Using Olive Oil for Hair Growth (The Complete Guide)
Since the time of the ancient Romans, olive oil has been used as a health product. People have claimed that olive oil can promote healthy skin, hair growth, aid digestion, and even cause weight loss.
Though not all the health claims about olive oil are true, modern research has supported the theory that olive oil may be able to prevent hair loss, and boost hair production when used either orally or topically.
Can Olive Oil Stop the Balding Process?
For people who are suffering from male pattern baldness, olive oil can be extremely beneficial.
Typically, male pattern baldness is caused by an excess amount of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone that makes hair follicle shafts shrink. Over time, this causes hair to grow in thinner and thinner strands which eventually start breaking off before they can even grow to a reasonable length.
Olive oil can actually slow down the body's natural production of DHT when it is applied to the scalp, so it provides a minor decrease in the hair loss caused by male pattern baldness.
How Does Olive Oil Prevent Hair Breakage?
One of the main benefits of olive oil for hair growth is that it strengthens hair follicles and shafts, preventing hairs from breaking off quickly. The fatty acids of olive oil make an ideal conditioner for hair, and when hair is properly conditioned, in bends under pressure instead of breaking and snapping off.
When applied to hair, the omega-6 fatty acid in olive oil prevents it from losing water in a dry environment. Since the body cannot produce omega-6 naturally, getting it from olive oil and other sources is the only way to get the hair boosting benefits of this type of fatty acid, and it also stimulates hair growth when taken as a supplement.
Another beneficial type of fatty acid is omega-9, which is also found in olive oil, because it makes hair more pliable and bendable. These moisturizing and conditioning effects (see video below) of olive oil prevent hair from breaking, so they are the primary reason that this type of oil is so effective at producing thicker hair.
Does Olive Oil Benefit Your Scalp?
A healthy scalp is just as important for hair growth as healthy hair.
Olive oil is an excellent source of antioxidants that promote scalp and skin health. Whether it is eaten or used on the skin, olive oil helps to prevent damage and soothe a dry, itchy scalp. Applying olive oil to your scalp will help to prevent dandruff, fungus, and other scalp issues that lead to dry, flaky skin. These conditions can clog up hair follicles, so preventing them with olive oil is extremely important.
Massaging the oil into your scalp will also improve blood flow throughout the area, so hair follicles are stimulated to grow thicker strands of hair.
What Are the Best Ways to Use Olive Oil for Hair Growth?
In general, olive oil can be used in two different ways to encourage hair growth, so it can either be ingested orally or applied topically to the scalp and hair.
If you want to eat olive oil to supplement your body's stores of omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids, it can easily be added to a salad, stir fry, or another type of meal. However, if you are one of the rare people who dislikes the taste of olive oil, you can also buy it in capsules that you can take daily.
There are countless recipes for conditioning your hair with olive oil, but they all follow a simple process. Olive oil should be warmed before usage, and then gently massaged into the scalp and hair. After leaving it on for an hour, it should gently be washed out with a sulfate-free shampoo, and a leave in conditioner should be applied to seal in the moisture even further.
This procedure can be repeated weekly as a deep conditioning treatment.
Review of The Best Olive Oils for Hair Growth
Zoe Extra Virgin Olive Oil
This is the ideal olive oil if you want to get the hair growth benefits of olive oil by eating it. It is produced in Spain, certified organic, cold pressed, and contains no adulterants or other oils.
Things We Liked
- The mildly nutty, fruity taste is absolutely delicious
- Quality is assured by the North American Olive Oil Association
Things We Didn't Like
- It can be a bit pricey, so using large amounts as a topical ointment really adds up
Kirkland Signature Extra Virgine Olive Oil
A lot of bargain brands of olive oil are actually mixed with cheap, greasy canola oil, but this oil is actually the real deal. Its quality is decent enough to be used in meals, but it is particularly useful for being applied to the hair and scalp.
Things We Liked
- This is 100% pure, extra virgin olive oil made from Italian-grown olives
- The dark color of the bottle keeps it from turning rancid quickly
Things We Didn't Like
- The taste is slightly bitter, so it is not ideal for cooking with
Though wild claims on the internet that make olive oil appear to be a hair growth miracle cure are not technically true, there is no denying that olive oil does help to prevent hair loss and stimulate the growth of new hairs. It can help to prevent the production of hormones that cause hair loss, but olive oil's main benefit is that it is a powerful conditioner.
You can get these moisturizing benefits by adding some olive oil to your meal or massaging some into your hair, so preventing hair breakage is fast and easy.
If you have any questions about how you can add olive oil to your hair care routine, please feel free to mention them in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often can I use olive oil in my hair?
Many people apply olive oil to the hair every single day. Often people use light olive oil to soften the ends of their hair, and helped minimize split ends and frizz.
The only point to note here is that it's very easy to overdo it with applying olive oil to your hair. You only need a very small amount and it's better to keep adding a little bit, than to saturate your hands and start applying it. This will mean you simply have to wash the olive oil out because your hair will look heavy and greasy.
You can also use olive oil as a daily hair conditioner, either on its own or as part of a hair mask recipe. However, the heavier amount of olive oil will mean that you have to wash it out.
What's the difference between eating olive oil or putting it direct on my hair?
Just like anything else you ingest, olive oil will be broken down by your digestive system. So eating olive oil does not directly affect your hair.
Although you might get positive benefits from it as part of a healthy diet, which can have an impact on the strength a thickness of your hair and health of your scalp, it cannot directly impact on the health of your hair in the same way as applying it directly to the hair and scalp.
So if you are looking to get the best possible benefit from using olive oil to aid hair strength and scalp health then you should look at applying it directly to your hair rather than eating it.