IS TEA TREE OIL HELPFUL IN REMOVING DANDRUFF?
Tea tree oil is an ingredient that can be found in various cosmetic products. But does it help with dandruff?
This strong essential oil is made from the leaves of Melaleuca Alternifolia, a small tree found in Australia. The leaves are crushed to extract the oil and has been done so for centuries by the Aboriginal Australians. It was used in traditional medicine and was inhaled to help with a cough or cold.
Tea tree oil gets its name for the distinct smell that reminds you of the consumable teas, but it is not the same as your Darjeeling tea. It is not meant for consumption - only external application. Tea tree oil is extremely versatile and has been used for dealing with head lice, acne, minor wounds, as an insect repellent, a sanitiser and even as a mouthwash.
How does tea tree oil help?
There are various tea tree oil benefits for hair and skin that can be found in its characteristics. It has a high concentration of Terpinen-4-ol, which is the primary factor behind the use of tea tree oil for scalp, hair, and skin issues.
- It is anti-bacterial in nature, which can significantly curtail any bacteria or virus growth.
- Anti-inflammatory properties help in soothing irritated skin.
- It has an effective anti-fungal element that can kill any yeast or fungi, which can also help with odour.
- It works as a disinfectant and contains anti-septic properties that make it useful for wounds.
- It can clear greasiness and get rid of any build-up on the skin, while unclogging the pores.
- It has moisturising properties that can restore hydration levels.
- It can reduce the itching sensation that you might experience on the scalp or with acne.
- It can possibly help regulate the oil production on your face and scalp.
- Tea tree oil can tighten the cuticle layer and help with the texture of your hair strand.
What about tea tree oil for dandruff?
Most people think that they know what dandruff is but are generally misinformed. They see white flakes on their shoulder, think it’s dandruff, and decide to empty a bottle of oil onto their scalps. The misconception here is that dandruff is caused by a dry scalp . Why else would there be flakes?
Dry scalp and dandruff are two entirely different scalp issues, and so are their solutions. The cause of dandruff is usually a naturally occurring fungus known as Malassezia Globosa. This fungus is found on your scalp and feeds on the sebum secreted by the numerous sebaceous glands.
Your sebum production can be disrupted by various reasons - hormonal imbalances, weather changes or even stress. If for some reason your scalp starts producing excessive amounts of sebum, the fungus grows exponentially and breaks down the oil into oleic acid. 1 in 2 people across the world reacts to this by-product and ends up with itching on the scalp, red patches of scaly skin, and white-yellow oily flakes of dead skin cells.
This is what we know as dandruff, and it is something you must understand before trying out any of the various dandruff home remedies available. Studies show that using tea tree oil for hair dandruff can have a positive outcome. It can get rid of the greasiness that fuels the dandruff and curtail the growth of the dandruff causing fungus. You can also make use of the anti-inflammatory properties of tea tree oil for scalp itching.
How should you use tea tree oil for dandruff?
There are various methods of using tea tree oil and it all depends on what works for you. It is not an exact science, and you should always tread carefully. If you decide to use tea tree oil for hair dandruff, it is important that you dilute it before application. Do not apply tea tree oil directly onto your scalp.
Mix with shampoos -Add a few drops to your shampoo before washing your hair. This is the simplest and most efficient method of using tea tree oil for dandruff. Use it occasionally and see whether it helps.
Oils -You can combine it with a carrier oil like coconut oil, olive oil or jojoba oil. Massage the mixture into your scalp and hair. You can leave it overnight or keep it for 30 minutes, based on your hair type. Wash with a gentle shampoo after. You can add essential oils like lavender oil as well.
Aloe Vera -Create a hair mask with aloe vera and apply it to your head for about 40 minutes, before washing it away with a shampoo. This can help to clear off any oil build-up and moisturise at the same time.
Apple cider vinegar -Combine apple cider vinegar and tea tree oil for scalp cleansing. Apply it for about 30 minutes and wash with a shampoo after. This could help with any scalp build-up.
Tea tree oil, honey, olive oil, and lemon juice -Create a mixture from these ingredients and apply it onto your head for about 30 minutes. Wash with a shampoo after.
Shampoos with tea tree oil -There are shampoos available in the market that contain 5% tea tree oil, that can help with your dandruff growth.
What are the concerns of using tea tree oil?
You should have the answer to the question is tea tree oil good for dandruff, but you might be wondering if tea tree oil is safe. In general, there aren’t too many issues with using tea tree oil but there are certain points you should be aware of.
- Never consume or swallow the oil. It is extremely toxic and can cause rashes, diarrhoea, aches, nausea, and confusion.
- Allergic reactions are quite common, and you should always do a patch test on a small part of your skin before applying it to your scalp.
- Application of undiluted tea tree oil can cause burning and scarring on sensitive skin.
- Be careful when you’re combining it with different products and ingredients as the combinations can have an adverse effect.
- Keep it out of your eyes, as that can cause severe burning. Wash it out immediately in case it goes inside.
Tea tree oil might seem like an effective way on how to remove dandruff, but it all depends on how your body reacts to it. If you’re rushed for time and are unsure about the quantities, you should use products with a tested track record. To clean your scalp and prevent dandruff from coming back, you can use the Head and Shoulders Neem shampoo. Or if you’re looking for a product that restores your damaged hair and gets rid of the dandruff flakes, you could try the Head and Shoulders Cool Menthol 2in1 shampoo and conditioner in o.