(Natural News) Olive oil is not only one of the healthiest oils available, but it is also among the most versatile. In fact, experts in hair care recommend using olive oil for different kinds of hair treatments, from moisturizing to deep conditioning.
The benefits of olive oil for hair
Gabrielle Corney, a licensed cosmetologist based in New York, explains that olive oil helps hair retain moisture once absorbed.
The oil itself also contains important micronutrients, such as vitamins E and K, that can protect the hair from oxidative stress and damage due to harmful free radicals.
Besides causing frizz and breakage, studies found that oxidative stress can also cause hair to lose melanin pigment at a much faster rate.
Vitamin E, in particular, helps boost blood circulation in the scalp to encourage hair growth. Recent studies also found that olive oil acts as a natural lubricant in order to keep strands from breaking. This natural lubrication helps minimize hair friction that can lead to more breakage.
For this reason, hair care experts recommend using olive oil for hot oil treatments in order to strengthen the hair and keep it from becoming brittle or developing split ends. Plus, hot oil treatments also encourage blood circulation in the scalp.
Olive oil can also be used as a deep conditioner to soften the hair, Corney says. Just be careful not to use too much to keep hair from looking too slick and unpleasant.
Experts also recommend using extra-virgin olive oil instead of just the regular ones for hair care. The label “extra-virgin” indicates that the oil is unrefined, meaning that it has not been processed or treated using chemicals.
Birnur Aral, the director of the Health, Beauty & Environmental Sciences Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute, adds that olive oil has also been used in certain regions around the globe to treat dandruff.
Moreover, studies indicate that the oil is also a popular ingredient in homemade hair conditioning masks meant to heal damaged hair.
Other uses for olive oil
On top of being a great hair care product and nutritious cooking oil, olive oil can also be used for all sorts of purposes, from soothing irritated skin to restoring furniture.
Here are some other uses for olive oil, according to Carol Firenze, a noted author on the uses of olive oil and a board member of the California Olive Oil Council.
Firenze explains that olive oil can be used as a polishing agent for furniture and leather products to help restore their former shine and suppleness. It is also a much safer option than store-bought furniture polishes that contain chemicals and toxic ingredients.
Lubricant and protectant for metal
Olive oil also makes for a great natural lubricant and protectant for metal surfaces, including those on hinges, gardening tools and kitchen utensils. Just scrape off the rust, grime and caked-on dirt first on the tool or surface so that the oil can do its job.
Olive oil isn’t just for hair treatments and deep conditioning. It makes for a gentle and natural skin moisturizer safe for both babies and children, too. Olive oil is also a great product for adolescents and adults that have sensitive skin or skin conditions.
Olive oil can also soothe inflamed and irritated skin. It is a great choice for healing rashes because it has natural antimicrobial properties that can neutralize the pathogen or biological agent causing the irritation.
Olive oil can also be used for therapeutic purposes as a soothing massage oil. Plus, its scent is mild enough for adding in more natural scents or essential oils.
Firenze adds that olive oil can also be used for basic pet care. For instance, adding drops of olive oil to pet food can help both cats and dogs develop healthier coats. Olive oil can also keep their skin moisturized and protect it from irritation and cracking.
Some people have also made bars of soap from olive oil. Its natural antimicrobial properties and moisturizing effect are great for both cleansing the skin and killing off bacteria that can cause acne, rashes and other skin conditions.
Olive oil is considered one of the healthiest oils for cooking, but experts find that it also doubles as an all-natural moisturizing and cleansing agent for the hair and skin, among other uses. (Related: Olive oil really is the healthiest oil for frying foods, scientists find.)
Learn more about the health benefits and medicinal uses of olive oil at Organics.news.