If you are losing your hair, or are afraid you soon will be; you’re likely looking for a solution wherever you can find one. There are lots of commercial products out there on the market that have been somewhat successful in preventing hair loss, plus an even larger number of ones that do nothing at all, but one of the solutions that you may not have considered is using tea tree oil for hair loss.
What is Tea Tree Oil?
Tea tree oil is a very powerful natural substance that is derived from an Australian plan called the Melaleuca alternifolia. You might even have heard of tea tree oil under the name Melaleuca. Tea tree oil is part of a group of substances called essential oils, many of them with amazing health benefits that have been demonstrated in clinical research.
Tea tree oil has been used in its native land of Australia for more than a century. Because of some of the properties of Melaleuca, it works well for a number of minor medical problems like hair loss, acne, dry scalp, head lice, toenail fungus, athletes foot, herpes and many more. While some essential oils may be taken orally, tea tree oil is not one of those and it should be used topically only.
The most prevalent chemical in the composition of tea tree oil is terpinen-4-ol, which makes up about 40% of the total content of the oil. Y-terpinene accounts for 15-30 percent and then some of the other ingredients include α-terpinene, 1,8-cineole, terpinolene, α-terpineol, α-pinen and p-cymene. There are actually six different types of tea tree oil, and nearly 100 chemical compounds can be found within it.
Tea tree oil started getting really popular in the 1920’s when an Australian businessman had the idea to market the oil to other countries, as it was already being used for various medical purposes in Australia. The industry really blew up in the 1980’s and now tea tree oil is one of the most popular essential oils on the market today.
Benefits of Tea Tree Oil for Hair Growth
There are a lot of uses out there for tea tree oil. Combating hair loss and stimulating hair follicles is just one of those benefits, and we’ll get to that in some detail here in a moment. But some of the other benefits of tea tree oil are due to the fact that it has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties.
You’ll see tea tree oil marketed for a wide variety of maladies, and that’s because it does so many different things. Just a few of the benefits of tea tree oil are below:
- Acne: Various acne problems such as blackheads, whiteheads, breakouts and acne scarring can be treated with tea tree oil.
- Chickenpox: Rub on the skin to make chickenpox go away sooner.
- Bacterial infections: Low-level ones mostly; serious ones that need IV antibiotics like staph infections should be treated by a doctor. However, tea tree oil can help with boils caused by staph as well as with MRSA.
- Fungal infections: Tea tree oil can help to cure athlete’s foot if you rub it between your toes. It can also sometimes help with fungal infections of the nail, although these are difficult to treat.
- Various hair and scalp benefits including killing head lice, making hair healthy and improving growth.
- Halitosis (chronic bad breath) may be helped by tea tree oil.
In addition, tea tree oil can help with some non-medical things such as:
- Killing bacteria in laundry and freshening it
- Repelling insects
- Removing foot odor
- Removing mold
- Various household cleaning tasks
Can Tea Tree Oil Slow Down Hair Loss?
There actually are some reasons to think that putting tea tree oil on your hair or rubbing it into your scalp may slow down your hair loss, and in some cases, even stimulate the growth of new hair follicles. Tea tree oil can definitely make your hair healthier. It can even help to slow down hair loss in some cases.
The reason is the antifungal and antibacterial properties of tea tree oil. Sometimes, the clogged follicles on your scalp can suffer from stunted growth due to the oil inside of them and the bacteria or fungi that has grown there. That’s where tea tree oil comes in. The Melaleuca can remove the dead skin that is collecting there, kill the fungus and the bacteria, and stimulate the healthy growth of hair follicles.
In some cases, especially where hair loss is due to genetics or aging, tea tree oil is going to be less effective, but you will never know until you try and you have nothing to lose by doing so. In fact, you might have some hair to gain.
Can Tea Tree Oil Help Regrow Hair?
As previously mentioned, one of the things that tea tree oil does when you use it on your hair is to reduce the excess oil that the scalp produces. This excess oil is often one of the major reasons why hair growth gets stunted, and tea tree oil has been shown to give users thicker, longer hair because it allows hair to resume its natural growth.
So, the question of whether or not tea tree oil can help regrow hair is a little difficult to answer without knowing what is actually causing the stunted growth in the first place. One bit of good news: since the stunting of hair follicles is often caused by bacteria or fungus, there is a pretty good chance that tea tree oil will be able to help.
There are many hair loss shampoos and scalp treatments out there that contain tea tree oil, but most experts on essential oils agree that using actual tea tree oil for hair growth is a much more effective way to treat hair problems.
Is Tea Tree Oil Safe to Use?
You may be wondering about how safe tea tree oil is. After all, you don’t want to do more damage to your hair or any part of your body. You’ll be pleased to know that tea tree oil is extremely safe, and even healthy, for use in the hair and on the scalp. However, there are a couple of safety concerns to keep in mind, whether you are using it for hair or another benefit.
First, tea tree oil should never be taken internally. This is a big one, because tea tree oil can actually be poisonous in big enough amounts when you ingest it. You also want to take care not to apply it to the scalp or any other area of the body before you dilute it. Below, you will find a great recipe that will help you figure out just how to make a tea tree oil treatment that is both safe and effective.
The only other thing to keep in mind is that some people experience an allergic reaction to tea tree oil, even in its diluted form. These are usually really minor reactions, but you should definitely test the tea tree oil on a very small patch of skin or scalp before you use it as a treatment.
DIY Tea Tree Oil Hair Mask
If you want to use tea tree oil for your hair, one of the best ways to do that is through the use of a tea tree oil hair mask. You’ll need a few ingredients to make the mask. Here is the recipe:
- 1 tablespoon of distilled water
- 5-10 drops of tea tree essential oil (undiluted)
- 1 cup of coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Combine the distilled coconut oil and olive oil and mix thoroughly. Add the drops of tea tree oil to the water and slowly add the mixture to the concoction of coconut oil and olive oil. The coconut oil is carrier oil and you can substitute with jojoba oil or almond oil if you prefer the scent. Rub the final product on the scalp 1-2 times daily, making sure to be thorough and get the tea tree oil down into the roots of the follicle where it can kill the bacteria or fungus. Continue to apply this mixture daily until you have noticed a significant impact on your hair growth.
So, now you know just how amazing tea tree oil for hair loss can be and all of the benefits that it has for hair growth and other problems. You may be able to prevent some hair loss with tea tree oil, and you may even be able to stimulate the growth of new hair. Plus, it has a ton of other benefits due to the antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties. The bottom line is that tea tree oil is just one of the best essential oils out there.