Clean Beauty Tips & Techniques 5 Easy Olive Oil Hair Mask Recipes for Deep Conditioning at Home By Alicia Erickson Alicia Erickson LinkedIn Writer University of Washington London School of Economics and Political Science Alicia is a writer, photographer, and social entrepreneur specializing in sustainable travel, wildlife and nature conservation, and environmentally friendly agriculture and eating. She holds an M.S. in Comparative Politics and Conflict and a B.A. in International Development and Human Rights. Learn about our editorial process Published October 19, 2021 kazmulka / Getty Images Share Twitter Pinterest Email Clean Beauty Products Tips & Techniques Olive oil has been used in beauty routines for just as long as it has been added to tasty dishes. This wildly popular and versatile oil can help add shine, volume, and softness to your hair. Before you replace your conditioner with a bottle of olive oil though, here is some important information about how olive oil can be incorporated into a hair care routine—and also how it shouldn’t be used. Benefits of Olive Oil for Hair Olive oil has the ability to penetrate your hair in a way that few other oils can, perhaps with the exception of coconut oil. There is an abundance of monosaturated fats in olive oil that are theoretically responsible for its ability to penetrate and strengthen your hair. By penetrating the hair shaft, olive oil may help seal moisture into hair fibers, which ultimately leads to less breakage. That shine that is typically associated with an olive oil hair mask could be a result of the olive oil smoothing the outer cuticle of the hair. The main chemical elements in olive oil are oleic acid, palmitic acid, and squalene, all of which are emollients with softening qualities. Emollients are commonly found in hair and body moisturizers. In fact, many shampoos and conditioners contain lab-made versions of emollients. With olive oil, however, these elements are naturally occurring and don’t require chemical additives. What to Know Before Using Olive Oil on Your Hair While olive oil may work wonders for some types of hair, it won’t necessarily be an ideal treatment for everyone. Some hair types—particularly fine, straight hair—retain oil longer than others. The natural oil that glands produce travels down straight hair much faster than coarse or curly hair. This means that using olive oil on fine, straight hair might weigh it down and result in oily hair. Dry, thick hair tends to benefit, as olive oil helps it to stay moist and strong. Hair that has been heavily processed, such as bleached or permed strands, may also benefit from the extra moisture that olive oil provides—but wait at least 72 hours after you have received a treatment before you apply olive oil. Here are recipes for five olive oil-based hair applications that can help bring dull, dry locks back to life. 1 of 5 Hydrating Olive Oil Hair Mask IGphotography / Getty Images This simple hair mask can be made with items commonly found in your kitchen. Olive moisturizes dry hair while egg contains Vitamins A and E, and honey locks in moisture. Whisk one egg, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 teaspoons of honey together until well combined. Massage the mask evenly throughout your hair and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Then, wash and condition your hair as normal. Use this mask once a week if you have fine hair or twice a week if you have curly hair for optimal outcome. 2 of 5 Balancing Tea Tree and Olive Oil Hair Mask microgen / Getty Images Try out this simple olive oil and tea tree oil hair mask to nourish your hair while reducing product build-up, soothing an irritated scalp, and adding a shiny boost to your strands. Simply mix 2 tablespoons of olive oil with 4-5 drops of tea tree oil. Comb the mixture through your hair, starting at the scalp and working your way down to the ends of the hair. Allow the mask to sit for 30 minutes and then rinse out. 3 of 5 Restorative Overnight Hair Mask svehlik / Getty Images If you have particularly dry or frizzy hair, you may want a mask that you can leave in for a longer period of time to maximize the moisturizing potential. The combination of ingredients in this simple hair mask is safe for overnight use and will deeply hydrate dry hair. Ingredients 2 tbsp olive oil1/2-1 tbsp honey (depending on length of hair)1-2 ripe bananas (depending on length of hair) Steps Peel the banana and mash it in a bowl with a fork until it is a smooth consistency.Add in the honey and olive oil and mix until it is an even texture.Apply the mixture to clean, towel-dried hair with your fingers, paying special attention to the scalp and roots.Run a comb through your hair to make sure that it is evenly distributed and wrap your hair under a shower cap.Sleep with a towel on your pillow for extra protection and rinse off the next morning with warm water until all the ingredients are out of your hair. Overnight hair masks work best on clean hair that has been towel-dried and is still damp. Use this mask once a week to optimize results and help repair damaged hair. 4 of 5 Deep Conditioning Hot Oil Hair Mask kazmulka / Getty Images Sometimes simplicity works best. While you can choose to mix olive oil with other ingredients depending on your desired outcome, one of the best hair conditioning treatments comes simply from olive oil itself. A hot oil treatment can be deeply conditioning for dry locks when done safely and correctly. Steps In a small bowl, heat a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. The exact amount depends on the length of your hair but you don't need a lot. Start by heating the olive oil for 10 seconds, followed by 5-second increments.Test the temperature on your hand first and let the olive oil cool for a bit if needed.Once it has reached a warm but comfortable temperature, slowly start pouring the oil on your scalp in small amounts. Stop to massage the oil into your scalp and coat the strands of hair.Wrap your hair in a shower cap (avoid using a towel, as it will absorb the oil). Allow the oil mask to sit for 30 minutes.Rinse out with water or a gentle shampoo. 5 of 5 Nourishing Avocado and Olive Oil Hair Mask marrakeshh / Getty Images This popular food makes more than just a delicious snack or toast topping. Avocados are also rich in antioxidants and fatty acids, which make them a wonderfully nourishing treatment for your hair, especially when combined with olive oil. Mash a small, ripe avocado with about 2 tablespoons of cold-pressed olive oil and mix until it has a smooth consistency. Section off your hair and carefully apply the mask on your strands. Wrap your hair in a shower cap and let sit for half an hour. Wash out the mask either with warm water or a gentle shampoo. The nutrients of olive oil blended with those of avocado will make for particularly luscious locks if used on a regular basis.