How to Use Olive Oil on Natural Hair


By Samantha Berley

Olive oil is a fantastic conditioner for hair, but there are many other things about this essential oil that make it a great go-to for hair care.

It’s also one of the top emollients that can penetrate the hair better than others, and its lightweight nature makes it great for moisturizing.

Olive oil also contains anti-inflammatory properties that promote scalp health and prevent dandruff. Extra virgin olive oil is also rich in high levels of mono-unsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E, an antioxidant important for hair growth.

Olive oil is not likely to cause an allergic reaction, making it ideal for sensitive skin and hair.

DIY Olive Oil Hair Treatment

Another great thing about olive oil is that it’s a cheap and easy way to add moisture to your hair. Here’s a simple olive oil treatment you can try for achieving beautiful hair at home.

  1. Warm about a half a cup of olive oil in a microwaveable bowl or cup. The olive oil should be warm but not hot to the touch. If you have fine hair or prefer a lighter treatment, add coconut, sweet almond or jojoba oil.
  2. Pour one tablespoon of the olive oil mixture into the palm of your hands.
  3. Starting with your scalp, massage the oil into your hair in a circular motion using your fingertips. Finish by massaging the tips of your hair.
  4. Place your oil-drenched hair into a shower cap or wrap it with plastic wrap.
  5. Let the olive oil sit for between 5–45 minutes, then rinse and shampoo as usual.

Dry or Wet Hair?

Some women prefer applying olive oil treatments to wet and recently conditioned hair while others want their hair to be dry. If your hair is wet and conditioned, it will lock in the moisture and additional nutrients when the olive oil is applied.

The downside is that olive oil is already slightly more difficult to apply due to the hair’s slipper nature. If you apply olive oil to dry hair, it has a similar effect, but many argue it doesn’t lock in as many nutrients as the wet treatment. Even so, it’s less of a mess than the wet method.

Many users also recommend hopping in the shower and letting the steam do its thing to enhance the effects of the olive oil on the hair. Once you’ve washed it out, watch your step since the floor will be slick with oil.

Olive Oil in Hair Products

Although there are arguably more popular hair oils, olive oil is well-known as a culinary ingredient and easy to obtain in any average grocery store. For food and for hair, olive oil has been used since the dawn of civilizations, ranging from Mesopotamia to Ancient Egypt and Greece.

It’s no wonder then, that olive oil is found in a variety of hair care products. Olive oil penetrates the hair cuticle so that the necessary moisture and nutrients are absorbed, leaving your hair not only smoother, but shinier and healthier as well.

Ladies, how do you incorporate olive oil in your natural hair regimen?

Black Girl With Long Hair

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop culture and black beauty enthusiast. bell hooks' hair twin...


* indicates required

56 thoughts on “How to Use Olive Oil on Natural Hair

  1. My name is India. I’m mixed with Asian though ( I know , don’t ask about the name) My hair is very shiny and wavy naturally. It stops right below my collar bone. I have been using olive oil and … Not much of a difference. I’ve learned all olive can do is make it shiny . There will be no big change in growth like how Addison experienced. Now if you’re wondering , ( i can read minds )I’ve been using it for five months now. FIVE MONTHS AND NOTHING! Nothing at all except for a head of hair dripping with the oil and smelling like woodchips . I found something else called Jasmine hair oil. It’s worked wonders! Growing hair and no split ends.

    • Olive oil will not make your hair grow. Your hair grows out of your scalp at its own rate, olive oil is there to help retain length by moisturizing your hair and providing vitamins for healthier hair and less breakage.

    • LOL you actually think Olive oil grows hair? SMH…. Only Olive oil can do is condition, moisturze, and shiny . It is what we use to keep hair health instead of oils filled with chemicals sold at store. When we do that, it can lead to growing hair better. I don’t mean it is certain purpose to grow literally. It only leads to growth because it keeps hair moiszture and condition in health, than oil that are sold at stores. Olive oil is afforable. Extra Virgin is required

  2. oils i use a lot:

    olive oil
    E vitamin oil (I used it at first when I was twa)It worked wonderfully and still do
    Grapeseed oil (use as natural heat protecant)
    Coconut oil
    Coconut creamy along with coconut milk
    shea butter
    cocoa butter
    jojoba oil (rare)
    argan oil (rare)

    now i use pantenol d becuz i read a book that said this oil is great at helping growing. I tried it and no difference but they told me to keep using it because ppl hair is at different condition. it takes times to grow.

    the listed oils are not really special or different, just make sure it is pure at it own individual ..i use it for a lot purpose conditioning, sealing, styling….

  3. Pingback: The beauty that is my sojourn through life...

  4. I moisturize my hair every day and after washing with Infusion Leave-In Conditioner Moisture Replenisher. In this bottle I add about a fourth cup of virgin olive oil. My locks really like it, and may hair never feels over dry, or greasy. I’ve had friends and stylist tell me my locks look great and health. I ONLY wash my hair with Pantene for Women of Color Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner. I didn’t have this much success with my hair when I was relaxing…now….I LOVE MY HAIR!!!

  5. I use olive oil two ways:
    1. After I shampoo n condition I apply the olive oil to damp hair n then add my other products.
    2. I do an oil rinse. After shampooing n rinsing. I apply the oil, then rinse n condition. It gives my hair great shine.

  6. I had cancer in early 2011 starting treatment by May. I choose to use the time to learn about my hair. I had 5 days of radiation and 1 day of chemo each week for 7 weeks. This is the time that most people loss their hair. Mine was not in good shape so I put it in braids and wore a wig. I washed it every week. After all treatments, I waited 3 months (September 2011) and then I colored my hair to a color that was not what I wanted but later I appreciated because now I know all the new growth. After cancer treatments your hair and skin changes. I hated my hair until 2012 when I choose to only do my hair when I really was patient. It is now the end of 2013 and I have cut out almost all of the color. I pull my hair in the front and it is below my chin, the back is about under the armpit. I take down my hair every 2-3 weeks and start with finger detangling (I still shed but not as bad). I do the dry olive oil treatment and put it 3 tbs of olive oil mostly on the hair and put a plastic bag on it and under a heating cap for up to 2 and sometimes 3 hours (the oil feels good when it made it to the scalp and lubricates it). I wash out with wen or hair one, then deep condition with Nothing But or what ever is around and go back under the cap for one hour. Shower and put in jojoba oil on the scalp, shea butter oil, coconut oil and almond oil then flat twist. I uploaded a picture after applying all the oils after the shower and before I twist.

    I am going to do something with my hair in 2014 but now it is health and I know when my hair needs something. I know and love my hair.

    • I find it funny that someone would give a thumbs down on surviving cancer. Are you so jealous that I got my hair to grow back. You are the devil and you will be call home soon. Thumbs down for surviving cancer. I have heard it all. Black people are haters.

      • Lowrah, Don’t take any notice of them haters, God has healed you, I was even surprised to see a thumbs down. Just remember you are a winner, and you survived all your treatments God has been merciful to you. Keep on with your long healthy hair journey to glorify God and to the shame of the devil, Bless you.

      • Lowrah, Abi, and Kendra shut the hell up. Obviously no one cares. Just because a person disagrees with what you say they’re a hater? Fuck you.


      • I was actually happy that you survived,but what offended me is the fact that you racist, you generalized and even said blacks, the Bible says be slow to anger, because in turn you might offend other people, God will judge you too, not every black person is hating on you,others like me are rooting for you,check yourself too cause you are no better than the person that didnt like your comment, everyone

  7. Hi, Lowrah I didn’t see the negative comment that person wrote, but I just wanted to say to ignore them-they must be mentally-ill or something. I hope you are feeling well. I am normally not a prayer, but I will pray for you and me. :) Have a good year


  8. I use the extra virgin olive oil today and my hair feels wonderful. its soft as ever. i also like argan oil. Every now and then i will use tea tree oil but not as often. im currently transitioning from relaxed to natural. haven’t had a relaxer since October and i have so much of new growth. my hair is in better condition. much healthier. it seem like its growing really fast. i also take biotin. at least one pill a day. a multivitamin. the texture n my hair is better also. its so soft. it doesn’t feel relaxed. i deep condition every two weeks

  9. I had decided to go natural about 2 years ago. I haven’t had a perm in 2 years , my natural hair texture is silky and wavy, like a native Americans hair because I’m Creole. I started using olive oil 2 years ago as well and the results are great ,it moisturized my hair and helped it grow. now it’s down my back..all I Ever use is olive harsh chemicals just straight olive oil… I don’t use grease either I hate it..but anyway olive oil made my hair grow…its really great.!

  10. ?I accidentally bought Pure Olive instead if extra virgin olive oil, can I still use it in my hair?

  11. Lowrah it is not fair to say black people are haters. I am black and never even wondered what your ethnicity is.

    Thanks for sharing your story and may God bless you with great health

  12. I’m a black man with a small/medium afro, an I haven’t bought extra stuff to moisturize an keep hair from being dry yet, but I’ve just be using normal cold water, through the day, when ever your hair gets dry just use cold water, I’ve learned cold water keeps hair moist an soft longer, hot water dries it out faster an will have your hair coarse.

    I use shampoo with olive oil in it, avoid stuff with mineral oil an other chemicals in it, always look for products that contain water an olive oil. I shampoo my hair in warm water an I rinse it in cold water an depending on if I’m going out of the house I dry it halfway if I’m going out an if I’m just staying around the house i let it dry itself I just keep using my pick, I never worry about moisturizing my scalp because It takes care of it self when I get sweaty outside.

  13. Pingback: Olive Oil – The Curl Club

  14. you shouldn’t put olive oil in the microwave because it kills all the nutriment in the oil. What you should do is boil some water and put your oil in a plastic bowl and let the warm water warm your oil

  15. Pingback: Natural Hair Winter Remedies for Dry Hair

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *