Tea tree oil is an essential oil that is extracted by distilling the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia, also known as Australian tea tree. Unlike other tea plants used for making green or black tea, this tree is native to Australia. The oil varies from nearly colorless and clear to pale yellow with a smell similar to nutmeg. It is poisonous if taken by the mouth, but it is regularly used in low concentrations in skin care products.
The oil and the tea made from it are used to help with a variety of different conditions including herpes, acne, lice, skin infections and dandruff. You can get the oil and tea over-the-counter, but it is advisable you consult with your doctor before using them.
Seborrhea is a skin condition affecting the scalp, where the sebaceous glands in the skin produce too much oil. If left untreated it may cause seborrheic dermatitis, a development of oily dandruff on the scalp which can lead to an accumulation of dead skin cells flaking from your scalp getting trapped in the excess oil.
They can build up around the hair follicles as well causing further irritation that may result in hair loss.
The tree oil contains an organic compound called Terpinen-4-ol, with strong antibacterial and antifungal properties that are effective in eliminating the harmful bacteria and fungi, preventing excessive secretion of oil and effectively reducing inflammation and flaking.
Infections are not the sole cause of scalp conditions resulting in hair loss. Strong shampoos, improper washing techniques and even blow drying can make the scalp and hair too dry, and without moisturizing the individual hair strands become thinner and prone to splitting and breaking off easily. The tree oil does not only clean the scalp from buildup of dead skin and bacteria, but it also moisturizes it, therefore making the skin and the existing hair healthier and also promoting growth of new hair.
Essential oils, including tea tree oil are highly concentrated and strong and they can cause quite the opposite effect than the one expected if not used properly. You can use the oil in a number of ways, but if you have sensitive skin, always apply a small amount of diluted oil on a small patch of scalp as a precaution. If your skin doesn’t react and become red and irritated, you can proceed to apply it. The oil is usually diluted with a carrier oil, such is almond, coconut or olive oil. Just take a few drops of tree oil, mix it well with a tablespoon of carrier oil and gently massage it onto your scalp for using your fingertips. Let it sit for a couple of minutes, or even better, leave it overnight is possible. Wash it thoroughly in the morning and repeat this over the course of a few weeks.
You can also prepare a small batch of oil in advance. Just take a small bottle, fill it 3/4 full with any carrier oil, add 10 to 15 drops of tree oil and mix it properly. After applying wash it off using a mild shampoo and you may apply a conditioner.
Alternatively, you can make a rinse by adding around 10 drops of oil into some water or a spray by mixing a few drops of oil with a cup of water. Spray it whenever you scalp feels itchy or the hair feels too dry and brittle.