Tea Tree Oil for Dandruff and Itchy Scalp, Is It Effective Remedy?

Tea tree oil is a type of essential oil that is made from Australia native plants. It has been used for centuries as essential oil with many benefits for human.

The anti-bacterial and anti-fungal contents make it effective to get rid kinds of external health problems. One of the most popular functions is tea tree oil for dandruff and itchy scalp.

Tea Tree Oil for Dandruff and Itchy Scalp

Image: livestrong.com

What is Tea Tree Oil?

Tea Tree Oil (TTO) is also commonly called as melaleuca oil; it is an essential oil that smells freshly in camphoraceous odor. The oil can be in a variety of colors such as clear, yellow and nearly colorless.

The source of tea tree oil is the Melaleucaalternifolia plant’s leaves. This type of tree is originally grows in the New South Wales Northeast coast and Southeast Queensland, in Australia.

The Use of Tree Tea Oil

Tea Tree Oil is commonly used in cosmetics, topical antiseptic, skin washes, for anti-fungal treatments or for skin washes in low concentrations. The antimicrobial promise of the essential oil makes many people claim that tea tree oil can be used for home remedies of kinds of medical conditions.

In dermatologic conditions, tea tree oil for dandruff and itchy scalp is common functions of the essential oil. It is also effective to cure acne, lice, skin infections, herpes, and other scalp problems.

The Compositions and Clinically Test

The international Standard ISO 4730 defines Tea Tree Oil as an oil type with 15 components and having fresh smell like camphor. Based on the chemical compositions, there are six types.

The most common type used for commercial product is terpinen-4-ol type as anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial. Four more types of the oil are 1.8-cineole types that are commonly cause allergies in those with sensitive skins.

National Institute of Health in 2012 gave rates to tea tree oil for acne to become possibly effective remedy in mild to moderate (5% tea tree oil gel), for fungal infections on toenails (proven by 18% people after applying 100% tea tree oil, two times per day for six months), and for athlete’s foot skin problem (10% tea tree oil cream).

Furthermore, the essential oil is also effective to cure dermatologic conditions such as dandruff and other scalp problems, lice, acne, herpes, and other infections to the skin.

However, the review also writes about the importance to pay attention to the safety while using of the tea tree oil. In sensitive skin or children, it could cause allergic reaction and irritation on skin.

On 2006 review is also written that the oil may not be used internally because it can be poisonous. The American Cancer Society also reviews about the allergic reactions for those who are allergy to myrtles such as guava, clove or eucalyptus.

When swallowed, the oil can cause serious effects such as vomiting, diarrhea, hallucination, and even coma. So it is for topical usage only and consult your doctor first before choosing tea tree oil home remedy if you have sensitiveness on skin or in certain medication.

The Use of Tea Tree Oil for Hair Treatments

In the hair treatment usage, tea tree oil is more commonly used to cure some problems on scalp; most people know the function of tea tree oil for dandruff and itchy scalp.

Besides, many people use tea tree oil as the home remedy for hair loss, re-growing the hair, and to moisturize dry scalp by adding some other types of essential oils. Apply the tea tree oil on hair and scalp after shampooing.

People commonly mix their shampoo with tea tree oil in certain concentration or just using a shampoo product that is containing tea tree oil.

What is Dandruff and the Cause?

Dandruff is a scalp problem with white flakes in chronic condition and itchy feeling. Serious condition of dandruff is rarely found and it isn’t transmittable. However, most people feel embarrassed for it and find difficulties to get rid.

Actually it isn’t something to worry since dandruff is mostly controllable. In mild condition, gentle cleansing with anti-dandruff shampoo can be effective solution. Meanwhile, more moderate condition may need medicated shampoo for cleansing.

The Symptoms of Dandruff

The symptoms of dandruff in children, teens and adults are easily spotted; white flakes that look oily. It is produced by dead skin that becomes white dots on hair and frequently fall onto the shoulders.

Mostly, dandruff causes itchy feelings and scaly on scalp. It can be more terrible in winter and fall when your skin got dry for room heater. Meanwhile, the condition may increase in summer.

Dandruff in certain type is also commonly suffered by babies. It is called cradle cap; common disorder in newborns that causes crusty scalp and scaly. It is not dangerous and will be clear up when the baby has been three years old.

However, you should see a doctor or dermatologist when the dandruff cannot get rid with anti-dandruff shampoos and it causes red or swollen scalp. Consult the doctor too before you use home remedy like tea tree oil for dandruff and itchy scalp or other home remedy options.

The Causes of Dandruff

There are some causes of dandruff that are commonly suffered by most people, such as:

–       Dry skin. It is the most common cause. Dandruff of dry skin has smaller and less oily white flakes rather than those with other causes. Besides, those who have dry skin in arms or legs are commonly suffering this kind of dandruff.

–       Oily and irritated skin or also called seborrheic dermatitis. It is another most common cause of dandruff. The marks are red and greasy skin with yellow scales and flaky white cover. This type of dandruff commonly happens in those with more oil glands.

–       Irregular hair shampooing; it will build up the skin cells and oils on the scalp and then causes dandruff.

–       Skin problems like eczema, skin inflammation, psoriasis (fast buildup of dry and rough dead skin cells that make thick scales).

–       Fungus in the same characteristic with yeast named malassezia. The fungus is commonly found on adult’s scalp but sometimes it is irritating, causing more dead skin cells that then fall to become white flakes of dandruff.

–       Scalp sensitivity to hair products, too often shampooing and too much styling product that causes dry skin on scalp, itchy, red and scaly scalp, as well as dandruff.

What is Itchy Scalp and the Cause?

Itchy scalp is commonly thought as a symptom of dandruff. In fact, there are many more causes that make the scalp itchy and don’t want to stop to scratch.

Dandruff is not the only cause of terribly itchy scalp in human; it also could be ringworm, bacterial infection or even the autoimmune condition.

Before you try a home remedy option like tea tree oil for dandruff and itchy scalp, it is better to find know about the causes of the itchy feeling on your scalp.

The Causes of Itchy Scalp in Human

The most common causes of itchy scalp are such as;

–       Dandruff and Seborrheic Dermatitis; two most common causes of itchy scalp. It happens as a respond of the scalp to the overgrowth of yeast that causes inflammatory. Every human gets yeast on the scalp and other hairy areas, but it will cause itchy dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis when the amounts are too much.

–       Psoriasis; It is a disease of chronic autoimmune problem that causes reddish, scaly and raised patches on the scalp or skin. The reason for this skin disorder isn’t clear yet but it is transmittable especially to the family members.

–       Tinea Capitis; it is also called ringworm, fungal infection to the scalp. It spreads to the hair follicle depth, causing hair loss in round patches that are going bigger over time. Rash may seem raising with black spots or bristly look.

–       Head Lice; most people though that head lice is caused by poor hygiene on the scalp of someone. Yet dermatologists said that it also can happen in clean scalps. Lice is more difficult to find than the nits (eggs) that are commonly attached on hairs, but sometimes it looks moving around someone’s head.

–       Allergic reaction; eczema, hair dyes, and atopic dermatitis are less common reasons for itchy scalp problems.

When You Should See a Doctor for Itchy Scalp Exam?

Most people don’t want to see a doctor to check the cause of itchy scalp suffered. However, you should a see a doctor or dermatologist if it gets more serious condition, such as;

–       No over the counter shampoo can cure the itchy

–       You still get itchy at nights and affect your activity

–       There are lice and nits on your head

–       Sore itchy spots to touch

When the doctors have examined the itchy scalp, you will get prescription to effectively cure it. Besides, you also can consult about some home remedy options like tea tree oil for dandruff and itchy scalp, jojoba oil, olive oil, or other natural home remedies.

Read More:  Almond Oil for Dark Circles under Eyes Treatment

The Effectiveness of Tea Tree Oil to Heal Dandruff and Itchy Scalp

Tea tree oil as an essential oil has been clinically tested to be effective home remedy of anti-microbial and anti-fungal. Since much time before, people have used tea tree oils as home remedy for kinds of skin health problems including the scalp.

That is why you can try this essential oil as the solution for dandruff and itchy scalp. The antiseptic content in the tea tree oil will not only fight the dandruff and other itchy scalp problems, but also will improve the health of the growing hairs naturally.

Hair is a part of human body that can easily be damaged by kinds of harmful elements in the environment such as dust, smoke, sunlight, pollution, and hair styling chemicals including hair coloring product, straightening, lightening, and many more.

You should choose the right hair treatment products to wash and give conditioner so the hair will be healthier, nourish, and stronger. Avoid products with harmful chemicals that will damage your hair and scalp.

Don’t be attracted to the nice fragrance and dyes because it isn’t always working to make your hair healthier. Even some additive ingredients in hair products are harmful and may cause hair loss.

To get healthier and strong hair, it will be much better to choose natural hair treatment with tea tree oil. It is gentle essential oil that will promote hair health and effectively fight fungi, bacteria, and other microbes.

It has been long time known about tea tree oil for dandruff and itchy scalp, hair loss, dry scalp, for promoting hair growth and curing kinds of other scalp problems.

Regular cleansing the hair and scalp with shampoo and tea tree oil will help unclogging the pores from polymers, fillers, dead skin or chemicals that are brought by hair products and pollution.

It will reduce the growing of dandruff, influencing the hair to grow, and make it shiny, healthy and smells fresh. Besides, essential oil will improve natural moisture of the scalp so the dryness as the cause of dandruff will be reduced but doesn’t make hair too oily.

How to Use Tea Tree Oil for Dandruff and Itchy Scalp Remedy

As explained before, dandruff is caused by kinds of factors. By applying tea tree oil for dandruff and itchy scalp, you can get rid of the scalp problems in any caused of it.

The antiseptic and anti-fungal properties of tea tree oil are effective to kills bacteria or a fungus that grows on the scalp. Besides, the essential oil will also moisture the scalp; healing the dryness and unclogging the pores so there is no more dandruff piling up on the scalp.

You can make DIY tea tree oil shampoo to get rid of the dandruff and the discomfort feeling of itchiness, oiliness, or drought of the scalp problem.

How to Make Tea Tree Oil Shampoo for Dandruff

To make tea tree oil shampoo for dandruff home remedy, you can do some step below;

–       For your 32 oz of shampoo, add a teaspoon of tea tree oil and then mix the solution well.

–       Use the shampoo and tea tree oil mix every time you wash your hair.

–       Another solution can be made by pouring few drops of tea tree oil to your shampoo every time you are going to wash your hair.

–       Mix well the shampoo and the essential oil on your palm, and then apply to your hair while massaging the scalp well.

–       Wait the solution absorbed well into the scalp in about 5-7 minutes, and then rinse your hair thoroughly until it is clean.

–       Choosing shampoo and conditioner products with tea tree oil as the main ingredients are also a great idea for more efficiently time usage.

This is not only perfect solution of tea tree oil for dandruff and itchy scalp but also other scalp problems such as psoriasis, scalp sores, flaky scalp, oily scalp, follcultis, and ringworm.

How to Use Tea Tree Oil for Itchy Scalp Remedy

The various causes of itchy scalp make the doctors and dermatologists prescribe kinds of medicines, topical and ointments to cure the problems. But with tea tree oils, any kinds of itchiness causes on scalp will be healed.

The natural agents will become anti-bacterial and anti-fungus as well as promote the health of the scalp. Some following methods are to make the tea tree oil for itchy scalp remedy.

–       Use the tea tree oil directly:

  1. Apply 5 – 10 drops of tea tree oil directly to the scalp to reduce the itchiness.
  2. Massage the oil with your fingers thoroughly and let it absorbed.
  3. Whenever you wash your hair, it is better to use tea tree oil shampoo to improve the works to relief itchy scalp.
  4. Tea tree oil will relief the itchiness and soothes the scalp as well as clear the clogged follicles that often cause itchy scalp.
  5. Use the tea tree oil regularly until you can get rid of the itchy scalp.


–       Use tea tree oil plus peppermint oil

  1. Prepare a cup of warm water and add a few drops of peppermint oil and teat tree oil, and then stir the solution well.
  2. Every time after you shampooing your hair, you can apply the solution.
  3. Let the solution absorbed in few minutes and then rinse your hair until it is clean.
  4. Use mild shampoo to wash your hair when you feel it too sticky after the application of the solution.

–       Use tea tree oil and baby shampoo

  1. Make a solution from ½ cup of baby shampoo and add the tea tree oil in about 10-20 drops, and then mix the solution well.
  2. Use the shampoo mix every time you wash your hair until you get rid of the itchy scalp.
  3. The mild ingredients in baby shampoo will not harmful to your hair so the tea tree oil will effectively absorb to the scalp’s skin and then works to relief the itchiness.

You can use this solution of tea tree oil for dandruff and itchy scalp that is caused by dryness.

–       Use tea tree oil and vegetable oil

  1. You can make a solution made from a tablespoon of vegetable oil plus 2-4 drops of tea tree oil, mix well this solution.
  2. Massage your scalp by using this solution.
  3. This solution and the gentle massage will help unclogging the follicles so you can get rid of the itchy clogged scalp.
  4. Use this solution for scalp massaging once or twice per week regularly so you can get rid of the itchiness and dry scalp soon.

–       Use tea tree oil and coconut oil

  1. Make a solution from a tablespoon of coconut oil and add 10 drops of tea tree oil. Mix them perfectly.
  2. Use this solution to give moisture to your scalp and reduce the dryness and dry patches as the causes of itchy scalp.
  3. Massage your scalp after applying the solution on your palm; avoid massaging the hair because it may cause hair loss.
  4. Sit the solution in about 30 minutes or even in overnight.
  5. Wash your hair as usual with mild shampoo, rinse well and apply conditioner before you rinse your hair well for the last time.
  6. Anti-bacterial and anti-fungal in both tea tree oil and coconut oil will effectively relief the itchy scalp.

You can also use this tea tree oil for dandruff and itchy scalp to relief eczema and folliculitis.

Choosing the Right Shampoo to Use with Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil with its natural agents as essential oil containing anti-bacterial and anti-fungal contents will work to clean the scalp and follicles. It will not only improve the moisture but also clean remaining shampoo and other chemicals from hair products that commonly clog the pores.

No more buildup chemicals, debris or pollutant that clogs the pores as the main causes of dandruff and itchiness.

However, to apply tea tree oil into your hair and scalp, you may not use shampoo with additive and preservative contents. It is purposed to support the function of the essential oil to release the clogged pores and improve natural moistures of the scalp.

Don’t choose shampoo with ingredients like propyl alcohol or sodium laurel sulphate, because those ingredients could be carcinogenic that could make severe your dandruff and itchy scalp.

For the treatment, you can add tea tree oil as much as 10 – 20 drops into your shampoo and then mix well. Use the shampoo like you usually wash your hair daily.

Alternatively, you can apply the tea tree oil for dandruff and itchy scalp after washing your hair. Wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner as usual, dry the hair after it has been well rinsed, then apply 10 drops of tea tree oil after spread it well into your palms. Let the solution dry and then you can comb and style your hair as you normally do.

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