Having a beard isn’t all about letting it grow out; there are many processes needed to maintain your beard, such as grooming and using different products.
If you look around the market, many products, especially beard oils, contain an ingredient called “tea tree oil.” If you’re someone who doesn’t know much about essential oils, it’s understandable to have questions, such as “Is tea tree oil good for beards?”
Well, you’re in luck!
Look no further because we’re here to explain how this oil works - its benefits, risks, and more so you can maintain a healthy beard.
- What Is Tea Tree Oil And Where Does It Come From?
- Why Do People Use Tea Tree Oil?
- Does Tea Tree Oil Help Beard Growth?
- What Are The Risks Effects Of Using Tea Tree Oil?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- The Bottom Line
What Is Tea Tree Oil And Where Does It Come From?
Despite the name, tea tree oil doesn’t come from tea leaves.
Tea tree oil is an essential oil extracted from the leaves of the tea tree, Melaleuca alternifolia. The tree is native to certain parts of Australia, such as Queensland and New South Wales.
Since the ’70s and ’80s, tea tree oil has expanded to other species of the Melaleuca genus.
One of the most common ways to extract the oil is through steam distillation using the leaves and terminal branches of the Melaleuca. This results in a clear to pale yellow liquid.
You can typically find tea tree oil in pharmacies, health food stores, grocery stores, and many online stores.
But, you can make it yourself if you have a distillation set and access to the raw materials.
Why Do People Use Tea Tree Oil?
For many decades, people have been using tea tree oil as a topical medicine because of its antibacterial properties to soothe superficial skin problems.
It is often an active ingredient of over-the-counter skin products such as soaps and lotions to relieve acne, dandruff, athlete’s foot, and other skin infections.
This antimicrobial property is caused by the terpene compounds in tea tree oil. These compounds also promote white blood cell activity, which helps your body fight harmful substances.
Does Tea Tree Oil Help Beard Growth?
With the many benefits of tea tree oil, the million-dollar question is, “Is tea tree oil good for beards?”
Well, it’s a little complicated because the answers are both yes and no. Confused? Let’s discuss why it doesn’t help beard growth first.
First of all:
Men develop beards because the body produces a hormone called testosterone and its by-product, dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
The amount of testosterone and DHT your body produces and how it reacts to these hormones varies from person to person, so beard growth is highly influenced by genetics.
This is why we all have that one classmate in eighth grade who already has full-grown facial hair.
Since tea tree oil does not affect the production of these hormones, it does not affect the rate at which your beard grows.
If you want to increase the rate of hair growth, you need to improve your diet and overall lifestyle so your body can get enough nutrients to promote hair growth.
For men who want to grow beards but have low testosterone levels, you can take hormone supplements as long as it’s under a doctor’s supervision. There are also high-quality beard growth products around as well.
However, we did say that there is merit in using tea tree oil for your beard. That’s because its medicinal properties create healthy conditions on your skin, which in turn facilitates healthy hair growth.
Some of these conditions are:
Itchiness is a common side effect when growing a beard. It may be annoying at first, but the itchy feeling should stop once your beard fully matures and softens.
Now, itching is also caused by dry skin. Many factors contribute to dry skin, such as cold climates.
In this case, you can simply apply one of the best beard oils for black men that has tea tree oil. You should also ensure that your beard shampoo or other skincare products aren’t drying out your skin.
This is caused by dry skin, but also poor shaving techniques, and allergies.
If the rash source is shaving, you can use a shave gel with tea tree oil. Its anti-inflammatory properties soothe the rashes by preventing dry and peeling skin.
On the other hand, if the cause is allergies, you can use a rash cream instead. Don’t worry; the cream only works on the rashes, so your beard won’t be affected.
But, if the itching becomes painful and unbearable, it may be something more serious, so we advise consulting a dermatologist. There may be benefits in using tea tree oil for beards, but it won’t solve everything.
Circulated Blood Flow
Your body’s circulatory system is in charge of moving blood throughout your body, as well as carrying substances such as oxygen, nutrients, and other necessary compounds.
In our case, blood circulation enhances the production of healthy hair.
Tea tree oil and other essential oils contain compounds like aldehydes and terpenes, which stimulate blood circulation.
This is why essential oils aren’t only limited to topical applications. They are also used for aromatherapy because they can improve hair growth, as well as your general well-being.
Some guys like growing beards to cover up their acne, and that’s reasonable. However, having acne means your skin is in poor condition, which also impedes hair growth.
Well, acne forms when your pores are clogged either from excess oils, ingrown hair, or acne-causing bacteria in the skin.
The resulting acne makes the skin irritated and sensitive, which prevents you from growing a healthy beard.
Thus, you may want to clear your acne first before growing a beard.
Apart from the antimicrobial properties of tea tree oil, which combats the acne-causing bacteria, it also removes the clog from excess body oils and ingrown hairs.
We recommend contacting a dermatologist if you have severe acne or other skin conditions because that may not be solved by topical products alone; you may need serious medication.
Less Beard Fungus
If you thought fungus was only present on your scalp, you would be mistaken. Many men don’t know this, but fungi can also grow on your beard, which can lead to itching and seborrheic dermatitis.
This is more common if you live in a moist climate or if you sweat a lot. In this case, you can apply a diluted solution of tea tree oil after washing with beard shampoo.
We recommend you take a diabetic screening first just to be safe because tea tree oil will not help with diabetes.
One last thing - it’s pretty common knowledge to have your own towel for hygienic reasons, but we stress that you never share your towel if you have beard fungi (or any skin infection for that matter) because you may transfer those to others.
Just like the previous section, a lot of guys may not know that you can have dandruff on your beard, commonly known as “beardruff.”
This is the same as dandruff on the scalp, which comes from dryness and a fungus called Malassezia globosa - this is basically the combination of the skin conditions we mentioned earlier, which result in a troublesome by-product.
Luckily, tea tree oil positively affects both scalp and beard dandruff since the two aren’t so different.
To be specific, an article in the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology showed that 126 participants had an average of 41% dandruff improvement after four weeks of using shampoo with 5% tea tree oil.
What Are The Risks Effects Of Using Tea Tree Oil?
Even if there are benefits in using tea tree oil for beard growth, you also have to watch out for possible side effects that can be deadly if you’re not careful. Some side effects can be treated at home or let alone heal on their own. Regardless, it is still important to know when to seek professional help.
Irritation And Burning
When you use pure tea tree oil for your beard, make sure you dilute it first! This is one of the most crucial rules in applying essential oils to the skin, as they are often potent and cause irritation and burning on direct contact.
A general rule of thumb is to mix 2 tbsp (about 12 drops) of carrier oil every 1-2 drops of tea tree oil.
This opens many possibilities for using tea tree oil, as each carrier oil has its benefits. It just depends on what aspect of your beard you want to focus on.
Moreover, before you use tea tree oil for your beard, you must make sure that you’re not allergic. You can test this by applying 2-3 drops of diluted oil on another body part (like your arms) and wait for a day to see if there’s an allergic reaction.
Additionally, you can’t ingest it because even a few drops can cause dizziness and loss of muscle control. Tea tree oil must only be for external use because consuming a large amount is fatal.
Because of this, you also have to keep this away from children and animals. If it’s harmful to adult humans, what more to them, right?
Thankfully, there are no reported deaths from tea tree oil in the medical literature.
Here are the benefits and dangers of tea tree oil:
Other Health Concerns
A 2007 research shows that the use of topical products containing lavender and tea tree oil resulted in prepubertal gynecomastia (basically man boobs) in three young boys.
This apparently occurred due to the estrogenic and antiandrogenic activity of the two oils. For those who don’t know, estrogen is a sex hormone in the female reproductive system, while androgen is a hormone that regulates the development of male characteristics.
We know that this can cause alarm, but the sample size of three young boys isn’t representative of the whole male population, let alone adult males who already have robust hormonal systems.
In other words, the study doesn’t fully conclude that these oils promote breast growth in all males, especially for grown adults who already produce enough male hormones to grow beards.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Tea Tree Oil Good For Your Beard?
Yes. When used correctly and in moderation, tea tree oil can create healthy skin conditions for beard growth. Emphasis on the word “correctly” because misuse of tea tree oil can be harmful not only to your beard but your whole body. Be careful, okay?
How Do I Apply Tea Tree Oil To My Beard?
If you have products containing tea tree oil as an active ingredient, then simply follow the instructions on the label. However, if you’re creating your own oil by combining tea tree and carrier oils, then you can incorporate this into your routine by using a dropper and a brush (or your hands) to coat the beard and skin lightly.
Does Tea Tree Oil Stop Facial Hair Growth?
Although tea tree oil helps men with their beards, it has the opposite effect on women. Research shows that the antiandrogenic properties of tea tree oil could help in reducing mild idiopathic hirsutism. Hirsutism is a condition wherein excessive body hair grows in places where it usually is minimal or absent. For women, this refers to the chest, abdomen, back, and face.
What Are The Key Benefits Of Tea Tree Oil For Your Beard?
As we mentioned, there are five key benefits:
- It moisturizes skin, which reduces itching and rashes
- It stimulates blood circulation, which promotes hair growth
- It reduces acne by getting rid of clogged pores and fighting bacteria
- It reduces beard fungi
- It reduces beardruff by preventing dryness and dandruff-causing fungi
So, is tea tree oil good for beard growth? Definitely; that’s why a lot of beard and other wellness products use it.
But don’t get it confused with the answer to the question “does tea tree oil help beard growth”. Tea tree oil, or any essential oils for that matter, don’t affect the actual rate of beard growth. That’s the job of your hormones, which are dependent on your genetics.
Instead, tea tree oil promotes healthy beard growth by alleviating skin conditions like dryness, fungi, bacteria, and more. They are a key ingredient in the best smelling beard oils as well. Just make sure you’re using it carefully.
We hope this article clears your doubts about using tea tree oil for beards!