Olive Oil is perhaps one of the most versatile and readily available oils that can be used in our quest towards healthy hair. Olive oil is very effective because it provides our hair with nourishment; provides conditioning properties due to its penetrating ability; strengthens our hair; provides elasticity; helps with manageability; reduces static and smoothens the hair cuticle.
Olive oil is excellent for dry damaged tresses because it contains Vitamin E and anti-oxidants which are important for healthy hair. It has been used since the inception of Ancient Civilizations such as in Ancient Greece for hair and even for the skin.
Make sure to use cold pressed extra virgin olive oil because this process ensures the oil retains all of its wonderful properties; popular brands in Nigeria include Goya Olive Oil.
There are various ways to use Olive Oil for our hair:
1. As a Sealant: I have previously explained how beneficial it is to moisturise and seal our hair and how I moisturise and seal my own hair. Olive Oil works as an excellent sealant to ensure that all the moisture that has been put into the hair actually stays there.
2. As a Scalp Oil: Olive Oil contains certain anti-inflammatory properties that work to promote scalp health. It can be applied to the scalp for hydration, it also relieves itchiness and helps eliminate dandruff/dry scalp by providing the scalp with much needed nourishment.
3. As a Hot Oil Treatment: Olive Oil can be used as a hot oil treatment just before shampooing and conditioning your hair. For a hot oil treatment simply heat it up in a microwave for about a minute or in a bowl of hot water; divide the hair in sections and apply the warmed up olive oil and cover hair with a plastic cap. Sit under a hooded dryer for about fifteen minutes or for about thirty minutes without direct heat (ie. using only the plastic cap) or overnight if you can, the longer you can leave it on the better.
Tip: If you do not have a hooded hair dryer (which let’s face it most people don’t), you can apply the olive oil just before taking a hot bath, while bathing the steam would help so that the olive oil can penetrate a bit better.
4. As a Pre-shampoo Treatment: Olive Oil can be used as a pre-shampoo treatment, simply divide your hair into sections, apply the oil and then cover with a plastic cap, leave it on for about thirty minutes or longer. For better penetration you may use a direct heat source in the form of a hooded dryer. See my post explaining pre-shampoo treatments here and my pre-poo treatment recipe here.
5. As a Deep Conditioner Addition: Adding a tablespoon of Olive Oil into your deep conditioners works a treat to rejuvenate dry damaged hair.
6. As a Shampoo Addition: A teaspoon of oil can be added to reduce the harshness of your shampoo, check out my milder shampoo recipe here.
Please check out African Naturalista’s Product Swap Forum here, where you can exchange hair products with other people; it is a wonderful way to try out new things.
I would love to know how you use this Oil for beauty purposes, hair included. I would also like to thank all my lovely subscribers for their support. Please comment and send me emails if you have any questions, I am always available to help.
It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err – Mahatma Gandhi