Olive oil is well sought after for dietary as well as beauty purposes because it is so nutrient rich. In the carrier oils it is ranked very highly with coconut, avocado and castor oils. It is a very powerful carrier oil because it contains the emollient squalene which is very penetrative. Squalene penetrates deep within the hair follicle and does not leave an oily feel behind. Besides its penetrating quality which is a god send for dry haired ladies, this oil contains vitamins A and E which also repairs the little nicks and cracks along the hair shaft.
Here are some of the benefits itemized:
Repairs Damage: There are several things that we do knowingly and unknowingly that can damage our hair, chemicals, heat, weather, the list can go on. What olive oil does is to re-hydrate the hair by penetrating the shaft and protects the hair by sealing in the moisture. Overtime, a consistent use of olive oil can make a big difference to not only the appearance of the hair but the tensile strength of it too.
Clears Up Dry Scalp: It fights dry scalp by restoring moisture to the scalp. A very good practice is to massage olive oil into the scalp before any chemical treatments or hair processes that can cause dryness, even washing the hair with harsh chemicals can be cause for dryness.
Shine Booster: there is no need to buy a sheen-boosting product if you have a bottle of olive oil handy. Olive oil enhances sheen by coating the outer layer of your hair shaft. It allows the little scales that are along your hair shaft to be locked down pretty tightly, giving the hair a smooth, shiny appearance. Whilst most oils can give you the appearance of sheen, olive oil like its counterpart coconut, avocado and castor actually add many benefits when applied.
Enhances Hair Growth: We all know by now that no product, no matter how wonderful, can make your hair grow faster than your genetics dictate. However, olive oil has antioxidants that are effective in the treatment of hair loss by blocking DTH (the hormone that causes hair follicle to decrease), it is also a natural conditioner for hair, which can promote the ideal conditions for hair growth.
Types of Olive Oil
Olive oil is in high demand; persons use it for so many things including beauty that there seems to be an addition of olive oil to most beauty products. But are they really beneficial?
It is up to users to know which oils will yield the most benefit. There are three basic grades of olive oil, and several types within each grade.
- Extra virgin- includes “premium extra virgin” and “extra virgin”; made from the first pressing of the olives, which removes about 90 percent of the olives’ juice. Chemicals and high heat are not allowed in the production of extra-virgin or virgin oils — no further processing or refining occurs after the pressing process. Neither extra-virgin nor virgin oils are allowed to contain any refined olive oil. “Extra-virgin olive oil” has a fruity taste and may be pale yellow to bright green in color. In general, the deeper the color, the more flavor it yields. And as you know, the closest a product is to nature the better it is for your body.
- Virgin- comprises “fine virgin,” “virgin,” and “semi-fine virgin” The difference between extra virgin and virgin and where they rank is just half a percentage point of acidity. Virgin olive oil can also impart antioxidant benefits to the hair and skin as discussed above.
- Olive oil- includes what used to be called “pure olive oil” and “refined oil.” Some olive oil is further refined after the first pressing. These three types of oils can no longer bear the title “virgin.” When virgin oils are not fit for human consumption, they are sent to a processing plant where they become “refined olive oils.” There they undergo processing with agents that might include heat, chemicals, and/or filtration. These refined olive oils become clear, odorless, and flavourless. These are the least desirable oils to be used on the hair because they have been heavily processed and most of the benefits mentioned in this article are not in these oils.
The Best Type Of Olive Oil To Use For Hair
Hence the best olive oil to use in the hair is the extra virgin oil or the virgin oil which is rich in high levels of mono-unsaturated fatty acids and Vitamin E. Both mono-unsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E are good for moisturizing, protecting and nourishing hair. Refined olive oil does not have the emollient properties, which is often recommended for treating hair loss or battling dandruff.
How To Use Olive Oil For Hair
Everyday- if you have dry, itchy scalp apply olive oil directly to the itching flaking area.
Massage- apply olive oil to the scalp and gently massage into the scalp with circular motions.
Pre-Relaxer- apply olive oil generously to the scalp and the entire hair shaft at least two days before a relaxer treatment. It will make a difference in dry scalp conditions after a relaxer especially if you use no-lye solutions.
Post Relaxer- apply olive oil to scalp and hair shaft, after a relaxer treatment, do not use petroleum-based products.
Shampoo- One tablespoon of extra virgin or virgin olive oil added to your shampoo will boost its benefits.
Conditioner- A combination of olive oil and lavender oil can be used as a natural conditioner. Left on the hair overnight and then washed out in the morning. For those who are sticklers to a creamy conditioning routine, a tablespoon of olive oil added to your regular deep conditioner will work wonders for dry hair. Added to regular conditioner will increase the penetrative quality of regular conditioner.
Hot Oil Treatment- Put only the oil you will need in a bottle or bowl and place it in hot water to warm up, apply to hair and cover with a plastic cap. Do not heat up all your oil especially if it is extra virgin oil, only heat up what you will need.
Combined with other oils- you can combine olive oil with essential oils to boost their penetration into your hair shaft. There is no need to mix olive oil with other carrier oils; it works just as well on its own.
See a list of carrier and essential oils and their uses here.