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Although olive oil is not a very essential part of the Indian kitchen and household, did you know that it can benefit your hair in various ways? Yes, the oil that you thought can only cook your food, can also make your hair healthier and stronger.

But before using this oil on your hair, learn more about your doshas and your hair type. It is important to note that oil helps everyone, but the effect is less for some prakritis and more for some.

Read on to find out more about how you can use olive oil for hair benefits.

Our Ayurvedic Doctor Speaks

“Olive oil was referred to as ‘the great healer’ by the father of modern medicine, Hippocrates. Galen, too, asserted its medicinal value. Modern research confirms olive oil is rich in Vitamin E, A and a multitude of antioxidants. Olive oil is very versatile and is frequently used in culinary and cosmetic realms.”

-Dr. Zeel Gandhi (Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine & Surgery), Chief Ayurvedic Doctor, Vedix

Is Olive Oil Good For Hair?

woman applying oil mask to hair tips

Olive oil is obtained from crushing and extracting the popular Mediterranean fruit of olive and it has a vast range of benefits for your health, skin and hair. Olive oil is yellow or green in color, based on the method of extraction and is rich in fatty acids and antioxidants. Apart from making your food delicious and healthy, olive oil can also benefit your hair in many ways. [1]

Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix, says, “Olive oil would work well with Vata and Kapha prakriti, but it might be a little hot for Pitta. Hence Pitta prakriti individuals should use it with caution during hot seasons like summer and autumn.”

She further adds, “Olive oil was referred to as ‘the great healer’ by the father of modern medicine, Hippocrates. Galen, too, asserted its medicinal value. Modern research confirms olive oil is rich in Vitamin E, A and a multitude of antioxidants. Olive oil is very versatile and is frequently used in culinary and cosmetic realms.”

Daily consumption of olive oil consequently leads to the reduction of the level of bad cholesterol (LDL) and an increase of a good one (HDL).

Olive Oil Benefits For Hair

1. Conditions Your Hair

The chemical composition of olive oil makes it ideal for moisturizing your hair naturally. Oleic acid present in it is an excellent emollient that penetrates your hair shafts easily and restores the moisture in them. Squalene is another emollient present in olive oil that hydrates the skin of your scalp. [2]

2. Prevents Split Ends

Olive oil not only moisturizes your hair from the roots to the tips, but also increases its elasticity and prevents breakage and split ends. The omega 6 fatty acids present in olive oil strengthen your hair in totality and improve the texture of your hair.

3. Soothes The Scalp

Olive oil has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties that also reduce itchiness in your scalp and protect your scalp from bacterial infections. This in turn reduces your hair fall.

4. Controls DHT

Dihydrotestosterone or DHT is a kind of hormone that causes hair fall in a large quantity. Olive oil enters your hair follicles and blocks the production of this hormone, thereby reducing hair fall. [3]

5. Treats Dandruff

Dandruff in your scalp is either caused due to dryness of the scalp or fungal infections. Olive oil is an emollient that has anti-fungal properties. So it negates the two causes and helps in treating your dandruff.

6. Helps In Hair Growth

Olive oil contains vitamin E which helps smoothen your hair and reduce your hair’s frizziness, which makes your hair look thicker and healthier. Also, vitamin E enriches your scalp, thus assisting in boosting hair growth and reducing hair fall.

How To Use Olive Oil For Hair Growth?

Olive oil is a thick oil that is very hard to wash out. So it is recommended to shampoo your hair after applying olive oil in the following manner:

A. How To Prepare

  • Preferably use high-quality, extra virgin olive oil.
  • Based on an average hair length, you will need 2 tbsp- ¼ cup of olive oil if you want to coat your hair. If you just want to moisturize your split ends, then use half the amount.
  • Warm the olive oil a little and stir it. If it gets too hot, keep stirring until it's lukewarm.

B. How To Apply

  • Make sure to wear protective clothing as olive oil might leave a mark on your clothes.
  • Divide your hair into proper sections.
  • Apply the oil from root to tip. If you have an oily scalp, apply the oil only at the ends.
  • Leave your hair soaked in the oil for 15 minutes if you are using it for the first time. If you have used it before and know that olive oil will not make your hair greasy, you can leave it for up to 30 minutes but not more than that.
  • Comb your hair properly with a wide-toothed comb to remove all knots and avoid hair fall.
  • Wash your hair with any herbal shampoo and preferably with cold water.
  • Follow this process once a week unless you have severely damaged hair. In that case you can use it twice a week.

C. Essential Oils To Pair With Olive Oil

It is not compulsory to use other essential oils and herbs along with olive oil, but there are certain essential oils and herbs that can be infused or mixed with olive for better results. You can infuse olive oil with herbs like rosemary, neem, thyme, tulsi and even add some dried rose petals to it 24 hrs before using.

Rosemary improves blood circulation in your scalp, thyme helps in reducing alopecia symptoms and neem naturally conditions your scalp and promotes hair growth. Tulsi or holy basil strengthens your roots and prevents hair fall, while rose petals add a refreshing fragrance to the pungent smell of olive oil.

You can also add essential oils like tea tree or lavender to olive oil. Lavender has antimicrobial properties and can help in killing head lice [4]. Tea tree oil is a natural cleanser that gets rid of any buildup in your scalp caused by pollution, chemical products or dead skin. [5]

D. Hair Mask Made With Olive Oil

Aloe vera hair and facial treatment paste mask

Make a simple hair mask using olive oil from the comfort of your home and boost your hair with natural goodness.

  • Take 3 tbsp of aloe vera gel, 2 tbsp of olive oil and ½ tbsp of honey in a bowl.
  • Mix the ingredients into a smooth paste.
  • Apply the paste all over your head from scalp to tips.
  • Leave the mixture in your hair for 45 minutes and wash it off with a mild shampoo.
  • Initially use this mask twice a week and then reduce it to once a week based on the improvement in your hair quality.
  • Apart from the benefits of olive oil, aloe vera reduces greasiness in your hair, soothes the itchiness in your scalp and protects your hair from sun damage. Honey on the other hand moisturizes your scalp and acts as a conditioner.

Vedix Tip: DIY Olive Oil Mask Recipe

  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Whisk everything together and apply mainly on the scalp. Let the mixture dry and wash it with cold water.

Who Should Use Olive Oil?

Even though olive oil has a vast range of benefits for your hair, not all hair types or Ayurvedic doshas get benefitted from olive oil. Vata and Kapha dominant hair that is dry and coarse in nature gets the most benefit from olive oil. People with thin and dry hair or thick and oily hair might not get benefitted from olive oil, rather using olive oil may make their hair more greasy and oily.

If your hair has gone through a lot of processing like straightening, perms, bleaching, or smoothening, then olive is the element for the hydration of your damaged hair. However, experts advise waiting for 72 hrs after processing before applying the olive oil. If you are applying the oil over colored hair, try it on a single strand of hair first to see how it reacts with the color.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Olive Oil?

Even a multitasking oil like olive oil has its disadvantages:

  • If you have thin and oily hair, olive oil will be a bad choice for you. It will make your hair greasy and oily, causing even more dandruff and even pimples in your scalp.
  • If you have oily skin and long hair, the oil-coated hair locks can touch your face and skin and cause acne and breakouts.
  • Never use a straightener, dryer or any other hair styling products on your hair after applying olive oil, as this oil has a very low burning temperature and can cause harm to your hair.

Which Olive Oil Is Best For Hair?

There are various types of olive oil but the one kind that will actually benefit your hair is the high-quality extra-virgin olive oil. When you buy extra virgin olive oil it means that the olive oil is not processed, it has not undergone any heating, no chemical is added to it and it is not diluted. It holds its natural vitamins and minerals that boost your hair’s health.

How Long Should You Leave Olive Oil In Your Hair?

Olive oil has a very thick consistency. So it should not be kept for a long time as it can cause acne and make your hair greasy and sticky. If you have severely damaged or rough hair, you can leave the oil for 30-45 minutes. Otherwise, 15-20 minutes is enough.

The Last Word

Natural solutions like olive oil for your hair problems are always a better choice than using any chemical product. But, you need to consult a dermatologist before using even natural products. Learning about your hair type and your scalp skin is essential before applying anything to it or else it can cause infections and further harm your hair.

Know Your Dosha Now

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