We all know that feeling of being extremely happy and confident in a sleek, all-black attire, only to feel absolutely horrified later on upon finding dandruff flakes on the shoulders and the back of the dress – just below the nape. It can be so embarrassing to be out in dark-colored clothes, only for everyone to see flakes on them. In the unfortunate event that commercial products aren’t working for you, you might want to find out how to use tea tree oil for dandruff.
The dandruff nightmare
Having dandruff is not only annoying, but also a blow to our self-esteem in most cases.
Dandruff has several causes such as skin conditions like seborrheic dermatitis or eczema, a dry skin, or the overgrowth of a yeast-like fungus.
Having to deal with an itchy scalp the whole day is already a lot to handle, but it gets worse when we also have to constantly be in the lookout for flakes on our clothes, bags, or even our office chair!
It also doesn’t help when anti-dandruff shampoos just don’t seem to work, either!
It can get pretty difficult to keep on looking for remedies to a flaky scalp when they all just seem to fail.
If these are experiences that resonate with you, perhaps commercial products just aren’t for you.
Maybe it’s time to try a more natural and organic solution for our dandruff problems – tea tree oil!
With its antiseptic, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties, tea tree oil can be the key to having a healthy, itch-free and dandruff-free scalp.
What is tea tree oil?
Before anything else, let’s learn more about what tea tree oil is and how it works.
Tea tree oil, essentially, is extracted from the leaves of a family of trees endemic or native to Australia.
These trees, with the scientific name Melaleuca alternifolia, belong to the myrtle family, Myrtaceae – a species of trees or tall shrubs that usually grow only up to seven meters long.
These trees have prominent oil glands, which makes it easy for many quantities of oil to be harvested.
Tea tree oil is made up of multiple compounds in varying amounts and traces. Of these, most abundant would be terpinen-4-ol, y-terpinene, and alpha-terpinene – compounds responsible for its camphor-like odor, and possibly for its antibacterial properties as well.
In fact, before being utilized for commercial use, tea tree oil was actually already being used by indigenous people in Australia.
They were the first to use this oil for small wounds and cuts, which supports claims regarding its antibacterial properties.
In addition, there are studies showing that tea tree oil is antifungal and even anti-inflammatory, too!
Hence, it can be used to address and lessen irritation on the skin.
But, while those all sound amazing, don’t forget that tea tree oil is strictly for external use.
Tea tree oil is a poisonous compound to be ingested, so make sure to keep it out of reach of children and pets.
Simply inhaling tea tree oil (especially through the use of diffusers or infusers) is enough to make pets feel ill, so be mindful of that when buying this product.
Benefits of using tea tree oil on the scalp
Okay, so you might be wondering – what exactly is it in tea tree oil that makes it effective in fighting off and getting rid of dandruff?
First, tea tree oil has anti-fungal properties.
While the root cause of dandruff is still unknown, there are studies that point to the yeast Pityrosporum ovale as responsible for causing dandruff.
Since yeast is a kind of fungus, it makes sense that tea tree oil can be used to take care of it!
In fact, a study conducted by a group of researchers testing the use of tea tree oil against P. ovale, they found that participants in the study exhibited an improvement in the state of their dandruff after consistently using a 5% tea tree oil shampoo.
Though more research may be conducted to confirm these claims, this is a great first step towards proving the effectivity of tea tree in getting rid of dandruff.
Amazingly, the benefits of tea tree oil against dandruff don’t stop there.
Other presumed causes of dandruff can be solved through the use of this magic oil, too!
For instance, seasonal changes can contribute to the frequency of dandruff appearing.
Have you noticed that dandruff is more likely to appear when the weather is cold, such as during winter or the rainy season?
Colder climates may be linked to dandruff because they lead to drier scalps, which can cause more production of oil or sebum in the scalp to keep it moisturized.
Sebum and dirt mixing together contribute to the creation of flakes in the scalp.
Poor hair hygiene is a likely culprit, too!
If you don’t wash your scalp regularly, dirt and oil can build up, leading not only to itchiness and greasiness, but also to more dandruff.
This essential oil’s anti-inflammatory properties also help relieve feelings of itchiness, as well as get rid of any irritation in the scalp.
Tea tree oil, with its anti-bacterial properties, can thus help with removing unwanted dirt and bacteria that can accumulate in the hair.
As an antiseptic, tea tree oil can also clean the scalp through different means – it can get rid of excess oil that can block hair follicles and cause the production of flakes.
Through unclogging these follicles, it can also help restore heath and moisture to the hair, which helps get rid of dry scalp.
While the anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties are all exciting, remember that using tea tree oil comes with a big caveat, though!
Tea tree oil is very potent and strong, so using it by itself can cause more harm and damage to your scalp.
When using the tea tree essential oil, you have to make sure to dilute it first with carrier oils, shampoo, or even with water.
This is the case even when using tea tree oil as a home remedy for lice. You have to mix it with water or shampoo to avoid harming your scalp with the potent essential oil.
Read on for a detailed guide on how you can use tea tree oil to treat dandruff.
How to use tea tree oil for dandruff
Now, isn’t it just exciting to explore how tea tree oil can help with our dandruff problems?
Here’s a couple of ways you can include tea tree oil in your daily hair routine to get rid of your dandruff for good:
Add tea tree oil to shampoo or conditioner
Looking for the correct shampoo, even among shampoos containing tea tree oil, can be a draining process.
We all know how long it takes sometimes to find the perfect shampoo or conditioner for the hair, so it’s understandable not to want to go through that process again.
In that case, you can just add tea tree oil to your favorite shampoo and conditioner!
That’s the easiest way to deal with dandruff during the shampooing process.
- Buy pure, natural tea tree oil from the nearest drug store or supermarket.
- Add 5 to 10 drops of tea tree oil for every ounce (1 oz.) of your favorite shampoo.
- Make sure to shake well to mix tea tree oil evenly in the shampoo.
- Use your shampoo daily for around four weeks. For the best results, leave the shampoo on for around 5 minutes before rinsing to let your scalp soak in the tea tree shampoo.
- Enjoy dandruff-free hair!
It’s that easy!
Again, due to the potency of tea tree oil, you may want to add fewer drops of tea tree oil first (around 5 drops per ounce) or do a patch test at one part of your scalp or your skin to test for allergy or irritation.
If you establish that there’s no bad reaction after using tea tree oil, you may opt to add in a few more drops per ounce for faster results.
However, make sure to discontinue use if you’re too sensitive to tea tree oil and experience adverse effects on your scalp such as itching or irritation.
Mix tea tree oil with carrier oils
If mixing tea tree oil with your shampoo doesn’t sound so appealing, you may try creating an overnight treatment for your scalp using tea tree oil and your favorite carrier oil instead.
Carrier oils will be used in bigger portions to dilute your tea tree oil.
Since this is a hair treatment, you may want to go with oils known to promote healthy hair growth and add luster.
You can just substitute the carrier oils in the recipes below to include oil of your choice:
Mixing tea tree oil with coconut oil
If you want a quick hair treatment that can be used once a week, this is the one for you:
- Prepare a glass bowl to mix the oils in. Make sure it’s clean.
- Take 10 ml of coconut oil and put it directly into the bowl.
- Take around 2 drops of pure tea tree oil, and add it into the bowl with coconut oil. Mix the oils together.
- Take a handful of the mixture and massage it directly into your scalp. Make sure to massage gently, and to apply it into your scalp and not to your hair to help you get rid of dandruff.
- Leave the mixture on your scalp for around 30 minutes to let the scalp soak up the oil properly. Wash the hair afterward with your favorite shampoo and dry your hair.
- Apply mixture once a week for four weeks for the best results.
In creating this mixture, make sure to take the proportions seriously – we don’t want your scalp getting irritated due to adding too much tea tree oil and making it too strong.
If irritation occurs, wash the scalp right away with shampoo and discontinue use.
Mixing tea tree oil with olive oil
If you want a go-to hair mask that you can use daily to help with your dandruff, you may opt for this second method instead.
Just follow these easy steps:
- Put a tablespoon of olive oil in a glass bowl and warm it in the microwave for a few seconds.
- Add five drops of tea tree oil into the bowl. Mix the oils together.
- Take a handful of the mixture and massage gently – moving from the scalp up to the tips of the hair.
- Leave overnight and rinse the next morning with water and a gentle shampoo.
- Use the hair mask every day for four weeks for the best results.
Create a tea tree oil spray
If you don’t have time to spare to make tea tree oil masks using a carrier oil, or the time to wait for your shampoo mixed tea tree oil to settle in your scalp, a spray should do the trick.
Here’s how to make this quick fix:
- Prepare a spray bottle and a cup of water.
- Mix around 8 to 10 drops of pure tea tree oil to 1 cup of water.
- Transfer the mixture to a spray bottle and shake well.
- Spray the scalp after every bath, or whenever the scalp feels itchy.
Though not necessarily a quick way to solve your dandruff problem, this mixture can save you from itchiness and flaking.
Just make sure not to use more oil than needed and you’re good to go!
Target flaky areas with diluted tea tree oil
If you find the itchiness and flaking confined in specific regions on the scalp, you may instead opt for a makeshift ointment to make the flaking go away in an instant.
Here’s what you have to do:
- Prepare a cup of warm water.
- Mix around 1 to 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil with water. Mix thoroughly.
- Get a cotton ball or pad and dip into the mixture.
- Use a wet cotton ball in areas with flaking.
- Leave overnight and rinse with water and shampoo in the morning.
Well, there you have it! These are just a few, simple ways on how you can use tea tree oil to help get rid of dandruff.
In summary, here’s how tea tree oil gets rid of dandruff:
- Anti-fungal properties of tea tree oil are effective in getting rid of Pityrosporum ovale, a kind of fungus linked to dandruff production.
- Tea tree oil’s antibacterial properties help remove dirt in the hair, which can cause dandruff.
- Anti-inflammatory properties help relieve itchiness in the scalp.
- Tea tree oil can restore moisture to the hair, removing the over-production of sebum that causes dandruff.
Follow any of these methods above to the tee, and you’ll be able to flaunt your hair without fear of getting flakes all over.