Tea tree oil for hair benefits and how to use it

Tea tree oil for hair benefits and howto use it

Can tea tree oil be used in haircare?

As a woman with hair that is…challenging to say the least, I am constantly on the lookout for new products to tame my unruly tresses. Although I’ve used tea tree oil on my skin for years, I’ve only recently heard of its potential as a hair care potion. This led me to investigate just what tea tree can do for my hair.

What is tea tree oil?
Tea tree oil comes from the leaves of the tea tree, which is a bit of a misnomer, because the tea tree isn’t related to camellia, which is the plant from which we get the sort of tea that we commonly drink. Tea tree leaves were originally used as a folk remedy by aborigines in Australia, which is the only place where the tree grows.

What forms are available?

Tea tree oil comes in different forms such as oils, gels, and creams, and specifically for hair care can be found in conditioners and shampoos.

What are the benefits for your hair?

Some of the supposed benefits of tea tree oil on hair include treatments for general hair health, shine, baldness, psoriasis, dandruff, and even head lice.

How do you use the tea tree?

Tea tree shampoos and conditioners can be used as recommended on the package instructions. When using the oil, a solution can be made by using several drops diluted in water, which is then massaged into the hair and scalp for a few minutes, then washed out with your regular shampoo. It is recommended that you repeat the treatment regularly. This type of solution can also by applied by spritzing your hair with the solution in a spray bottle.
Alternately, the tea tree oil can be mixed with a carrier oil such as grapeseed oil or olive oil, which is then massaged into the scalp, followed by the application of a hot towel left on for a period of ten or fifteen minutes, then washed out with your shampoo and repeated regularly. One thing to keep in mind when using these or similar treatments is that tea tree oil will produce a tingling sort of sensation that will disappear.
Other hair treatments include mask preparations with ingredients such as avocado, honey, yogurt, and coconut oil, as well as combining the tea tree oil with other essential oils such as rosemary or lavender oil. The instructions follow the same method wherein the preparation is massaged into the hair and scalp, washed out with your regular shampoo, and repeated on a regular basis.

Potential Drawbacks/Side Effects

Like all essential oils, tea tree oil should never be applied directly to the hair or skin because of the potential for irritation, exacerbation of dryness, and itchiness. Reactions to treatments may vary among individuals, so it’s probably a good idea to test the tea tree treatment on a patch of skin before you coat your entire scalp with it. Some allergic reactions to tea tree oil have been reported, with symptoms manifesting in the form of mild to severe contact dermatitis. Other reactions can include eczema, fluid build-up under the skin, scaling, and burning. Those of you who may have already experienced allergic reactions to oils or substances like Balsam of Peru, rosin (colophony), myrtle, or eucalyptol should avoid using tea tree oil as it may likely produce a similar reaction.
In addition, tea tree oil may cause adverse reactions when used in combination with antifungal medication, acne medication, and medications for different skin conditions. If you use these kinds of topical treatments on a regular basis, it’s a good idea to talk with the prescribing doctor before you try any tea tree remedy.
Although most of the treatments I encountered were topical, it’s also important to note that tea tree oil should never be taken internally under any circumstance.

Scientific evidence

In one study, tea tree oil was shown to have some promise as a treatment for dandruff when used in solutions containing five percent of the oil. Studies have also shown that tea tree oil may be a promising herbal remedy for head lice. In both cases, however, additional studies must be performed to prove tea tree oil’s efficacy as a treatment for these conditions.

Conclusion

After doing my research on tea tree oil, I have to say that I am curious to try it, but as someone with sensitive skin, I’m a little wary. Although tea tree oil has shown some promise as a treatment for dandruff, it has interactions and contraindications with a host of skin medications and conditions, so it almost seems counterintuitive as a remedy. I think as with any topical preparation, you should do a patch test first to see if you have any reaction to it before committing to a full on treatment. If you have a skin condition – whether or not you’re currently being treated for it – it’s a good idea to talk with your doctor before you try tea tree oil.

About the author, Emily Collins

Editor at Health Rebound passionate about health and nutrition, always focusing on creating easy to understand and practical articles.

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