Olive oil is a common ingredient found in a range of hair and skincare products. It’s known for its incredibly moisturizing benefits, but does olive oil actually penetrate the hair?
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What Are The Benefits Of Olive Oil?
Olive oil is the liquid that’s extracted from olives through the process of pressing and juicing. It’s a popular choice of oil that is typically used in cooking and as a salad dressing.
Many people will opt for olive oil instead of other vegetable oils as it has proven health-boosting benefits.
While it’s important to limit oil use in cooking and salads, olive oil is a healthier option.
Loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, olive oil can improve heart health and lower your risk of chronic diseases.
Olive oil can also be used topically as part of a skincare or haircare routine due to its highly moisturizing benefits.
Why Is Olive Oil Good For Hair?
Olive oil is a good source of vitamin E, and K, and includes a substantial amount of fatty acids.
When used on the hair, these essential nutrients will nourish and strengthen the hair strands and potentially reverse the damage.
Here is a closer look at some of the incredible benefits of olive oil on hair.
Helps To Repair Dry, Brittle Ends
When you are dealing with dry, brittle ends, the best course of action would be to apply an oil treatment.
Olive oil is an excellent choice because it has naturally occurring antioxidants and vitamins that help to strengthen weak ends and prevent breakage.
It also softens and repairs dry, brittle strands in the process.
Using olive oil frequently in your hair care routine can lead to significantly less breakage and hair trims needed.
Increases Natural Shine
Olive oil deeply conditions and hydrates the hair strands, which provides them with a healthy shine.
As a result, this improves the overall texture and appearance of the hair and makes it more manageable during the styling process.
Helps To Reduce Frizz
As olive oil is incredibly moisturizing, it makes sense that it would aid in reducing frizz and dryness.
Unruly frizz is a huge concern in the curly hair community, as it makes hair unmanageable and it can lead to hair breaking or snapping during brushing.
Olive oil can be used topically, either as a hot oil treatment or a deep conditioner. Using it frequently on the hair can lead to less frizz and less breakage in the future.
Olive oil can also soften the hair and reduce the need for heat styling tools.
For softer, healthier hair, check out my post on The Best Olive Oil Brands For Hair.
Can Help To Reduce Dandruff Or Dry Scalp
Did you know that olive oil can be the perfect remedy for scalp issues?
Often, an itchy, flaky scalp is the result of a dry scalp that is lacking moisture. The scalp may be overcompensating for the dryness by over-producing too much excess oil.
Olive oil has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to fight an itchy, dry scalp.
This typically works best as a hair mask treatment. Mixing olive oil with tea tree oil, apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice is said to improve scalp health and aid in the treatment of dandruff.
Massaging a small amount of olive oil into the scalp can also help with stimulating blood circulation.
In turn, this can help to strengthen and moisturize the roots, resulting in better hair growth.
Can Olive Oil Penetrate The Hair?
Olive oil has many hair benefits, but does it penetrate the hair like other natural oils can?
The simple answer is yes. Olive oil is a thicker oil that actually penetrates the hair strands and leaves them thoroughly hydrated, rather than simply coating them.
Choosing Olive Oil As Penetrating Oil
When choosing an oil, it’s important that you choose a natural oil that will work well for your hair type.
Some are more suitable than others.
Olive oil is one of the most popular choices because it tends to work well on different hair types. However, it’s most suitable for dry, curly, thick, natural hair.
As it is highly penetrative, olive oil works well at protecting the cuticles from damage and retaining that much-needed moisture.
Many things can strip the hair of moisture. Shampooing, heat styling tools, and weather damage are the top culprits.
Using a penetrating oil such as olive oil will help to prepare the hair for these conditions and prevent further damage.
Alternative Oils That Can Penetrate The Hair
As you may already know, olive oil isn’t the only oil that has the ability to penetrate the hair strands.
And while it’s an excellent choice for many hair types, it can be too heavy on some other hair types.
These oils have high penetration and contain powerful antioxidants that will aid in softening and hydrating the hair.
If olive oil doesn’t work for you, then one of these natural oils will be a good alternative.
For more tips on oils and haircare, check out my post on Using Oil As A Detangler.
Recommended Olive Oil Hair Products
Pure Olive Oil
If you would like to use 100% natural olive oil, then we recommend looking for organic extra virgin olive oil.
This ensures that the product does not contain any chemicals or additives. The more natural the olive oil is, the more benefits you will reap.
You can opt for a shampoo product that contains olive oil, such as the ORS Olive Oil Shampoo.
This product is sulfate-free and gently cleanses the hair while helping it to retain its natural oils. This makes it suitable for color-treated hair as well.
It’s an easy way to incorporate olive oil into your hair care routine, and as you’ll be washing it out, there is less worry about it weighing the hair down or appearing greasy.
The Whole Blends Replenishing Leave-in Conditioner by Garnier is another product that you could incorporate into your hair care routine.
It’s enriched with a blend of natural ingredients to soften and hydrate the hair without weighing it down.
This leave-in conditioner would work best on curly, wavy, dry, or textured hair that needs more moisture.
If you are interested in other oils, read my post on How To Use Pomelo Oil For Hair Growth.
How To Use Olive Oil For Hair
There is more than one way to use olive oil on the hair:
As olive oil can penetrate the hair, it’s an excellent choice for a pre-poo treatment.
A little goes a long way with olive oil as it’s a very thick liquid. Just rub a small amount of olive oil in your hands and apply from the roots to the ends.
If your roots are prone to oiliness then you may want to skip this area and concentrate on the lengths only.
Make sure to spread it out evenly and work it into your hair with your fingertips. Leave it in for 5 – 10 minutes before washing your hair as usual.
Split End Treatment
If split ends are your main concern, then olive oil could be the perfect remedy.
Simply apply a small amount of oil to the last 2 inches of your hair and leave it in. This is best done in the morning, but it can be done at night if you wear a hair towel.
This split end treatment works best on curly, thick, dry hair because for other hair types it could make the ends appear too limp or greasy.
When doing this treatment regularly, you will notice a huge improvement in your split ends. They should appear healthier, stronger, and repaired.
Hot Oil Treatment
For a hot oil treatment, you will need approximately 4 tablespoons. You may use less depending on the thickness of your hair.
- Heat the olive oil up in a microwave for 20 seconds so it is just the right temperature.
- Spray a little bit of water on the hair just to dampen it before applying the olive oil all over your hair with your fingertips.
- If you have a dry scalp, you can massage it into the scalp to provide extra hydration. This will also stimulate blood circulation and help with the overall health of the scalp.
- Leave the oil in for 30 minutes to an hour.
You can cover your hair with an old t-shirt or a hair towel to seal it in. After it’s had enough time to penetrate the hair strands, you can wash it out as usual.
This hot oil treatment is suitable for damaged and dry hair that is lacking hydration. Just be careful if you have recently colored your hair as olive oil can fade hair dye.
It can be done once a week or once a fortnight, depending on your needs and how your hair reacts to it.
Some people will get the best results when done once or twice a month.
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Coralle is an experienced beauty writer with a passion for wellness, women’s health, and sustainability.