Tea Tree Oil for Hair: How to Use It for a Healthy Scalp

If you’ve ever had a pimple in your life, you probably already know about tea tree oil (and if you haven’t had a pimple, how does it feel to be the universe’s favorite?). This little essential oil is frequently touted as one of the best natural skincare ingredients for acne (and there are some studies to back it up), but let me ask you this: Did you know it moonlights as a natural haircare ingredient, too? Specifically for treating, soothing, and calming your irritated, itchy, and flaky scalp. To find out if it’s the ingredient your line up of hair products needs, and then how to use it *safely*, keep scrolling (and put down the bottle of tea tree oil until you’ve read the whole thing).

Meet the experts

  • Sheila Farhang, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Avant Dermatology & Aesthetics in Oro Valley, AZ.
  • Elyse Love, MD is a board-certified dermatologist based in New York, NY. Dr. Love has previously spoken to Cosmo on the topic of tea tree oil for acne.
  • Meri-Kate O’Connor is an LA-based hairstylist. O’Connor has previously spoken to Cosmo on the topic of drugstore shampoos.

    Is tea tree oil good for your face?

    Tea tree oil can be great for the skin (emphasis on can), which is why it’s commonly used as an acne spot treatment. “Tea tree oil has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help acne in certain cases and at the right concentrations,” board-certified dermatologist Elyse Love, MD, previously told Cosmo. If prepared and used correctly, tea tree oil can be an alternative to salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide for your pimples. What does all this have to do with your hair? Those same properties are what make tea tree oil double as a scalp treatment (don’t forget, your scalp is skin, too).

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    Can I apply tea tree oil directly on hair?

    What you don’t want to do is douse yourself in tea tree oil because you heard it was good for your skin once and ran with it. Let’s get serious for a sec—pouring straight-up tea tree oil on your skin, scalp, hair—wherever—can have disastrous results (natural does not automatically mean gentle), so you want to be cautious. “I would be very careful about DIY-ing your own tea tree treatment since it can be very irritating,” Dr. Farhang says. “It can also be very strong for the hair and could lead to damage or breakage if not diluted down.” We’ll dive more into the dilution in a bit, but let’s first get back to the benefits.

    What happens if I put tea tree oil on my scalp?

    If you apply it correctly, good things! Because of tea tree oil’s antimicrobial properties (antifungal and antibacterial), it’s mostly known for its use in treating dandruff (seborrheic dermatitis). “Dandruff plays a huge part in inflammation of the scalp and hair follicles, which totally affects the quality and density of hair,” Dr. Farhang explains. Its ability to tackle inflammation is why tea tree oil makes such a good ingredient for hair and scalp products. Hairstylist Meri-Kate O’Connor previously told Cosmo that tea tree oil in your shampoo formula can help “get rid of any itchiness, as well as help with flaking.”

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    Is tea tree oil good for thinning hair?

    So, here’s the thing: Dr. Farhang says while there are no studies to support tea tree oil helping with hair growth, the fact that it’s antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory could improve hair growth if those are the reasons for your hair loss. Because dandruff and inflammation can affect the quality of your hair and potentially contribute to premature thinning, Dr. Farhang says, “I usually always include anti-dandruff treatments in my hair growth protocol even I don’t necessarily see flakes.”


    How do I dilute tea tree oil on my scalp?

    Now that you have all the facts, if you want to give tea tree oil a try for scalp redness or flakes, Dr. Farhang says your best option is to look for shampoos or products that already contain 5 percent tea tree oil (see options above). This takes all the tricky guesswork out, but if you prefer to go the DIY route, at least make sure you’re diluting it in a carrier oil. Dr. Farhang recommends you mix together a 1:10 ratio (in other words, a small drop will do) of tea tree oil with an oil like grapeseed or almond oil. Once it’s mixed together, and massage it into the scalp, and wash it off when you’re finished.

    Source: dinhthienbao.com

    The takeaway

    Because of its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, tea tree oil can have some pretty great benefits for the scalp. As much as I love a DIY, this is one you don’t want to mess around with. The goal here is to soothe and improve your scalp, not make it worse, right? Right.

    Via @: dinhthienbao.com

    Source: https://www.cosmopolitan.com/style-beauty/beauty/a39318385/tea-tree-oil-for-hair/

    Article post on: dinhthienbao.com

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    About the Author: Thien Bao

    Hello, my name is ThienBao. I am a freelance developer specializing in various types of code.