Ditch the expensive treatments and give yourself an olive oil hair mask instead.
woman swinging her healthy looking shiny hair
Credit: Getty / Mike Kemp

Olive oil tastes delicious when whisked into salad dressing or drizzled on a bed of burrata and toast, but it's actually so powerful that it does way more than just please your taste buds and protect your heart. In fact, olive oil can be a great DIY treatment for combating dry, damaged hair and helping them get back their moisture and shine. So, there's no need to buy super fancy products or get in-person treatments on the regular to keep your hair health in tip-top shape.

Why olive oil? "Olive Oil is a relatively thick monounsaturated oil. When the hair is dry, the cuticle of the hair can start to peel back and appear frayed and this can result in easy hair breakage," says dermatologist Erum Ilyas, MD, MBE, FAAD. "Olive Oil coats the cuticle of the hair to make the scaly surface of the hair follicle less apparent [and] the scalp skin can benefit from this added protection," she explains.

What's more, "it contains components such as oleic acid, palmitic acid and squalene, which are all emollients that can reduce the formation of split ends as well as moisturize, soften and shine hair," says Dr. Sonia Batra, MD, MSc, MPH, a dermatologist and co-host of the television show, The Doctors.

Olive oil can also help treat dandruff if applied to the scalp. Yet, it's important to consider the amount of olive oil you're using depending on your hair type. Batra says, "Fine, straight hair should use less olive oil fewer times per week versus those with thicker, curlier hair."

More research on olive oil hair mask benefits is needed, Batra says, but so far olive oil has been seen to be somewhat effective and helpful.

By learning how to make a hair mask with olive oil, you can reap those amazing olive oil hair mask benefits and just by using simple ingredients you likely already have at home in your kitchen!

Interested? Here are a couple of DIY olive oil hair mask recipes to try out tonight. They're all super easy, applying the masks take little time and will provide long-lasting results.

Olive Oil Hair Mask

One type of hair mask is just purely olive oil. "If treating your entire head, massage about ¼ cup of olive oil into your hair (including the scalp if you have dry scalp) and cover your hair with a shower cap for 15 minutes," says Batra. Shampoo and rinse your hair thoroughly so you're not left with oily hair. You can repeat once a week or less, depending on whether you have drier or thicker hair that may require extra moisturizing, she says.

Avocado and Olive Oil Hair Mask

Your favorite green fruit for avocado toast can also be used on your hair. "Avocado actually has a higher concentration of monounsaturated fats than olive oil. The two together will add to the overall shine left behind for your hair to enjoy," says Ilyas. Blend together half of an avocado with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and massage into hair. Wash and condition as normal after leaving the mixture in your hair for 45 minutes, says Batra. "Avocado contains vitamins, minerals and fatty acids that may help moisturize hair as well as seal hair cuticles to prevent breakage," Batra adds.

Egg, Olive Oil and Honey Hair Mask

Whisk 1 egg, 2 teaspoons honey and 2 tablespoons olive oil until combined. Massage into hair and leave for 15 minutes before washing and conditioning as normal. Batra says, "Egg contains vitamins A and E as well as biotin and folate, which are all linked to hair growth and overall healthy hair." Honey also helps to trap moisture within hair follicles, she adds, so your locks stay softer and hydrated.

Honey and Olive Oil Hair Mask

No egg? Do it without. "Whisk 3 tablespoons olive oil with 1 tablespoon honey until combined. Apply to strands and leave hair in a shower cap for 30 to 90 minutes before washing as usual," says Batra. Honey's anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties help restore moisture to dry hair and reduce split ends, so they can get that fresh glow you covet.

Egg and Olive Oil Hair Mask

Egg yolks are rich in fat, protein and biotin, which are great for your hair. "Although these proteins may be too large to penetrate the follicle itself, they can coat the hair follicle to add a glossy look," says Ilyas. "By combining this with olive oil, your hair should achieve a shine that lasts through a few washes," she says. How great is that? Just combine an egg yolk and one tablespoon of olive oil and leave on your hair for 15-30 minutes before washing to remove excess oil.

Coconut Oil and Olive Oil Hair Mask

Combine equal parts liquefied coconut oil and olive oil—about one tablespoon of each—and apply to hair and leave in a shower cap for 45 minutes before washing as normal. "Coconut oil, unlike olive oil, can actually penetrate the hair follicle to strengthen it," says Ilyas, so that's why it works as a great extra component in the mask. "Coconut oil is great for preventing frizz, as it penetrates deep within the hair shaft, protecting it from protein loss," explains Batra.

Olive Oil and Mayonnaise Hair Mask

It sounds a little bizarre, but a mayonnaise and olive oil hair mask for curly hair could be the perfect treatment for when curls get dry and coarse in the winter. "Mayonnaise contains egg yolks, vinegar and other oils," says Ilyas. "Mayonnaise hair treatments have long been loved to help add shine to dry frizzy hair," she says. Combine 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise and one tablespoon of olive oil to make a DIY olive oil hair mask. Leave it on for about 30 minutes before rinsing out.

Tea Tree and Olive Oil Hair Mask

Combine 2 tablespoons olive oil with 2 drops of tea tree oil and massage into hair and scalp. "Tea tree oil's natural antifungal and antibacterial properties help maintain a clean, healthy scalp by tackling dryness and reducing dandruff," says Batra. Plus, it'll help hair grow back and strengthen over time. You can leave it in for 10-15 minutes and then rinse if you don't like the oil in your scalp.

Related: Treat Yourself to an at-Home Spa Day with Our Apple-Cider Vinegar Nourishing Hair Mask and a Honey-Avocado Face Mask

Olive Oil and Banana Hair Mask

Yes, use that banana for a post-workout snack and on your hair, too! "Bananas are rich in antioxidants, potassium and nutrients. Used in a hair mask, these can help nourish the hair in addition to adding shine," says Ilyas. Use one banana and mix with one tablespoon of olive oil. You can leave on for about 30 minutes before washing.