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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

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

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59 Comments on "How to Use Olive Oil on Natural Hair"

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la*belle

My hair HATES oil.. It gets so hard. It’s still a twa,but i’m battling to seal with oils. I’ve used less, applied on wet hair, on dry hair, used castor, coconut, olive oil, jojoba oil, whipped shea,sweet almond, grapeseed..my hair’s NOT having it. Anybody else had this issue

shadiboo

try mixing half cup of vegetable glycerin with half cup of water and adding a few drops of olive or jojoba oil in a spray bottle. spraying instead of directly applying the oil should make it lighter and therefore not cause stiffness

Ugonna

Put a moisturizer first. It will be hare if you just put oil on un-moisturized hair.

la*belle

Hey Ugonna, thanks for the advice. I always moisturize first. My hair seems to like conditioner only right now. I’ll keep trying, tho!

Mikxtr

YES! I’ve tried oil on dry hair, on wet hair, on damp hair, freshly washed, freshly cowashed … each time the result is the same: hay. Dry as straw.

I’ll give it another try, but I’m not holding my breath.

shadiboo

after adding oil to damp hair, not wet, u could try sealing with shea butter. maybe that will work.

Lulu

you can try sealing with aloe vera

Caroline

I mixed olive oil with some leftover conditioner and I put it in my misted hair at night.

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