare a deep-conditioning mask for your hair. Castor oil in this recipe helps provide moisture and volume to hair and on the other hand, olive oil prevents hair loss (33).
To prepare this mask, just mix 2 tbsp of olive oil, 2 tbsp milk, and 2 tbsp of Castor oil with one egg thoroughly. Add 5-10 drops of tea tree oil to it, and apply the prepared mixture on your head. Now, cover your hair with a shower cap and leave it to dry. Apply some heat using a dryer after that and wash off with a mild shampoo.
9. Avocado, Yogurt, and Tea Tree Oil Mask
This tea tree oil mask will solve all the problems of your hair and scalp. Avocado in the mask provides vitamin A, C, E, etc., while yogurt provides minerals like iron and magnesium, which are vital to our body (34, 35).
Take a bowl and add 1 cup of yogurt, 1 mashed avocado, 2 tbsp of honey, 10 drops of argan oil, and a few drops of tea tree oil to it. Mix them well until desired consistency is obtained. Apply the prepared mixture evenly all over your scalp and hair. You can cover your head with a shower cap to secure it tightly. Leave it for 15-20 minutes and rinse well afterward. You can wear this mask twice or thrice a week.
10. Tea Tree Oil and Aloe Vera Mask
This particular mask is for hair growth. Aloe vera is a known agent not only for radiant skin but also for beautiful hair. It is used for numerous ailments and disease of the skin and body (36). It provides a cooling effect and makes the follicles shinier and silkier.
To prepare the mask, combine ½ a cup of aloe vera gel, 2-3 drops tea tree oil with ½ a cup of water. Make sure that the mixture is smooth and lump-free. Wear the mask on your head for 30 to 40 minutes and wash off with a mild shampoo, later on.
11. Castor Oil and Tea Tree Oil
Castor oil possesses many properties due to which, it is one of the miraculous oils for the hair. It is antibacterial and antifungal, thus, it solves many of the issues related to your scalp.
For the remedy, you will need 3 tbsp of Castor oil, 1 tbsp each of jojoba and coconut oil, 3-5 drops of tea tree oil, and an egg (optional). Jojoba oil is a proven remedy for hair loss, as some studies suggest (37). Mix all the ingredients except egg, thoroughly and apply the oil mixture by gently massaging. Leave it overnight and in the morning, apply egg if you wish. It will aid the growth and provide more nutrition to the strands. Rinse well with a shampoo after some time.
12. Tea Tree Oil with Other Essential Oils
Essential oils are widely used these days in aromatherapy, and to treat several disorders like allergies. They have a wonderful aroma and possess lots of medicinal qualities, as well. For this incredible mixture, you will need 3 drops each of lavender, rosemary, and tea tree oil; 2 drops each of thyme and cedarwood oil; 4 drops of grapeseed oil and ½ tsp of jojoba oil.
These oils have antioxidant, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and other such properties (38, 39, 40). Mix them all and massage with the prepared blend every day for 5 to 10 minutes. Wash with a shampoo the next morning.
13. Chamomile Tea and Tea Tree Oil
It provides relief from itching and dryness in the hair and provides nourishment.
For the preparations, you will need 250 ml of water, 50gms of soda, 2 chamomile tea bags, and 25 ml of tea tree oil.
Firstly, boil the water and when it starts bubbling, put chamomile tea bags in it. Let it brew for some time and then take them out. Next, mix soda in it and allow it to come to lukewarm temperature. Lastly, put tea tree oil in it and stir thoroughly.
Massage your scalp with it and leave it for 10 minutes before washing off. Apply it twice a week for longer and thicker hair.
14. Tea Tree Oil and Essential Oils Blend
Essential oils are widely used these days for several purposes. Oils like rosemary and grapeseed improve the blood flow and solve the problem of hair loss (43). Rosemary oil also stimulates hair growth, as studies show (44). Whereas, oils like jojoba, vitamin E, and Castor oil improve the overall condition of hair and provide nourishment.
Blend together 5 to 7 drops tea tree oil, 3.5 oz olive oil, 10 to 15 drops almond oil, 1 tsp black castor oil, 2 oz grapeseed oil, 1 oz jojoba oil, ½ tsp vitamin E oil, and 8 drops of rosemary oil.
Apply it on the roots and strands of your hair in a gentle circular motion. Massage for some more time, and leave it for another 1 hour. Use a mild shampoo for washing.
15. Tea Tree Oil with Glycerin and Coconut Milk
Coconut milk is rich in many potent minerals and vitamins, alongwith being a rich source of calcium (45). Grapeseed oil is used to make conditioners (46). This homemade shampoo is enriched in manganese, iron, carbohydrate, etc. Therefore, it prevents hair loss and leads to a healthy growth of the hair.
To make the shampoo, take 10 drops of tea tree oil, ¼ cup coconut milk, 2 tsp grape seed oil, ½ cup vegetable glycerin, and ½ cup liquid castile soap. Pour them in an empty bottle and shake properly. Use it to wash your hair daily.
16. Tea Tree with Ginseng Extract
Ginseng extract is proven to be useful in the treatment of several hair problems like alopecia areata (47). Due to many properties, it is used in many hair care products.
To prepare a solution for hair growth, mix 4-5 drops of tea tree oil, 1 tsp of olive oil with 4-5 drops of ginseng extract. Heat the mixture until lukewarm and massage evenly on your head. Put a shower cap to cover your hair, and leave it for at least 1 hour. Wash with a mild shampoo, later on.
- Alternatively, if you don’t have the extract, keep the ginseng root submerged in olive oil for 3 weeks. Strain and mix tea tree oil after that.
17. Peppermint and Tea Tree Oil Mix
Peppermint oil is widely used in cosmetics, oral products, etc. It is capable of promoting hair growth, as studies suggest (48).Vitamin E oil provides nourishment from deep within.
Coconut oil, on the other hand, reduces the damage caused due to protein loss (49).
Prepare a solution by mixing 1 tsp of tea tree oil, 1 tsp vitamin E oil, 1/2 tsp of peppermint oil, 1 tsp Castor oil, and 4 tbsp of coconut oil. If the coconut oil is in solid form, then melt it before mixing other oils in it.
Apply the mixture from roots to tips. Massage gently, and leave it for at least 20-30 minutes. Rinse your head with a mild shampoo, later on.
18. Tea Tree with Apple Cider Vinegar
For this remedy, you will need 5 drops of tea tree oil, 1 cup of apple cider vinegar, and 1 cup of water. Mix them thoroughly and after washing your head with shampoo, rinse your hair with this and let your hair dry naturally.
19. Tea Tree Oil and Aloe Gel
Aloe vera retains the shine and luster of the follicles. It makes them silky and strong due to the presence of many wonderful nutrients like proteolytic enzymes. It promotes hair growth by removing dead skin cells and thereby, opens up the clogged pores. The gel also shows photo-protective effect, which is proven by various clinical trials, as well (51).
To prepare a mask with this, mix 4 to 5 drops of the oil with ½ cup each of aloe vera gel and water (you can reduce the amount of water as per the need). Apply it all over your head, covering each and every portion. Let it stay for 30-45 minutes and use a mild shampoo to clean it later.
You can do this regularly for satisfactory results.
1) Store the oil in dark, dry, and cool conditions, as the stability of the oil is affected by light, moisture, and several other factors.
2) The oil must not be swallowed (52).
3) Always perform a patch test before use.
4) If irritation or allergy persists, discontinue the usage.
5) The oil is not for facial hair.