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What Are the Benefits of Tea Tree Oil for Hair?

By A. Gamm
Updated May 17, 2024
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Tea tree oil comes from the Melaleuca genus of plants and provides several natural benefits for hair health. It is commonly known for its antiseptic, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties, which have beeen shown to help improve several hair-related issues, like dandruff, scalp ringworm, and cradle cap. It is believed that using tea tree oil for hair may also help the hair grow faster and appear thicker and healthier.

Most people use tea tree oil on the hair for its antiseptic properties. It helps to not only remove any excess oil or dirt left behind from shampoos, but also to eliminate buildup from minerals in the water and from the shampoo and conditioners as well. Hair follicles are also cleaned out, which may allow the hair to grow more freely without anything inhibiting it. The cleaner look of the hair also may help to make it appear longer.

Some people also recommend using tea tree oil to kill head lice and any eggs it may have hatched in the hair. This typically involves using these shampoos at regular intervals throughout the day. A scalp massage with a tea tree oil solution may also be done between washing to help the process.

The antifungal properties also aid in getting rid of a number of scalp problems that may inhibit hair growth. By using tea tree oil for hair on a regular basis, the yeast found on hair, Pityrosporum ovale, may be removed from the scalp and prevented from returning. It is this yeast that is believed to be attributed to persistent dandruff problems in some people. Tea tree oil may also fight ringworm found on the scalp.

There are several other potential benefits of using tea tree oil on the hair. Some parents claim that it helps to clear cradle cap in infants when mixed with a carrier oil, such as sweet almond oil. It is used to moisturize hair that is either frizzy or dry and aids in improving the texture. Tea tree oil allows for the hair's own natural oils to be released and condition the hair and scalp. This also may aid in making the hair thicker and helping it grow faster. It is also believed that tea tree oil may improve the overall pH balance of the scalp, which may also assist in hair growth and thickening.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By SarahGen — On Nov 14, 2013

I use tea tree oil on my hair for eczema. I have eczema on my body and my scalp. My scalp becomes very dry, itchy and scaly when I have an outbreak. Tea tree oil is great for these symptoms. It relieves the itching and soothes my scalp.

I use a tea tree oil shampoo and a tea tree oil body wash on a regular basis. When I have sores, I dilute pure tea tree oil with olive oil and apply it on the sores. Tea tree oil prevents infection and helps my skin heal faster. It's great stuff.

By SteamLouis — On Nov 13, 2013

@ddljohn-- That depends on whom you want to use it. Tea tree oil can treat scabies and it's safe to use on adults and children. Tea tree oil kills mites, including those that cause scabies. But make sure it's diluted with something and always check for allergies first.

Tea tree oil should not be used for scabies on pets however because it's toxic for pets. There are some dog shampoos for lice that contain tea tree oil. But you should check with a vet before using them.

For adults and children, you can add some tea tree oil to shampoo and wash the scalp and hair with it. Pregnant women shouldn't use tea tree oil and it's not safe for infants either.

By ddljohn — On Nov 13, 2013

Can tea tree oil be used for scalp scabies?

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