What is Tea Tree Oil?
Tea tree oil, also referred to as melaleuca oil is obtained by the process of steam distillation from the leaves and terminal branches of Melaleuca tree, a native Australian plant. This strong volatile essential oil offers a fresh camphor-like scent and its colour ranges from pale yellow to almost transparent. Over the years, tea tree oil has been typically used in topical medicines due to its strong antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial and healing properties that can help to effectively treat a number of skin and scalp disorders. Even in contemporary skincare and hair care products, there’s an immense contribution of tea tree essential oil as it acts as a brilliant natural ingredient with diverse benefits.
What are the Benefits of Tea Tree Oil for Dandruff?
Dandruff has turned out to become a very common scalp complain amongst people of all age groups, especially in India. There can be multiple reasons for dandruff such as harsh environmental factors, seborrheic dermatitis, hormonal changes as well as unhygienic lifestyle habits and lack of a proper hair care routine. A lot of us depend on anti-dandruff shampoos and medicated creams to treat the issue of dandruff but nothing seems to give a permanent solution. These chemical-based products can have a negative effect on the health of our hair in the long run. Instead, there are some natural ingredients that can be used as home remedies to treat dandruff. Tea tree oil acts as a natural fix to this chronic scalp disorder, as it possesses potent moisturizing and antifungal properties that not only helps to fight dandruff but also prevents its symptoms that include dry, irritated, flaky scalp.
1. Reduces Itching and Other Dandruff Symptoms
The fact that the skin on your scalp is predominantly sensitive and tender acts as the reason that dandruff is often accompanied by severe itchiness, scalp inflammations and scaly patches of dead skin on your scalp. These symptoms can cause great discomfort and weaken your hair follicles, leading to hair breakage and split ends. Tea tree essential oil works as an antifungal and anti-inflammatory agent to provide relief from such vulnerable scalp conditions and helps to control them. Tea tree oil for dandruff and itchy scalp is also effective in balancing the oil production in your scalp and cuts down the greasiness, preventing clogging of pores on your scalp.
2. Reduces Yeast Overgrowth on the Scalp
The yeast-like fungus, called malassezia or Pityrosporum ovale is naturally present in every individual’s scalp in reasonable proportions. Due to various factors, some people can experience an overgrowth of this yeast on their scalp which acts as a predominant cause for dandruff. Tea tree oil works like a miracle treatment to combat dandruff led by malassezia due to the presence of powerful antifungal properties. As per a study, applying tea tree oil shampoo (shampoo containing tea tree oil as one of its ingredients) can cut down dandruff to a large degree by obstructing the development of the yeast Pityrosporum ovale on your scalp. Tea tree oil for dandruff treatment is also known to naturally heal other scalp infections that include ringworm, psoriasis and minor chronic scalp allergies.
Ways to Use Tea Tree Oil for Treating Dandruff
- Use tea tree oil for dandruff shampoo and conditioner. Search for hair products that contain around 2% of tea tree oil in them.
- You can also add 5-10 drops of tea tree oil to your regular shampoo and wash your hair with the mixture to get rid of dandruff.
- Prepare home-made anti-dandruff hair oil with tea tree essential oil, lavender essential oil and any base oil (jojoba oil or olive oil) and massage it carefully onto your scalp.
- Make an easy DIY hair mask by mixing yogurt with aloe vera gel and few drops of tea tree oil and apply the mask generously all over your scalp and hair to treat dandruff effectively.
- For a quick and temporary fix to dandruff, simply blend a couple of drops of tea tree oil with your leave-in conditioner or hair serum and apply it on your hair, from root to tip.
- Tea tree oil is for external use only. It shouldn’t be ingested as it can have poisonous repercussions.
- Never apply tea tree oil in its undiluted form on your skin, hair or scalp as it can cause irritation. Typically a 1-2% Tea Tree oil in the rest of carrier oil is recommended for any regular topical usage.
- Always perform a patch test before liberally applying it, to confirm whether you are allergic to the oil or not. Do not continue the use of tea tree oil if it makes your scalp red, itchy or sensitive.
- Avoid any direct contact of tea tree oil with your eyes and mouth. Rinse immediately with warm water if it gets into your eyes or mouth.
- Overuse of tea tree oil can have a negative impact on your hair health. Hence, make sure to use the oil in appropriate proportion to obtain its maximum benefit.
- Tea tree oil should be avoided for children, pets and people under medical care.
- If pregnant or lactating, consult your doctor before use.