Is Olive Oil Effective For Dry Hair?

A nourished and glossy mane is not just a dream with this oil in your haircare routine.

Reviewed by Tiffany Young, Certified Trichology Practitioner
By Ramona Sinha, Certified Skin Care Coach

Dry hair looks brittle, damaged, and is difficult to style or manage. One of the most advertised remedies for dry hair is olive oil. But among the many oils available, is olive oil effective for dry hair? Apart from keeping your tresses hydrated, this oil contains nutrients that replenish and protect hair. Continue reading to learn the many benefits of using olive oil to manage dry hair. We have also discussed the different ways you can add olive oil to your hair care regimen.

Is Olive Oil Good For Your Hair?

Yes. Olive oil leaves a thin film on the hair strands to reduce friction (1). It also controls frizz and improves the shine and health of your hair. Olive oil is traditionally used for topical application and is highly preferred for its emollient properties. In the next section, we have discussed olive oil’s benefits and how it works on your hair.

Benefits Of Olive Oil For Hair: Understanding How It Works

1. Hydrates Dry Hair

Olive oil is an excellent hair conditioner and has emollient properties (2). It can keep the hair hydrated, minimize frizz, and improve its softness and smoothness.

2. Promotes Hair Growth

Olive oil contains oleuropein. Animal studies have found that topical application of oleuropein regulates the anagen (growth) phase of hair and can promote hair growth (3).

3. Prevents Hair Damage

Dry and damaged hair is brittle and prone to breakage and split ends. The emollient properties of olive oil can minimize all these issues and help retain the hair length.

4. Prevents Oxidative Damage

Oleuropein and other phenolic compounds in olive oil are free radical scavengers (4). The reactive oxygen species are responsible for oxidative stress and cause premature graying (5). Olive oil may minimize oxidative stress and prevent premature graying. However, this aspect needs further research.

5. Helps With Sensitive Scalp And Skin

Olive oil has a soothing effect on the skin. It has anti-inflammatory properties that can stabilize the skin membranes (6). Olive oil can soothe the sensitive scalp and keep it healthy.

To incorporate olive oil into your hair care regimen, follow the DIY formulations in the next section.

How To Use Olive Oil For Healthy Hair And Scalp

1. Calming Olive Oil, Sesame Oil, And Honey Mask

Topical sesame oil can promote hair growth and be an alternative therapy for alopecia areata (7). Honey is an excellent emollient and humectant and soothes the skin (8).

What You Need

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon of honey


  1. Mix the oils and honey in a bowl.
  2. Apply the mixture gently to your scalp and strands.
  3. Leave it on for 15-30 minutes.
  4. Rinse off.

2. Olive Oil And Avocado Mask For Frizz-Free Hair

Avocado is an excellent base for any traditional homemade mask, and together with olive oil, it can help keep the hair soft, smooth, and moisturized.

What You Need

  • 1 ripe avocado (mashed)
  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice (optional)


  1. Blend the avocado and olive oil into a creamy paste.
  2. Add the lemon juice and mix (if using).
  3. Apply the paste to your strands and leave it on for 20 minutes.
  4. Rinse off.

3. Olive Oil And Shea Butter Hair Mask For Detangling

Shea butter is abundant in antioxidants and widely used in skin and hair care products for its anti-inflammatory properties (9). Apple cider vinegar is often used to add shine to the hair and cleanse the scalp.

What You Need

  • 1 ripe avocado (mashed)
  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • ½ cup of unrefined shea butter
  • 2-3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar


  1. Blend all ingredients into a smooth paste.
  2. Apply the mixture to the scalp and hair.
  3. Keep it on for 45 minutes.
  4. Rinse off.

You need to be careful while buying olive oil. Check the label and ensure that you choose the right type of olive oil.

What Type Of Olive Oil To Use For Hair

Always use extra virgin olive oil for topical application. Compared to refined and virgin olive oils, extra virgin olive oil contains high levels of nutrients.

If you do not find extra virgin olive oil, use virgin olive oil. However, avoid refined olive oils as they lack all the beneficial properties of olive oil. Before buying, ensure that the product is:

  • Certified organic
  • Non-GMO
  • Unrefined
  • Cold-pressed

You can also use extra virgin olive oil when using the inversion method for hair growth.

Does The Inversion Method Work With Olive Oil?

The inversion method rests on the logic that hanging the head upside down improves blood flow to the hair follicles and promotes hair growth. While there is no scientific proof to support the inversion method, many people follow it. You may use extra virgin olive oil while following this method. To do it:

  • Massage the scalp and hair with olive oil for a few minutes.
  • Sit on a chair, bend forward, and hang your head below knee level.
  • Hold the position for 5 minutes. Discontinue if you feel dizzy and nauseous.
  • Rinse your hair.
  • Follow the routine daily for a month.

Olive oil is extremely beneficial for your skin and hair, but it may have some adverse effects if not used mindfully.

The Side Effects Of Using Olive Oil For Hair

Unrefined and pure olive oil may cause:

  • Allergic Reactions: A patch test is recommended before use.
  • Clogged Skin: Olive oil is heavy, and it may rub off on your forehead, block the pores, and cause breakouts.

To recap, olive oil is very beneficial for your hair. It coats the hair strands to prevent frizz, reduce friction, improve hair health, and increase hair shine. Olive oil is also very effective for dry hair as it has strong emollient properties that keep your tresses hydrated. It promotes hair growth, prevents hair damage, and soothes a sensitive scalp. You can mix olive oil with other ingredients to make homemade hair masks and packs to apply to dry hair. It is recommended to perform a patch test before using olive oil as it may cause an allergic reaction.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can olive oil make your hair grow faster?

No. The speed of your hair growth depends on factors like your age and overall health. However, the oleuropein in olive oil may promote new hair growth.

Can cooking olive oil be used for hair?

No. Cooking olive oil is refined and not suitable for topical use.

Do you put olive oil on wet or dry hair?

Any oil must be applied when the hair is dry or damp (not wet) as it helps seal the strands and gets easily absorbed.

Is olive oil suitable for all hair types?

Yes, it is suitable for all hair types.

Key Takeaways

  • Olive oil provides moisturization, stimulates hair growth, and minimizes split ends.
  • Using extra virgin olive oil with shea butter or avocado as a hair mask keeps your hair soft, hydrated, and frizz-free.
  • It is recommended that you perform a patch test before using pure olive oil as it may result in an allergic reaction.


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

    1. Hair Cosmetics: An Overview
    2. Ethnopharmacological survey of home remedies used for treatment of hair and scalp and their methods of preparation in the West Bank-Palestine
    3. Topical Application of Oleuropein Induces Anagen Hair Growth in Telogen Mouse Skin
    4. Potential Health Benefits of Olive Oil and Plant Polyphenols
    5. Oxidative Stress in Ageing of Hair
    6. Chapter 123 – Effect of Olive Oil on the Skin
    7. Sesame and Pumpkin Seed Oil are New Effective Topical Therapies for Alopecia Areata
    8. Honey in dermatology and skin care: a review
    9. Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils
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Ramona is an editor at StyleCraze. Prior to that, she authored over 200 articles on skin and hair care. She... more

Tiffany Young

(Certified Trichology Practitioner)
Tiffany Young is the CEO and founder of ThinHairThick. She is also a recognized expert in the hair and beauty... more