Benefits of Olive Oil for Hair - Improve Your Hair Growth
I don't know about you, but the single biggest problem I have had to deal with over the years with my hair is dryness. I have had this issue first long as I can remember.
Over the years, I have gotten it pretty well in hand, but it doesn't take a whole lot of negligence for it to go right back to being roughly the same texture and consistency of a haystack.
That is why I have done a lot of research into various oils which are recommended for hair care.Oils are naturally moisturizing, and on the whole I have had a better experience going shampoo-free with oils than I have using a commercial shampoo and conditioner.
Along the way, I have discovered that some of the same oils which are great for moisturizing your hair are also great for preventing hair loss. While a number of different oils are popular for hair (coconut oil, argan oil, tea tree oil, etc.), the one most commonly recommended is probably olive oil.
This is not too surprising, since most people already have olive oil in their kitchen cupboard. Using olive oil for hair is affordable and convenient—but does it work?
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I tried it out, and also took a look at the science. I can conclude that olive oil is one of the best natural oils that you can use for your hair. It is effective and versatile, and there are a lot of great recipes for hair masks and other treatments you can use to improve the health, texture, and appearance of your locks.
I will share some of these with you, but first I want to tell you about some scientific studies so that you understand why olive oil is good for your hair and scalp.
How Olive Oil Benefits Your Scalp and Hair
You probably already know that olive oil is really good for your health. That is likely one of the reasons that you cook with it. But what can it do for your appearance? Let's take a look.
Olive Oil Fights Inflammation
Olive oil can counteract inflammation. Here is the study to back it up. Why does this matter for your hair? There are a couple of reasons. For one thing, there is a type of inflammation known as folliculitis. Folliculitis is exactly what you probably would guess from the name: inflammation of the hair follicles.
When folliculitis first sets in, you may not notice any hair loss. But once the inflammation progresses, your hair can start to fall out. This can result in thinning tresses, and may even ultimately lead to bald spots.
Where does folliculitis come from? Sometimes it is the result of an infection. Other times, it has nothing to do with any infection at all, and simply results from clogged up hair follicles which have too much grease and oil in them.
In either case, you can see how olive oil could help you to maintain a full head of hair. Olive oil can fight inflammation, and allow your scalp to recover.
The other great thing about olive oil being anti-inflammatory is that it can soothe the discomfort associated with inflammation. So not only will it reduce the inflammation itself, but it may also bring you an immediate sense of relief.
Olive Oil is Antimicrobial
This study demonstrates that olive oil is effective against pathogens. While the study relates to food borne bacteria, it seems plausible that olive oil may also counteract some external bacteria as well. This could make it helpful in fighting infections which cause hair loss.
Olive Oil is a Wonderful Moisturizer
The main reason that I was interested in trying olive oil is because my hair is naturally dry. I have found a number of methods which help me to maintain the moisture in my hair, but none of them do a perfect job.
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I have discovered that olive oil does well to lock in moisture, and really can help my hair on the driest days. When you use olive oil on your hair, you will notice that your hair becomes softer and smoother, with fewer flyaways. You should also see a nice shine.
I suggest that when you apply olive oil to your hair, you also apply it directly to your scalp. Not only will this help you if you are suffering from inflammation or infection, but it can also help to moisturize dry skin. This can reduce itching and dandruff.
My Experiences with Olive Oil for Hair
I've noticed a big difference in my hair since I started using olive oil. For one thing, my hair immediately looks and feels much better right after an application. But I have also noticed that using olive oil on a regular basis seems to make a difference over time. I've been much happier with the appearance and texture of my hair, and I can also say definitively that my scalp has felt a lot less itchy and dry since I started using it.
It's been my experience that if you use olive oil treatments regularly and avoid a commercial shampoo, you will not need to purchase a commercial conditioner anymore. The olive oil seems to do the trick all on its own.
Olive Oil For Hair Recipes
Next, you are probably wondering how you are supposed to apply olive oil to your hair. There are a number of different techniques you can use. You can use the olive oil all by itself, or you can mix it in with other ingredients which are good for your scalp and hair. I've discovered that there is a huge abundance of olive oil for hair recipes. I want to share a few of my favorites with you now.
Rub Olive Oil Directly Into Your Scalp and Hair
The most basic olive oil for hair treatment is to just use the olive oil all by itself with no other ingredients. You do not need a lot; a tiny bit will go a long way. Just rub it in to your scalp and work your way down through your hair to your roots. If you use only a smidgen, you can use it as a leave-in treatment. If you use a lot, you will need to wash it out afterwards so that your hair does not get greasy.
Olive Oil Mixed Into Conditioner
This is not a method I personally use, but a lot of people are big fans of it because they do not want to give up the conditioner that they already use; they are just looking for a way to augment it.
All this technique involves is mixing together around half a cup of conditioner with a quarter cup of olive oil. You can use this mixture in either of two ways. You can use it in the shower on wet hair, or you can use it before you shower directly applied to dry hair. If you choose the latter method, you can get a deep conditioning effect by leaving it in for around 15 minutes before you rinse it out.
Olive Oil and Coconut Oil
Earlier I mentioned coconut oil as one of the oils which provide your hair with great benefits. Well, you do not have to use just one oil to treat your hair. You can combine olive oil and coconut oil to achieve an even more powerful moisturizing effect.
Wondering how coconut oil can improve the texture and appearance of your hair? Here is a scientific study which discusses the effects of coconut oil, mineral, and sunflower oil on damaged hair.
It was discovered that coconut oil was the only one of three which was able to reduce the loss of protein in both damaged and on damaged hair. In other words, coconut oil can be used both to treat and prevent damage to your hair. You can read all about coconut oil and what it can do for you in this blog post.
For this hair mask recipe, you will want to combine extra virgin olive oil with unrefined coconut oil. The unrefined coconut oil has all the nutrition intact; the refined variety is not quite as good for you. You will notice that the coconut oil is a solid at room temperature. In order to make use of it, you will need to put it briefly in the microwave to melt it into a liquid.
Mix one part extra virgin olive oil with two parts unrefined coconut oil. Stir them together evenly. Once you've done that, you can work them into your hair beginning by massaging your scalp. Work the mixture all the way down to your ends. This is where you will find the mask most helpful, since the ends of your hair are usually the most dry and damaged part.
You will then need to wrap your hair and leave the mixture in to work its magic. If you just want a quick treatment, 15 minutes to half an hour should be adequate. If however you want a really deep conditioning treatment for your hair, you can leave it overnight. Wash it out the next morning and you should find that your hair is incredibly silky smooth.
Olive Oil and Banana Hair Mask
Another easy hair mask to make using olive oil involves a banana. You probably eat bananas in part to enjoy the ample amounts of vitamins A and E they contain. These same nutrients are beneficial to your hair. Bananas are also moisturizing, and they have just the right consistency when you mash them up to use them as part of a hair mask.
To make this mask, simply mash up a banana and add in a quarter cup of extra virgin olive oil. Try and get the mixture as smooth as you can; you can do this by hand, but if you need a little extra help, a food processor can work wonders. Add in a teaspoon of honey if you want.
Next, rub the mixture into your hair, especially around the ends. Once you have it distributed as thoroughly as possible, cover up your hair. After half an hour, you can rinse it out. Use warm water and be patient; getting all that banana out can take a fair amount of effort. Once you do, though, you will be thrilled with the result!
Honey and Olive Oil
Another very popular hair mask that you can make blends olive oil with honey. Actually, you will notice that honey is used in more than one of the hair mask in this list. What makes honey so good for your hair?
According to this study, honey can be used as an effective treatment against both dandruff and chronic seborrheic dermatitis. Seborrheic dermatitis is a condition of the scalp which can lead to diffuse hair loss.
When you combine olive oil and honey into a hair care treatment, you can fight hair loss directly while enjoying all the other benefits of olive oil.
Here's the simple version of the honey and olive oil hair mask using only two ingredients. All you need is three parts extra virgin olive oil to one part honey. Put them in a bowl together, and microwave them until the honey is liquid and can easily be stirred in evenly with the olive oil.
Wait for the honey and olive oil mixture to cool down a little bit, and then massage it into your scalp and work it down through your hair from the roots to the ends. Wrap up your hair and wait an hour. Get in the shower, wash it out with shampoo and conditioner, and wait for your hair to dry. You should notice a beautiful shine in the mirror.
Note that working honey through your hair can be a bit of a challenge even after you've melted it in the microwave. You may discover that a wide-tooth comb is more effective than a comb with narrow teeth for distributing it.
If you find that it is still too difficult, you probably used too much honey and not enough olive oil. If you add more olive oil to the mixture, you should have an easier time working it through your hair.
As another forewarning, the honey will feel very sticky when you are washing it out, and you may worry that you’re not going to get it all out of your hair. This is because of the sugar content of the honey. Thankfully, warm water can dissolve the sugar so that you can wash the honey out effectively. If you need to, turn the water up as hot as you can stand, and you should be able to get the honey out. If you can do it at a lower temperature however, you should. Very hot water can have a drying effect on your hair, which is exactly what you're trying to avoid.
A lot of people are wary of putting honey in their hair at first because the idea of applying something so sticky can be a bit intimidating. But you will change your mind after you try it and see the awesome results!
Olive Oil, Yogurt, and Honey
Here is a simple variation on the olive oil and honey hair mask above. Mix one quarter cup yogurt with one tablespoon of honey and one teaspoon of olive oil. Yogurt has a perfect texture for working through hair—it may not seem like it at first if you have never tried it, but once you do you will be surprised at how easy it is to use.
If you want, you can increase the amount of olive oil in this recipe. That will change the consistency somewhat, but you may prefer it that way.
Apply this mixture to damp hair and then wait with it wrapped up for 15 minutes to half an hour. At that point, you can rinse it out and wash your hair as usual.
Olive Oil, Avocado, and Honey
Yet another variation on the olive oil and honey theme is this mask which requires a ripe avocado. Avocados have a ton of vitamin E and A, which makes them great for your hair, just like bananas (the texture isn’t all that far off either). Avocados also are wonderful moisturizers since then contain oils which are similar to sebum.
To make this mask, mash up a single avocado and then mix in two tablespoons of honey and two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. If you have longer hair, just double or triple the recipe. You should be able to get a very smooth texture if you mix everything together thoroughly (a food processor can come in handy here).
You know the drill—work it all through your hair down to the tips. Cover your hair and wait for 15-45 minutes. This mix can work particularly well if you apply gentle heat. Once you are done, you can rinse it out with warm water.
Olive Oil and Cayenne Pepper
This hair care treatment will involve rummaging around in your spice cabinet. If you cook a lot of spicy foods, you probably have cayenne pepper on hand. Cayenne pepper is a rubefacient.
That means that it can be applied topically to your skin—including your scalp—to increase blood flow. This means that it can help ferry nutrients to your hair follicles, which may boost hair growth.
For this easy hair growth recipe, just combine 16 ounces of olive oil with a tablespoon of ground cayenne. Mix it up as best you can, then let it sit for 1-2 weeks. After that point, you can shake it up once more, and then you can rub it into your scalp and work it through your hair. Make sure with this one that you wait for at least 15 minutes. You may even want to wait an entire day.
Remember, the whole point of the cayenne is to draw nutrients to your hair follicles, so you want to take advantage of the rubefacient effect as best you can.
After that, just wash it out as usual, and enjoy the benefits for hair growth!
Olive Oil and Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a very popular oil for hair, and you will find it in a lot of shampoos and conditioners as a result. According to science, tea tree oil fights fungal infections. It can also combat dandruff.
Tea tree oil is different from olive oil in that it is a highly concentrated essential oil. As such, you cannot apply it directly to your scalp without causing severe irritation. You must always dilute essential oils.
Thankfully, olive oil happens to be a carrier oil, so it is the perfect oil to use to dilute tea tree oil into a safe concentration. You will need to get an eyedropper so that you can dilute the tea tree oil down to 5%. Once you have the proportion you need, you can stir the oils together and start using them right away. As usual, rub it into your scalp and hair and then wait for around 10-15 minutes before rinsing. This treatment works best if you do it a couple of times a week on an ongoing basis. If you suffer from dandruff, you should see a significant decrease in your symptoms.
Olive Oil and Peppermint Oil
Another essential oil which is absolutely amazing for your hair and scalp is peppermint oil. While most natural hair care treatments promote hair growth indirectly, peppermint actually has a direct effect. Check out this research study and I think you will be impressed.
Peppermint oil works better than Rogaine. I can’t emphasize this enough!
As an essential oil, peppermint oil needs to be diluted, just like tea tree oil. Mix a 5% concentration of peppermint oil into olive oil as a carrier. If you want, you can even use tea tree oil in the same mixture. Apply it just the same way. Keep it up on a regular basis, and you should see some really fast hair growth!
Continue Reading: How Olive Oil Significantly Improves Your Hair Growth
Aloe Vera Olive Oil Conditioner
Aloe vera has a whole host of hair and skin benefits, but it is best known for its incredible moisturizing properties. Aloe vera and olive oil can be mixed together to make a super-powerful conditioner which will make your hair shiny and smooth. Just mix equal parts together and work them through your hair. Wrap up your hair and wait for up to half an hour, and then rinse it out. The results will be phenomenal!
Olive Oil and Other Essential Oils for Hair Growth
While I have given special focus to both peppermint oil and tea tree oil, they are not the only essential oils which are excellent for your hair. Here are some others which you can try. Olive oil makes the perfect carrier oil for all of them!
- Basil: Boosts circulation in your scalp, rather like cayenne pepper.
- Cedarwood: Also known as cedar oil, it smells great and regulates sebum production. This makes it a great choice for dry or greasy conditions. Also fights itching, dandruff, infections, and hair loss.
- Lavender: One of the top choices for all hair types. Reduces dandruff, itching, and dryness. Also hydrates hair and balances oil production.
- Rosemary: One of the most popular herbs for hair care, perfect for normalizing oil production and speeding up hair growth. Note: rosemary may darken hair.
- Chamomile: This herb can lighten your hair.
- Thyme: Has strong antiseptic properties and can treat dandruff, irritation, itching, and hair loss. May also boost scalp circulation.
- Ylang Ylang: Stimulates your hair follicles, soothes dandruff and dryness, and speeds up hair growth.
Read more in-depth about essential oils for hair growth here. Note that this is not a full list of all essential oils but you can use to treat your hair. If you do some research, you will find that there are many other suitable choices as well. Essential oils intimidate a lot of beginners, but once you start using them, you will get used to diluting them and applying them safely. If in doubt, I always recommend finding a book which will tell you the exact concentrations that are safe for every essential oil you plan to use.
Olive oil truly is one of the most versatile and helpful natural hair treatments you are going to find. Start out by applying olive oil directly to your hair in its pure form, and I think you will be very amazed. Once you've tried that, you can try some of the other hair masks which I have shared with you here and get even more phenomenal results.
Olive oil can restore moisture, smoothness, and shine to even the driest locks, protecting your hair from damage and helping it to grow long and strong.