Tea Tree Oil Benefits for your Scalp

Tea tree oil is a natural, essential oil derived from the tea tree, or Melaleuca alternifolia. It has been used for centuries by the native aboriginal people of Australia for its various medicinal properties. It was often used for healing wounds on the skin as a topical medicine or relieving coughing as an inhaled aromatherapy. 

In the modern age, tea tree oil has become a popular ingredient in soaps and shampoos. It has antimicrobial characteristics that help make it a great option for cleaning the skin. Although many people have different skin types, some people may be prone to fungal infections on the skin that can cause dryness and itchiness. Other people with sensitive skin may be prone to inflammation and redness on the skin and scalp.

If you’re experiencing a dry, irritated scalp on a regular basis, tea tree oil may be something you want to try. Often found in scalp products, it may also be a preventative maintenance option to help take care of the scalp. Read on to learn more about tea tree oil and its benefits for your scalp. 

How does tea tree oil work?

Tea tree oil is composed of several monoterpenes, which are compounds found in many plants, including vegetables, herbs, and fruits. Most of the antimicrobial activity of tea tree oil is attributed to terpinen-4-ol, a major component of the oil. Tea tree oil is composed of about 40% terpinen-4-ol. Tea tree oil also contains other monoterpenes such as gamma-terpene, alpha-terpene, terpinolene, and alpha-terpineol, among others. 

As a versatile type of oil, tea tree oil has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antiprotozoal properties. As early as the 1920s and 1930s, tea tree oil was found to be more active than phenol in regard to its antimicrobial activity. Phenol was, and is still, used widely as a powerful disinfectant, although it more often acts a precursor to cleaning ingredients today.   

What are the benefits of tea tree oil on the scalp?

Relieves inflammation

Tea tree oil helps relieve inflamed skin from contact dermatitis and other skin conditions. Studies show that tea tree oil may also help improve inflammation from acne caused by bacteria. It’s high concentration of terpinen-4-ol also aids tea tree oil’s ability in soothing inflamed skin. 

Reduces itching

Tea tree oil contains monoterpenes that can help block substances that cause itching on the skin. Because tea tree oil is also antimicrobial, it can help ward off certain infections that lead to itching. 

Controls dandruff

Tea tree oil has anti-dandruff properties that make it a suitable option for supporting a healthy scalp. The soothing components of tea tree oil can help relieve itchy, flaking skin on the scalp. It can also help combat an oily scalp, which can be a major cause of dandruff.

Treats wounds

Tea tree oil has antiseptic properties that make it an effective wound healing option. One study found that tea tree oil decreased wound healing time from skin infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. This could make it an attractive option for cleaning acne lesions that might appear on the scalp. 

What is the best way to use tea tree oil?

You can add tea tree oil to your shampoo or mix it with another oil vehicle, such as coconut oil. It could also be mixed with another liquid-like substance, such as aloe vera. Before using pure tea tree oil on the scalp, you may want to spot test it first by putting a little bit on your scalp and monitoring for any signs of an allergic reaction. 

Many scalp moisturizers and shampoos also contain tea tree oil. Certain natural antidandruff shampoos may also contain tea tree oil. Scalp products like the Folicule Mattifying Moisturizer contain tea tree oil as one of the main ingredients. Because tea tree oil helps clean the scalp and control inflammation, it can be a versatile part of scalp cleansers and moisturizers. 

Bottom line

Tea tree oil is a natural plant extract that has antimicrobial properties. It also helps soothe inflammation, reduce itching, and control dandruff on the scalp. Adding tea tree oil to your scalp care regimen may be a great way to ensure your scalp is the healthiest it can be. 

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