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UPDATED APRIL 2017
As summer 2015 gave way to fall/winter, I started to notice that my hair itched more than normal. As a pharmacist, I have counseled and dispensed countless tubes of lice shampoo so I started to worry that maybe one of these patients had somehow transferred lice to me.
After inspecting my hair, I noticed I had dry itchy scalp. Whew, what a relief (or so I thought)! I made a quick trip to the pharmacy and bought a bottle of selenium sulfide (Selsun Blue). The thick blue product felt good on my scalp but the effect was short-lived (only 24 hours). Still a little paranoid, I scheduled a medical appointment. I got a prescription for ketoconazole but got no relief. The OTC Selsun Blue actually worked better than the prescription ketoconazole.
So I turned my attention to natural remedies. I tried lemon juice and it worked but I felt like my head was on fire. I decided to do more research because I loathed the burning effect of lemon juice. I read many positive reviews about tea tree oil that I decided to try it. I bought a small bottle of this essential oil and put it to the test. I mixed a few drops of the product with my shampoo and massaged it into my hair.
I waited a few minutes, washed it off and followed the same process two more times. Then, I applied a few more drops to my ORS olive oil and massaged it into my towel-dried hair then I blow dried my hair. For the first time, something worked! Now, I use tea tree oil about 2-3 times a month. The only downsides are the strong fragrance and the price for a tiny little bottle [but hey it costs less than a doctor’s visit].
Tip: “For dandruff, psoriasis, or a dry, itchy scalp, mix one part tea tree oil with 10 parts olive oil. Apply to affected area and leave on for about 5 minutes before rinsing.”
Here are 5 benefits of tea tree oil:
- Sunburn – Because of its non-irritating component, tea tree oil works really well in soothing sunburn. Luckily I do not have to worry about sunburn.
- Toothpaste – With its antiseptic properties, it is a no-brainer that tea tree oil can be found as a toothpaste. And it cures bad breath too!
- Acne – This should probably be number one on the list. For mild to moderate acne, 5% tea tree oil is just as effective as 5% benzoyl peroxide (popularly used in acne creams) and has fewer side effects.
- Antiseptic – Tea tree oil contains some antibacterial and anti-fungal properties and has been shown to cure some topical infections.
- Freshens laundry – Remember the strong fragrance I talked about earlier? In a diluted concentration, tea tree oil freshens and disinfects laundry.
These are my tips for today and don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter to get the scoop once a month. Thank you so much for reading!
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