6 DIY Olive Oil Hair Masks: Recipes, Tips, Benefits & More
Making hair masks at home is a simple joy we can get behind. Extra-virgin olive oil has plenty of hair-healthy benefits, making it an ideal ingredient to add in or use as a base for your hair treatments. Before we jump in, do make sure your oil is high quality, as you'll likely not get any of the benefits below if it is not.
Why Olive Oil is Good for Hair
Like many natural oils, olive oil has a very nutritious profile full of antioxidants and fatty acids. To start, olive oil is a monounsaturated fat. Hair actually has the ability to absorb monounsaturated fats, according to research, so while not all of the oil will penetrate the strand, there's good reason to believe some will. This is important because this way, your hair can utilize the antioxidant powers.
Olive oil is notably high in vitamin E, a fat-soluble antioxidant that has impressive free-radical-fighting abilities. This likely accounts for the fact that studies have shown the oil has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help your scalp health as well as help hair deal with external aggressors, like pollution. This is an important benefit, as inflammation and oxidative stress is one of the main causes of hair loss and premature graying, according to research.
And upon application, the oil can help in two ways. First, it helps condition hair thanks to the vitamins and fatty acids noted above. Second, it acts as a protective barrier, thanks to the occlusive properties. "It acts both as a moisturizer and a sealant, which helps to keep moisture locked in after the olive oil has been applied. Incorporating olive oil into your hair routine can help to improve elasticity and result in less breakage," says hairstylist Miko Branch, founder of Miss Jessie's. In fact, some research has even shown that using olive oil as a hair lubricant can reduce breakage.
So olive oil's benefits for hair aren't just anecdotal (although, there's plenty of that too); there's real science backing up these claims. Translation? You can feel good about slathering it on your strands.
6 DIY Hair Masks to Try.
"While olive oil can be applied directly to the hair, mixing it up into hair masks and deep conditioners can enhance the benefits of that product through infusing additional antioxidants and benefits from the olive oil," says Branch. Here, our favorite blends.
Before we begin on any of the below: Wrap your shoulders with a towel so if any of the application process gets messy, it won't get on your clothing.
1. Honey + Olive Oil
This popular combo adds the soothing benefits of honey, ideally manuka honey. It can act as an anti-inflammatory for the scalp, reducing irritation. And it also has humectant properties (i.e., its ability to attract water to the surface of the skin and hair as well as deliver hydration to the deeper layers), so it helps your hair and scalp retain moisture.
1. In a small bowl, mix together 3 parts olive oil to 1 part honey.
2. Using your fingers, work the mixture into your hair, starting at the ends and working your way up to your roots (since the honey can help your scalp, you'll want to make sure it touches the skin).
3. Let it set for 10 to 30 minutes (even longer!), and then wash out with shampoo.
2. Avocado + Olive Oil
Avocados aren't just a tasty treat, they do wonders for skin and hair. Since avocados are also full of fatty acids and antioxidants, this blend will be extra nutritious for your strands.
1. Mash up a small, ripe avocado and add in a healthy splash of olive oil. Blend until consistent.
2. Carefully work through your hair, in sections. Wrap in a plastic cap, and let it sit.
3. Shampoo out of your hair.
3. Tea Tree + Olive Oil
Tea tree is a popular astringent that has many uses for hair and skin (it's often formulated into toners, acne treatments, shampoos, and more). You can totally make your own at home, using olive oil as the base. The mixture may help with scalp acne, product buildup, balancing sebum production, and adding shine.
1. Mix together 4 to 5 drops of tea tree oil into 1 fluid ounce of olive oil.
2. Starting at the scalp, comb the mixture into your hair.
3. Let it sit for 30 minutes, then rinse out.
4. Banana + Olive Oil
Bananas are rich in silica, a natural molecule that closely resembles silicone. Silicones are often used in hair masks and leave-ins as they help smooth frizz by sealing down the cuticle. So by swapping silicones for the banana-derived silica, you'd get similar benefits without the issues of silicones. Not to mention, bananas have significant antioxidant properties, too.
1. Mash together 1 banana and a large drizzle of olive oil
2. Work the mixture into your hair, root to tip. (Things may get messy!)