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Bienfaits huile essentielle d'arbre à thé sur le cuir chevelu.

Tea Tree Oil: Benefits for the Scalp

Tea tree oil is a common ingredient in shampoos and soaps. Its proven anti-microbial properties make it an excellent purifying agent. Studies conducted by reliable sources have shown that tea tree oil effectively fights many types of bacteria, viruses and fungi.

Tea Tree Oil in Brief

This essential oil is derived from the leaves of the tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), which is native to Australia. Like other essential oils, tea tree oil has been used for medicinal purposes for hundreds of years. The Australian aborigines used it to clean wounds and treat infections. Nevertheless, it was only in 1922 that the antiseptic and antibacterial properties of the plant were demonstrated by the chemist Arthur DE RAMAN PENFOLD. Small anecdote: At the beginning of the second world war, tea tree oil was added to each medicine kit in the army and the Australian navy because of its anti-infectious virtues.

Tea tree oil is the result of steam distillation (hydrodistillation). 100 kg of tea tree leaves are usually needed to harvest 1 to 2 liters of tea tree essential oil. Organoleptically, it is a clear colorless to pale yellow liquid with a woody smell. It contains mainly monoterpenols (about 45% of terpinen-4-ol) and monoterpenes (gamma-terpinene, alpha terpinene, limonene). These compounds are at the origin of its purifying and cleansing properties.

Tea Tree Oil, an Effective Natural Ingredient Against Dandruff

The skin of the scalp is particularly sensitive, which makes it vulnerable to skin conditions. Minor fungal infections are often responsible for itching and dandruff. As an antifungal agent, tea tree oil can help effectively manage these conditions.

Seborrheic dermatitis, more commonly known as oily dandruff, is one of the most common scalp problems. It causes flaky skin, scales, greasy patches and redness on the scalp. If you have a beard, you may also have dandruff on your face.

The appearance of dandruff could be related to an increased sensitivity to a type of fungus called Malassezia that is naturally found on the scalp. Based on this theory, the natural antifungal properties of tea tree essential oil make it a good option for treating fungal scalp conditions such as dandruff.

This hypothesis was confirmed in a clinical study conducted in 2002 by BARNETSON and his team. Daily use of a shampoo containing 5% tea tree oil for four weeks reduced dandruff by 41% in the subjects participating in the study.

How To Use This Essential Oil for the Scalp?

If you've never used tea tree essential oil before, start by doing a patch test to make sure you don't have an allergic reaction. Put a few drops of essential oil on a small area of skin and watch for signs of irritation for 24 hours. If you don't have a reaction, you can use it on a larger area, such as the scalp.

Never apply pure tea tree essential oil to your scalp without diluting it first. Instead, mix it with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil. It can be difficult to remove the oil mixture from your hair, so you can try diluting it with another substance, such as aloe vera or apple cider vinegar. You can also try adding tea tree essential oil to your regular shampoo.

When making your own tea tree essential oil solution, start with a 5% concentration. This translates to 5 milliliters (mL) of essential oil per 100 mL of carrier vegetable oil.

You can also purchase an anti-dandruff shampoo containing tea tree oil.

Sources :

  • BARNETSON R. StC. & al. Treatment of dandruff with 5% tea tree oil shampoo. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (2002).

  • RILEY T. V. & al. Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil: a review of antimicrobial and other medicinal properties. Clinical Microbiology Reviews Journal (2006).

  • KAZEROUNI A. & al. A review of applications of tea tree oil in dermatology. International Journal of Dermatology (2013).


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