Last weekend, my friend told me that her scalp was driving her crazy. She said it was itchy and uncomfortable and, after trying a multitude of different shampoos promising to help alleviate it, she was frustrated that nothing was helping. We did some research to find a natural remedy and came across tea tree oil.
Tea tree oil—or melaleuca oil—is an oil taken from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia plant. The essential oil has a long list of health benefits but is commonly known for its supposed ability to help soothe a dry, itchy scalp but is it really all that effective? Let’s find out!
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An itchy scalp can be caused by many things. While dandruff is a well-known cause behind scalp itchiness, many people actually experience an itchy scalp without having dandruff. A health and beauty website, XoVain, explains that an itchy scalp is likely due to “mycotic diseases […which are…] diseases caused by either funguses or yeasts-run-amok.” The extra buildup of yeast in the hair will cause the scalp to become uncomfortably itchy.
According to a home remedies website, Home Remedies for Life, “tea tree oil acts as an anti-fungal that kills the bacteria causing the over-production of the skin cells which creates white flakes called dandruff.” By applying tea tree oil to our scalp, we can help alleviate the itch and lessen the chances of experiencing dandruff. Home Remedies for Life states that “tea tree oil contains terpinen-4-ol that has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties […] When applied on scalp, it penetrates the hair follicles, unclogs them and kills microorganisms that trigger dandruff, itchy scalp and irritation.” Whatever the cause of your itchy scalp may be, tea tree oil may just be the remedy for relief.
Home Remedies for Life suggests mixing the tea tree oil with either olive oil, coconut oil, or eucalyptus essential oil. Be sure to dilute the tea tree oil with one of these oils, or with water as it may be too harsh. The informational website, Tea Tree Oil for Hair, explains the “oil from tea tree is well known for its effective treatment of viral and bacterial infections [and] these attributes leave your hair protected against many forms of scalp irritants” which can help to prevent any scalp issues in the future as well.
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It is suggested to apply the tea tree oil mixture to your hair and let it sit for about an hour, or longer if possible. If you are happy with the shampoo you are using, Tea Tree Oil for Hair suggests adding a few drops of the oil into your shampoo for an added benefit.
Verdict: Fact. Tea tree oil can help to alleviate a dry, itchy scalp. Be sure to speak with you doctor or dermatologist to see if using tea tree oil can help your symptoms. Once you get the okay from your doctor, the next time you are in the store check out the essential oils section and be sure to pick up some tea tree oil. Apply the mixture of tea tree oil to your hair and sit back and relax while nature takes care of you.
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