Olive oil is a natural derivative of ripe olive fruits. Though primarily used in cooking, it is also a common ingredient in both homemade and commercial beauty products. Topical olive oil applications work to soften and protect and rarely cause allergic reactions. When used on the hair, olive oil may soothe the scalp and add shine to lackluster locks.
Go for Quality Olive Oil
All olive oil is not created equal. The oil is graded from extra virgin to pomace, with the former being derived from the highest quality olives. Extra virgin olive oil has less than 1 percent natural acidity and retains all of the fruit’s natural vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, reports Cal Orey, author of “The Healing Powers of Olive Oil.” Hair treatments should only be made with extra virgin olive oil.
Olive oil is a well-known herbal remedy for dry and damaged tresses. To smooth strands, massage a mixture of one part olive oil and one part water into dry hair. Work from roots to tips, then cover with a shower cap. The length of the treatment depends on personal preference; while some wait 20 minutes before shampooing, others keep the treatment on all night.
Olive oil can be used to treat hair on a daily basis. Instead of buying expensive serums at the store, control frizzy locks with one or two drops of extra virgin olive oil. Rub the oil between your palms before smoothing it over your hair. This homemade treatment adds shine and does not need to be washed out.
Ayurvedic medicine recommends combining olive oil treatments with massage to increase blood flow to the scalp. The theory is that this will nourish the hair follicles and encourage new growth. Other possible benefits include the prevention of split ends, dandruff relief and softer, more manageable hair.
Despite olive oil’s many benefits, there is one big negative -- the potential for stains. When treating hair with large amounts of the oil, use an old shirt or towel to protect nice clothes. It is also a good idea to cover pillows during overnight treatments. If olive oil does end up on your clothes or other fabric, immediately sprinkle the stain with baking soda or cornstarch. This will help sop up some of the oil. Treat the remaining stain with one or two drops of a grease-fighting dish soap. Rub the fabric briskly for about five minutes and soak it for a few hours before washing. Ensure the olive oil is completely gone before using a clothes dryer. Otherwise, the heat will permanently set the stain.
- Drugs: Olive Oil Guide
- The Healing Powers of Olive Oil; Cal Orey
- The Passionate Olive; Carole Firenze
- A World of Aromatherapy: Hair Oil and Scalp Massage
- Good Housekeeping: Stain Buster -- Olive Oil