Oils do the important work of adding moisture and shine to your natural hair. And while many naturals can use essential oils for different purposes, when it comes to treating scalp issues, the tea tree oil is one you should try.
Wondering what are the benefits of the tea tree oil? We will deep dive into the origin of the tea tree oil, what it's made from, and its numerous benefits for the hair.
History of the Tea Tree Oil
A certain British explorer, Captain James Cook noticed that the indigenous people of Aborigines used the leaves of Melaleuca alternifoliato to make a tea that smelled like nutmeg. Captain Cook saw this traditional practice and coined the name “Tea Tree”. In addition to making tea, these indigenes crushed the plant to make oil which they used to cure skin and hair conditions.
PS: This tree is not the same as the tea plant that is commonly used to make black tea.
What is Tea Tree Oil?
Tea tree oil is an essential oil that is extracted from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia plant. It is often used in cosmetic products, like shampoos and conditioners, and is a natural remedy for scalp and skin infections. Tea tree oil has anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties that make it effective for treating dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. It does this by fighting the fungus that causes dandruff without drying out the scalp. It also moisturizes and soothes the scalp, reducing itchiness and making it less prone to flaking.
Can I Use The Treatment With A Carrier Oil?
The tea tree oil is highly concentrated, hence to avoid any irritation on your scalp, we would recommend you mix it with a carrier oil like coconut or avocado oil before application.
Can Tea Tree Oil Cause Any Side Effect?
If you are using this oil for the first time, we would recommend you apply it to just a patch of your hair and observe its reaction within 24 hours. It is important to do, especially if you have sensitive skin to check if the oil would have any side effects on your hair or scalp. Also, ensure you use fresh tea tree oil as the preserved version can cause allergies.
How Long Can I Leave This Oil On My Hair?
As with most oils, it needs time to work effectively. We recommend you apply it before you sleep so the oil could be absorbed into your hair follicles and keep it moisturized until the next morning.
How Often Should I Use This Oil?
Your tea tree oil can be used as often as you wash your hair. if you are treating scalp conditions, you can use the mixture of this oil and another essential oil 2-3 times a week.
6 Ways To Use The Tea Tree Oil For Natural Hair
Let's look at 6 ways you can use tea tree oil for your natural hair.
1. For treating dandruff
The anti-fungal properties of the tea tree oil makes it perfect for treating dandruff. It fights the fungus that causes dandruff without drying out your scalp.
How to treat dandruff with tea tree oil
Add a few drops of the tea tree oil to your shampoo and wash your hair with it.
2. For getting rid of lice
Lice are super harmful to the hair. They cause hair inflammation and constant itching on the scalp. The tea tree oil has insecticide properties that provide relief from hair lice.
How to use tea tree oil to treat hair lice
Massage a few drops of the tea tree oil on your hair and leave it in overnight. Ensure you wear a shower cap so your hair can get the heat it needs to absorb the nutrients of the oil into your hair properly. Before you wash it out the next morning, comb out your hair to get rid of the dead lice.
3. For treating dry hair
Tea tree oil is a natural remedy for treating dry hair. It does this by removing the blockages in the hair follicles and providing supplements to the scalp. This also moisturizes the hair and prevents your strands from becoming dry and brittle.
How to treat dry hair with tea tree oil
Mix tea tree oil with a carrier oil and massage it into your scalp. Leave it in for 10-15 minutes and then wash it off.
4. For promoting hair growth
When applied to the hair, tea tree oil improves blood circulation to the scalp and removes toxins from the hair, and in turn, helps to stimulate your hair follicles and allow new hair to grow out.
How to use tea tree oil for hair growth
Mix the tea tree oil with vegetable oil like coconut, almond, or sesame oil. Then massage it into your scalp. This mixture would get rid of pathogens that have created buildups in your hair.
5. As an overnight hair mask
Because of its ability to improve scalp health, aid hair growth, fight infections, add shine to the hair, tea tree oil is an excellent choice for an overnight hair mask.
How to use tea tree oil as an overnight hair mask
Add a few drops of it into your coconut oil and then massage the mixture into your scalp, before you go to bed. When used, it can absorb moisture into your hair shafts, reduces tangles knots, and frizz.
6. For daily cleansing of the scalp and hair
The tea tree oil has anti-microbial properties which makes it an excellent cleansing agent for the scalp and hair. When this treatment is applied to the hair and scalp, it help fight bacteria, viruses, and fungus that accumulate in the hair and scalp. You can boost the cleansing effect of your shampoo with the medicinal tea tree oil.
How to cleanse the scalp and hair with tea tree oil
Pour a mixture of your shampoo and tea tree oil into a spray bottle, and spritz it over your hair to remove product build-up on the hair.