There is no doubt about it that olive oil is one of the world’s best loved natural oils. While olives come primarily from olive trees from the Mediterranean region, olives are eaten all around the world, and olive oil is used in every continent of the world.
Olive oil is one of the healthier oils for cooking, but it also packs great benefits for the human skin, nails and hair. In this article, we will be focusing on how olive oil does wonders for your hair and how it can lead to hair growth.
For centuries, people have used olive oil in their hair care routine, with the claim that it makes hair resilient, while giving it softness, body, and shine. This is no old wives’ fables as there is so much truth to this.
Scientists have discovered that the primary chemical elements that make up olive oil are palmitic acid, squalene, and oleic acid. All these elements are emollients, and emollients by definition are chemical elements with softening characteristics. It will interest you to know that a lot of conditioners, shampoos, and other hair treatments actually contain artificially created emollients.
It is because of this emollient characteristic of palmitic acid, squalene, and oleic acid that olive oil has a moisturising effect on hair, adding softness and strengthening the hair by penetrating the hair shaft to lock in moisture.
So, who can benefit from using olive oil?
It is important to understand that not every hair texture can handle oil. This is because some hair textures and types retain oil for longer, and when olive oil is added to the oil that is naturally produced by the body through glands attached to hair follicles, this might become too much and weigh the hair down.
Olive oil is most ideal for you if you have dry, thick hair, not so much if you have thin, straight hair, and not so much if you have oily hair and scalp. If you have thin, straight hair, the olive oil will go straight to your follicles and clog them. If your hair or scalp is already oily, you don’t need more oil.
Olive oil is also a great option for people with processed hair i.e. hair that has been treated with perms, bleach or relaxers. This is because processed hair always benefits from extra moisture. It is always best to wait at least three days after any hair processing before applying olive oil.
Lastly, olive oil works fantastically for people with split ends, as it helps to smooth burned or broken hair ends.
The benefits of olive oil
It moisturises the hair: Olive oil helps to bring a new shine to lifeless hair. To get the best results, add half a teaspoon of oil to honey and egg yolk. Combine the ingredients very thoroughly to form a paste, which you then go on to apply to your hair. Let this sit for about 25 minutes, and then rinse off the ingredients.
It treats dandruff: Being that olive oil works primarily to moisturise the hair and reduce irritation of the scalp, it also works to reduce dandruff. To treat dandruff, simply heat a cup of olive oil and generously massage the warm oil into your hair. Pay close attention to your hair ends and your scalp. Let the olive oil sit for 25 minutes or thereabouts, and then wash your hair with a mild shampoo. Alternatively, you can also massage olive oil into your scalp and comb out the dandruff flakes.
It makes for better hair growth: One of the main vitamins found in olive oil is Vitamin E and this strengthens the hair and stops it from falling out so much. The oil also contains monounsaturated fatty acids which also help to strengthen the tips and the roots of the hair. To use olive oil to stimulate growth, massage it into your hair and scalp. This improves blood circulation in the head and to your hair follicles. Your hair follicles are thus encouraged to grow thicker strands of hair. Alternatively, you can add olive oil to ingredients such as castor oil, almond oil and camphor to create an elixir that enhances hair growth.
It works great as a conditioner: Again, olive oil works exceptionally well as a conditioner because of its moisturising qualities. To use it as a conditioner, follow the same steps as described in using it to treat dandruff. Generously massage olive oil into your hair. Pay close attention to your hair ends and your scalp. Let the olive oil sit for 25 minutes or thereabouts (you can wear a shower cap to hold it in), and then wash your hair with a mild shampoo.
It adds shine and lustre to your hair: You can use olive oil to add shine to your hair by simply applying a small amount of it to your hair and scalp.
It is effective in treating split and dry ends: If you have processed hair that has been damaged from treatments such as bleaching or colouring, olive oil can help to remedy some of the damage done to your hair. Simply massage the oil to your hair ends to help smooth out the strands. Do this three to four times a week.
Wait; don’t just use any kind of olive oil
You need to understand that not all olive oils are born equal. There are so many grades of olive oil, with the highest grade being the extra virgin olive oil. The next best option is virgin oil, and the last on the rung is refined oil. What informs this grading is the way that the olive oil was extracted from the olives.
Now, when it comes to your hair, don’t just slop on any type of olive oil. Always go for the best, that is extra virgin olive oil. It is unrefined, has not been treated with heat or chemicals and contains more of the olives’ natural minerals and vitamins than other versions.
A key characteristic of extra virgin olive oil is its bright green colour and its strong olive flavour. This should help you recognise it easily enough.
Give your hair a little TLC
It only makes sense that you give your hair some tender loving care by making olive oil a part of your hair care routine, seeing that you put your hair through a lot. Even if you do not subject your hair to colour and heat treatments and use product chemicals, the simple process of combing and styling hair everyday still takes a lot out of it.
You can replenish your hair’s strength and encourage it to grow better by using olive oil. And the good news is that the best hair remedies are often the ones you don’t need a fortune to buy; they are often sitting right there on your kitchen shelf. And guess what; olive oil is one of those affordable but highly effective hair treatments.
So, why not go ahead and give you hair some much needed TLC? It will thank you with fuller growth, less dandruff, less split ends and a brilliant lustre.