Do you use olive oil on your curly hair? My natural hair absolutely loves Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or EVOO as the kids call it). I tried the whole coconut oil craze, but after continued use, my curls were not responding. EVOO, on the other hand, works on my strands like MAGIC. Every time.
If your natural hair is like mine, (type 4a/4b, thick, and high porosity), you might also benefit from using olive oil. If your hair is thin and/or low porosity, EVOO may not be the best choice. As it’s a heavier oil, it might not soak in well, and could leave your curls feeling heavy and greasy. But I know a lot of people with low porosity curls who love EVOO, so give it a try for yourself!
Not sure what your hair porosity type is? This post breaks down hair porosity, and will tell you all you need to know!
What are some of the olive oil benefits for hair?
Before we get into the how of using olive oil, let’s talk about the why. Here are some key benefits of using olive oil in your hair:
- Acts as a heavy hitting sealant to lock moisture in
- Smooths the cuticles (and therefore reduces frizz)
- Adds shine
- Packed with antioxidants, vitamin E, and vitamin A
Note, oil doesn’t hydrate dry hair. It seals in moisture. When placed on top of dry hair, it only helps make it look healthy and conditioned. You still need water to properly moisturize your hair.
Related Post: Can you use Coconut Oil as a Shaving Cream?
Will olive oil work for all hair types?
Okay, real-talk. Probably not.
I touched on this above, but in case you skipped right through the intro, here’s the low down: If you find olive oil too heavy or too greasy for you, that is 100% valid.
If your hair is on the thinner side, olive oil will probably weigh it down. Or if you have low porosity curls, straight olive oil may sit on top of your strands instead of soaking in.
If either of the above are you, I recommend a quick-drying, penetrating oil like argan oil. I love argan oil, but my high porosity hair soaks it up almost too fast. I find myself needing to reapply far more often than I need to reapply EVOO.
Related Review: OGX’s Argan Oil of Morocco
How to use Olive Oil in your Natural Hair
Now on to the uses. Below are the three ways I use olive oil in my natural hair care routine. The results are healthier, and more moisturized hair!
1. Use it to do a hot oil treatment for natural hair
I recommend doing a hot oil treatment after you’ve shampooed your hair. This way, there is no product-buildup preventing it from soaking in, and you’re already working with damp hair.
Hop out of the shower after shampooing, and warm up 1/2 a cup to a cup of oil (depending on your hair thickness). There are two ways to do this:
- Microwave in short 5 second intervals, testing until it’s at your desired temperature
- Put your olive oil in a heat-safe container. Boil a pot of hot water on the stove, then remove it from heat. Place container of olive oil in hot water for approximately 60 seconds.
Then, massage it into your hair, throw a plastic cap on it, and let it work it’s magic for 15 – 30 minutes. (This isn’t my scientific number, just what I usually do).
2. Add EVOO to your natural hair products
Another of my favourite ways to use olive oil is mixing it in with my natural hair products. This is best done with conditioning/moisturizing products: pre-poos, conditioners, deep conditioners.
When used prior to shampooing (i.e. in a pre-poo), the olive oil leaves hair feeling less stripped after washing. Personally, I mix EVOO in with my pre-poo, heat it up slightly, then use it to detangle my hair before getting in the shower to cleanse it.
Related: Review on Herbal Essences Hello Hydration (the conditioner I use to pre-poo).
When mixed in with a conditioner or deep conditioner, the olive oil helps retain moisture, usually leaving hair softer, smoother to the touch, and easier to manipulate. You’ll especially want to use olive oil if you’re doing a deep cleanse with a clarifying shampoo, or… if you’re washing your hair with dish soap.
3. Use Olive Oil in your LCO/LOC Method
Olive oil makes a great sealant, so it’s a natural inclusion to the LCO/LOC method.
For those who aren’t familiar, these methods are simply an acronym for the order that you put the products on your hair. The letters stand for Liquid (Or Leave in), Cream, Oil. Depending on preference, the order of the cream and the oil can be switched.
When styling my hair, I almost always grab olive oil to include in my LCO method (I mix up the order sometimes, but find because olive oil is so heavy, it locks moisture in better when used last). Once I started doing this, my hair started staying moisturized for almost a full week without needing a refresh.
Do you use extra virgin olive oil in your natural hair care regimen? Are there other uses you’d recommend that aren’t included here? Leave a comment below!
Related Natural Hair Care Posts:
- How to Trim Natural Hair: Ultimate Guide
- Key to Healthy Natural Hair? Knowing you Porosity.
- 30 Day Natural Hair Care Challenge to get you on track!
- How to Repair Damaged Hair with Aphogee Two Step Protein Treatment
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These are good tips, especially adding it to your products.
Thank you!! I find it really does help!
I used to use olive oil for my oil treatments also. It used to work great until I found other oils I liked more. I need to give it a try again because I’m sure I will like it!