- Tea for Hair

Tea Tree Oil for Hair: Benefits and Rinses

I remember the first time I bought tea tree oil.  I loved the smell immediately.  I can’t remember why I bought it, but I probably read how it can deliver various health benefits and during my uber health phase in my 20’s, I bought anything natural that purported to be healthy.

What is tea tree oil?

Close-up of tea tree plant leaves

It comes from an Australian plant called Melaleuca alternifolia and has been used for many decades in Australia as a medical antiseptic aiding in getting rid of viruses, fungi and bacteria.

In a nutshell, its’ an essential oil.

Early uses

Since it’s discovery and use for many years in Australia as a medical antiseptic, its use has evolved and expanded into many areas including natural hair care products as well as manufactured hair care products such as store-bought shampoos, conditioners, etc.

What I want to discuss here is how tea tree oil can help your hair.

The first question is does tea tree oil offer benefits for your hair?

The answer is yes.

Here they are:

Benefits of tea tree oil for your hair

  • Reduces or gets rid of dandruff;
  • Moistens and aids dry scalp;
  • Can get rid of lice;
  • Treats cradle cap in babies;
  • Relieves itchy scalp; and
  • Cleans out hair follicles to improve follicle health.

Does tea tree oil regrow hair or stop hair loss?

It’s highly doubtful. Come on, think about it.  Don’t you think if something as readily available as tea tree oil regrew hair that there wouldn’t be an bald folks around.  While tea tree oil no doubt offers plenty of healthy benefits to hair, regrowing hair ain’t one of them.

How to apply tea tree oil to your hair?

There are many ways to apply tea tree oil to your hair.  Below I discuss a few of them.

Finally, rinse it.

1. Mix it with shampoo and/or conditioner

Actually, you can buy shampoos with tea tree oil.  Whether there’s sufficient amount in the shampoo to deliver benefits, depends on the shampoo or conditioner.

While it’s good buying shampoo with tea tree oil (the smell alone makes it worth it), I wouldn’t trust any shampoo or conditioner to deliver sufficient amounts to offer any health benefit.  I would take matters into my own hands and apply tea tree oil directly to my scalp and hair mixed with a carrier oil (see below).

2. Mix and apply with a carrier oil

What is a carrier oil?

Coconut oil

I like to think of carrier oils as second tier oils in the world of essential oils.  Carrier oils don’t offer health benefits directly, but aid in the application of essential oils, usually because it helps dilute the more potent essential oils.

Carrier oils are vegetable-based oils and include:

  • Almond oil
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Olive oil
  • Jojoba oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Cocoa butter
  • Shea butter.

Mixing tea tree oil with a carrier oil:

A good ratio is 1 drop of tea tree oil to one teaspoon of a carrier oil.

Mix it and lather into hair focusing on massaging the oil mix onto your scalp.

FYI, a popular carrier oil used with tea tree oil for hair is coconut oil, which has its own health benefits for hair.

Mixing tea tree oil with a carrier oil is my preferred application method.

3. Mix tea tree oil with lavender oil


Lavender oil is also an essential oil with skin benefits such as helping treat eczema.

  • Mix together two to three drops of each oil.
  • Lather into hair and onto scalp.
  • Let sit for five minutes.
  • Rinse.

Final comments

Do not eat or drink tea tree oil even though smells so good.

It’s best to apply to skin mixed with a shampoo or other oil because on its own is potent and could cause skin irritation.

Realistic expectations

As with all things medical including natural remedies, have realistic expectations.  It’s not going to regrow your hair.  It may help with dry skin, dandruff and even make your hair shine a bit more and give your scalp a good cleansing, but it’s not going to turn your world upside down by giving you the greatest head of hair.



2 thoughts on “Tea Tree Oil for Hair: Benefits and Rinses

  1. Hey Samuel,

    This is a great article about tea tree oil for hair. Frankly, I thought there would be more benefits than you list, but perhaps the whole “tea for hair” thing is over-hyped. I found your application tips very good.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Sarah. Yeah, I avoid exaggerating benefits of tea. While I think various teas offer hair benefits as well as various oils, the fact is nothing offers earth-shattering benefits like regrowing lost hair or anything spectacular like that.

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