Olive oil is a great natural hair care product as it contains a mixture of vitamins and nutrients that can repair, protect and nourish your hair. You can use olive oil to make nourishing hair masks that can help you get strong and shiny hair. Olive oil is not just beneficial for hair but it can also benefit your scalp and keep it healthy due to its anti-inflammatory properties. You can also use olive oil on your hair to treat dandruff, get rid of hair lice and it may even help with hair growth.
Olive oil is one of the best natural oils for your hair, and in this article I am going to look at the many ways to use it for your hair as well as the many benefits that you can get from this natural product. I’ve also included a special section with a few recipes for making your own olive oil hair products.
Why Olive Oil is Beneficial for Hair?
I’ve already mentioned that olive oil has amazing health benefits, and it is these same properties which also make it good for hair.
Although there hasn’t been a lot of research into using olive oil as a hair care product, it contains many properties and vitamins which are known to benefit hair and skin. Olive oil contains a high amounts of vitamins E and K which can protect your hair and scalp and can help to make the hair strands stronger and shinier.
The Vitamin E in olive oil is well known for its antioxidant properties which can help protect your hair and scalp from the damaging effect of free radicals. It can also help reduce sun damage. For more information, please read my article on how to use vitamin E to benefit your skin, hair and health.
The Vitamin K in olive oil is also good for the skin and scalp. It helps fight aging and helps damaged skin look younger and healthier.
Olive oil can also give amazing shine to your hair because of the mono-unsaturated fatty acids it contains. One of these is oleic acid which can moisturize the hair and skin and provide a layer of protection.
Olive oil is beneficial for dry, thick hair and it can also keep hair moist and strong.
Olive oil could add softness and strengthen your hair by penetrating deep into the hair shaft and by retaining moisture.
Olive oil also contains properties which are known for their antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects.1
Which Olive Oil is Best for Hair?
Always use organic unrefined extra virgin olive oil for your hair. Extra virgin olive oil is the best oil for your hair as it’s considered the premium olive oil type and it has the highest content of vitamins, minerals and oleic acid. It is produced from the first crush of the olives and is extracted through cold-pressing whereby no chemicals are added. Extra-virgin olive oil must have an acidity of less than 1 percent.
Don’t use inferior types of olive oil on your hair as they are refined and have lower concentration of vitamins and nutrients in comparison to extra virgin olive oil. Some of the inferior olive oil types are pure olive oil and refined olive oil and it’s best not to use them as part of your natural hair care regimen.
In this article, all references to olive oil are to extra virgin unrefined olive oil.
Now let’s have a look on how to use olive oil to benefit your hair.
How to Use Olive Oil for Hair
Olive Oil for Hair Growth
While there is no scientific study showing that olive oil can encourage hair growth, it does contain properties that promote healthy hair growth.
By massaging olive oil into the scalp you help to cleanse the scalp and some think that massaging also helps to promote blood circulation which stimulates hair growth.
To really make olive oil boost hair growth there are some essential oils which are known to be effective in promoting hair growth and these can be added to olive oil to make a hair mask.
For example, rosemary essential oil has shown to be just as effective as minoxidil, a popular drug used to promote hair growth. You can read about the study into rosemary essential oil in my article on how to use rosemary for treating hair loss.
In one clinical study, peppermint essential oil was shown to be even more effective than minoxidil to promote hair growth.2
To use olive oil to promote hair growth and to fight hair loss:
-Mix 2 or 3 tablespoons of olive oil with a few drops of rosemary essential oil or peppermint essential oil (3-4 drops of essential oil for every tablespoon of olive oil).
-Place the oil mixture and seal in a small jar and put the jar in a bowl with hot water until it is warm.
-Gently massage all of the olive oil hair growth mask into your scalp for several minutes, making sure to coat the scalp and the whole length of the strands to encourage hair growth.
-Put your hair in a shower cap and wrap with a warm damp towel.
-Keep changing the towel when it cools.
-Leave the olive oil in your hair for 30 – 45 minutes to fight hair loss.
-Rinse the oil out with shampoo.
For better results, you can leave the olive oil hair mask on your hair overnight to encourage hair growth and wash out in the morning.
For other ideas, read my article on how to make your hair grow faster.
Olive Oil for Lice
The combination of olive oil and tea tree oil can help you get rid of hair lice. Tea tree oil has many benefits for the hair and is an effective treatment for lice.
Olive oil works as a great carrier oil for essential oils and tea tree oil has proven antimicrobial properties and was found to be effective in combating lice infestations.3 So the combination of olive oil and tea tree oil can be an effective treatment to eliminate head lice.
To use olive oil to treat head lice, this is what you should do:
-Mix 2 oz of olive oil with 15-20 drops of tea tree oil.
-Apply the olive oil and tea tree mixture to the scalp and hair. Make sure it doesn’t get into the eyes.
-Cover with a shower cap, wrap a towel around and leave the olive oil in your hair for an hour.
-Comb through all the hair with a nit comb to remove lice and eggs. Each time, wipe the comb clean.
-Wash the hair with shampoo to remove all the olive oil.
-For even better results, you can add a few drops of tea tree oil to your shampoo bottle.
-You should remember that olive oil alone won’t kill off lice so you have to mix it with tea tree oil. Olive oil is good for the hair and is also a good lubricant for lice comb. The lice comb is one of the most effective and necessary ways to get rid of lice. Repeat this 3 times a week to get rid of lice.
-For other natural treatments for lice, read my article about the best home remedies for lice.
Olive Oil for Dandruff
You can also use olive oil for treating dandruff, and it is one of the most effective ways to get rid of dandruff.
There can be various reasons why a person suffers from dandruff, and one of them can be caused by a yeast infection or fungi on the scalp, so you can combine olive oil with other essential oils which have antifungal and antibacterial properties.
Some of the essential oils that are good for dandruff are:
-Tea tree oil
If you want to use olive oil on your hair for treating dandruff, warm the oil before applying to the hair and add a few drops of the essential oils for dandruff mentioned above. Apply a little bit of the olive oil mixture onto your scalp and massage gently. Cover your hair with a towel and leave the olive oil on your hair for at least 30 minutes to get rid of dandruff. Wash with a shampoo afterwards to remove excess oil.
You can also leave olive oil in your hair for an hour for extra conditioning.
For other ideas to treat dandruff, read my article about the best natural ways to get rid of dandruff.
Olive Oil for Scalp
The overall health of the scalp also benefits from olive oil. One study into the components of virgin olive oil found that there are many anti-inflammatory properties in it when used as a topical application.4
As I’ve already mentioned in this article, olive oil can help protect your scalp from damage from free radicals. In studies, olive oil has also shown to have a protective effect against damage from UVB radiation.5 Therefore, olive oil is great for your scalp because it moisturizes and protects it and at the same time helps to strengthen and nourish hair.
Olive Oil for Seborrheic Dermatitis
If you suffer from seborrheic dermatitis, you can use olive oil on your scalp to soften and remove scales from your scalp.
Seborrheic dermatitis can affect all areas of the body, including the scalp. Seborrheic dermatitis on the scalp looks like dandruff and can have a yellowish color. It is a common skin condition that is similar to eczema and sometimes occurs in patients with eczema.
To use olive oil to help treat seborrheic dermatitis you can mix one tablespoon of olive oil with a few drops of tea tree essential oil, massage the olive oil into your scalp and wash out after one hour.
Olive Oil Hair Masks
Olive oil has moisturizing and conditioning proprieties and there are many ways to make nourishing olive oil hair masks. Here are a few recipes for making your own olive oil hair care products.
Olive oil, Avocado and Honey Hair Mask
To make this nourishing olive oil hair mask, you will need to do this:
-Mash 1/2 avocado and mix well with 2 tablespoons of virgin olive oil and a teaspoon of honey.
-Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil.
-Apply the olive oil to your hair, put your hair in a shower cap and wrap in a towel.
-Leave the olive oil in your hair for 30 minutes to condition your hair.
-Rinse through with warm water and wash your hair with a shampoo.
Olive Oil and Coconut Oil Hair Mask
Coconut oil is extremely beneficial for your hair and mixing it with olive oil creates a great combination with a lot of benefits for your hair and scalp. To make a nourishing olive and coconut oil hair mask, you will need to do this:
-Mix 2 parts of coconut oil with one part of olive oil.
-Massage the coconut and olive oil mixture into your hair, making sure that you coat all the strands from root to tip.
-Put your hair in a shower cap and leave the olive oil and coconut oil mixture in your hair at least 30 minutes to moisturize your scalp and condition your hair.
-Wash the oil out and style as usual.
You can find other ideas for nourishing hair masks in my article about the 12 best natural treatments for dull hair.
Olive Oil for Skin Care
The benefits of olive oil aren’t just for the hair. Olive oil can also benefit your skin and you can use it as part of your overall skin care regime.
There are many ways to use olive oil to moisturize and protect your skin. For example:
Massage a small amount of olive oil onto your skin before shaving to protect from razor burns. This can replace shaving foam or gel.
Add 5 tablespoons of olive oil to your bath to nourish and moisturize your skin and to keep it looking great.
After finishing your shower, but before you towel dry, rub a layer of olive oil all over your skin to moisturize it.
Dab a few drops of olive oil onto a cotton ball to remove makeup and rinse your face with water.
Rub a few drops of olive oil into each nail to help nourish and strengthen nails.
Rejuvenate your skin using this oil cleansing method.