Olive Oil and African American Hair Care

If you want to restore health to, rejuvenate the life of and revive your dull and or extra dry African American hair, try applying just a small amount of olive oil to your hair each night before going to bed. Olive oil is not only good in the kitchen, its an amazing moisturizer when used on the hair. Applying just a small portion to your hair on a daily basis will restore life to heat damaged, neglected or dry hair. In addition, when applying olive oil to your hair before going to bed, placing a moisture retaining cap over the hair to retain heat and allowing the oil to penetrate the hair shaft, encourages the oil to penetrate deep into hair follicles which promotes a healthier more gorgeous head of hair.

To begin, start by washing your hair at least twice weekly. African American hair dries out very quickly. Washing it more than twice weekly prevents moisture retention and causes breakage. Washing it more than twice is not a problem if the hair has been taken care of and is already healthy and strong. However, if your hair is damaged, breaking or is suffering with other issues, washing more than twice weekly is discouraged.

After washing your hair take a clean, white towel and gently dry your hair. Take a generous portion of olive and gently massage the oil into the hair. If you desire, you can blow dry your hair afterwards, or sit under a hair dryer, on low or medium setting, for 15 minutes allowing the hair to dry while the heat penetrates the oil deep into the pores.

While your hair is still damp, close to being but not completely dry, either use rollers or a curling iron to style your hair into the desired look. Using a curling iron on the lowest setting should not cause any additional damage to African American hair. As long as the ends have been treated with a small amount of oil, your hair should have no farther damage occuring. Never use a blow dryer or curling iron on hair that has not been cleaned and treated with a moisturizer and conditioner. Do not use a curling iron or blow dryer regularly. Once or twice a month will not cause a problem. Applying ‘dry’ heat more than once a month will cause trauma and breakage. When applying dry heat, never apply on a regular basis or on the hottest (highest) setting.

If you have a concern about using only olive oil, a recipe I have grown fond of might make you feel a little more comfortable. When growing up, one of the old myths I grew fond of was using mayonnaise as a conditioner. I found that mayonnaise did indeed help to keep the hair feeling soft and added a shine to dry dull, lifeless African American hair. When I discovered olive oil, I began to experiment with olive oil and mayonnaise.

The recipe that seems to do wonders for my hair is to mix:

I tablespoon of mayonnaise
I tablespoon olive oil

Apply by massaging the mixture into my hair. Cover with a plastic bag and either sit under a dryer on low heat for at least 30 minutes or walk around performing your chores with the plastic bag on allowing the heat to penetrate the hair. When the time has passed, wash the mixture out with warm water. Dry and style as usual.

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