What the research says
Seborrheic dermatitis, more commonly known as dandruff or cradle cap, is one of the most common scalp problems. It causes scaly skin, skin flakes, greasy patches, and redness on our scalp. If you have a beard, you might also have dandruff on your face.
Experts aren’t sure why some people have dandruff and others don’t. It may be related to increased sensitivity to a type of fungus called Malassezia that’s naturally found on your scalp. Based on this theory, tea tree oil’s natural antifungal properties make it a good option for treating fungal scalp conditions, such as dandruff.
Psoriasis is another condition that can affect the skin of your scalp. It causes red, raised, scaly patches of skin. While there isn’t much research about using tea tree oil for psoriasis, the National Psoriasis Foundation notes that there is some anecdotal evidence to support it. This means that people with psoriasis have reported that it worked for them, but there aren’t any studies to back up these claims.
However, tea tree oil’s anti-inflammatory properties may help to reduce irritated, inflamed skin caused by scalp psoriasis.
What to use
The skin on your scalp is particularly sensitive, which leaves it vulnerable to skin conditions. Minor fungal infections are often responsible for itchiness and dandruff. As an antifungal agent, tea tree oil may help effectively manage these conditions. Tea tree oil may also help sooth inflammation caused by scratching and psoriasis
How to use it
If you’ve never used tea tree oil before, start by doing a patch test to make sure you don’t have an allergic reaction. Place a few drops of tea tree oil on a small patch of skin and watch for any signs of irritation for 24 hours. If you don’t have a reaction, you should be fine to use it on a larger area, such as your scalp.
Never apply pure tea tree oil to your scalp without diluting it first. Instead, mix it with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil. It might be hard to get the oil mixture out of your hair, so you can also try diluting it in another substance, such as aloe vera or apple cider vinegar. You can also try adding tea tree oil to your regular shampoo.
When mixing your own tea tree oil solution, start with a concentration of 5 percent. This translates to 5 milliliters (mL) of tea tree oil per 100 mL of the carrier substance.
Tea tree oil improves blood circulation and removes all toxins from the scalp, paving way for healthy hair growth. It also stimulates the dormant hair follicles and brings them to life. It prepares the hair and scalp to absorb nutrients efficiently, which helps in hair growth.
To use tea tree oil as a hair growth treatment, apply the mixture of oil onto your scalp and massage it. You can even give yourself a hot oil treatment by warming the oil prior to its application. After washing the hair, you’ll get a refreshing feeling and your scalp will be free from any fungi and bacteria that may have got deposited over time.
The bottom line
Tee tree oil is a great natural remedy for keeping your scalp free of irritation. If you have a scalp condition, such as dandruff, expect to wait a few weeks before you start seeing results.