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If you have been in the grooming space for a while, you probably have seen tea tree oil as the main ingredient in your beard oil. But why?
If you want to know why tea tree oil is such a popular ingredient and why you should use it for your beard, this article is for you. We have created this article to explain why tea tree essential oil is such a common ingredient in many grooming products – especially beard oils.
But is tea tree oil good for your beard? Does it help with beard growth?
What if we told you that while tea tree oil offers some benefits for your beard, it also has some very negative effects that you need to take into consideration before using it in your grooming routine? What if we told you that it could actually slow down beard growth?
Sounds interesting? Great! Read on and find out more about tea tree oil for beards.
What is tea tree oil?
First, let’s start with the basics.
Tea tree oil (TTO) is an essential oil with a minty fragrance derived from tea tree leaves. Tea trees are native to Australia and usually grow in humid areas, like rainforests or swamps.
The exact species of the tea tree is Melaleuca alternifolia. The oil produced from it has a range of uses, with the most popular being its use for medicinal purposes. Tea tree essential oil benefits were discovered after native Australians started using it as an antiseptic and topical application for wounds and burns (source: WebMD ).
But let’s talk about tea tree oil’s benefits for beard hair.
Tea tree oil Benefits
Tea tree oil has many benefits for your hair follicles and can help you get a clean and healthy beard as it is a natural cleanser.
Tea tree oil has antibacterial properties and can help with beard dandruff and prevent infections. But that’s not all! It also contains antioxidants that protect your skin and hair follicles from damage caused by free radicals.
Tea tree oil is also antifungal. This means that it can help with beard acne by killing the fungus that causes it and preventing its development. It also fights against yeast and other common microorganisms that can be found in your facial hair area.
The antiseptic properties of tea tree oil make it effective in treating wounds and preventing infections. This makes it very helpful for beards since it reduces the risk of developing beard acne or other skin irritations.
So as you can understand, the main properties of tea tree oil are that it is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial, which makes it very helpful in preventing bacterial infections of the face.
But what about promoting beard growth? Can you use tea tree oil for facial hair growth?
Tea Tree Oil for Facial Hair Growth
Here is where things get a little bit tricky.
The truth is that tea tree oil does not promote beard growth. It’s a bold statement, but we wanted to be clear from the start.
If you are a regular reader of our blog, you already know that facial hair is androgenic, meaning that it’s affected by the levels of testosterone in your body. And as you probably already know, testosterone is the hormone that stimulates beard growth.
So, if you want to boost beard growth, you need to somehow increase your testosterone levels. And if tea tree oil actually boosts facial hair growth, it should do that, right?
What if we told you that there are studies that prove that tea tree oil not only doesn’t increase testosterone levels but actually decreases them?
A study you can read here has listed some examples of young males who developed gynecomastia for no apparent reason. However, after some research, it was discovered that they were all using products with tea tree oil and lavender oil.
Gynecomastia is caused by an increase in the levels of estrogen, which is increased when testosterone levels are decreased.
Estrogen is the female hormone, so when men have too much estrogen, it can trigger the development of female traits such as boobs.
High levels of estrogen mean low levels of testosterone and, therefore, no beard growth.
After observing this pattern, the scientists decided to do some more research and directly apply these essential oils to cells. The result was the activation of estrogen receptors, which is exactly what would happen in your body if you used products containing either of these oils.
We are not saying that if you apply tea tree oil to your facial hair area, it will definitely cause gynecomastia. We are just trying to warn you of the possibility that some people may be sensitive to tea tree oil and lavender oil, which can end up causing adverse reactions like this.
It is not clear if these essential oils actually have estrogenic properties or if they only activate the estrogen receptors (as there are only two studies that support these claims), but the fact is that you should be aware of this possibility.
Now that you know that tea tree oil is not that beneficial for beard growth, let’s see how you should use it.
Tea tree oil precautions
Like all essential oils, there are side effects that you should be aware of, and this is why you should take the following precautions:
Don’t ingest it – Just like every essential oil, ingestion is a no-no. It can cause some very serious damage to your internal organs if consumed orally in large doses. Actually, NCCIH states that you should not apply tea tree oil close to your mouth.
Don’t use it undiluted – Again, just like any other essential oil, you should dilute it in a carrier oil and make your own homemade beard oil before applying it to your skin cause if you don’t, it can cause redness and irritation.
Don’t let your pet digest it- Even if you are not orally ingesting tea tree oil, your pet may end up consuming it by licking their fur or your skin after you have applied it. So, as a precaution, avoid using this essential oil on areas where they can reach them or on furniture that they can sit on because it is highly toxic for pets.
How to use tea tree oil
We didn’t want to scare you with all the negative stuff about tea tree oil, and we do think that it can be useful, but just like any other medication or product you use, you should be aware of the side effects before using it.
As mentioned, you should dilute it in a carrier oil like (coconut oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, or argan oil before using it on your beard hair. There is a lot of advice online about how to do it (from 50:50 ratios to 1:1), but the best thing you can do is to play safe, especially if you have sensitive skin.
We always suggest the 1/3 ratio for DIY beard oils, which means you should mix one drop of tea tree oil with three drops of your carrier oil. But in tea tree oil’s case, we recommend being even more careful and adding even less tea tree oil.
Finally, you should make sure to do a spot test on your hand before applying tea tree oil to your face.
Tea tree oil FAQ
Is Tea Tree Oil Good For Your Beard?
Well, there are benefits and drawbacks to using tea tree oil.
Some people say that using it regularly helps them with beard dandruff, and others claim that it has helped to stop their beard itch.
But there is also evidence of negative effects like the ones we talked about in this article so you should try it out and see how your body reacts to it.
Does Tea Tree Oil Stop Facial Hair Growth?
According to the studies we found there is some evidence that tea tree oil has an effect on beard growth rate.
But there are only 2 studies that back up this claim so we cannot say for sure.
But you should be aware of the possibility that tea tree oil may actually stop your beard growth, so if you are looking to speed up your hair growth rate perhaps it is not the best option for you.
Which Oil Is Best For Beard Growth?
Some oils that help with beard hair growth are castor oil and peppermint oil.
If you want to check out exactly which oils will work for you, then you should check out our article about the best beard oils.
The Bottom Line
Tea tree oil is known for its antifungal and antibacterial properties, making it a very popular choice among men suffering from beard problems.
But on the other hand, according to the available studies, it does not really help with beard growth. So if you are looking for a product to stimulate beard growth, then tea tree oil is not the best option.
However, if you suffer from skin problems like dandruff, then using it regularly might help. But remember to do a patch test first.
So what do you think?
Have you tried tea tree oil? Do you have any experience with it?
If yes, then please share your thoughts in the comments below.
We are curious to know what your experience was like.
Russell is the founder of themensattitude.com. He is a barber a beard enthusiast and he is obsessed with trying men’s lifestyle products and blog about them. If you have any questions you can hit him up via the contact page.