Olive oil is the second most popular oil in the world, only behind sunflower oil. It can be used for cooking, medicine, and cosmetology. It is especially useful for hair health.
The useful properties of olive oil have been known since the ancient times. Nowadays, olive oil is often added to shampoos, balms, and hair masks, by the cosmetics manufacturers. Olive oil has a favorable affect on the health of the hair and scalp.
Olive Oil Composition
Olive oil is called “golden” by cosmetologists and other people that work with it, because of its unique composition, which includes many useful micronutrients.
- Polyunsaturated fatty acids. Approximately 60-80% Omega 9s, 4-14% Omega 6s, and 1-2% Omega 3s. These Omega acids are not produced by the human body and need to be consumed from outside sources. Our hair especially needs them, since they help to lubricate the tissues, rejuvenating and normalizing the metabolism.
- Vitamin A. A natural antioxidant, it accelerates the regeneration processes and prevents early aging. Vitamin A accelerates hair growth, increases the volume and elasticity, and protects against sun exposure. It also regulates the secretions of the sebaceous glands.
- Vitamin E. It protects the cells of the body from the damage of free radicals. Helps with collagen synthesis, protecting hair from oxygen starvation, and rejuvenates and moisturizes the hair. It also fights dandruff and restores the natural structure of the hair.
- Vitamin D. Can restore damaged hair. Prevents the development of scalp and hair related diseases. Also strengthens the follicles and neutralizes the negative effects of ultraviolet radiation.
- Vitamin K. Helps with blood clotting and healing of skin lesions. It also promotes the absorption of calcium and Vitamin D.
- Potassium. Moisturizes dry hair and fixes damage to the hair.
- Calcium. Restores the structure of the hair and protects the hair from excessive dryness and brittleness.
- Palmitic acid. A building block for hyaluronic acid and collagen, which are the elements necessary for tissue regeneration.
- Phenols and polyphenols. Antioxidants that slow the aging process.
- Terpenes and triterpenes. They promote oxygen enrichment within the cells and protect against ultraviolet radiation.
Because of its nutritious composition, olive oil is often used in cosmetic products and procedures. The most important thing is to choose a quality oil for the appropriate purpose and to follow the usage recommendations.
Benefits of Olive Oil for Hair
Olive oil is ideal for healing and nourishing the hair at home. It is quite effective against the following problems:
- Dry hair with a damaged structure.
- Early baldness or slow hair growth.
- Dandruff and inflammation of the scalp.
- Simple additional care for regular hair.
Olive oil nourishes and revitalizes the hair, giving it a luxurious satin shine. If you have greasy hair, it is recommended to dilute the oil with lemon juice, which will help the hair to absorb more vitamins and lightly dry.
Olive oil is also useful for normal hair. It protects against harsh environmental factors such as sun, wind, temperature changes, and more. Your hair will become more lush, silky, and showy.
How to select a quality olive oil?
Olive oil first came from Greece. It is made from the pulp of olives, which are harvested from late November to early March. Olives begin to lose their healthy properties if they are stored for too long, so it is best to process them as quickly as possible.
Like many oils, the best quality oil (especially for hair) is obtained with a cold press technique. When the olives are processed without the influence of high temperatures and chemicals, the oil will retain the useful properties of the ripe fruit.
If you want to use olive oil on your hair, you should choose an oil labeled ‘Extra Virgin olive oil.” This version perfectly moisturizes and nourishes the hair and scalp and speeds up the recovery and regeneration process. You will want to avoid refined olive oil, since it has lost most of its useful properties during the purification and deodorization process.
High quality olive is expensive. It takes 5 kg of olives to make just 1 liter of oil and the cold pressing technique is quite expensive for the manufacturer.
Before you buy any olive oil, make sure to check the ingredients on the label. To reduce the cost, manufacturers may blend other oils into the product. This will be indicated on the label in small print.
High quality olive oil has a light, but distinct olive flavor. If this odor is absent, the bottle most likely contains a mixture of poor quality oil.
Unfiltered olive oil is the most valuable. The acidity (the level of oleic acid) is also an important indicator of it quality. For selfcare, choose an oil with an acidity of at least 0.50%.
If the label says “BIO” or “organic,” this indicates that a high standard of care was put into the oil production. This means that inorganic fertilizers, harsh chemicals, and overly protective equipment were not used during the growing and cultivation process.
The organoleptic properties of olive oil depend on the composition of the soil and the climate of the terrain in which the raw olives grew. About 80% of the oil is produced in Greece and the other 20% in Spain.
Here are some more recommendations for choosing olive oil:
- Black olives give the oil a yellow, green, or yellow-green color. A small deposit at the bottom and slight fruity smell is allowable, but if the oil is not homogenous in texture and color, this indicates a low quality.
- Good olive oil has a pleasant taste with a slight bitterness and fruity taste.
- Olive oil is a perishable product. So buy it for when you will use it and try to consume it as quick as possible. Keep it away from sunlight and avoid temperatures higher than +12 C.
- If the oil becomes opaque in the cold, but becomes golden again in the warmth, it means that it is of high quality.
How to use olive oil for hair care?
With olive oil, it is possible to create effective treatments, that are not inferior to expensive salon procedures. With these helpful recommendations, you will receive the maximum benefits from these substances.
- You should only use high-quality, cold pressed oil, for the hair.
- You should lightly warm the oil before usage, with a steam bath. Never heat the oil directly on a heating source.
- You should apply the oil to the entire length of the hair, from root to tip, using a comb or sponge.
- You should insulate the head, with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, to ensure that all of the nutrients from the oil are absorbed into the hair. You should then wrap the head with a towel.
- You should wear this hair mask for an average of 50-60 minutes. If there are not other irritating compounds in the mask (for example, pepper or mustard), the time can be increased.
- You should use a shampoo that will foam well, to wash the mask off from the hair. Then rinse the head thoroughly with running water.
- You should combine olive oil with lemon juice if you have oily hair.
- You should use a mask at least once every 7 days.
Hair masks with olive oil
Below, we will offer some of the most effective recipes for hair masks with olive oil and various additives.
- Classical. Simply apply pure, room temperature olive oil to the hair and the scalp. Wrap with a towel and leave the oil to absorb for 60 minutes.
- Hair Growth Solution. Take 200 ml of olive oil and add 2 tbsp. of lemon juice. Preheat and apply to the hair.
- Hair Loss Prevention. Mix 1 glass of warmed olive oil with 1 cup of cognac or vodka. Rub the mixture into the roots of the hair and warm your head. This mask is very effective against early balding.
- Root Strengthening. Mix a little bit of red pepper into a cup of olive oil. Apply it to the hair and warm your head. Wash it off after 20 minutes.
You can add many things to olive oil to enhance its abilities, such as herbal elements, avocados, honey, mustard, or egg yolk. A mixture of olive oil and chopped garlic does wonders for dandruff. The most importation thing is to make masks regularly and to not be lazy. Then the results will occur much faster.