Does Olive Oil Help Hair Growth? Everything You Need to Know
Olive oil, rich in fatty acids and vitamins, potentially promotes healthier hair and enhances growth, despite limited scientific evidence.
Key benefits of olive oil for hair growth include nourishment, reducing DHT levels, preventing damage, and supporting scalp health.
Usage methods include olive oil hair masks and combinations with other ingredients, with recommended application once a week for optimal results.
Hair Growth Cycle
Before we delve into the main topic of whether olive oil is beneficial for hair growth, it's crucial to understand how the hair growth cycle works.
The cycle consists of three phases: Anagen (growth phase), Catagen (transition phase), and Telogen (resting phase). Hair shedding is normal, we actually lose between 50-100 hairs a day and it typically occurs during the Telogen phase, also known as the shedding phase, when old hair falls out to make way for new hair.
If, however, the Anagen phase (growth phase) is disrupted then the rate of hair growth can decrease which leads to thinning or baldness as a result of the imbalance between growth and loss. There are various reasons for hair loss but some factors include hormonal imbalances, for example the menopause, surgery, stress, malnutrition, or genetic predisposition.
With this knowledge, let's proceed to determine how olive oil influences this cycle and promotes hair growth.
Is Olive Oil Good for Hair Growth?
While the scientific evidence directly linking olive oil to hair growth might not be abundant, it's worth noting the properties of olive oil that make it a possible candidate for promoting healthier hair.
Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, vitamins E and K, as well as antioxidants. All of these nutrients are crucial for hair health and help to support growth. which are considered heart-healthy fats. These fats play a crucial role in overall health and could potentially also play a part in promoting healthy hair growth by providing the necessary nutrients for the hair follicles.
Until recently one of the few studies that supported the idea that olive oil is good for hair growth was in 2015 when hair growth in mice was significantly enhanced by the application of ingredients extracted from the olive tree, however this wasn’t specifically related to olive oil.
More recently, however, research into cardiovascular health by Miami University demonstrated that olive oil, particularly the virgin type, promotes blood flow and reduces inflammation due to its rich antioxidants, as well as vitamin K and E content, all of which are key factors for supporting hair health and, in particular, growth.
In essence, while direct evidence might be scarce, the nutrient-rich profile of olive oil hints at potential benefits for hair growth.
Olive Oil for Hair Growth | 5 Benefits
Olive oil has many benefits that support hair growth, and understanding them could be your first step in achieving the hair growth you desire. Let's explore some of these benefits:
1. Nourishing and Moisturising
Olive oil penetrates the hair shaft and preserves moisture, making your hair look shiny and soft. This property can be particularly beneficial for those with dry and frizzy hair which can be more susceptible to breakages.
2. Reduces DHT Levels
Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a hormone that can shrink hair follicles, leading to hair loss. Olive oil contains oleic acid which studies have shown disrupts the enzyme that produces DHT, a known cause of hair loss.
3. Prevents Damage
Olive oil has protective qualities and research shows it has UV protection in it, allowing it to block the sun’s rays by 20%. Whilst we aren’t saying to use it as a sunscreen, as it is about the equivalent to SPF 8, you can use it to protect your locks. Coating the hair shaft can reduce the damage caused by harmful UV radiation and environmental pollutants.
4. Reduces Breakages
Olive oil is rich in powerful antioxidants, lipids, and oleic and linoleic acids which all work to strengthen hair strands. The presence of these components reduces the likelihood of breakage and helps to improve the elasticity of hair.
5. Supports Scalp Health
Olive oil offers anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe scalp irritation, reducing issues like dandruff and other scalp conditions that can interfere with healthy hair growth. It is important to remember that good hair growth begins at the scalp, and poor scalp health can contribute to reduced hair growth.
How to Use Olive Oil for Hair Growth
One of the most common methods of using olive oil for hair is by applying it as a mask. Here are some ways to integrate olive oil into your hair care routine:
Pure Olive Oil Mask
Warm some olive oil and apply it to your scalp and hair. Leave it on for 30 minutes to an hour, then wash it off with a mild shampoo, such as the Baobab Detangler & Cleanser.
Olive Oil and Egg Mask
Mix olive oil with an egg to make a nutrient-rich hair mask. The protein from the egg will strengthen your hair, while olive oil will provide deep nourishment.
Olive Oil and Coconut Oil Mask
Mix equal parts of olive oil and coconut oil. This combination provides the dual benefits of both oils, making your hair soft, shiny, and healthy.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to go down the DIY route, you could also mix in some olive oil to an existing hair mask, such as the Babassu Treatment Hair Masque, for an extra boost of nourishment that takes the hassle out of making your own.
How often should I put olive oil in my hair for hair growth?
Olive oil has a thick consistency, so it is recommended to apply it to your hair only once a week. If you have particularly fine hair, try once every two weeks to prevent your hair from becoming excessively oily.
Similarly, if you have low porosity hair olive oil is best avoided as the dense nature of this liquid can lead to build up. Olive is great for high porosity hair however, and again, can be used once a week.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Which Oil is Best for Hair Growth
While olive oil has certain potential benefits for hair growth, it's not the only oil that can enhance the health of your hair. Some of the other best hair oils that are known to benefit health growth include coconut oil, argan oil, castor oil, and most notably, black seed oil, which is known for its potent antioxidant properties that promote a healthy scalp and hair growth.
Does Olive Oil Make Hair Grow Faster?
While there isn't direct scientific evidence to support this claim, olive oil can improve the overall health of your hair and scalp, creating an ideal environment for hair to grow. Hair growth requires a level of patience as nothing will make it grow overnight!
Can I Use Extra Virgin Olive Oil in Hair?
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is great for hair, in fact, more so than regular olive oil as it goes through less processing which leaves it a purer, more refined product.
While scientific research is in early stages, there is some evidence that suggests olive oil does help hair growth.
This oil offers multiple advantages including nourishment, moisture preservation, DHT level reduction, damage prevention, and breakage reduction making it a worthy addition to your hair care routine.
Shop the Equi Botanics products where you’ll find high quality hair care formulated with nourishing and restorative oils.