The tree known as Melaleuca alternifolia is one of the most amazing trees in the world. It really is. It can be found in Australia. Well, that is where it calls home, anyway. There are different areas in which it is grown, and the Australian tea trees are still considered the best, I think.
One of the uses of the leaves of the tea tree is for its essential oil. By the way, this is not to be confused with the tea plant, whose leaves are used to make the popular drink known as tea. If you try and make a tea from the dried leaves of the tea tree, it might work, but it won’t taste like your ordinary cup of tea, I’ll tell you.
The oil of the tea tree is one of the best things for your hair and scalp. Usually, that is. There are exceptions to every rule, but the essential oil of the tea tree – particularly the oil which has been distilled by steam – is one of the best natural ingredients for your head. It can stop and prevent lice, dandruff, and other unpleasant conditions. It can balance out your pH (that is, your scalp’s acidity), and it can help your hair become stronger and more resilient.
This is not to say that every shampoo that has ‘tea tree’ on its label can live up to that promise. There are all kinds of “natural” shampoos out there which are anything but that. The FDA doesn’t care as much about the terms natural and organic when it comes to cosmetics and hair care. It will grant that status with greater ease, and let the consumer hack it all out to find the actual natural products… it is a difficult situation, I say.
Nevertheless, once you do find a tea tree oil shampoo which fits your hair style and suits your scalp, you will be ever so glad that you waited for it. It is really one of the best things to ever happen to my hair, and that was even before I discovered no poo, and began making my own DIY shampoos and conditioners.
Nowadays, I rinse with water, shampoo with my own tea tree + lavender + fresh lemon + Castille soap concoction, and condition with apple cider vinegar and rosemary oil. I do this once every couple of weeks. And once every six weeks, I will use baking soda to strip my hair of everything, so I can start over fresh and clean. It is amazing, what these natural substances can do. It makes me wonder why I bothered using anything else all of these years. But oh well, there is a time for everything, right? And this is the time for me to be using these types of products. I may change my mind in the future. Who knows? But what I do know is that I am always looking for something extra, and right now, that something extra seems to be tea tree oil shampoo!