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Is Olive Oil Good for Hair?

The top 4 reasons you should add a dash of olive oil into the mix – no seasoning required

Yes, olive oil is good for hair! Who knew a simple household staple could safely add shine, luster, and moisture to your ‘do?

It turns out that ancient cultures did. Olive oil has been used for soap making, skin care, and even sunscreen amongst people in the Mediteranean for thousands of years.

What they didn’t know is that virgin olive oil is rich in antioxidants and polyphenols that help keep your hair growing strong and reduce split ends. It’s also antibacterial, making it an ideal cleanser and conditioner.

As science catches up with ancient hair care techniques, we answer the age old debate: is olive oil good for hair?

 

How Does Olive Oil Benefit Hair?

Olive oil is good for hair thanks to its complex composition of nutritious compounds. Rich in antioxidants, vitamin E, and polyphenols, olive oil can be used to moisturize and condition hair.

Olive oil benefits hair by:

  • Increasing shine
  • Trapping moisture in the hair shaft and scalp
  • Improving softness
  • Reducing the appearance of split ends
  • Repairing scalp damage and reducing dandruff
  • Encouraging healthy hair growth for longer, stronger hair

You may have heard these claims before. But how is olive oil good for hair? Why is olive oil good for hair? Let’s dig a little deeper.

Olive Oil Softens Hair & Adds Shine

Olive oil consists of three primary chemical compounds: oleic acid, palmitic acid, and squalene. All three of these chemicals are classified as emollients, meaning they soften hair. 

But that’s not all. Oleic acid and palmitic acid are powerful fatty acids with antioxidant effects. By removing oxidative damage from your hair and scalp, they aid in hair growth and scalp health. Oleic acid is an omega-9 fatty acid, providing nourishment to your hair follicles.

Squalene is a popular hair care treatment, especially among those of us suffering from a dry, itchy scalp. Squalene is anti-inflammatory and has been shown to reduce redness and irritation. 

More than that, squalene is responsible for that often-sought radiant shine. It softens, adds luster, and all around gives your hair a healthy look and feel. That’s why you’ll commonly find squalene in conditioners and pomades.

Best of all, olive oil is a wonderful cruelty-free way to get the benefits of squalene for your hair. Most squalene is unethically obtained from shark livers.

It’s a Powerful Cleanser

In addition to softening your hair with emollients, olive oil contains a chemical compound known as oleuropein.

Oleuropein has been shown to successfully kill various strains of bacteria, viruses, fungi, molds, and even parasites.

As demonstrated with The Oil Cleansing Method and dental oil pulling treatments, plant oils on their own are excellent at lifting dirt from the teeniest, tiniest corners of your body. Oleuropein adds that extra cleansing power of being antimicrobial, too. Your hair will never have felt so fresh and so clean.

Virgin Olive Oil is Rich in Polyphenols

Virgin olive oil is among the richest plant oils in polyphenols. Polyphenols are natural chemical compounds with incredible antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-allergic effects.

Additionally, polyphenols may promote hair growth and increase keratin production. Keratin is the protein out of which your hair is made. Because polyphenols have such an impressive antioxidant effect, keratin can grow freely as oxidation is reduced.

So what do all these polyphenols mean for you? It means you’ll enjoy longer, stronger hair directly from the root.

Olive Oil is a Mega Moisturizer

Is olive oil good for hair that’s dry and frizzy? Absolutely; olive oil is often used in conditioners for dry hair because it’s an excellent moisturizer.

The most abundant antioxidants in virgin olive oil are hydrophilic phenols. Our Latin students in the audience will recognize that “hydrophilic” means “water-loving”. These phenols actually draw in moisture.

And for your scalp, the application of plant oils like virgin olive oil may act as a protective barrier to the skin, retaining moisture by creating a thin occlusive layer over the skin and hair strand.

Is Olive Oil Good for Hair of All Types?

All hair types can use olive oil to increase shine and softness. However, it’s best used by people who have thick, dry hair, dry scalp, or split ends.

Because olive oil is dense, it may weigh down thin hair, reducing volume and making it difficult to style. If it’s not properly washed out, it may leave your hair looking wet and oily.

However, there are options for all hair types to get the benefits of olive oil for hair.

 

How to Use Olive Oil for Hair

Is olive oil good for hair as a mask, shampoo, or conditioner? If you have thick, dry hair, you can find shampoos and conditioners to try below.

However, all hair types can benefit from a DIY olive oil mask like the one below!

DIY Olive Oil Mask

An olive oil mask is a great once-a-week way to increase shine, soften hair, and do a deep oil cleanse on your scalp. And it’s easy!

Here’s how to use a simple DIY olive oil hair mask:

  1. Depending on the thickness and length of your hair, measure out 1-3 tablespoons of virgin olive oil
  2. Coat your fingertips in olive oil, and gently massage it onto your scalp
  3. Once you’ve coated your scalp, draw the oil down the length of your locks with a gentle pulling motion (Warning: Avoid the urge to add more oil – less is more)
  4. Leave the oil in your hair for 30 minutes to 1 hour
  5. Shower using your favorite shampoo
  6. If your hair feels weighed down, one more lather and rinse should do the trick

The Best Products that Utilize Olive Oil

Palmer’s Olive Oil Smoothing Shampoo

Cruelty-free, Paraben-free, Phthalate-free
Is olive oil good for hair? Palmer’s certainly thinks so! Recognizing the conditioning power of virgin olive oil, Palmer’s actually has a whole line of olive oil formulated products. Looking for a light touch of olive oil? Try their conditioning spray. How about a growth therapy mask or leave-in conditioner? They have those, too. 

They also have deep conditioning sample packets if you’re not ready to commit, and a special olive oil formula for frizz-prone hair. None of these products contain mineral oil, parabens, sulfates, or phthalates.

Bambo Earth’s Olive Oil Shampoo & Conditioning Bar

Cruelty-free, Vegan friendly, Eco-friendly
100% organic and eco-friendly, this cold-pressed dual action shampoo and conditioning bar adds shine without stripping your hair of its natural protective oils. Bambo Earth recommends this bar for neutral to oily hair. This brand strives for zero-waste. The packaging and soap are both biodegradable.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

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