Different plant extracts have been used for medicinal and healing purposes. One of them popular among the lot is tea tree oil. Derived from melaleuca alternifolia, tea tree oil is not only used for different skin or inflammatory ailments but also gives a huge relief to hair and scalp infections/issues. Tea tree oil is the MVP element for different hair care products in the market. To name a few, it helps in omitting dandruff and strengthens your hair. 

The oil works as a natural moisturising agent that will be highly beneficial to treat your dry and inflammatory scalp. If you have dry or frizzy hair, application of the oil for hair will bore you with sweet fruits. The antibacterial and antifungal properties help in scalp healing providing your with healthier and voluminous hair. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that soothes and relieves inflammation. 

In this article, we will understand in detail what tea tree oil does for your hair. Let’s take baby steps in knowing the factors. 

Is tea tree oil good for your hair? 

Yes, tea tree oil is very good for your hair. It has got the key properties that help in growing healthier and voluminous hair. Presence of antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties make it highly beneficial for removing scalp infection like dandruff and irritation. 

Apart from the same, it has anti-bacterial and antifungal properties that removes head lice, boosts blood circulation for healthier hair growth and strength. If you have damaged and frizzy hair, application of diluted tea tree oil on the hair shaft will reduce the chemical buildup. Furthermore, it helps in keeping your hair moisturised, preventing it from falling out. 

What does tea tree oil do for hair? 

People who are facing challenges with hair and scalp can consider using tea tree oil to fight it. Here are some of the ways that the presence of different beneficial properties heal your hair – 

If you are suffering from extreme hair fall, tea tree oil works the best for you. Massaging the hair with diluted tea tree oil will improve blood circulation. This will further strengthen your roots leading to thicker hair. 

If you have damaged or frizzy hair, tea tree oil based hair serum works wonders for you. It is a great ingredient for cleansing. Reducing the frizz and damage, it cleans out the hair follicles & nourishes your roots. This makes way for the growth of healthier hair. 

You might experience a little tingling effect while using the oil on your scalp. This proves that the oil is working. Suffering from dandruff, scalp infections or head lice could be easily fought through this oil.

Presence of anti-bacterial, antifungal and antiseptic properties heals your hair. It works as a natural medication. Application of the same on the scalp will fight against the negative sources to fight your scalp from drying out or flaking. 

How to use tree oil for hair

For your scalp health, you may use the oil in two different ways – 

1. Completely in the essential oil form

2. Using hair care products that have tea tree oil as an active ingredient. 

Since tea tree oil is an essential oil, make sure that you always dilute the oil before scalp application. Check the label of the hair care products to see the concentration. If you are using the oil, add a few drops to your shampoo and conditioner for best use and results. 

Caution alert – Before using any new ingredient or mixing it with any other product, conduct a patch test to see if it’s suiting your skin. 

Add to shampoo

You may add a few drops of tea tree oil to your favourite shampoo. 

  • Take two drops of the oil in your palm, and mix it with your normal shampoo. 
  • Apply it to your hair thoroughly. 
  • Leave it for 5 min. 
  • The oil should not get into your eyes. 
  • Wash your hair with cold water. 
  • Apply conditioner if needed. 

Oil Massage

Some dermatologists recommend using the oil post-washing your hair. 

  • Take a little amount of it, dilute it with some carrier oil and apply it on the damp scalp. 
  • It works more like a leave-in treatment. 
  • Massaging increases blood circulation which aids in hair growth. 

Hair Mask

Whether you are using a hair care product or DIY treatment, adding a few drops of tea tree oil to the hair will benefit your hair and scalp health. 

It will treat scalp irritation, and dandruff as well as prevent your hair from drying. 

  • Mix with hair care products
  • If you are using any hair care product like a serum, shampoo or hair mask, you may add some drops of the oil to it. 
  • If you are already using a product that has tea tree in it does not add any more. It will increase the concentration and cause irritation. 

Tea tree oil for hair benefits

The use of tea tree oil is not only beneficial for your skin but also for your hair. Whether you are opting for hair care products or a DIY routine, using it the right way on your hair will give you all the beneficial properties that will strengthen your roots and maintain the overall health of your hair. 

1. Treating Dry Scalp 

According to research and study, we found out that tea tree oil heals the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis. It is a common scalp issue where scaly patches appear on the scalp. The presence of anti-inflammatory properties reduces itchiness and scalp greasiness. If you are using tea tree-based shampoo, it will help in soothing skin irritation and wounds. This essential oil works as a natural conditioner that soothes your dry scalp and prevents it from flaking. 

2. Treating Dandruff

Preventing your hair from dandruff means omitting dry, white and dead white flakes from your scalp. Keeping it might even lead to serious skin or scalp conditions like contact dermatitis or inflammation. Tea tree oil has antifungal and antibacterial properties that help in treating dandruff. 

Working as a potent cleanser, this oil will help your scalp from getting greasy and remove dead skin cells. Furthermore, it keeps the hair follicles clean and healthy. Tea tree oil controls the excess sebum production, keeping your scalp nourished and free from dandruff. 

3. Prevents Hair Fall 

One thing leads to another. Similarly, weak scalp health or dandruff leads to higher hair loss. A dandruff-infected scalp suffers potential hair loss and damage. Higher inflammation and scratching might even cause hair breakage and poor scalp health. Using tea tree oil in your hair and scalp will prevent this. 

Preventing hair fall, it cleanses the hair follicles from deep within, making your roots stronger. Thus, it keeps your scalp clean and boosts scalp health leading to lessened hair fall. 

4. Boosts Hair Growth

Proven in a clinical study, tea tree oil aids in faster hair growth. This oil deeply nourishes your hair follicles and roots. The result is thick and lustrous hair. As it reduces dandruff and flaking, tea tree oil prevents excess oil products caused by sebaceous glands. Not only this, it enhances blood flow, allowing nutrients to reach the hair follicles. Not just that, it balances the pH level of your scalp, stimulating hair growth and hair health. 

5. Treats head lice

Having insecticidal effects, tea tree oil is a great ingredient for treating head lice as well as parasitic insects that feed on blood. A proper half-hour treatment with tea tree oil will result in 100% mortality. A higher concentration of the oil will help the lice eggs to hatch. 

6. Reduces Inflammation

Having anti-inflammatory properties, tea tree oil helps reduce inflammation. It is also rich in antioxidants that provide natural nourishment to hair and soothes your scalp. Preventing hair loss, the oil works in the enhancement of your scalp and hair health. 

7. Regulating oil production

Oily scalp leads to more dandruff and other scalp infection. The oil has antibacterial and antiseptic properties. It prevents your hair from getting too oily. This results in healthier-looking hair and scalp. 

8. All-natural delousing treatment

Too much exposure to head lice could result from a number of factors. One of them could be using harsh chemicals. The study states that using tea tree oil works as an effective treatment for head lice and makes way the best option for delousing treatment. 

Tea tree oil for hair side effects

There have not been many potential side effects of using the oil. Few things you need to know – 

  • Never ingest the oil. You will lose muscle control and balance. 
  • Use fresh tea tree oil for hair, it is less likely to cause allergies. 
  • People with sensitive skin should do a patch test before application. 
  • New mothers and pregnant women should avoid using the oil as it is too strong. 
  • It might even cause depression, drowsiness, itching and rashes. 


If you are using it for dandruff and want healthy hair, tea tree oil is one of the best options. Make sure that you are doing a patch test on your arm before application. If you do experience any allergic reaction, stop using it immediately. If you have sensitive skin, consult your doctor before application. 


Can I apply tea tree oil directly to the hair?

Tea tree oil is an essential oil and has a higher concentration that might burn your scalp and cause irritation and other side effects. Always dilute it with a carrier oil before application. 

What does tea tree oil do to your hair?

Beneficial properties in tea tree oil help in boosting scalp health, prevent hair fall, strengthen roots and boost blood circulation. Overall, it improves the texture of your hair and prevents scalp infections.

How long should I leave tea tree oil in my hair?

You may leave it overnight or a half an hour proper treatment even will do the work. If you are using a shampoo with oil as an active ingredient, leave it for 5 min before rinsing thoroughly. 

Should I put tea tree oil in dry or wet hair?

Using tea tree oil on damp hair works the best. It seeps deep into the roots and cleanses your hair follicles to boost scalp health and prevent hair loss. 

Do you put tea tree oil before or after shampoo?

You may use it both ways. Using it after shampoo can be applicable when you use it with a carrier oil and apply it on damp hair. 

Is it OK to leave tea tree oil in your hair overnight?

Provided that you are mixing it with a carrier oil. Leaving it for 30 min will also do the work for your hair and scalp health. 

What happens if you put too much tea tree oil on your scalp?

Tea tree oil has a higher concentration. Putting too much oil could burn your scalp, and cause inflammation, itching and irritation. It might even cause muscle tremors and drowsiness. 

What happens if you leave tea tree oil on your scalp?

Using diluted tea tree oil on the scalp enhances scalp health. It cleanses the hair follicles and boosts blood circulation leading to healthier hair growth. 

How do you dilute tea tree oil for hair?

You may mix it with a carrier oil like almond oil, coconut oil, olive oil or so. You may even mix a few drops of it in your shampoo and conditioner or DIY hair mask. 

Where do you put tea tree oil in your hair?

You should put it on the scalp and your roots. Do not go completely down till the tips. 

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