15 Miracle Benefits of Tea Tree Oil for Hair and Skin

(Last Updated On: August 3, 2018)

Tea tree oil is one miracle oil! It’s also one of the most thoroughly researched essential oils and has some pretty impressive scientifically backed findings and recommendations.

Tea tree oil comes from the leaves of shrub-like tree Melaleuca alternifolia, which grows in Australia. The most important component of tea tree oil is called terpinen.

Tea tree oil is safe and inexpensive, and you can use it to treat everything from athlete’s foot to acne.

Used as a natural remedy for thousands of years and still much loved today, tea tree oil brings us superb antiseptic, antibiotic and antifungal properties, which work to cure all manner of maladies.

Clears Up Acne

Tea tree essential oil directly attacks the bacteria responsible for causing acne, and calms red irritated skin redness thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have found that tea tree oil is very effective at combating acne when tested alongside benzoyl peroxide and produces fewer side effects.

Use tea tree oil with coconut oil to make a soothing treatment for your acne. Coconut oil has impressive anti-acne properties itself, so these two used together make a powerful combination.

Take one tablespoon of coconut oil and let it turn to liquid in your hand. Add 6 drops of tea tree oil and mix with your finger before smoothing onto freshly washed skin. There’s no need to wash this off and don’t worry about coconut oil making your skin oily, it won’t do that.

Disinfects Cuts And Wounds

Tea tree oil is antibacterial and antimicrobial, which means that it can disinfect wounds and prevent infection. The easiest way to do this is to make a wound wash.

  • Place four drops of the oil in one cup of warm water
  • Soak a cotton ball in the solution, and dab it onto your injury
  • Apply the solution twice a day until your skin begins to heal and there is no sign of redness.

Fights Dandruff

Tea tree oil can cure dandruff and calm itchy scalps because the oil is antifungal, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial.

It penetrates into the blockages on your scalp caused by the buildup of skin and oil and reaches down into the hair follicle where it destroys the dandruff causing fungus at the deepest level.

Before you treat your entire scalp, do a patch test with some diluted oil to make sure that you don’t have a reaction. Allergic reactions to this oil are rare, but it’s always better to be safe than to suffer through a severe reaction.

Always brush or comb your hair before applying tea tree oil to remove as much of the debris from your hair and scalp as possible.

Take a small application bottle and fill it three quarters full with any carrier oil. You can use oils like olive oil, coconut oil, sweet almond oil or avocado oil, for example.

Add 10 – 15 drops of tea tree oil and shake to mix the tea tree oil in thoroughly.
Massage this gently into your scalp and run your fingers along your hair shafts to coat them too. You might feel a slight tingling sensation on your scalp but this is normal and nothing to worry about.

Leave this oil on your scalp for a few hours, or for better results overnight.

If you’re leaving it on overnight, wear a shower cap to keep everything clean.
Then wash your hair with a mild natural shampoo.

Cures Athletes Foot

Cures Athletes Foot

Tea tree oil has a long record of successful use treating athlete’s foot. You musn’t apply it to skin undiluted and especially not to broken, cracked skin.

Warm 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and mix in 12 drops of tea tree oil.

Break a cotton ball into several smaller pieces and soak each one in the oil. Now tuck the cotton pieces between your toes. Keep the treatment in place for as long as you can before removing the cotton balls. You can use this treatment overnight if you wear a pair of socks to bed.

You will also need to treat your footwear with tea tree oil to prevent the fungus that’s bound to be there, from reinfecting your feet. This is easily done with a white vinegar and tea tree oil antifungal spray.

In a small spray bottle mix ½  cup of white vinegar with 20 drops of tea tree oil. Shake well to mix and then spray your footwear. You should do this daily.

Treats Verrucas

Verrucas are painful and persistent. And even weeks of regular (expensive) treatment with a chiropodist sometimes doesn’t eliminate the problem. Since verrucas are caused by a virus and tea tree oil is a powerful anti-viral, tea tree oil provides an effective home remedy for verrucas that will cost you a few cents a day.

This is so simple. Apply four of drops of tea tree oil to a moist Q tip and then dab the oil onto the verruca. Do this in the morning and then again before bed. In the meantime cover the verruca with a plaster.

To pack an additional punch to your verruca treatment regimen you can add in a homeopathic remedy called Thuja. You can find it online if you can’t get it locally. Many people have reported that taking Thuja cleared up severe infections involving multiple verrucas in only one week with this remedy.

Kills Head Lice


Tea tree oil is toxic to head lice and is a potent natural insecticide. You can mix it in with any shampoo and conditioner for a really easy way to apply to your own or your children’s heads.

Take a normal sized blob of shampoo or conditioner in your hand and add 6 drops of tea tree essential oil. Mix it in with your finger and then apply to your hair. For shampooing, you’ll need to shampoo for longer than normal and then let it sit for a few minutes. With conditioner, leave the treatment on for as long as you can. You can cover your hair with a shower cap, to make things less messy.

Another method to deal with head lice using tea tree oil is to saturate your hair in a tea tree infused olive oil. This is recommended for a heavier infestation. The oil is used to smother the lice and block the pores that they use for breathing. Leave the oil on for long enough and they’ll die. The Harvard School Of Public health has tested and confirmed the effectiveness of this method. Adding tea tree oil will provide a massive boost to this treatment and make sure that there are no itchy survivors.

Mix half a cup of olive oil with 24 drops of tea tree oil. Now you need to load as much of this oil onto your head as you can. Make sure that you massage it in well, ensuring that every inch of your scalp, and every strand of your hair are well coated. The oil needs to remain on your hair for at least 8 hours, so this is a good treatment to apply in the evening and then continue overnight. Use a shower cap to keep things clean.

Oil works very well on mature lice, but it isn’t as effective on the nits which are the eggs laid by the lice. Tea tree oil can penetrate the egg’s protective coating and damage the egg, so that it can’t turn into an adult. However, to be absolutely certain and to avoid having to repeat the process all over again there is one more step to take.

After you have shampooed the olive oil out of your hair, follow up with an apple cider vinegar rinse. The acid in the vinegar ‘unglues’ the nits from the hair shaft, and any that survived the tea tree oil will be easy to comb out with a lice comb.

Remember to wash all of the bed linens, towels and clothes that have been used while the lice infestation is ongoing. You should launder everything on a hot wash and you can add more tea tree oil to the final rinse for extra security.

The best way to deal with head lice is to prevent them from scurrying onto your head in the first place. The following recipe is for a deterrent spray and when applied regularly will make sure that the lice crawl onto someone else’s head instead of yours.


  • 2 Cups of Water
  • 10 Cloves
  • Peppermint Oil
  • Tea Tree Oil

Boil the water and cloves, then strain the cloves out and use the water to almost fill a small spray bottle. Add 20 drops of each oil and shake. Since oil and water don’t mix you’ll need to shake the bottle well each time you apply it, to make sure that the essential oils are distributed throughout the liquid.

As children are the most common way for lice to enter the home and irritate the whole family, get into the habit of lightly misting this spray on their heads (it smells nice) before they head off to school.

Softens Corns


A corn is a thick growth of skin on the foot which has formed naturally to give protection from friction and pressure.

You can remove these painful growths using tea tree oil and apple cider vinegar.

Use a cotton ball to douse the corn in the vinegar, rub it in using a little pressure and hold the cotton ball in place for a few minutes. Allow the corn to dry out naturally. Once it’s dry, use a Q tip that has soaked in tea tree oil to treat the corn once more. Again let your foot air dry. Repeat the same procedure for a couple of days, and your corns will come off.

Cures Skin Yeast Infections


Undiluted tea tree oil kills yeast on the surface of the skin on contact. However, it isn’t necessarily a good idea to use undiluted tea tree oil over large areas of skin. For a tiny application to something like a pimple, you can use neat tea tree oil, but you’re likely to experience a burning sensation if you attempt to use it undiluted on anything larger.

You may even have a contact dermatitis reaction and then have the double misery of a skin rash caused by the yeast and another skin rash from the dermatitis.

Tea tree oil has to be diluted with a carrier oil and the best oil to use is coconut oil as it also has fungal fighting abilities.

Two of the most potent natural yeast fighting substances are lauric acid and caprylic acid, and coconut oil has both. Using coconut oil and tea tree oil together lets you give a knockout punch to fungal infections on the skin.

Take 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and let it warm in your hand to become liquid, add 6 drops of tea tree oil and mix it into the coconut oil with your finger. Now you can apply the oil to wherever you need it.

If your skin is very inflamed and sore, use less tea tree initially – half the amount. It will still be active against the infection, but it will work more slowly. Once your skin is less raw and able to tolerate a higher concentration of tea tree oil, you can move onto 6 drops.

You can also make a larger batch of this remedy, by heating coconut oil in a pan over a low heat. It will go from a solid to a liquid very quickly. Then pour the melted oil into a container and stir in the appropriate number of drops of tea tree oil for the amount of coconut oil you have used.

This mixture will solidify as it cools and you can just scoop out what you need. Coconut oil keeps for a very long time especially with the addition of tea tree oil, so don’t be afraid to make up a pot full. And once your skin rash has cleared up, you can use the oil as a general skin moisturizer to keep any further flare-ups at bay.

Helps Burns To Heal


The anti-inflammatory properties of tea tree oil will provide fast relief to burns and may even help to prevent blistering. Because tea tree oil is also antibacterial, it will help to prevent infection. Tea tree oil is a wonderful treatment for burns as it penetrates deeply into every layer of the skin.

You can dilute tea tree oil with coconut oil or aloe vera gel to apply to a burn. Both are well known, tried and tested home remedies to treat burns.

Use 6 drops of tea tree oil, with either one tablespoon of coconut oil, or 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel and gently smooth onto your burn.

Helps To Prevent Hair Loss

Helps To Prevent Hair Loss


Tea tree oil, combats bacterial and fungal infections on the scalp which can cause hair follicles to slow down and eventually die. By using a regular application of tea tree oil – either mixed with shampoo or conditioner, or incorporated into a deep conditioning hair mask – you will eliminate these harmful microbes and bring your scalp back to full health, which means that you’ll retain a full head of healthy hair.

Add 6 drops of tea tree oil to a normal amount of shampoo or conditioner and mix in with your finger before using on your hair as normal.

For a deep conditioning hair mask add 6 drops of tea tree oil to 2 tablespoons of olive oil and massage into your hair and scalp. Leave overnight for best results.

Combats Ringworm


Ringworm is another fungal infection that is easy to cure with tea tree oil.

Dilute 6 drops of tea tree oil with one tablespoon of coconut oil and apply to the affected area twice a day.

Eliminates Cold Sores


Because tea tree oil has antiviral properties, it makes a very effective treatment for cold sores. Cold sores are caused by the herpes virus and don’t respond to antibacterial agents. The substance that you use must be anti-viral.

This is one of the major benefits of using plant essential oils over man-made products. In nature plants have to protect themselves from all manner of attacks, and that includes viruses.

Some plants, as any vegetable gardener knows, aren’t very good at protecting themselves from viruses. This is because for many varieties of vegetable, we have selectively bred for taste, size, and speed of growth at the expense of the disease resistance in these plants.

However perennial plants and shrubs that we haven’t interfered with (perennial means that the plants live for many years, as opposed to annuals which means that that the plant lives for one growing season) retain their abilities to fight bacteria, fungus and viruses. These properties are present in their essential oils and tea tree oil is an excellent essential oil because it possesses unusually strong abilities to fight against all 3 types of infectious agent.

To use tea tree oil to treat a cold sore soak a Q tip in a little tea tree oil and dab onto the sore 3 times a day until it is completely gone.

Kills The Scalp Bacteria That Slow Down Hair Growth


There are many reasons why hair can be slow to grow.

  • A poor diet lacking in the necessary nutrients
  • Stress
  • Environmental pollution
  • Infections near the root zone

Often these infections are mild and go unnoticed, except for the occasional itch which is usually shrugged off as just having an itch, rather than being identified as a symptom of an infection.

When you have an infection of your roots, the presence of the bacteria interfere with your hair’s natural growth process. And as well as slowing down the rate of growth, can cause the hair that emerges to be thinner and more brittle, which makes the hair more likely to break off.

An application of tea tree oil diluted with a carrier oil is all that you need to eliminate this bacteria.

Use 2 tablespoons of any carrier oil that you have handy and mix in 6 drops of tea tree essential oil. Massage the oil into your hair and leave for at least two hours (overnight is better). Cover your hair with a shower cap or some plastic wrap to keep your clothes and bed linens clean. Then simply shampoo as normal the next day.

Eliminates Blackheads


Tea Tree oil has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It is able to penetrate through the oil blocking your pores and disinfect and dry out blackheads.

The best carrier oil to use is Jojoba oil because it’s very similar to the sebum naturally produced by your skin. But other oils will work just fine.

Simply mix one tablespoon of jojoba oil with 3 drops of tea tree oil, then apply to your skin, leave for 10 minutes, then wash off, pat skin dry and moisturize.

Removes Warts


Warts occur when the virus that causes them comes in contact with your skin and produces an infection. Warts are more likely to develop on broken skin, such as areas nicked by shaving, because the virus is able to enter the top layer of skin through scratches or cuts.  

To remove a wart you will need

  • Disposable nail files
  • Band-Aids
  • Q-tips
  • Tea tree essential oil

How to:

  • Wash the wart and surrounding area with warm water and soap.
  • Use one of the disposable nail files and file down the wart. Don’t file too deep and cause bleeding. Throw away this nail file after use – it will harbor the virus which is very contagious.
  • Take a Q tip and dip it into the tea tree oil, then apply the oil to the wart. Place a clean Band-Aid over the wart.
  • Keep doing this each day until the wart is completely gone.
Written by Irina Radosevic MD
Irina graduated from the University of Belgrade, School of Medicine as a Doctor of Medicine (MD) and spent over 3 years working in the Clinical Hospital Center Zvezdara, in the Department of Emergency Medicine. She also undertook a postgraduate in Cardiology from the same University and had previously worked for over a year as a Physician and Nutritionist Dietitian for the Fitness club Green Zone. She eventually left her chaotic but fulfilling job in the ER to pursue her passion of writing, travelling and mountain climbing which has included writing a first aid course for the alpine club of Belgrade. Irina currently works as a VA for PintMedia focusing on medical and travel writing. Feel free to connect with Irina on LinkedIn and FaceBook. Her CV can be seen here.