Is Olive Oil Good For Your Hair?

(Image Credit: Adrian Fernandez)

Is your hair a little worse for wear? You were about to head out to the pharmacy to buy a pricy hair serum when your friend recommended you use olive oil instead. You’ve never heard of olive oil as a hair treatment, but you’re willing to give it a try if it will help. Is olive oil good for your hair?

Olive oil is indeed great for your hair, as it may help with common hair difficulties such as:

  • Irritated scalp
  • Frizz
  • Hair damage
  • Lack of growth
  • Weak hair
  • Tangled hair
  • Dry, brittle hair
  • Split ends
  • Dandruff

In this post, we’ll elaborate more on the many hair benefits of olive oil, including information on how much oil you should use and how long you should leave it in your hair. If you have any of the above hair issues, then you’re not going to want to miss this!

9 Ways Olive Oil Is Good for Your Hair

Softens Scalp Irritation

Does your scalp itch all the time, even uncontrollably in some instances? You could have dandruff, or perhaps your scalp is just dry and irritated, often from another bacterial and/or fungal condition. For you, a warm olive oil treatment can remove those dry skin crusts that have been causing you so much discomfort.

You can either apply the olive oil straight onto your head or blend it with an egg white to create a hair mask. Add in two tablespoons of oil for each egg white. Before combining, the egg white should spend some time in the fridge so it doesn’t stink up your hair.

If you’re applying warm olive oil, refrain from heating the oil up in your microwave or on the stovetop. Instead, pour some olive oil in a bowl or directly into your hands and let your natural body heat warm it up. Otherwise, you could burn your scalp, and then you’d have more serious problems on your hands!

Controls Frizz

You hate warm, humid days because your hair always frizzes up. The same happens when it rains too. Ironically, all the moisture in the air removes the moisture from your hair, which is why it poofs out like that. Sometimes, it’s not even the weather that makes your hair frizzy, but over-brushing it that does it.

No matter what leaves your hair a frizzy mess, olive oil may help. You want to apply the oil to your hair’s ends especially to control the flyaways and loose ends that make your hair look so crazy. Instantly, the oil will smooth your locks and restore moisture so the frizz calms down.

Supports Damaged Hair Recovery

You try your best to take care of your hair, but some of your regular habits might be doing just the opposite. For example, if you bleach your hair often, the harsh chemicals can leave your strands brittle and weak. Using too many heat styling products is often a big culprit in hair damage as well.

With your hair in this wrecked state, you can rely on olive oil to restore it to its soft, silky, lustrous glory. As a deep conditioner, you want to use warm or hot olive oil on your head and hair, but not hot enough to burn you. Saturate your strands from the roots to the ends in the olive oil.

Then, using a plastic bag, a shower cap, or a towel, wrap up your whole head. Your head covering will keep in the heat while you wait a half an hour for the olive oil to renew and replenish your damaged strands.

You might have to wash your hair with shampoo a time or two to remove all olive oil residue, but the results are more than worth it!

Supports Healthy Hair Growth

Your hair grows so slowly that it drives you nuts sometimes. Your friend can get a close-cropped haircut and have hair down to their shoulders a month later, while for you, it takes seemingly eons to regrow lost inches.

The antioxidants in olive oil, of which more than 200 of them exist, can support good scalp health and encourage hair growth. Also, olive oil is a natural anti-inflammatory that may soothe an inflamed scalp. Some hair loss is caused by scalp inflammation, so olive oil may potentially prevent you from losing hair if your issue is inflammation.

Helps Strengthen Weak Hair

Is your hair thin and weak? An underlying endocrine disorder can be to blame, as can crash dieting and other forms of calorie restriction. Chemical and heat treatments for your hair can also leave your locks in a state that’s prone to damage.

By coating your hair in olive oil every now and again, you can support healthy, strong hair. With fewer chances of breakage thanks to the fortified strands, the hair you have will stay on your head longer. This, combined with the growth that olive oil can promote, can lead to your most durable, beautiful hair yet.

Detangles Hair

It’s normal to get out of the shower with wet hair and have a hard time detangling it (unless you have a wet brush, that is). For you though, any and every time you go to brush your hair, it’s a knotty nightmare. It’s even worse if it’s a windy day or your hair is seriously tangled. The pain you have to go through is downright close to unbearable at times.

Ditch the detangler product in your bathroom medicine cabinet and use olive oil instead. Here’s how. When you want to brush your hair in the morning, use a spray bottle full of water and mist one section of your hair at a time. Then, with a dollop of olive oil, run it through each section, making sure the strands are well-coated.

Let the olive oil penetrate deep into your hair for about 60 seconds, then use your favorite detangling brush. Keep repeating this until you’ve brushed your whole head of hair. You’ll love how your brush goes through your strands like butter with no more pain!

Adds Moisture to Dry Hair

You already know that a lack of moisture can make your hair frizzy, but it can also leave your strands brittle like hay instead of soft. If you blow-dry your hair every day, you can fry it. The same is true if you shampoo too much, as some shampoos leave no more of your natural oils intact.

It doesn’t seem to matter how many fancy, expensive hair products you use, as your hair always ends up dry and brittle at the end of the day. Now it’s time to try something a little different, and that’s olive oil. With a bit more than a dollop, rub the olive oil into your scalp, roots, or wherever your hair is driest.

Then, put on a shower cap or a plastic bag and let the olive oil work its magic. After 15 minutes, you can wash out the residue, but use a gentler shampoo than the one you usually buy. Also, consider letting your hair air-dry from time to time to maintain its lustrous softness and beauty.

Reduces Split Ends

When your hair shafts become frayed, the result is split ends. Living in humid conditions can cause split ends, as can hair straighteners and blow dryers, not to mention dying your hair too often.

You can have all sorts of split ends, such as a triple split end with three branching hair pieces, crinkly split ends, or even knotted split ends. All are unappealing and some are even painful. Get onboard with better haircare through the application of olive oil.

Section off the strands of your hair that are the most split and then coat them with olive oil at least two inches up. Gently rinse the oil out after a few minutes and you should see that the split ends look much more repaired.

Manages Dandruff

Few conditions are more embarrassing than dandruff. Your wardrobe is severely limited, as wearing black or dark-colored clothes will make those dead skin flakes sitting on your shoulders all the more apparent.

Dandruff is unfortunately incurable, but that doesn’t mean you have to be passive about having it. We recommend occasionally pouring warm olive oil onto your scalp and rubbing it in deeply and thoroughly. Like with an irritated scalp, the smooth, warm oil will cause your dead skin to dislodge. You could even cut down on the number of skin flakes you have if you use olive oil in this fashion regularly enough.

When the olive oil has had a chance to soak in somewhat, use a comb to brush it and the dead skin flakes through and out of your hair. You can then put a shower cap on and let the oil moisten, soften, and strengthen your hair.

Related Questions

Is olive oil or coconut oil better for your hair?

What if you only have coconut oil in your kitchen pantry instead of olive oil? Coconut oil is nourishing and can provide many of the same benefits as olive oil for your hair. That said, you get more moisturizing qualities out of olive oil, so if you have dry hair, stick to olive oil over coconut oil.

Can I apply extra virgin olive oil to my hair?

The olive oil in your house is the extra virgin variety, not the standard stuff. Should you use it for your hair or go to the store and get regular olive oil instead? Actually, extra virgin olive oil is even purer, containing more nutrients and antioxidants than standard olive oil. If you don’t mind sparing some for your hair, then we’d suggest using it every time.


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