Tea Tree Oil for Dandruff

Tea tree oil collected by steam distillation of the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia has antiseptic, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties that make it a beneficial remedy for treating dandruff, a common problem in both men and women.

Tea Tree Oil for Dandruff
Tea Tree Oil for Dandruff

Does Tea Tree Oil Really Work as a Remedy against Dandruff

A study was conducted on 126 patients aged above 14 years to illustrate tea tree oil’s impact in combating dandruff. They were given either placebo or 5% tea tree oil shampoo daily for four weeks, following which, the group which had received tea tree oil showed 41% improvement in comparison to the placebo group.

How does it Work

Tea tree oil contains hydrocarbons known as ‘terpenes’ which lends to its antifungal and antibacterial properties and may kill the Malassezia yeast, causing dandruff. It also has moisturizing properties, eliminating any blockage between the skin and sebaceous glands caused by the deposition of skin oil secretion called sebum

How to Use Tea Tree Oil for Dandruff

Using only Tea Tree Oil

  • Before going to bed, apply a few drops of tea tree oil on your scalp and massage it thoroughly.
  • Now comb your hair through to the ends and leave it overnight.
  • Wash your hair with shampoo in the morning.
  • Follow this process for a couple of weeks.

Adding it to your Shampoo

A quick home treatment for dandruff can be by putting tea tree oil in your shampoo.

  • Mix one drop of tea tree per 3 ml of shampoo.
  • Apply this to your scalp and wait for 5-7 minutes.
  • Wash your hair with water.

Along with Olive Oil

  • Mix 2-3 tbsp of olive oil (can be replaced with other carrier oils like coconut and jojoba) with 4-5 drops of tea tree oil.
  • Massage this mixture on your scalp.
  • Leave it for at least half an hour, or even overnight.
  • Wash your hair with shampoo and apply a conditioner.
  • Repeat this 2-3 times per week, to yield good results

You can alternatively make a spray of tea tree oil (five drops), olive oil (half teaspoon), distilled water (one cup), apple cider vinegar (one-fourth cup) and juice from half a lemon to get rid of dandruff.

Safety Precautions

Tea tree oil shouldn’t be used orally. Make sure to dilute it rather than applying directly to the scalp. Overuse may aggravate skin conditions like eczema and burns.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Tea tree oil in moderate amounts is safe for topical application for pregnant women or lactating mothers. However, consult your doctor before doing the same.

Side Effects

Although tea tree oil is considered safe, it may cause allergic reactions like blistering, redness, and itching in some people.


  1. http://homeremediesforlife.com/tea-tree-oil-for-scalp/
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12451368#
  3. http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/supplement-guide-tea-tree-oil
  4. http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/tea-tree-oil/safety/hrb-20060086