While many say tea tree oil (TTO) is mother nature’s miracle oil, does tea tree oil do what these unknown sources claim? Moreover, should you use products containing tea tree oil in your beard-grooming routine?
We’re going to explore if tea tree oil for beard growth works, the exact nature of this essential oil along with its benefits, and whether it is safe to use on your beard.
What Is Tea Tree Oil?
Also referred to as melaleuca oil, tea tree oil is an essential oil often used in natural products for its antibacterial properties and pleasant scent. Furthermore, many big brands use tea tree oil as an ingredient in beard grooming products such as oil and balm.
Where Does Tea Tree Oil Come From?
Tea tree oil is the by-product of crushing tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) leaves then distilling them into oil. These Australian tea trees are small trees native to Queensland and New South Wales.
Aboriginal Australians used tea tree oil for nearly 100 years as a topical remedy to treat infections. They also inhaled tea tree oil to treat coughs. We use tea tree oil today for similar purposes. However, is this oil truly a miracle?
What Does Research Say About Tea Tree Oil for Beard Growth?
Researchers have scientifically proven tea tree oil as a natural anti-bacterial and microbial natural alternative to typical ointments. However, there aren’t any existing studies to back any claims of tea tree oil helping beard growth nor of it having any benefit for your hair.
If you want to get rid of bacteria, it might help with that, but nothing else.
Are you sick of using hacky oils for your beard care? Explore our high-quality and hand-made beard-care products!
How Does Tea Tree Oil Affect Beard Growth?
Various studies concluded that tea tree oil (and lavender oil) inhibited androgen receptors (male hormones) and increased their estrogen counterparts’ presence—female hormones.
This finding isn’t ideal for anyone trying to grow a beard. Androgen allows Dihydrotestosterone (DHT)—a hormone that contributes to body hair growth—to enter the cells and stimulate facial hair growth. Without it, your beard growth could slow down or come to a grinding halt.
Related: Great Tips On How To Grow Your Hair
Is It Dangerous to Use Tea Tree Oil for Beard Growth?
Not entirely, but the dangers exist! If applied to your skin and not diluted, tea tree oil can lead to various side effects like:
- Irritation (redness)
Researchers concluded that continually applying tea tree (and lavender) oil topically may lead to prepubertal gynecomastia (abnormal breast enlargement) in men. This reaction is due to several chemicals disrupting hormones, including alpha-terpineol, eucalyptol, dipentene, and 4-terpineol.
Moreover, tea tree oil is toxic. If swallowed, you can end up in hospital with the potential of multiple symptoms including lack of muscle control and confusion. Obviously, if you’re applying it to your beard, you’re not swallowing it, but there are still risks.
If you were to lick your mustache or beard for whatever reason, you might accidentally ingest some. That may not be enough to send you to the hospital, but it’s still a risk. So it would be best to avoid putting products containing tea tree oil around your mouth.
Furthermore, if a cat, dog, or other animal companion were to lick the tea tree oil off your beard, it could poison them and may be fatal.
Why Do Most Companies Use Tea Tree Oil If It’s Bad?
If tea tree oil is toxic to ingest, can damage your skin, and potentially inhibit beard growth, why do many big brands use it in their beard-care products?
They likely use it to mask the scents of other oil ingredients, because tea tree oil has a pleasant aroma that’s similar to eucalyptus or peppermint. Furthermore, tea tree oil’s antibacterial properties could add additional marketing benefits.
Moreover, the amount of tea tree oil that manufacturers use in their products is likely minimal and won’t induce toxicity in short-term use.
Furthermore, if you used beard oil with tea tree oil, it’s not set in stone that your beard will never grow. Otherwise, most of these companies would be out of business due to a tsunami of lawsuits.
What Alternative Oils Are There to Tea Tree Oil for Beards?
Since tea tree oil is likely out of the picture for consideration in beard grooming, you might ask yourself, “What oils can I use for beard growth?” Don’t worry; there are plenty of proven natural oils that you can use in place of tea tree oil.
These oils don’t only exude a pleasant fragrance and moisturize your facial hair, but they also improve your beard growth.
Here’s a list of essential and carrier oils that are safe to use for your beard-care routine:
- Grapeseed oil is one alternative oil that’s excellent for beard growth.
- Argan and Jojoba oil are both great for moisturizing your facial hair.
- East Indian Sandalwood gives off a woodsy and warm scent that doesn’t inhibit DHT.
- Peppermint oil stimulates hair growth, isn’t toxic, and makes you smell like candy canes.
If you’re looking for a mystical product that contains all these oils and more, look no further than our Valhalla Beard Balm.
While tea tree oil is fantastic for its anti-bacterial and microbial properties, this essential oil doesn’t make the cut when using it for beard grooming products. It’s nice if you want to prevent hair growth, but bad—and potentially life-threatening—if you want to use tea tree oil for beard growth.
These discoveries shouldn’t discourage us from using beard grooming products such as balms or oils altogether, though. There are plenty of essential and carrier oils scientifically proven to help beard growth, yet they are non-toxic and make you smell amazing.