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June 18, 2012

Using Olive Oil for Natural Hair Health

by Samantha Berley via NaturallyCurly.com


What You Might Not Have Known

It’s a well known fact that, olive oil can be a fantastic conditioner for hair but there are many other things about this essential oil that make it a great go-to for hair care. Olive oil is one of the top emollients that is known to penetrate the hair better than others. That doesn’t just mean that it nourishes and conditions. An olive oil treatment can improve the elasticity and strength of your hair far better than other essential oils.

There are other even lesser known facts about olive oil. For instance, olive oil is not just an average emollient. It contains anti-inflammatory properties that promote scalp health and prevent dandruff. What’s more, olive oil is not likely to cause an allergic reaction, which makes it easier on sensitive skin and hair.

Methods and Oil Treatments

There are a couple of different ways to implement olive oil treatments. The first thing to keep in mind is that olive oil needs a way to absorb into the hair follicle. That is why users like both the wet method and the dry method.

Both methods or treatments begin with warming olive oil. Warm about a half a cup of olive oil in a microwaveable bowl or cup. The olive oil should be warm but not hot to the touch. If you have fine hair or prefer a lighter treatment, add coconut, sweet almond or jojoba oil.

Where Methods Differ

The next part depends on a couple of different things. Some users prefer wet and recently conditioned hair while others want the hair to be dry. If your hair is wet and conditioned, it will lock in the moisture and additional nutrients when the olive oil is applied. The downside is that olive oil is already slightly more difficult to apply due to the hair’s slipper nature. If you apply olive oil to dry hair, it has a similar effect, but many argue it doesn’t lock in as many nutrients as the wet treatment. Even so, it’s less of a mess than the wet method.

Whichever one you choose, place your oil-drenched hair into a shower cap or wrap it with plastic wrap. Let the olive oil sit for between 5–45 minutes before washing out in the shower. This depends on which treatment you use. Olive oil does well with minimal time, but giving it several dozen minutes may increase the effects. Many users recommend hopping in the shower and letting the steam do its thing to enhance the effects of the olive oil on the hair. Once you’ve washed it out, watch your step as the floor will be slick with oil. Towel dry and comb as usual.

Although there are arguably more popular essential oils, olive oil is well-known as a culinary ingredient and easy to obtain in any average grocery store. For food and for hair, olive oil has been used since the dawn of civilizations ranging from Mesopotamia to Ancient Egypt and Greece. It’s no wonder then, that olive oil is found in a variety of hair care products. Olive oil penetrates the hair cuticle so that the necessary moisture and nutrients are absorbed leaving your hair not only smoother, but shinier and healthier as well.

Do you use olive oil to enhance the health of your hair? What is your favorite oil for your hair?

29 Chime in!:

Anonymous said...

I use olive oil every week during my detangling session and to help with the stripping effects of shampoo. Other than olive oil, I like coconut oil as a lighter alternative.

Anonymous said...

My hair loves olive oil! I mix super ripe avocados, olive oil and honey in a blender until smooth and apply to damp hair. Then sit under a steamer for about 30 minutes. After that, just shampoo and end up with well moisturized curls!

Auset said...

Hooray for Olive Oil. Long overdue praise. It seemed everywhere I turned people were singing the praises of coconut oil. And although I like coconut oil better, I know olive oil seems to be more of a hit than coconut, which is a definite miss for a lot of people. I use both olive and coconut. Since olive is thicker, I like to use it as an oil rinse on wet hair and prefer to seal with coconut oil on damp or dry hair. Also, olive oil is better for winter, since coconut oil solidifies in cold weather.

honeybrown1976 said...

Yes, I use EVOO along with Coconut oil to seal my ends.

Anonymous said...

I use olive oil almost every day on my hair. I mostly just leave it in and use it as a daily conditioner. Sometimes I do the hot oil treatment. I also use coconut oil, and I just recently picked up jojoba and almond oil.

Annie L. said...

I had a nice/neutral reaction to it on my hair. It's thick which I like, it didn't give me that dehydrated yet oily look, sealed well for an oil and had a nice softening effect. Luxurious on the body!

It may have broken out my hairline a bit though. I also prefer butters/pomade but IMO EVOO is a good, solid choice if you dislike EVCO, are allergic to pollen and other oils haven't given you the results you desire. Nice, straightforward article.

Anonymous said...

I've used olive oil for hot oil treatments which I love it for, but it's way too heavy for my hair as a sealant so I prefer coconut oil for sealing.

Brooke B.

stephanie said...

I love olive oil! I add it to my hair conditioner and use it to remove my makeup. I recently purchased Nubian heritage's EVOO and Moringa hair conditioner mask and I love the benefits I'm getting. Nice spotlight on an often over looked product.

Braelynn said...

One of my faves! Olive, Coconut, and Castor are my three go-to oils!

Anonymous said...

I mix olive oil and coconut oil and use almost everyday. Lately, I've added avocado oil to the mix.

Sawah said...

I love using Extra virgin olive oil mixed with conditioner as my pre-poo treatment. -discoveringnatural.blogspot.com

Sawah said...

Forgot to mention... my favorite oil is Castor Oil.

Anonymous said...

Darcy's Botanicals Peach Oil and Avocado oils are my favs!

Anonymous said...

When I used jojoba and coconut oils I had decent results. I now use olive oil when I prepoo and mix it with honey for my weekly deep conditioning. I also use grapeseed oil for sealing. Since this tweak in my routine my hair is moisturized for days on end.

Anonymous said...

I wish olive oil worked for my hair. I've tried so many different ways to use it but it either weighs it down or frizzes it :(

Anonymous said...

I love olive oil for sealing in the moisture on my ends, when dry my hair is soft and shiny I love it. Sometimes I deep condition with olive oil when I cannot make it to the store to pick up some evco which is my favorite conditioning oil as well I seal sometimes with it, it depends on my mood. I alternate between a deep conditioner or oils for my pre-poo treatment. I used olive oil before I learned about evco.

Megan Montgomery

Anonymous said...

I like olive oil, but my hair loves avocado oil and castor oil the most! :)

-Foxyrou

Anonymous said...

I Love Olive Oil! I make up a mix for my skin, mixed with shea butter, Palmer's coco butter, sunscreen, and vitamen E oil. Then one for my hair, mixed with other assorted oils (i.e. grapeseed, almond, and hemp seed oil). Lovely results!

Nyjae said...

I love Olive Oil and keep a gallon under the sink at all times...I cook with it daily and have been using it for my hair since the Big Chop (one month ago)....I've also been using spearmint, thyme and rosemary as rinses...All things I already had...Being natural is the bomb
#winning

Lola said...

I use olive oil as a prepoo and to seal my ends but I will start using it as an oil rinse.

Anonymous said...

I just starting transitioning (13 wks wooo hoo) and I just tried olive oil after my wash the other day for my wash and go (then sealed with shea) and boy oh boy was it a different ball game. My hair is so soft the the moister is there without looking greasy!!!! This is the FIRST time my hair has looked right!!
Just as a side note you ladies are very helpful on here BUT someone really should of told me that a wash and go it just that. I tried to put a comb in and style and do all kinds of crazy stuff. It really call it wash and go and don't touch :) A.J.

LeeLee said...

At the poster above, you can wash n go on 3 months/13 weeks post relax hair??? How does your relax/straight ends look like?

Erin said...

My brother and I took our dad out for dinner this past Sunday, and I switched up and used olive oil for a twist-out the night before. It looked great for a minute, but the humidity wrecked my whole situation. I think the olive oil was too light for my hair. I need some thing heavier like coconut.

Dana said...

I love using olive oil for an occasional pre-poo and in my oil mixture which includes jojoba, sweet almond and a dash of castor to seal after washing or re-moisturizing.

Olive oil is a must have! I use more on my body and hair than I use to cook with........

Anonymous said...

@ LeeLee I think my hair is really fine so for the first 2-3 days it looks like I took a smaller krimper to it. If I do a wet set of a style it stayes forever!! But with the WNG since it's just down it looks like uummm randoness. Some strands have this perfect "S" wave thing and others have the "S" for like a second and then look straight. I don't wear it down. I pin it up in a fake bobby pin or banana clip pony. I twist the front and go for "the beach look" A.J.

Anonymous said...

Where do you guys go to buy your oils? Online or at natural health food stores? Where's the best to buy oils that won't be rancid?

I live in the DC metro area btw

Anonymous said...

I actually got my olive oil from Walgreens (or CVS same thing). In my family we use it for ear affections but on a whim I used it on my hair and had beautiful results.

Disa Chantel said...

Olive Oil + Coconut Oil is the perfect pre-shampoo mix for my hair. I'll usually let it set for 30-45 minutes and steam under a plastic cap in the shower for an additional 5. It leaves my hair shiny, moisturized, and easy to detangle after co-washing. A+++++ !

Ang said...

I'm two years in and never tried olive oil... I plan to add to my grocery list.

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