We all know how summer’s fun can stress your tresses. Weathering the sea, sun, and poolside can leave you feeling chlorine green, or challenged by dry, unruly, tangled locks.
But before you chop your length in favor of a summer pixie, consider the alternative. A little prep can penetrate right to the root (ahem) of the problem, and help you maintain your best mane.
Say hello to nature’s liquid gold—Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Chock full of monounsaturated essential fatty acids and vitamin E, natural EVOO also contains a plethora of common fatty acids (such as palmitic acid, oleic acid, squalene and terpenes) that act as amazing natural emollients.
What does all this mean? Well, if you don’t already have a bottle in your pantry, you should. And, if you do, grab another for your bathroom, because you’ve just discovered nature’s hair care bounty.
The science behind it is simple: Authentic EVOO’s natural emollients act as a penetrating conditioner, softening and smoothing the hair shaft, while vitamin E fights off the free-radical damage from sunlight and pollution.
EVOO also locks in your hair’s natural moisture, improving hydration and increasing both manageability and shine. It’s great for taming naturally curly, frizzy, kinky, or graying hair, and it is safe to use on color-treated or permed tresses.
So, how does one take advantage of all this natural goodness? Here are our best suggestions.
Slough off the summer flakes. Say you’ve already overdone it, and your hair is suffering from exposure to sun and sea. Natural EVOO can be applied directly to the scalp to address post-burn flakes and dandruff. Just massage lightly into a dry scalp, and comb carefully to remove flaking.
For deeper penetration (or to relieve itching and inflammation) apply before bedtime, and wrap with a scarf or bandanna. Wash as usual in the morning, and you’ll see real results!
Say no to chlorine green. If you’re planning to spend time in the pool, pretreat your tresses. Exposure to excess chlorine overdries and stresses hair, in addition to staining it green! Especially important for bleached or color-treated hair, a healthy treatment of natural EVOO coats the hair shaft, protecting your strands from chlorine damage.
To apply, wet your hair with chlorine-free water, and lightly towel dry (or use a spray bottle, and skip the towel). Divide hair into sections and apply as you would a leave-in conditioner, combing through thoroughly to ends. Let penetrate for 5-10 minutes before getting into the water—and enjoy your bayalage all summer long!/p>
Deep treat your tresses. The benefits of a hot oil treatment can last for days and benefit both hair and scalp! To prep, pour half a cup of authentic EVOO (give or take) into a plastic container, and heat in a bowl of hot water. Test the temperature before applying, to make sure that it’s not too hot to handle, and then massage into hair and scalp. Wrap with a warm towel, and take a load off. You can wash and condition as normal in 30 minutes, or leave in until your summer pedi is done.
For a more luxurious conditioning experience, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil after heating. Lavender, peppermint, and rosemary all stimulate hair growth, while tea tree and lemongrass address dandruff. You can also use clary sage to improve elasticity and prevent breakage.
If you are short on time, simply apply a half cup of unheated EVOO to hair in sections, comb through and let sit for 10 minutes before washing and styling as normal. You’ll still see protective benefits, which increase with each treatment.
As a final note, make sure you maximize your results by using high-quality, authentic EVOO. The higher the natural antioxidant content, the better. Remember, authentic EVOO deteriorates with time, so make sure yours is fresh! You can check out our guide to choosing the best EVOO, if you need help. Or simply pour more Bellucci!
Here’s to a summer of fun—while looking fabulous!