Everyone knows that olive oil is a delightful cooking oil. People use olive oil in salads and for dipping vegetables or fruits. They use it to fry foods and to create delicious sauces. When it comes to cooking oil, extra virgin olive oil is the very best on the market.
What many people do not know is that olive oil has many natural benefits for the human body. It contains vast amounts of vitamin E and antioxidants which protect the body from damage caused by free radicals in the environment.
Exchanging butter or margarine for olive oil in daily use can actually lower cholesterol levels and restore the body’s cells. Eating just a few teaspoons of olive oil each day can lower the risk of many cancers and provide essential nutrients for the skin and the hair.
Olive oil has many benefits for the outside of the human body. For many thousands of years, olive oil has been used as a skin treatment or hair treatment. The ancient Greeks would rub their bodies with olive oil before sporting events. The ancient Egyptians used olive oil for soft skin and as a hair pomade. Olive oil has been essential in human culture since approximately 2500 BC. Recently, olive oil has become one of the most popular ways to treat dry or damaged hair.
Hair that is processed, especially hair that has been colored, loses its elasticity. The nutrients in olive oil actually work to restore elasticity. Vitamin E and vitamin A, which are found in olive oil, are often taken as supplements to repair damaged skin cells and hair follicles. Adding olive oil to a healthy diet can increase the rate of hair growth. Using olive oil as a hair treatment can actually repair hair damage.
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Extra virgin olive oil can be used in several ways to create perfect hair. The first and easiest method is to use the oil as a hair treatment. Begin by taking approximately half of a cup of extra virgin olive oil and mixing it with just a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Some good oils to try are orange blossom, rose or jasmine.
The essential oils will add a lovely scent to the hair treatment. Plain olive oil works just as well but does not provide any scent. Mix the oils gently in a glass jar and then store them for twenty-four hours, preferably in a cool and dark place. The darkness and the cool temperature help to preserve the nature vitamins in the olive oil. Just prior to using the oil, warm it for a few seconds by placing the jar in a pan of warm water.
Make sure that the oil is just lukewarm and apply it to dampened hair. Massage the scalp thoroughly and work the remaining oil through the ends of the hair. Wrap the head with a plastic shower cap and allow the oil to remain on the hair for at least thirty minutes. Rinse the hair thoroughly and then shampoo as usual.
The olive oil penetrates the hair follicles and the hair shaft, restoring moisture to each cell. This creates a visible change in the hair condition after just one treatment. For best results, a warm olive oil hair treatment should be applied to hair twice a month.
Another terrific way to use olive oil as a hair treatment is by using olive oil rather than commercial conditioner. Shampoo hair as usual and then apply a few drops of olive oil to the palm of one hand. Rub the hands together to warm the oil. Apply the oil to damp hair and work it carefully to the ends of the hair. This is a spectacular leave-in conditioner which costs less than most professional conditioners.
If olive oil feels too thick or heavy, or if the hair is very fine, equal parts of jojoba oil can be mixed with the olive oil. This creates a lighter conditioning treatment, but retains the natural goodness of the oils.
Olive oil is an excellent way to repair damaged hair. It also works well at killing lice. Many children bring lice home from school when they share hairbrushes or hats. Coating the hair with a thick layer of olive oil is thought to kill these pests without the harmful chemicals associated with commercial lice shampoos. As a hair treatment, olive oil is extremely difficult to beat.