How to use olive oil for hair

Olive oil is a monosaturated fat that is obtained from olives. This tree crop is mostly found in the Mediterranean Basin and it is being produced since 4000 BC. This oil is produced by pressing whole olives and it is most commonly used in cooking, cosmetics as well as medicines. It is also used as fuel in traditional oil lamps and as lubricants for kitchen machinery, among other religious purposes. Olive oil contains mainly oleic acid and smaller amounts of fatty acid which include linoleic acid and palmitic acid. There are a wide variety of olives, each having a distinct flavour, odour, texture and colour. The colour of olives start out as green and turn to black or purple as they ripen.

Benefits and uses of olive oil on hair

  • It is used to reduce dandruff and flaky scalp.
  • Olive oil helps eliminate split ends.
  • It is also beneficial in making the hair stronger.
  • Frizzy hair can be tamed using olive oil.
  • It also helps to make the hair softer and shinier. 
  • Olive oil has properties that help make one’s hair more manageable, irrespective of the hair type.
  • Using olive oil every once in a while, for the hair, helps to keep it healthy.
  • Olive oil, possessing anti-microbial properties help reduce scalp irritation.

20 home remedies of olive oil on hair

  1. Warm-up half a cup of olive oil and gently massage the scalp and apply it well on the hair. Put on a shower cap and leave it overnight. Rinse it well with shampoo and water, the next morning. Repeat this process regularly, to reduce hair loss. 
  2. Mix equal parts of castor oil, olive oil and hibiscus petal. Heat this oil and allow it to cool, till it is warm. Strain it and apply it on the scalp and the hair for 10-15 minutes. Wrap a hot towel (or a towel dipped in hot water) over the head, holding in all the hair. Leave it on for an hour and then rinse it off with water and a mild shampoo. This helps to reduce irritation in the scalp. 
  3. Another method to reduce irritation in the scalp and also tame frizzy hair is by mixing one part castor oil with four parts of virgin olive oil and pouring this mixture into a spray bottle. Spray it onto the scalp and gently massage the head in circular motions. Rinse it off the next day with shampoo and water, after leaving it on overnight. 
  4. Olive oil and avocado, when combined, can help tame frizzy hair and strengthen its roots. Mash half of a ripe avocado into a smooth paste and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to it and mix it well. Apply this mixture in the form of a hair mask and leave it on for 25-30 mins and then wash the hair well, with a milk shampoo. Repeat this process 2-3 times a week for better results. 
  5. Whisk the white portion of the egg in a bowl and add one tablespoon each of honey and olive oil and mix it well. Apply this mask on the hair and leave it on for 20-30 minutes. Wash the hair with shampoo and water. Repeat this process once every fortnight. 
  6. Keep 2 Green Tea tea bags in a glass with hot water. Allow the tea to blend into the water by letting it rest for 5-10 minutes and let cool down. Take out the tea bags and add a quarter cup of olive oil and mix it well. Pour this liquid into a spray bottle. Spray it on the scalp, whenever necessary and massage, after which, wash it off. Always shake the bottle well before using it. Green tea helps to strengthen hair shafts, making them stronger. 
  7. Mix 3 teaspoons of olive oil and half a cup of coconut milk and combine it well. Apply this mask on the hair and scalp and let it rest for 12-15 minutes. Rinse the hair well with shampoo and water. This process helps reduce hair loss. 
  8. Combine equal parts of olive oil, lemon juice and water. Apply this combination on damp hair and scalp and leave it on for 20 minutes before washing it. Regular use of this method can lead to a flake-less scalp. 
  9. Add a teaspoon of honey and a teaspoon each of aloe vera gel and olive oil into one ounce of water. Directly apply this mixture onto the scalp and wash it off with shampoo after 30 minutes. A teaspoon of egg yolk can also be added to achieve more benefits. Aloe vera nourishes the hair roots thus promoting hair growth. 
  10. Cumin seeds help to make the hair thick and prevent hair fall. Soak cumin seeds into olive oil overnight. Strain this and apply it on the hair and scalp and wait for 15-25 minutes. Wash it off with shampoo and water and repeat this method 3 times a week.
  11. Add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in 2 tablespoons each of olive oil and distilled water.  Mix this liquid well, until completely combined. Wash the hair with water and add this mixture to it. Massage the scalp gently and let it rest for 20-30 minutes. Wash with shampoo and water and repeat this process regularly when there are serious cases of dandruff, it helps reduce it. 
  12. Another way to get rid of dandruff is in 3 tablespoons of olive oil, add 6-7 drops of tea tree oil and stir well. Massage the head and hair well with this oil and wrap a towel around to allow the hair to soak in the nutrients and leave it overnight. Wash the hair the next day as per usual. 
  13. Amla acts as a conditioner to the hair. Blend one amla to extract its juice. Take 2 tablespoons of this amla juice and add it to 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Massage this mixture on the scalp in a circular motion and wear a shower cap for 1-2 hours. Rinse the hair after and repeat this process twice a week.
  14. Mix equal parts of almond oil and olive oil and combine them well. Almond oil, when mixed with olive oil works better for treating split ends. Apply this mixture well on the scalp and hair (root to tip) and leave it on overnight. Wash the hair the next day as usual and repeat this process for better results. Sesame oil also works well instead of almond oil. 
  15. Heat half a cup of olive oil and add a teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Stir it well to avoid any lumps. Take this liquid off the heat and let it cool. Apply this mixture on the scalp and hair and leave it on for 4 hours. Rinse the hair well with water and shampoo. This method helps improve blood circulation and stimulates hair follicles. 
  16. Another method using cayenne pepper is, to 2 tablespoons of olive oil, add one teaspoon of cayenne pepper and mustard powder. To this, add 2 tablespoons of hot water and one egg yolk. Stir this mixture well until all the ingredients are fully incorporated. Apply this to the scalp and leave it on for 20 minutes after which it should be washed well with water and shampoo. This method promotes hair growth. 
  17. Crush 4 cloves of garlic and add it to 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Heat this mixture till the garlic turns golden brown. Strain this mixture and apply the oil to the scalp and leave it on for an hour and then rinse it off with shampoo. Repeat this process 3 times a week to help hair grow faster.
  18. Mix 2 parts olive oil with one part coconut oil. Apply this to the hair, from root to tip, gently massaging it. Leave it on for 10 minutes. Rinse it off with shampoo. This process binds the proteins with the hair and reduces breakage. 
  19. Take an onion and blend it into a smooth paste. Add one egg and 2 tablespoons of olive oil and whisk it well till all the ingredients are combined. Apply this on the hair. Leave it on for 40-50 minutes and wash it off well with shampoo and water. Onion helps to form keratin which results in hair growth. 
  20. Add one egg and 3 tablespoons of low-fat yoghurt to 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a bowl. Evenly apply this mixture to the scalp and hair thoroughly and wear a shower cap. Keep this mixture on till it dries completely and then rinse it off with shampoo and water. The lactic acid in yoghurt is beneficial for exfoliating the impurities on the scalp. Repeat this process for better results. 

Precautions 

  • Do not use it near the eye. It may cause irritation.
  • Hot olive oil can burn the scalp so one must not use hot oil, the oil can be warm, for adults, and use room temperature olive oil when applying on babies. It is best to test the oil for its hotness, before applying it to the scalp. 
  • Perform the treatment till the problem is solved. Not much happens by doing it once. 
  • If one does not choose to apply olive oil on the scalp, they can consume it in their meals by incorporating it into the cooking process or in salad dressing. 
  • Thoroughly rinse the hair after applying olive oil as if the oil remains on the scalp, it can clog the pores causing the flaky skin to stick onto it. 

Myths and Facts

Myth: The Colour indicates the quality of olive oil. Greener the oil, the higher the quality. 

Fact: This is false. Colour is no indicator of the quality of the oil. There are numbers of variables that are noted that cause different brands of olive oil to have different colours. The variables include the variety of olive, its growing conditions and country of origin. 

Myth: Heat diminishes the health benefits of olive oil. 

Fact: Apart from there being a slight change in the taste, heating up olive oil does not decrease the health benefits. Although one must make sure that when they heat the oil, it only warms it up, hot oil could be dangerous to the skin, scalp and hair. 

Myth: Olive oil must be stored in a refrigerator. 

Fact: Keeping olive oil in the fridge will cause it to solidify and that is not helpful. To store olive oil, one must keep it at room temperature.

Myth: The price of olive oil indicates its quality. 

Fact: This is not true and thus, there can be some locally produced olive oil that is cheaper but this does not compensate for quality. 

Myth: Olive oil gets better with age.

Fact: This is completely false. Just as all other oils deteriorate with age, so does olive oil. There is an expiration date for olive oil and it is advisable to use the oil within the said date. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is Extra Virgin Olive Oil and how is it different from regular olive oil?

A: When the oil extracted from olives is unrefined and unaltered, it is called extra virgin olive oil. This oil is cold-pressed, which means, no heat was used in the process of extraction, only pressure. In contrast, regular olive oil, which is extracted via thermal, mechanical or chemical processes, is blended with extra virgin olive oil. Nowadays, this blend is also called pure olive oil.

Q: How can one tell if the olive oil they have is a fake one?

A: The main way to notice that one has fake olive oil is if tastes too bland. Olive oil is known to have a fairly distinct flavour and if this flavour is so light that one cannot tell the difference between olive and other oils, then there is a high chance that the olive oil they have is a fake one. 

Q: Do some people face allergic reactions to olive oil?

A: Usually, olive oil is quite safe, but since olive trees produce pollen, there have been a few cases of seasonal respiratory allergic reactions. 

Q: How does omega fatty acid help in hair growth?

A: Olive oil contains both, Omega 6 and Omega 9 fatty acids. Omega 6 fatty acid helps to retain the moisture in the hair, in dry environments. Omega 9 fatty acid helps make the hair more bendable and pliable and since the human body cannot produce these on its own, it can be well supplemented by olive oil.

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