What’s the Best Tea tree Oil Shampoo for Dry Scalp?

Does your scalp itch? While some people scratch their heads while thinking, others intentionally scratch their head because there is a nagging, persistent itch on their scalp. This is called itchy scalp. Many people assume an itchy scalp must be dandruff, but there are numerous conditions that can contribute to dry, itchy scalp, or scalp pruritus.

Aside from dandruff, dry, itchy scalp can also be caused by ringworm or a bacterial infection from an autoimmune condition. Furthermore, symptoms such as redness, swelling, slow hair growth, balding, skin infections and damaged hair may also accompany an itchy scalp. For long-term relief, it’s important to first find out what’s causing your itchy scalp. Once you’ve determined the cause, it may help to try common treatment methods, such as tea tree oil to improve your scalp health.

Tea tree oil is a known remedy for various ailments, including scalp conditions, such as an itchy scalp, dandruff and hair loss. The harsh chemicals found in most hair products can strip your hair follicles of vital nutrients required for their optimal health. Using too many products too frequently can put your scalp and hair at risk of drying out and being damaged. A small amount of diluted tea tree oil can help reduce the buildup of dead skin and chemicals in the scalp and shaft.

According to a 2012 study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, a 5% tea tree oil helped reduced scalp scaling among participants, without any side effects. Using a tea tree oil shampoo for an itchy, dry scalp, help cleanse your hair and help it grow at its normal rate. Note that some people can be allergic to tea tree oil, so be sure to test any product on the back of your elbow and stop using it if you have any redness or swelling.

Table of Contents:

Why is Tea Tree Oil Good for the Hair and Scalp?

Tea tree oil is an essential oil with antiseptic properties for skin. Tea tree oil has a camphorous scent, similar to eucalyptus or rubber. Most plants for tea tree oil are grown in Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand. Tea tree oil has a wide range of uses, including aromatherapy, acne reduction and improved scalp health.

Tea tree oil has a longstanding history, going as far back as the 18th century, with widespread growth in Australia. The plant was later discovered by British explorers when they found that the aboriginals brewed the plant’s leaves to create an antibiotic and antiseptic for cut wounds. In World War II, bottled of tea tree oil were added to medical kits to clean abrasions and cuts for soldiers going into battle.

Tea tree oil became commercialized in the 1920s, when Arthur Penhold, a chemist, wrote several papers on the plant’s uses, considering it a business potential. In the 70s and 80s, large commercial plants were set up.

Today, scientists have found that tea tree oil contains 98 different compounds that can lead to improved skin and hair health. One of the most noteworthy compounds found in tea tree oil is terpinen-4-ol, which is what gives tea tree oil its astringent properties.

What Are the Benefits of Tea Tree Oil for Scalp and Hair?

Tea tree oil is a common ingredient in many soaps and shampoos. The proven antimicrobial properties of tea tree oil make it an excellent ingredient for cleansing the hair, without any side effects.  According to a review published in Clinical Microbiology Reviews, tea tree oil is a potent agent in fighting several types of bacteria, fungi, and viruses.

Your scalp is prone to many skin conditions because its skin is particularly sensitive. This is the reason for fungal infections such as dandruff and itchiness are so common. Luckily, natural antifungal treatments, such as tea tree oil can help soothe inflammation and control symptoms such as dryness and itching. Keep reading for a list of scalp conditions tea tree oil can improve.

1] Itchy, Dry Scalp

Tea tree oil is amazing for itchy, dry scalp because it provides antioxidant and antimicrobial benefits – which means it has the ability to fight bacteria, fungi, and viruses. According to 2013 research published in the International Journal of Dermatology, many studies show that tea tree oil works well against inflammatory symptoms, including seborrheic dermatitis, thereby aiding in the treatment process.

2] Dandruff

Dandruff, or seborrheic dermatitis, is caused by the accumulation of dry, scaly skin on your scalp. It results in scaly, flaky skin, along with redness and greasy patches. Seborrheic dermatitis occurs as a result of too much yeast on oily regions of the skin and may affect your eyebrows, the sides of your nose and your beard if you have one.

According to research published in the journal, Pharmacy and Therapeutics, experts aren’t sure why dandruff affects some people and not others. Some experts suggest it could be associated with an increased sensitivity to a fungus, called Malassezia, which is naturally present on your scalp. This is backed by a study we mentioned earlier, published in the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology, which showed that participants who used a 5% tea tree oil shampoo had a 41% reduction in their dandruff after 4 weeks of using it.

Will tea tree oil cause an allergic reaction?

It’s important to treat dandruff immediately because its accumulation may begin to hinder your hair growth. A shampoo containing tea tree oil is a great choice because of its antifungal and antibacterial properties, which will help remove the cause of the dead skin, while thoroughly cleansing your scalp hair.

3] Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a condition that can affect the skin of your scalp, resulting in red, scaly, raised patches on the skin. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, there is some anecdotal evidence that tea tree oil’s anti-inflammatory properties may help improve inflamed, irritated skin caused by psoriasis.

4] Slow Hair Growth

Although there is no evidence for tea tree oil directly increasing hair growth, regular use can encourage hair growth by unclogging hair follicles. Dandruff tends to block the pores on your scalp, resulting in nonstop itching and inflammation. This can also trigger your hair to fall out.

Tea tree oil is an effective moisturizer for your scalp while being a potent antimicrobial agent. This helps reduce itching and dryness while reducing dead skin cell and product buildup – thereby promoting the growth of hair that looks thicker and smoother. Tea tree oil also controls the production of sebum, a natural oil formed by your skin, which can block hair follicles when produced in excess.

One of the easiest ways to incorporate tea tree oil into your care routine is to routinely massage it into your scalp and hair. Make sure you first dilute it with a carrier oil, such as olive oil, coconut oil or almond oil as tea tree oil can be too strong when used on its own. For a deeper treatment, add a few drops of tea tree oil to your deep conditioner and leave it on for an hour before washing it off.

It also helps to replace your regular shampoo and conditioner with products containing tea tree oil, to maximize its effects.

5] Head Lice

Tea tree oil contains two insecticidal compounds that can help kill lice: terpinen-4-ol and 1,8-cineole.

According to a study published Parasitology Research, tea tree oil can help kill head lice, in their nymph and adult stages, while reducing the number of eggs before they hatch. Another research published in the journal, BMC Dermatology, shows the effectiveness of tea tree oil in improving this menacing issue. The research included children with head lice who underwent a number of treatments, including tea tree and lavender oil. Almost all participants treated with tea tree oil showed complete improvement.

In addition to its antimicrobial properties, tea tree oil can help disintegrate the sticky compound that connects nits to your hair shaft. This makes it easier to remove them while combing.

What Are the Best Tea Tree Oil Shampoos for a Dry and Itchy Scalp?

First, we want to congratulate you for making this far on your journey and choosing natural treatments such as tea tree oil to help improve itchy, dry scalp, dandruff, slow hair growth and brittle hair. If you’re reading this, you’re one step ahead of hundreds of thousands of individuals looking for healthier hair.

Adding natural ingredients such as tea tree oil can be a major game-changer for improving a number of scalp conditions, thereby improving hair growth, preventing hair loss, improving follicle and root health and making your hair look smoother and shinier.

A few years ago, looking for a shampoo containing natural ingredients was not the easiest thing to do. However,  as individuals began taking things into their own hands and creating their own hair care concoctions, major brands started including natural compounds, so that they can label themselves as natural, paraben-free or organic.

Luckily, there’s a large number of hair care products available today that are rich in natural ingredients, designed for different hair types and concerns. If you have dry, itchy scalp or any of the scalp conditions mentioned above, you may benefit greatly from choosing products, especially shampoos and conditioners containing tea tree oil. Some of our top choices include the following.

1] Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Shampoo

Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Hair TreatmentThe main ingredient in this product is tea tree oil, to help improve scalp health and gently cleanse impurities that are weighing down your hair and making it look damaged. Reviewers explain that regular use of this shampoo makes their hair feel shinier and softer while calming the scalp.

The shampoo works by eliminating and preventing the buildup of chemicals and dead skin cells of your scalp, thereby unblocking your hair follicles. This helps promote healthier hair growth and leaves your hair feeling smoother and stronger. Since tea tree oil has strong antifungal and antibacterial properties, the shampoo can also be used to treat and prevent dandruff on a dry scalp.

The product also contains peppermint oil, which has antimicrobial properties to help remove dead cells and flakiness. Its cooling properties also make it effective in abating itchiness and inflammation. The menthol in the shampoo also soothes the scalp and helps promote vasodilation, increasing blood and nutrient flow to your hair follicles. The lavender oil in it helps hydrate your hair and reduce excess hair damage.

What We Like:

  • Lathers well and effectively clean out dirt from the hair
  • Smells lovely, and gives a comfortable tingle to your hair thanks to its peppermint and menthol
  • Suitable for color-treated hair as it doesn’t overly strip hair of its moisture
  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Comes from a brand with ethical business and sustainable practices, such as planting trees. Also makes a point of being more environmentally friendly

What We Don’t Like:

  • It may be too expensive for some based on the quantity

Overall, the Paul Mitchell Tea tree shampoo is a mild cleanser with many invigorating ingredients that lock in moisture and prevent the buildup of chemical nasties. It is also cruelty-free and vegan.

2] CHI Tea Tree Oil Shampoo

CHI Tea Tree Oil Shampoo ReviewThis shampoo contains tea tree oil as the main ingredient, along with cooling peppermint oil and soothing lavender oil to give you a spa-like experience at home. It’s an excellent cleansing system that helps balance the natural oils in the hair while strengthening hair cuticles.

The product is also designed to add hydration to an otherwise parched, dry scalp without weighing the hair down. Reviewers love the shampoo because not only does it clean the hair thoroughly, it adds shine too. Users also suggest that the product is excellent for controlling oily scalp, psoriasis, dandruff and thinning hair.

What We Like:

  • Lathers well
  • According to users, it helps to control psoriasis, dandruff, and an itchy, dry scalp
  • Smells refreshing
  • Has ingredients that invigorate, tingle and soothe the scalp, while adding bounce and shine to hair

What We Don’t Like:

  • It may be too pricey for some
  • Contains Cocamidopropyl betaine, a synthetic surfactant that may trigger allergic reactions or contact dermatitis in some people

The combination of essential oils in CHI Tea Tree Oil Shampoo gives your scalp an invigorating feeling and the addition of chamomile helps soothe an itchy scalp and keep inflammation at bay.

3] Maple Holistics Shampoo and Conditioner Set

Maple Holistics Shampoo and Conditioner Set ReviewThis product set is from an organic beauty company called Maple Holistics and contains a tea tree oil base. The shampoo and conditioner help nourish the scalp, hair shaft, and hair follicles and protects them from damage. The company boasts using tea tree oil that comes from superior Australian distillation sources, along with other herbal ingredients from high-quality sources. We love that the product is free from sulfates, which makes it suitable for dry scalp and color-treated hair.

The tea tree oil in the shampoo and conditioner duo helps improve itchy scalp with its antibacterial and antifungal properties. It also cleanses your scalp and deeply nourishes your hair follicles, promoting healthier hair growth. The shampoo also contains wax esters, which mimics the oil produced naturally by the body. This helps restore the natural moisture balance in your hair that is commonly disturbed by harsh chemicals found in most care products.

The products also contain rosemary oil to stimulate thick hair growth, along with botanical keratin to strengthen hair, prevent split ends and reduce dry, frizzy hair. Other ingredients include glycerin to moisturize hair, green tea extract to eliminate dandruff and stimulate growth, silk amino acids for moisture, hibiscus extract to add luster and shea butter to soften the hair and protect it from UV light.

What We Like:

  • Sulfate-free
  • Safe for color-treated and damaged hair
  • Great for repairing dry, damaged and thinning hair
  • Cruelty-free and includes natural ingredients
  • Contains many ingredients that reduce dryness and flakiness, while adding moisture

What We Don’t Like:

  • The product doesn’t lather well (but this is because it is sulfate-free)
  • The scent may be too strong, or medicinal for some
  • Contains phenoxyethanol, which is a preservative used to deter bacterial growth. Phenoxyethanol may cause allergic reactions or trigger eczema flare-ups in some people

The brand claims to use high-quality ingredients from certified sources. The Maple Holistics Shampoo and Conditioner Set are also natural, cruelty-free and vegan.

4] Keeva Sulfate-Free Shampoo

Keeva Sulfate-Free Shampoo ReviewThis is a product that offers an effective, yet gentle cleanse. The shampoo consists of tea tree oil, coconut oil and argan oil for optimum moisture. The organic beauty company puts emphasis on their use of natural ingredients, instead of synthetic chemicals.

The product is sulfate and paraben-free and has a mild, pleasant scent. The shampoo’s moisturizing properties make it a great pick for people with dry, damaged hair and bleached or colored hair. While the tea tree oil in it is added to clean your hair and remove buildup, the coconut oil is present to thicken and strengthen your hair, and argan oil for adding a natural gloss.

The shampoo also contains rose water, which promotes healthy hair growth, willow bark extract to control the production of sebum, olive oil to prevent damage, dandruff and split ends, hydrolyzed wheat protein for shine and volume and vitamin B2 to reduce damage. The product is chemical-free and completely organic. To top it all off, it doesn’t contain phenoxyethanol, which is present in most paraben-free products. Instead, it contains radish root ferment filtrate – making it a safer and a more natural choice.

What We Like:

  • Contains scalp soothing ingredients such as aloe vera extract and menthol
  • Easy to use packaging. Comes with a pump that can be locked when you’re traveling
  • Sulfate- and parabens-free
  • Contains moisturizing ingredients, making it suitable for dry, damaged and color-treated hair
  • Moisturizes hair and scalp and makes hair silkier
  • Large bottle

What We Don’t Like:

  • The shampoo is sulfate-free so it doesn’t foam much
  • Contains Cocamidopropyl Betaine, which is a synthetic detergent that may cause skin irritation or allergic contact dermatitis, for some individuals
  • May not be suitable for extremely oily hair because of the oils in the product

Apart from improving hair and follicle health, Keeva Sulfate-Free Shampoo also has a soothing effect on the scalp.

5] ArtNaturals Shampoo and Conditioner

ArtNaturals Shampoo and Conditioner ReviewThis is another company that emphasizes on using natural ingredients. The shampoo contains essential oils and botanical extracts to wash away any oil or dirt built up in the hair while exfoliating the scalp and effectively removing microbes. The conditioner moisturizes scalp and hair and protects them from dryness.

The shampoo and conditioner set is great for curly hair, as it tends to be drier than other hair types. It contains tea tree oil to unclog follicles, nourish your roots and remove dirt and debris with each wash. Tea tree oil also has antimicrobial effects, which prevents scalp itchiness and irritation and keeps dryness and flakiness at bay.

The set also contains vitamin A, vitamin B, and vitamin E to keep the hair from turning brittle. In addition, the shampoo contains seaweed extract to prevent hair thinning and add volume, rosehip to rejuvenate hair cells, rosemary extract to increase hair growth, aloe vera for added hydration and soothing properties and licorice, to fight dandruff.

What We Like:

  • The essential oils used gives the shampoo a fresh scent
  • Cruelty-free
  • Contains a wide range of natural ingredients, offering numerous benefits to your hair and scalp

What We Don’t Like:

  • The shampoo doesn’t foam well
  • Some reviewers feel the product isn’t moisturizing enough

The ArtNaturals Shampoo and Conditioner contains watercress extract and jojoba oil which help remove flakes and add moisture to the hair. It also contains nettle bark, quinoa protein, and soap bark extract to prevent hair loss and remove dead skin cells, as well as antioxidants, vitamin C, and E to protect hair from free radical damage.

Dry, Itchy Scalp Recovery Tips

Whether you’re suffering from an itchy, dry scalp or have brittle, damage-prone hair, it is important to understand that improving hair health should be a lifestyle choice and not a short-term fix. While shampoos and conditioners can help improve your condition immensely, to achieve optimum results, you have to incorporate additional care steps to your routine.

Keep reading for some of our top treatments for a very dry and itchy scalp.

Avoid Using Too Many Harsh Chemicals

Chemicals can be found in most products that we purchase. These chemicals, especially the ones used in dyes and bleaches, are often direct contributors to an itchy, dry scalp. This is mainly because they zap the moisture from your scalp and hair, leaving them parched and susceptible to flaking.

Luckily, there’s an easy fix to this.  By reducing your exposure to chemicals and using natural, moisturizing home remedies, you can dodge these negative effects and improve the health of your hair and scalp. If you color or heat style your hair often, be sure to condition it thoroughly every time you shower and use a deep conditioner at least once a week to lock in moisture.

You can also make your own deep conditioner, using a combination of oils and high-fat ingredients, such as avocado and coconut oil (more on this later).

Rinse Your Hair with Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is an incredible home remedy for dry, flaky scalp because it contains anti-inflammatory properties and probiotics to kill yeast and bacteria and tame scalp itchiness. Furthermore, its anti-inflammatory properties help soothe the scalp and prevent the onset of dandruff. Its high acidity helps maintain healthy pH levels in the hair, which are otherwise disturbed by highly alkaline shampoos and other care products.

Apart from being an excellent antimicrobial ingredient to add to your hair care crew, apple cider vinegar also acts as a mild conditioner, adding more bounce and shine to the hair.

To prepare an apple cider vinegar rinse, mix ½ cup of apple cider vinegar with ½ cup water. Take the rinse with you to the shower and pour it all over your scalp and hair after showering. Massage it well into your scalp and leave it for 10 minutes. Rinse with cold water and repeat every few days.

Apple cider vinegar may leave your hair smelling pungent, but its strong scent usually fades as your hair dries – usually within 30 minutes.

Make Your Own Hair and Scalp Mask

Have you ever tried making your own hair mask, using nourishing ingredients such as honey, avocado, and banana? While this may sound good enough to eat, each of these ingredients can have a massive impact on your hair and scalp. For example, honey is has a long history of being a natural antiseptic and has been used for wound healing for centuries. A research published in the journal, African Health Sciences suggests that the microorganisms found in honey may have antibacterial and antifungal effects, making honey an excellent ingredient for improving itchy scalp.

To build a perfect hair mask, it’s important that you add moisturizing ingredients, along with ingredients with antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. One of our favorite DIY hair masks is literally a smoothie for your scalp. It includes bananas, honey, and avocados to help fight dryness, add moisture and nourishment and prevent dandruff. Using this mask on the regular can help reduce inflammation, flakes, and dryness of the scalp.

Avocados are packed with antioxidants and healthy fats, which keep the scalp and hair well-moisturized and nourished. It acts as a natural deep conditioner, which also helps to add shine and volume to your hair. To create a banana and avocado hair mask, combine 2 ripe bananas with one avocado (overripe avocados work fabulously) and 2 tablespoons of honey. You can also replace the honey with a few drops of tea tree oil if you’re looking for a vegan-friendly recipe.

This recipe is totally adjustable, and you can add high protein sources such as yogurt, eggs or tofu to it as well. For an added deep conditioning effect, add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil. Blend all the ingredients together and apply all over your hair and scalp. Leave the mask on for 30-60 minutes, shampoo and condition as usual and finish with an apple cider vinegar rinse.

Coconut Oil Moisturizing Treatment

Naturally extracted from mature coconuts, organic coconut oil makes an excellent moisturizing treatment that can be used regularly, without harming your scalp. Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid – a saturated fat with potent antimicrobial properties. The lauric acid in coconut oil also makes it highly absorbent and therefore, effective in moisturizing your dry scalp and hair.

Coconut oil also helps soothe an itchy scalp, keeping you from scratching your hair. It may also be beneficial for individuals with itchy scalps resulting from eczema.

does tea tree oil shampoo dry out your hair?

According to a 2010 study published in the European Journal of Pediatrics, a combination of coconut oil and anise was more effective in reducing scalp itchy than permethrin – a medication used in head lice treatments.

Wash Your Hair Less Often

The last thing you want to do with a dry, itchy, flaky scalp is not to wash it. But hear us out. Your itchy, dry scalp may actually be a result of washing your hair too much and over-stripping your scalp’s natural oils. This makes sense, because the more you strip your hair of its natural moisture, the more it triggers your sebaceous glands to produce excess oil, making your hair greasier between showers.

Regular showers, especially hot showers, also tend to open the pores in your scalp, and the cuticles on your hair shaft, making the two more vulnerable to moisture loss. Over time, washing your hair too much may dry your hair and scalp, resulting in dry, brittle hair and itchy scalp.

If you shampoo every day, consider doing it every other day. Note that when you do reduce your showering days, it will take some time for your scalp to adjust to your new routine. So be patient! On in-between days, try using a dry shampoo spray to freshen your hair. It’s a simple solution that can save you a lot of money on treatments in the long-term.

Avoid Inflammatory Foods

Just like candida, certain foods can cause flare-ups and inflammation on your scalp. Therefore, it is important that you keep away from inflammatory foods as much as possible. This includes anything processed, such as chips or candy, as well as foods containing, sugar, dairy, and alcohol.

Your best bet would be to include more antifungal, anti-inflammatory foods in your diet.

Some excellent examples include:

  • Garlic: The best way to consume raw garlic is to chop it into pill-sized pieces and swallow it with a glass of water. Try having 1-3 cloves of garlic per day, depending on how much your stomach can handle.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Mix 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to one cup of water and have this drink once a day.
  • Banana. Can be added to your smoothies and protein shakes.
  • Avocado toast.
  • Flaxseed. Add a tablespoon of flaxseeds to your cereals or smoothies.
  • Ginger. Can be brewed with hot water and honey to make a delicious tea.
  • Coconut oil. Use it sparingly for cooking, instead of vegetable oil.
  • Turmeric. Add it to your smoothies, curries or make a golden latte with one teaspoon of turmeric, one cup of almond milk and a cinnamon stick.

Workouts (Yoga and Tai Chi)

Exercise can help reduce any type of inflammation, including inflammation associated with dry, itchy scalp. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, people with psoriasis reported positive outcomes after performing yoga, tai chi, qigong and other workouts.

Workouts stretch your body and strengthen it. This increases blood flow to all organs and tissue, including your scalp. Furthermore, when coupled with meditation, exercising can also help relieve stress, thereby reducing scalp flare-ups and itchiness.

Copyright 2018 by DryScalpGone.