It’s no surprise that oils have been the staple of hair treatments for centuries (hello, coconut oil), because who doesn’t love shiny, healthy hair? Whether yours is dry, oily or a combination of things, olive oil can be very beneficial in giving your hair the TLC it needs.
Want to Try an Olive Oil Hair Mask? Here Are 7 to Make at Home
Why use olive oil in your hair?
Although there’s no scientific proof that olive oil can boost hair growth, a 2015 study showed that oils like olive, coconut or jojoba can play an important role in protecting hair from damage and reducing scalp build up.
The omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants found in olive oil in particular have been proven to help split ends, soften and strengthen hair, improve dullness and prevent breakage.
So look no further than the items in your kitchen to create an olive oil mask that’ll keep your hair looking and feeling healthier. Here are seven combos fit for a lazy self-care Sunday at home:
1. Olive oil and honey
The sweet, sticky ingredient combined with olive oil is a match made for helping trap in moisture. Being anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, a honey hair mask restores moisture to dry hair and reduces split ends.
Use three tablespoon of olive oil and one tablespoon of honey and whisk until smooth. If it’s still sticky, don’t be afraid to add more olive oil to the mix (option to add a vitamin E capsule for even more hair benefits.)
Wash your hair with shampoo and let it completely dry before dividing it into sections and applying the mixture. Cover with a shower cap, plastic wrap or even those grocery bags you’ve been hoarding (no shame) and leave it in for about 30 to 90 minutes. Once time’s up, rinse it off with warm water and follow with your normal hair wash routine.
Note: Use this mask twice a week if you have dry hair, but only once a week if your hair is oily.
2. Olive oil and banana
Alexa, play Hollaback Girl. Bananas may be your go-to morning snack, but their rich antioxidants and potassium also prevent hair fall, while the fatty oils minimize moisture loss. (C’mon, we love a multi-benefit fruit.)
Grab a ripe banana, peel and chop it, then puree it in a blender. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and blend again to get a smooth consistency. (You can also add a tablespoon of honey for more moisture.) Wash your hair and apply the mixture on damp strands with a heavy emphasis on the ends.
Cover with a shower cap, leave it on for 30 minutes, rinse and condition your hair. Use once a week on dry and damaged hair.
3. Olive oil and avocado
Although it’ll be tempting to eat this mixture instead of making a mask, avocados are rich in fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamins A, B and E, so share with your hair. It’s basically the king of making shinier, softer and tangle-free locks. It’s also considered the holy grail for natural hair (thick, coarse, curly, you name it) that needs help locking in moisture and keeping curl patterns defined.
Take a ripe avocado (here's a go-to hack if you’re not sure), scoop and mash until there are no lumps. Add in two tablespoons of olive oil (adding honey works here as well) and mix until smooth. Wash your hair with shampoo before placing the treatment on damp strands.
Cover and leave for 45 minutes (you can apply heat on low setting for 15 to 20 minutes while wearing the mask for maximum penetration) before rinsing and conditioning your hair like normal. It’s best for dry and damaged hair to do this once a week to once a month, depending on dryness level.
4. Olive oil and egg
The proteins and nutrients found in eggs are a great boost for healthy hair and add instant shine to dull, brittle strands. The yolk’s fatty oils help repair and nourish dry, damaged strands while the egg whites’ enzymes strips away any excess oils. Unlike other combos, eggs work well with every hair type.
Dry hair should use two egg yolks, oily hair should use two egg whites and normal/combo hair types should use one whole egg. All hair types should blend their designated egg with two tablespoons of olive oil. You can also add Greek yogurt or lemon juice to strengthen hair, add more moisture and/or reduce frizz.
Once you wash with shampoo, start sectioning off damp hair and adding the treatment throughout (focusing on the tips of your hair). A wide-tooth comb can help distribute the product through your sections. Leave on for 20 minutes.
Rinse away the treatment and let your hair air-dry. Use it once a week.
5. Olive oil and mayonnaise
Mayo isn’t always a fan favorite on sandwiches, but it gets the job done in the beauty department. The mix of eggs, fatty oils and vitamins helps nourish dry hair back to life. It’ll keep your hair feeling shinier, softer and smoother.
Mix two tablespoons of mayonnaise with a few drops of olive oil. (Option to also add vinegar to help remove dandruff, dirt or grime.) Wash your hair and let it air-dry before applying the mixture, focusing on the roots. Leave in for 30 minutes before washing and conditioning your hair.
This hair mask can be done one to two times a week, and should not be used on oily hair.
6. Olive oil and coconut oil
Coconut oil is no stranger to providing healthy hair, moisturizing skin and boosting your immune system. Now, combine that with olive oil and you’ve got magic in a mason jar.
The combination will help soothe dry, itchy scalps and is a great natural anti-fungal agent for damaged and fine, thin hair. Simply whisk together the olive oil and coconut oil in a bowl (1/2 cup of olive oil and 1 cup of virgin coconut oil will do) before massaging it through your hair and scalp.
Comb through to distribute, wrap your hair and leave for 30 to 45 minutes (or even overnight). Finally, rinse your hair thoroughly with shampoo and conditioner. This hair mask should be used at least once a week.
7. Olive oil and baking soda
Baking soda is a staple in shampoo replacements for many, and a go-to DIY cleaning tool, so this combo is a winner. Its anti-fungal and antibacterial properties make it easy to exfoliate your scalp and treat any flakes.
Just add equal parts of olive oil and baking soda together to form a paste. Massage it into your scalp for about five minutes. Remove by washing your hair with shampoo and conditioner. This hair combo should be used bi-weekly or once a month.
A few things to keep in mind:
Although olive oil can work on all hair types, the amount used can make a big difference. Fine hair should only use a few drops to avoid weighing down hair, and stick with doing a mask only once a week. People with thicker hair should consider applying more to make sure enough moisture is absorbed, and try a treatment twice a week.
It’s also important to wash your hair thoroughly before and after the treatment. Your olive oil hair mask will be more effective on clean hair, and the last thing you want is to smell like salad dressing when you’re done. Don’t be afraid to shampoo a couple of times to make sure it’s completely removed.
Have fun with your hair masks! It’s OK to experiment with the smell (especially with eggs or mayo involved) by using essential oils or dried herbs. (A great hack is letting dried rosemary or lavender soak in the olive oil for a few days to mask the scent.) Tea tree oil and apple cider vinegar are also great additions to your masks. Basically, the more benefits, the better.
Finally, these hair masks can be stored for about a week in the fridge. Who says you can’t make a big batch of hair masks during your weekly meal prep, too?