With more and more consumers focusing on natural remedies for beauty and health, it’s no surprise that olive oil is suddenly in the spotlight. While it has dozens of uses for cooking and around the home, it’s also an amazing hair treatment that can save you money, at .60 to $1.88 per ounce over commercial conditioners! When used properly, olive oil for hair can be used as a split end tamer, a deep conditioning treatment, and a cure for dandruff.
What Kind of Olive Oil Works Best For Hair?
There are many types of olive oil on the market. You can find most of the pure extra virgin olive oils (EVOs) in the cooking and baking sections of your local grocer or find a variety at Amazon. It’s not necessary to buy the most expensive oil to use on your hair, as features such as flavor and color won’t matter for this purpose.
Check that the product contains only olive oil, and that no additional “essences” are included. Garlic is one such additive that you don’t want ending up in your hair! Check the expiration date of any that you buy to make sure it hasn’t gone bad or developed a rancid odor. It’s also wise to start with a small container until you find out how much you’ll use in a month. While olive oil has a relatively long shelf life, it is not something you want to waste!
While you can find many products in the health and beauty oil claiming to contain olive oil, you are actually just paying for extras you won’t need. Avoid these beauty treatments. Some actually contain very little olive oil or charge more for beauty brand names on the packaging. You have most everything at home you need to recreate the same effects for much less money!
Olive Oil for Hair: Deep Conditioning and Deep Savings
If you style your hair often, you likely use a blow dryer, straightener, or coloring products. All of these can have a very drying effect on your hair. Bring it to life again with a deep conditioning treatment using olive oil. Simply coat your hair with oil, and leave it on for at least 20 minutes. Rinse it out in the shower, then shampoo as normal. You should feel the difference right away!
If you have time to build up to conditioned hair or want to maintain your moisture after this deep treatment, replace your existing conditioner product with a drizzle of olive oil. You can use a bottle with a built in spout, or fill up a reusable, travel-sized liquid soap bottle with the oil. (If you keep in under 3 oz. you can also carry it with you away from home and through TSA security lines!)
Let’s compare the cost of a commercial deep-treating oil and smoothing oil vs. olive oil:
Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a popular brand of oil, costs $16.24 for a 2 liter bottle on Amazon. Garnier Fructis Marvelous Deep Nourish Oil costs $4 for 5 ounces. You might also compare the L’Oreal Advanced Total Repair Oil at a price of $7.24 for 3.4 ounces. Using olive oil creates a savings of between .60 and $1.88 per ounce!
Olive Oil for Hair: Split End Tamer
Some hair types don’t require a full head treatment. If your ends are just a little brittle or dry, treat them separately. Put a few drops from that travel-sized bottle into the palm of your hands, and smooth it into the ends of your hair. You can do this with wet or dry hair. It works as well as many of the oil treatments sold in stores, and costs a fraction of the price.
Comparing the cost of the same bottle of olive oil with the popular Giovanni 2Chic Split-end Oil ($6.98 for 4 ounces), and you save $1.50 per ounce!
Olive Oil for Hair: Dandruff Stopper
Got dandruff? This embarrassing problem is actually quite common and is typically treated with a chemical or medicated shampoo products. If you’d like to try a more natural route, olive oil can play a major role in phasing out flakes. Mix equal parts lemon juice and olive oil to make a fantastic mixture that removes dead scalp skin while hydrating what’s left behind. Work a few drops into the scalp weekly. You’ll enjoy the benefits without the smell or irritation that commercial products are known for.
Combining the cost of olive oil and lemon juice with that of Selsun Blue ($8.07 for 11 ounces) or Head and Shoulders ($9.94 for 33.8 ounces), and you’ll save between $.25 and $.50 per ounce.
You’ll probably find that, after using olive oil for hair for a few weeks, your hair becomes softer and more manageable. It may be possible to stop buying commercial conditioners and detanglers altogether. If the olive oil starts working too well, however, you can always scale back. Do deep conditioning just once a month, and do light conditioning every other time you shampoo. Find a schedule that works best for your hair type and schedule.
Olive Oil and Color Treated Hair
If you dye your hair, there are some special rules to follow. Olive oil can strip some color shades from your hair, especially those in the red and gold families. If you choose to condition your hair with a deep treatment, wait until you are close to the end of your color cycle, but a few days before your next color cycle. You will end up with soft hair and can resist coloring damage, but there won’t be too much build-up that may resist coloring.
Use a spot test to determine how well your hair color will hold up with olive oil use. As a precaution, it shouldn’t be applied on freshly colored hair. Olive oil has actually been used to remove red stains from makeup and dyes – proof that it will more likely undo your coloring than enhance it.
Plumbing Problems from Olive Oil for Hair
One final warning: Olive oil is a fatty substance that can clog drains. You aren’t supposed to use very hot water to wash or rinse hair (it can dry your scalp), however continuous use of olive oil and cold water may cause slow drains. A regularly cleaning with vinegar and baking soda will help. Put a few tablespoons of baking soda in the drain, followed by ½ cup of vinegar. It will foam up, letting you know that it’s working. Flush it with hot water, and you should eliminate any left-behind olive oil residue before problems start.