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 some others, and its lightweight nature makes it great for nourishing the strands. An olive oil treatment can also improve the elasticity and strength of your hair far better than other essential oils.
There are other even lesser known facts about olive oil as well. For instance, olive oil is not just an average emollient. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties that promote scalp health and prevent dandruff. Extra virgin oil is also rich in high levels of mono-unsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E, an antioxidant important for hair growth. What’s more, olive oil is not likely to cause an allergic reaction, which makes it easier on sensitive skin and hair.
Olive Oil Treatments
Another great thing about olive oil is that it’s a cheap and easy way to add moisture to your hair. Here’s a simple olive oil treatment you can try for achieving beautiful hair at home.
- 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.
- Pour one tablespoon of the olive oil mixture into the palm of your hands.
- Starting with your scalp, massage the oil into your hair in a circular motion using your fingertips. Finish by massaging the tips of your hair.
- 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, then rinse and shampoo as usual.
Some women prefer applying olive oil treatments to wet and recently conditioned hair while others want their 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.
Many users also 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 since the floor will be slick with oil.
Olive Oil in Hair Products
Although there are arguably more popular hair 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.