In the early days of my hair journey when I was researching on how to retain length and manage my kinks, I came across Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) as one of the ways to achieve my goal so often that I ended up trying it and I have not looked back ever since because my hair fell in love with it. I have used it in my daily spritz, pre-poo hot oil treatment, as a moisture sealant for my ends, deep conditioning and as you may know, it is part of my protein treatment every month. It has, unfortunately not been all rosy using EVOO and I have learnt how to use it so that we do not part ways completely but maintain a good relationship. So far so good. Today I want to share this experience and the lessons I learnt from my mistakes with you.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a well known product both as part of meals and in skin and hair care. It is said ancient Mediterranean cultures used it in food, but also as lamp fuel, medicinal uses and as beauty treatments to moisturize skin and condition their hair. Nowadays, so much work has been done in research to uncover the health benefits of Olive Oil to our bodies and topical treatments on skin and hair such that many commercial hair products now include it in their ingredients’ list. Some people claim it has biotin, niacin, vitamin A, E and K and is an antioxidant. It is also said to have therapeutic and conditioning properties to which I can testify because I have experienced it.
As part of a daily spritz, olive oil, is really good to my hair and I think it adds on to the shine that my hair has after spritzing it. Same as when I use it to seal moisture after applying water to my ends. This I normally do when I wear my hair in mini twists or braids. At one time I was waiting for my turn to withdraw some cash at an atm and this man, maybe in his fifties was also waiting for his turn and he said, “sorry to bother you but may I ask you a question? To which I turned to look at him and nodded my approval for his request. And he said, “How come your hair is all clean, neat and is looking good, what do you do different? Now I was not about to tell him my hair regimen but I simply thanked him for the compliment and said I try my best to take care of it well. In my heart though, I knew it was all thanks to the water and EVOO which I had used some minutes earlier that gave my hair that lively, healthy look.
I love my protein treatments and always look forward to them. My hair usually feels much stronger and softer and easier to manage. I think it even kind of glows as well. *wink* You know what I mean. I know most people shampoo their hair after an ‘eggs, mayo and EVOO’ protein treatment but I don’t. I shampoo before the treatment to make sure my hair is clean and any product build up on my strands is removed so that the treatment can really penetrate my hair. I only condition my hair afterwards and rinse thoroughly to get rid of the egg remains. My hair thrives and looks good too and my scalp stays clear of dandruff for a week or two. Actually, I have been contemplating on protein treatments every two weeks but am not sure if my hair can handle it. I’m sure though that my scalp will not complain that extra TLC. I also add EVOO to my regular conditioner when I deep condition my hair every week. I believe it adds that extra shine and lustrous to my hair and the slip when de-tangling is a plus.
Pre-poo hot oil treatment is where I learnt it the hard way. This other time, I applied a mixture of EVOO and castor oil to my scalp and hair a day before wash day as a pre-poo hot oil treatment. All went well and the next day, I washed my hair the usual way, as in co-washing. What followed was just something else. I went through hell and back with dandruff. It was so much and I was scratching all the time such that my scalp became so sore as if it was just one big wound all over my head. I tried so many remedies to get rid of the dandruff without much success. Relief only came after about two weeks when a dear friend advised me to use baby oil. Whew! Lesson learnt. I will never use that mixture on my scalp ever. It may work for others but for me, it spells disaster. Now, I only apply it to my hair, concentrating on the ends and I wash it off after about 30 minutes to an hour.
Here are some facts on Olive oil that you may be interested to know.
- In Ancient Greece, women applied olive oil to their skin and hair after bathing as protection from the elements and to maintain a pleasant fragrance.
- The women of Ancient Greece created eye shadow by mixing ground charcoal with olive oil.
- Hippocrates called olive oil “the great therapeutic.”
- In Ancient Rome, pregnant women applied olive oil to their skin to prevent stretch marks. Many woman today still follow this practice.
- In the Bible, King Solomon pays for wood to build his temple with olive oil, wine, barley, and wheat.
- Olive oil is technically a fruit juice rather than an oil. The olives are pressed to release their juices just like an orange or a lemon be pressed.
- Extra virgin is the highest quality and most expensive form of olive oil. It comes from the first pressing of the olives. It is the least acidic and has the fruitiest flavor.
- Olive oil is high in healthy monounsaturated fats.
- It has a 10:1 ratio of fatty acids: 10% Omega-6 and 1% Omega-3 fatty acids.
- Olive oil has 5mg of flavenoid polyphenols for every 10 grams of oil. These polyphenols are natural anti-oxidants that can prevent heart disease, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and reduce the overall effects of aging.
Till next time, whatever you do, do it well.