Tea tree oil is one of those natural ingredients that has stood the test of time, having been used for decades for all sorts of purposes. From skincare products to natural anti-fungal remedies to treat athlete’s foot, there’s no shortage of products that have harnessed the magical properties of this natural oil. However, one area in which tea tree oil has gained major traction is in the hair care industry, with multiple shampoos and conditioners having been formulated around the ingredient. Read below to see what tea tree oil actually does for your hair, and whether or not it’s the right ingredient for you!
What Is Tea Tree Oil?
Tea tree oil, also known as melaleuca oil, is derived from the leaves of the tea tree. Officially named melaleuca alternifolia, the tea tree is native to northern coast of Australia, and the use of its oil became popular in the 1920’s. The oil itself contains potent antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal properties, making it incredibly useful for treating a variety of conditions including fungal infections like athlete’s foot. Due to these same properties, the oil is quite commonly used in products such as body wash, soaps, and deodorants.
Benefit #1 – Scalp Health
By far the most common use of tea tree oil in shampoo is to treat a variety of scalp conditions caused by fungal or bacterial infections, such as dandruff or psoriasis. Tea tree oil appears to be incredibly effective at killing and preventing the growth of yeast infections that contribute to dandruff, making the ingredient ideal for anyone suffering from a flaky scalp. Additionally, the oil is soothing and anti-inflammatory, helping to heal an itchy, irritated scalp.
Benefit #2 – Promotes Hair Growth
Along with its incredible scalp benefits, tea tree oil indirectly helps promote the growth of new hair while slowing hair loss. Due to its ability to prevent dandruff and dry, flaky skin, the oil allows for the hair follicle to grow unobstructed from the buildup of dead skin. Additionally, the anti-inflammatory properties of tea tree oil are quite useful in regard to hair growth, as scalp inflammation is one of the leading causes of hair loss.
Benefit #3 – Regulates Oil Production
Lastly, tea tree oil is fantastic at regulating the sebum production of the hair follicle. By preventing overly oily hair, tea tree oil leaves hair feeling perfectly hydrated without the added weight of oil and buildup. Subsequently, this allows the hair to have more volume while being easier to manage and style!