Penetrating Natural Oils For Relaxed Hair: Olive Oil

I've used olive oil for years. Mainly when I cook. Since it's in the food section of the store I never really thought about using it for anything else. Particularly on my relaxed hair until I started searching online for ways to bring moisture back to my hair.

From my online research, I found that olive oil is classified as penetrating natural oil. It is made by pressing the fat from olives. As I alluded to, olive oil is used in various ways - cooking, pharmaceuticals, soaps, and even fuel. What makes it good for hair, especially relaxed hair, are the antioxidants and Vitamin E and Vitamin K that it contains.

tall green bottle of cold pressed extra virgin olive oil being used on relaxed hair.

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Types of olive oil

Not all olive oil is the same. In fact, olive oil comes in various grades some of which are better for your hair than others.

Extra virgin olive oil

This is an unrefined oil produced from the first pressing of the olives. The pressing process is called cold pressing. No chemical treatments or enhancements were used making it a higher quality oil.

Virgin olive oil

The first pressing of the olives is also used to produce this grade, but the oil has a higher acidity level than the extra virgin grade.

Pure olive oil

What this means is the oil has been made from a blend of refined and unrefined olive oil. The refining process causes the oil to lose some of the nutritional benefits making it a lesser quality grade.

The grades that are most beneficial to hair are unrefined extra virgin and virgin because they contain the most nutritional benefits for the hair. The greener the oil, the better it is.

Benefits of using olive oil

The five top benefits of using olive oil on relaxed hair or even natural hair are it:
  1. Conditions and hydrates dry brittle hair due to the fatty acids, antioxidants, and nutrients it contains
  2. Increases manageability and shine by coating the hair thereby sealing the hair cuticle which allows  it to retain moisture
  3. Reduces scalp issues from the anti-fungal and antibacterial properties it contains
  4. Fights frizz and flyaways
  5. Nourishes and soothes a dry scalp due to the fatty acids and antioxidants

How to use olive oil on your hair

There are many ways to incorporate olive oil in your hair regimen. It is said that olive oil is better suited for those with thicker, coarser hair textures and those with dry hair. Olive oil can weigh thin hair down making it look look and feel greasy. 

A hot oil treatment

Olive oil can be applied to your scalp and strands whether relaxed or natural as a solo treatment. I have used olive oil several times in hot oil treatments by mixing it with other oils such as coconut oil and sunflower oil.

Do be careful though when applying olive oil to your scalp. Experts say that while olive oil can help dry scalps it can directly feed the yeast that grows dandruff. 

A frizz and split end reducer

Due to the thickness of olive oil, it can be extremely helpful and beneficial in the winter months. If you plan to leave the oil on your hair for several days it's recommended that you only apply it lightly to your ends so you don't end up with greasy, weighed down hair.

A hair mask

By mixing some olive oil with a moisturizing conditioner and your favorite essential oil you can great a great pre-poo mask or deep conditioning mask.

A detangler

Section your dry hair then apply olive oil on your strands section by section. This will provide ample slip so you can safely detangle your hair before you wash it.

Have you used olive oil on your hair before?