Beauty BlogHair CareDoes Olive Oil Help Hair Grow? Benefits and Risks

Does Olive Oil Help Hair Grow? Benefits and Risks

Olive oil, typically light yellow or light green, is naturally extracted by pressing olives. It’s often imported from the Mediterranean region, especially Spain, Greece, and Italy. Rich in fatty acids and antioxidants, olive oil’s unique chemical composition has been valued by various cultures for centuries for its benefits to hair texture and appearance.

Does olive oil help hair grow? There’s evidence suggesting that olive oil can soothe the scalp, strengthen hair follicles, and potentially stimulate hair growth. In this review, we explore the research supporting the use of olive oil for achieving stronger, longer hair.

Is Olive Oil Good for Hair Growth?

Currently, no human clinical trials have confirmed the effectiveness of olive oil in promoting hair growth or preventing hair loss. The only indication comes from a small study conducted on mice, which experienced increased hair growth after being treated with topical oleuropein, a compound found in olives and olive leaves. However, there are several factors that limit the applicability of this study to human hair:

  • Olive oil contains lower amounts of oleuropein compared to olives or olive leaves.
  • Mouse skin and hair differ significantly from the human scalp and hair.
  • The time required to naturally absorb enough oleuropein through the scalp from topically applied olive oil might be impractically long.

Therefore, until further research is conducted, the only proven benefit of olive oil for thinning hair is its ability to moisturize and prevent hair breakage, thanks to its high fatty acid content.

Does Olive Oil Help Hair Grow
Currently, no human clinical trials have confirmed the effectiveness of olive oil in promoting hair growth or preventing hair loss.

Other Benefits of Olive Oil for Hair

While olive oil may not have proven benefits for hair growth at this time, it does offer properties that can benefit your hair and scalp. However, most of these benefits still require further research to confirm their effectiveness under various conditions:

Antioxidant Properties

Excessive exposure to sunlight can damage your hair and scalp due to UV radiation. Olive oil contains natural antioxidants that may reduce oxidative stress, prevent some UV damage to your hair, and even help protect your scalp from skin cancer.

Although there are no human clinical studies to confirm this, one study on mice found that using olive oil topically after UV exposure reduced the number of skin tumors developed. However, using olive oil preventively, before UV exposure, did not have the same effect.

Anti-inflammatory Properties

Olive oil contains phenols that possess anti-inflammatory qualities similar to Ibuprofen. When ingested, olive oil is known to have anti-inflammatory properties.

However, there is no conclusive evidence that it has the same effect when applied topically. Further research is needed to determine if olive oil can soothe inflammation, irritation, or tenderness on the scalp.

Antimicrobial Properties

Olive oil has demonstrated antimicrobial qualities in vitro, including antifungal properties. One in vitro study found it effective against candida, reducing it by 50%. This suggests that olive oil could help prevent or treat yeast infections on the scalp, such as dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis.

However, more research is needed to determine if it is effective when applied to the human scalp against the fungus causing these conditions. Some medical professionals believe that olive oil may exacerbate dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis by feeding the yeast that causes them.

Moisturizing and Softening Properties

The abundant fatty acids in olive oil are excellent emollients, softening and moisturizing your hair and scalp.

They coat your strands in a protective layer that prevents friction-induced breakage or split ends. Additionally, olive oil can seal the hair cuticle, keeping moisture inside for longer.

Does Olive Oil Help Hair Grow
Moisturizing and Softening Properties

Potential Side Effects of Olive Oil

Olive oil is generally safe for human consumption, both ingested and used topically on your scalp and hair. It is not known to cause significant irritation or other types of skin damage. While allergic reactions can occur, they are generally rare and mild.

However, due to its high fatty acid content, excessive use of olive oil on your scalp and hair can lead to greasiness and clogged pores, potentially causing scalp acne or folliculitis. Therefore, it’s best to avoid using this type of oil if you already have greasy hair. Always ensure you wash your scalp thoroughly with shampoo after using olive oil for your hair.

How to Use Olive Oil for Hair

There are several ways to incorporate olive oil into your hair care routine. While its effectiveness in promoting hair growth has not been proven, olive oil can soften, moisturize, and condition your strands, especially if you have dry, brittle hair:

Scalp Massage:

  • Pour a few drops of olive oil into your hands.
  • Gently massage your scalp with the oil.
  • Use a fine-toothed comb to spread the oil evenly along the length of your hair.
  • Be cautious, as the oil can stain clothes or furniture. To prevent stains, wrap your hair in a towel or wear a shower cap.

Hair Mask:

  • Mix olive oil with other essential oils, such as rosemary or peppermint oil.
  • Apply the mixture to your hair as a mask.
  • Leave it on for 30 minutes before washing it out thoroughly.

Split Ends Treatment:

  • Apply olive oil only to your split ends, avoiding the scalp and the rest of your hair.
  • Use a comb to distribute the oil.
  • Leave it on for as long as necessary before washing it out. This method helps prevent your scalp from becoming greasy while conditioning your ends.


  • For a deep conditioning treatment, apply warm olive oil to your hair, cover with a shower cap, and leave it on for at least 30 minutes before rinsing. 
  • For added benefits, mix olive oil with honey or yogurt to create a nourishing hair mask. 
  • Always rinse your hair thoroughly after using olive oil to avoid buildup and greasiness. 

Can You Put Olive Oil Directly in Your Hair?

Yes, you can apply pure olive oil directly to your hair without diluting it first, as it is unlikely to cause irritation or burns on your scalp. Olive oil can also be used as a carrier oil, meaning you can use it to dilute other essential oils for added benefits.


  • When applying olive oil directly, start with a small amount to avoid excessive greasiness. 
  • For a more intensive treatment, warm the olive oil slightly before applying it to your hair. 
  • Combining olive oil with essential oils like lavender or tea tree can provide additional benefits, such as soothing the scalp and promoting overall hair health. 
Does Olive Oil Help Hair Grow
Can You Put Olive Oil Directly in Your Hair?

Who Should Use Olive Oil?

Olive oil is especially beneficial for people with curly, thick, and coarse hair that is more prone to frizz and dryness. It can help moisturize and soften these hair types, improving manageability and reducing frizz. However, using olive oil on fine or straight hair could potentially weigh it down and make it feel greasy.

Additionally, you should avoid using olive oil in your hair if you have dandruff, as it might exacerbate the condition.


Does olive oil help hair grow? Olive oil may promote healthy hair growth, but the scientific evidence is not yet definitive. It contains proteins, antioxidants, and antimicrobial agents that might contribute to overall hair health.

Using olive oil regularly could potentially strengthen hair follicles and increase the lifespan of each hair, making it seem like your hair is growing faster.

Ultimately, olive oil is a low-cost alternative treatment for your hair, and there’s no harm in giving it a try.

For more insightful articles on health and wellness, be sure to explore additional blogs from Blonde Beauty.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More articles ―