Benefits, Side Effects & How to Use It!


Tree tea oil as alternative medicine has gained popularity in the past few decades. Tea tree oil, native to Australia, is now being used as an active ingredient in a variety of cosmetic and skincare products across the world. Tea tree oil has been in medicinal use for 100 years now because of its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It is beneficial for skin infections, hair growth, and scalp health. In this article, you will learn about the benefits of tea tree oil for hair, its potential side effects, and how to use it for maximum benefits.

What Is Tea Tree Oil?

Melaleuca alternifolia is an Australian native plant-derived from tea tree oil. The leaves and branches of this plant are passed through a process of steam distillation to obtain tea tree oil. As per research, tea tree oil contains certain chemical ingredients with antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties making it useful as alternative medicine.

Due to its antimicrobial properties, tea tree oil is used in many topical skin medications to control and treat skin infections. International standards regulate tea tree oil components. The oil is volatile in nature and thus needs to be stored in a tight container away from light in a cool place.

What Does the Research Say About Tea Tree Oil for Hair?

Is tea tree oil good for hair? As per research, tea tree oil uses for hair are mainly due to its ingredient named terpinen-4-ol. Terpinen-4-ol imparts antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties to the oil. It also increases the white blood cells in the body to help fight infections and promote quick healing.

Research 1 about tea tree oil for hair – This research was carried out for four weeks on a group of 126 participants to study the effectiveness and benefits of tea tree oil for hair. The study results revealed that shampoo containing five per cent of tea tree oil improved the dandruff condition by almost 41 per cent. It also showed improvements in scalp itchiness and greasiness without any adverse effects.

Research 2 about tea tree oil for hair – This research was carried out for three months on women suffering from hair growth on unwanted areas such as the face, neck, and back (hirsutism). A spray containing tea tree oil was administered to the affected areas twice a day. At the end of three months, a decrease in hair growth was seen in the affected areas. The study concluded that tea tree oil is significantly effective against hirsutism, i.e., hair growth in women’s unwanted areas.

Research 3 about tea tree oil for hair – As per this research, tea tree oil is significantly useful in treating hair loss or baldness (alopecia areata). Tea tree oil benefits for hair and scalp are evident from research.

Tea Tree Oil Benefits for Hair

Hair products with harsh chemicals damage your hair and make your scalp dry and itchy, with an increased risk of dandruff, hair loss, and scalp infections. To avoid these and make your scalp clean and hair strong, you may need products containing essential oils such as tea tree oil.

Tea tree oil benefits for hair are:

1. Tea Tree Oil for Dandruff Relief

Dry scalp results in dead cells that accumulate to flake off as dandruff. Uncontrolled dandruff may block the hair follicles, reducing hair growth. Hence, for dandruff relief, tea tree oil is used. Antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory components in the tea tree oil help prevent scalp infections and dandruff formation.

2. Tea Tree Oil for Hair Growth

Tea tree oil is used for hair growth mainly because its 14 rich components nourish the hair follicles and scalp to make them strong and smooth. Hair nourishment also prevents the falling of hair and therefore contributes to hair growth.

3. Tea Tree Oil for Daily Cleansing

Shampoo containing tea tree oil may be used for daily cleansing of your scalp. It removes the dead skin cells to prevent scalp infections.

4. Tea Tree Oil for Healthy Scalp

Extreme weather and climate conditions with air pollution make your scalp prone to several infections. Tea tree oil has antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties, preventing scalp infections.

5. Tea Tree Oil for Smooth and Silky Hair

Tea tree oil nourishes and moistens the scalp for smooth and silky hair. It balances the oil secretion from the underlying sebaceous glands and thus prevents clogging of hair follicles to avoid hair damage.

6. Tea Tree Oil for Frizzy and Dry Hair

Like any other essential oil, Tea tree oil is beneficial against frizzy and dry hair. With its 14 rich components, tea tree oil acts as a natural conditioner and is effective against frizzy and dry hair.

7. Tea Tree Oil for Prevention Against Lice

Hair lice result from an unhealthy scalp impacting the overall health by sucking the scalp blood. Terpinen-4-ol and 1,8-cineole are among the 14 ingredients in tea tree oil that impart antimicrobial properties. The antimicrobial properties of tea tree oil are helpful in the prevention of lice.

8. Tea Tree Oil as Natural Conditioner

Tea tree oil is a natural conditioner and hair moisturiser that makes the hair smooth and silky. Tea tree oil products contain essential phytochemicals for hair and scalp nourishment.

How to Use Tea Tree Oil for Hair

Tea tree oil can be used in multiple ways for multiple therapeutic benefits for hair, such as:

1. Tea Tree Oil for Daily Cleansing

Tea tree oil shampoo can be used for daily scalp cleansing. Follow the given steps to use tea tree oil for hair cleansing:

  • Pour a few drops of tea tree oil on your palm and add shampoo
  • Mix and apply on the wet scalp to produce lather
  • Wash hair with normal water to remove dead cells and get a healthy and clean scalp

2. Tea Tree Oil for Hair Growth Treatment

Massaging the scalp with tea tree oil can improve blood circulation to your scalp, thus stimulating hair growth cells. It is important to note that tea tree oil must not be used alone, and you should mix a carrier oil like coconut oil or any shampoo with it before starting using it. Follow the given steps to use tea tree oil for hair growth treatment:

  • Mix the tea tree oil with coconut oil or almond oil
  • You can now heat the oil on a low flame for hot oil treatment
  • Apply the mixture after it cools down enough
  • Massage your hair
  • Once done, wash with normal water

3. Tea Tree Oil For Hair And Scalp Dryness

To use tea tree oil for hair and scalp dryness, follow the given steps:

  • Take coconut oil or an olive oil
  • Pour a few drops of tea tree oil and mix
  • Massage the scalp with the oil mixture for 10-15 minutes
  • Wash the hair with normal water
  • Repeat this daily to get smooth and silky hair.

4. Tea Tree Oil for Dandruff

To use tea tree oil for dandruff, follow the given steps:

  • Mix tea tree oil (10-15 drops) and shampoo
  • Massage scalp to produce lather
  • After five minutes, wash it thoroughly

This acts as a natural conditioner, moistens the scalp, and prevents flakiness of the scalp.

5. Tea Tree Oil for Scalp Itchiness

To get rid of scalp itchiness, you need to prepare a hair mask with the following steps:

  • Add a few drops of tea tree oil and honey to the yoghurt
  • Apply the prepared hair mask and massage your scalp
  • After 15-20 minutes, wash the hair mask with normal water

6. Tea Tree Oil for Oily Scalp

  • Add a few drops of tea tree oil, honey and baking soda to make a paste
  • Apply the prepared hair mask and massage your scalp
  • After 15-20 minutes, wash the hair mask with normal water

7. Tea Tree Oil for Getting Rid of Lice

  • Add a few drops of tea tree oil and vegetable oil to make a mixture
  • Apply the prepared hair mixture and massage your scalp
  • Leave it overnight and comb first thing in the morning to remove lice
  • Once done, wash hair with natural shampoo or cleanser

8. Tea Tree Conditioner for Daily Conditioning

  • Add a few drops of tea tree oil to distilled water
  • Add the liquid mixture to a spray bottle
  • Apply to use as a daily conditioner

Make sure the concentration of tea tree oil does not exceed five per cent.

Tea Tree Oil Side Effects

The benefits of tea tree oil outweigh its side effects, but a few precautions are still necessary. The potential side effects of tea tree oil are:

1. Loss of Muscle Control and Balance

Tea tree oil is for topical use only, and care must be taken not to swallow it. If swallowed, it can be toxic, leading to loss of muscle control and even coma.

2. Skin Allergy

Tea tree oil contains an ingredient named 1,8-cineole which may lead to skin allergic reactions. A patch test is recommended before applying the oil to the desired area.

3. Other Side Effects

these may include:

  • depression
  • diarrhoea
  • drowsiness
  • fatigue
  • muscle tremors
  • itching
  • rashes

Tea Tree Oil Vs Argan Oil for Hair

Argan oil is extracted from the nuts of the Argan tree in Morocco. It is very much useful in hair smoothening and reducing dryness in hair. Argan oil contains essential nutrients that nourish the hair roots to stimulate hair growth and prevent hair breakdown.

Tea tree oil is not used alone and requires carrier oil for preparing a mixture to apply on the hair and scalp. Tea tree oil has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, which, when mixed with argan oil, can provide multifold benefits to the hair.

Hence, both have their own beneficial properties, but instead of choosing one, it is recommended to choose both and apply as a mixture to provide multifold benefits.

Summing Up on Tea Tree Oil for Hair

Tea tree oil has been used as an alternative medicine for centuries due to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. However, tea tree oil cannot be used alone on the scalp as it may cause allergic reactions and hence is always used along with shampoo or any carrier oil. If used properly, tea tree oil can strengthen your hair and make it look smooth, shiny, and silky with a clean, infection-free scalp.


Can I Put Tea Tree Oil Directly on My Scalp?

No, you should not put tea tree oil directly on your scalp as it can cause allergic reactions and irritation or itching in its full concentration. As per a study, a few people are prone to allergic reactions to tea tree oil.

Does Tea Tree Oil Help Bald Spots?

Yes, as per research, tea tree oil has been effective in treating bald spots. Tea tree oil is a natural cleanser that unclogs the hair follicles to help nourish the hair roots and stimulate hair growth.

Is It Possible to Regrow Hair on Bald Spot?

Yes, it is possible to regrow hair on a bald spot. There are a variety of treatment options for regrowing hair on bald spots, but results cannot be guaranteed. The result of the same treatment may vary among individuals depending upon their body’s overall health and their nutrition.

For How Much Time Can I Leave Tea Tree Oil on My Scalp?

You can leave the diluted tea tree oil (mixed with any carrier oil like coconut or almond) overnight on your scalp. It will nourish the hair roots and follicles to strengthen the hair and protect it from drying, becoming brittle and breaking down.