6 DIY Olive Oil Hair Masks: Recipes, Tips & Benefits

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 two-fold. 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 oils’ 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. 

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