Healthy Skin Makeover

Can a Pantry Staple Salvage Split Ends?


olive-oil-hair
Like most women, I'm really trying to stretch out my appointments with my hairdresser. And even though my bank account may be a little bit healthier, my hair isn't looking so hot. Parched, desert-like, destroyed. These are the words that come to mind when I take a look at my ends. None of my usual deep conditioners were cutting it. And with a couple of weeks left before my next cut, it was time to take drastic measures.

Sure, I'd heard that olive oil can help quench seriously dry strands, but I never thought it was for me. My naturally-fine hair couldn't be that dry, or so I thought. Besides, I didn't want to wind up smelling like a salad.

Olive oil is full of vitamin E, which is essential for hair health. And since I only needed a little, it's considerably less expensive than some of my favorite products.

So, last weekend I bit the bullet. I wet my hair, then slicked on a few tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil. I avoided my scalp because the damage is limited to the bottom third of my hair. (If yours is seriously stripped, go ahead and dab some on your roots.) Then I twisted my tired tresses into a bun and let the oil soak in for about 40 minutes before shampooing. I was prepared to be wowed and … I wasn't. Sure, my hair looked a little better, but I was expecting a moisturizing miracle.

Luckily, I wasn't ready to give up just yet. I waited until my hair was nearly dry, then massaged more olive oil into my frizzed ends right before bed. I let it soak in overnight and—hallelujah!—woke up to baby-soft strands and zero residue on my pillowcase the next morning.

I looked like a grease ball all night (be prepared to shampoo first thing the next morning), but I'm ready to permanently forgo all deep conditioners in favor of this heart-healthy hair-saver. Plus, if you use it sparsely, it makes a great body moisturizer—though it certainly doesn't smell as good as anything you'd find a pharmacy shelf.
Kate Stinchfield
Last Updated: April 13, 2009

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