Tea tree oil is one of the most popular essential oils, because of the benefits of tea tree oil on hair care.
It also goes by the name of melaleuca oil due to its source: the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia shrub. This plant’s common name is the narrow-leaved tea tree and is native to New South Wales, Australia.
Tea tree oil has proven effective in treating a range of complaints due to its anti-infective, antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties.
Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree), the origin of this essential oil.
In addition to providing numerous benefits for the hair and skin, the oil is also used to soothe the symptoms of conditions such as bronchitis (as a natural home remedy).
History and Extraction Methods
The use of tea tree oil goes back many generations and in fact the Aboriginal communities found on Australia’s east coast have used this oil for centuries in order to treat skin conditions as well as for other uses.
Although methods for extracting the oil have varied in the past, today the commercial oil is extracted using steam distillation on the leaves and twigs of the narrow-leaved tea tree.
How to Use Tea Tree Oil for Hair Care
You might ask is tea tree oil actually good for hair care; there are a number of scientific studies that provide reasonable evidence that the oil can be used as a legitimate hair treatment. So, let’s discuss some of the most common uses.
Because of the anti-fungal and antibacterial properties of the oil, it is an effective method of treating scalp conditions such as dandruff. These properties allow the oil to fight the presence of bacteria and other agents that can cause skin cells to be generated overly fast (dandruff), therefore eliminating current problems and preventing them from returning in the future.
Encourages Hair Growth
We’re commonly asked if tea tree oil can be used for hair growth. Tea tree oil is one of the many essential oils that have been linked to promoting hair growth, because it is thought to stimulate the hair follicles. Note that we have not found any scientific evidence that supports this claim.
Other Hair Benefits
In addition to fighting dandruff and potentially encouraging the growth of new hair (note: I’m skeptical), tea tree oil can also help general conditions related to dry scalp.
Additionally, the oil can help fight bacterial infections that may be responsible for irritations in the scalp. It has even been helpful in treating lice in the past.
There are multiple options for using tea tree oil on your hair and the easiest option is to simply add several drops of the oil to your favorite shampoo. This will allow you to continue using your preferred product but still enjoy all the benefits associated with tea tree oil.
Another option is to use the oil as an individual treatment. To do this, combine several drops of tea tree oil with a larger quantity of a carrier oil, such as jojoba oil.