The Real Benefits Of Using Tea Tree Oil On Your Hair

We generally like to think that we take good care of ourselves — until we don't, that is. And our hair is the one part of our body that we really take for granted, but we definitely agonize over it when we realize we may have done something to damage it. For times like these, herbalists say using tea tree oil could be one way to get your locks back on track.

Tea tree oil has nothing to do with Camilla sinesis, whose leaves from two variants are responsible for most of the tea drinks that are enjoyed around the world today (via Tea Source). Instead, tea tree oil is taken from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia plant, which is native to Australia and has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal properties (via Medical News Today).

Tea tree oil helps with dandruff

Tea tree oil is considered so safe it has a green light from the Mayo Clinic, which says it can be helpful in treating superficial skin conditions like dandruff. Because of its antibacterial and antifungal properties, Healthline says using diluted tea tree oil or a shampoo with tea tree oil helps get rid of whatever is causing dead, scaly skin to build up on your scalp — which is what happens when you have dandruff. 

And it's not just an old wives' tale, either — the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology ran a study involving participants using a shampoo with 5 percent tea tree oil, and results showed that the product dealt with dandruff, as well as the itchiness and greasiness of the participants' hair.

Tea tree oil can help with hair loss

If you're suffering from hair loss and are considering tea tree oil for help, you need to know that the extract can't help make your hair grow back more quickly,  but it can help deal with whatever is causing your hair to break or fall easily. Diluting tea tree oil and using that on your hair by massaging it down the shaft can help keep your hair healthy, clean, and free of the chemicals that your hair might have been exposed to.

As with all topical treatments, the Mayo Clinic warns that tea tree oil can cause skin irritation and allergies, and if you suffer from eczema, you should be giving tea tree oil a hard pass. Also, never ever think it's ok to drink tea tree oil... because unlike the tea made with Camilla sinesis, tea tree oil or the extract from Melaleuca alternifolia is toxic.