Why use tea tree oil for dandruff? Because, the majority of dandruff cases are caused by a scalp specific fungus that causes the skin of your scalp to start flaking. The fungus that causes dandruff is specifically a yeast, one that feeds on sebum or sebaceous secretions.
The most common treatment for dandruff is the use of specialized shampoos however many of them contain strong chemicals in relatively small amounts. The chemicals are designed to help reduce or eliminate the fungus or yeast infection.
There are natural alternatives and home remedies available for dandruff.
A good tea tree oil dandruff shampoo may be just as effective or even more effective than the usual over-the-counter chemical preparations available at your pharmacy or drugstore.
What dandruff shampoo works best? In some studies using a 5% solution of tea tree oil significantly reduced dandruff and test subjects with mild to moderate cases of dandruff.
The results were based on a four week study typically. You can make your own 5% solution of tea tree oil medicated anti dandruff shampoo to use on a daily basis, using a simple formula.
For each 8 ounces of shampoo use 2.4 teaspoons of tea tree oil, or you can add 30 drops per ounce of shampoo.
For each 236.6 mL of shampoo use one 11.8 ml of tea tree oil, or 237 drops
There are 30 ml per oz of tea tree oil, or 6 teaspoons.
A rough formula for getting the approximate amount of tea tree oil per milliliter of shampoo is to add one drop of tea tree oil per milliliter of shampoo.
For instance, if you have 1000 mL of shampoo, the result is 1000 drops per mL. You would add about 1000 drops of tea tree oil to create a roughly 5% solution. There are about 60 drops of tea tree oil per teaspoon, so you can see that this will give you a close approximation.
Use this tea tree oil for dandruff shampoo daily, and if you're like most of the folks in the studies in about four weeks you to may find your dandruff gone completely. You may find that your favorite shampoo might just be the most effective shampoo for dandruff once you've added a little tea tree oil.
The Australian Tea Tree Industry Association recommends different concentrations of tea tree oil depending on the scalp problem you might be having.
I know, I'm unusual but I think it's pretty interesting how this little yeast or fungus can take the sebum from your head and convert the triglycerides in sebum into a pretty neat little lipid byproduct called oleic acid.
Oleic acid is a model unsaturated fatty acid that's often used as replacement for animal fat in restricted diets and also in the manufacturing of egg and butter substitutes. It's not the metabolizing of the sebaceous secretions that causes the dandruff specifically though.
What actually happens is that the fungus penetrates the top layers of skin and causes an inflammatory response or irritation. It's that irritation that causes the skin flaking that appears on your clothes.
So, although the yeast produces a useful byproduct, I wouldn't encourage anyone to start eating dandruff flakes on their corn flakes in the morning to get those extra Omega 9 oils into your diet.