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In Which I Try Two Olive Oil Hair Treatments From Pinterest

On New Year’s Eve, I set my hair on fire. It wasn’t on purpose, like in some ancient Danish-Celtic ritual. I was home sick with a chest cold, and when I finally remembered the popcorn I left on the stove to burn, I took it to the trash. When I lifted the lid, flames flew up in my face.

The ends of my hair and bits of my eyebrows ignited, but even before I was done shrieking everything was fine again, except for the smell. I combed out a bunch of frizzled hair and ash into the bathroom sink. Feeling pity for my tresses, I decided to try out a couple of hair treatments I’d seen on Pinterest.

Here’s what I’m working with: very straight hair. This photo is post-flambé, so the bangs are a bit uneven, but things could have been a lot worse. I want to grow out my hair so it’s just past the shoulders, but it isn’t happening very fast. What I’ve got is kind of like if Anna Wintour decided, “Oh, the hell with it.” And set her hair on fire a bit.

The author, with chin-length hair and slightly uneven bangs.

Treatment 1: Olive Oil and Egg Yolks

The was supposed to make my hair silkier and shinier and grow faster.  Here are the directions:

“¦simply mix 2 egg yolks with 2 tbsp of olive oil, dilute the mixture by adding a cup of water and then slowly and thoroughly massage this mask into your scalp. Give your hair and scalp 15 to 20 minutes to absorb all the needed nutrients and then rinse off.

A cup of water was way too much. I was trying to massage yellow-tinged viscous water into my hair. It got all over the sink, the bathroom mirror, and the floor, where my little dog Moxie lapped at it, because she is gross.

I had taken the precaution of removing my pajama top. Eggy water streamed down my face and boobs and I had to keep mopping it up, feeling a bit as though I were in a horribly produced porno.

I put on a shower cap and waited about twenty-five minutes. Since I’ve been coloring my hair since I was sixteen, I’m pretty used to this kind of thing. After rinsing it out, I had to comb my wet hair very carefully because it was so tangled.

Once dry, it was still oily. I’d had some dandruff before the treatment, because sometimes in the winter when the snow falls, my scalp cells think “SO PRETTY” and get all inspired. I still had flakes afterwards, which I guess wasn’t surprising.

I slicked my hair back from my face and went to see my friend’s improv show. On a scale of worthless to ten, I rated this one as worthless.

Treatment Two: Olive Oil and Honey

This consisted of two tablespoons honey plus four tablespoons olive oil, warmed up in the microwave for half a minute (adapted from these instructions). It made less of a mess than the first concoction. I put the shower cap on again and left the stuff on for an hour, as directed.

Bryn waiting for her hair treatment to work.

In the shower, the stiffness from the honey washed out immediately. The oiliness didn’t. After standing under the water for a while, I decided to use some conditioner to maybe cut the oil a little, which, now that I think about it, is not how conditioner works. Then I rinsed that all out and went to watch the last of Downton Abbey, even though I missed all of season two so nothing made sense.

Neither of these treatments said I would have to shampoo afterwards. Maybe I was just supposed to assume that step, but I didn’t. Anyway, in this case, I had no choice. It was so greasy it didn’t even get dry, and the aroma of olives lingered. If I had gone to bed with it like that, Moxie would have eaten all of my hair while I slept.


If you let olive oil set on straight hair for a while, you will wind up with oily hair. I maybe should have realised this in the beginning, but I learn things experientially, i.e. the hard way.

You may also get a craving for garlic bread, but if I were you, I wouldn’t go near the oven. Your head will be highly flammable.

After I shampooed, my hair did feel fuller and shinier, but by then it was after midnight so I didn’t do a great job of blow-drying it, which meant in the morning it was kind of a wash (ha). It’s enough to make me wonder if the avocado facial mask thing I pinned is even worth it. I’ll probably make guacamole instead.

By Bryn Donovan

Romance writer, poet, quilter, and dog cuddler.

6 replies on “In Which I Try Two Olive Oil Hair Treatments From Pinterest”


Re: growing hair out: I am of the super long hair persuasion. What seems to work for me is using damage control conditioner (long term relationship from Herbal Es is my favorite but the damaged hair stuff from Fructis works ok.), brushing, and wearing my hair in a bun for most days. BUT you have to be doing the first two often or else the bun wearing goes poorly. The time I had the fastest growth was when I was conditioning daily, and only shampooing every other day.

I’ve seen tips about soaking your scalp in green tea to help with hair growth, but I haven’t tried it.

I… My scalp gets oily too often to try an oil treatment, and besides I hate the smell of olives. I might try coconut oil, though, as it is not so smelly and is good for EVERYTHING. Plus, it doesn’t leave as big of a residue behind.

Hair twins! That’s about what my hair looks like, color-wise (or at least around how I try to get it…). My hair has grown out from that length as of a year ago to now be shoulder-length. I wanted to get my bangs similar to that, but I wasn’t too confident in my hairdresser’s actual skill to trust him to do it. Now I have a reference pic!

My usual go-tos are coconut oil, baking soda, and vinegar. Coconut oil tends to be really good at conditioning without being too hard to get out; baking soda (which can be added to shampoo for ‘oomph’) seems to make my scalp a bit happier, and diluted apple cider vinegar as a post-wash rinse helps my hair/scalp be healthy pH-wise (and the smell dissipates when it dries). For an intense treatment, I put together all sorts of olive oil/honey/castor oil/coconut oil/etc. combos and shampoo afterwards. I tried the egg but it seemed like too much trouble to do regularly, and I like smelling like a salad more than I like smelling like an egg. I considered the avocado/banana for my hair, but not only would it be a pain to get out, but my fine hair does not like protein treatments, so it’d probably be a bad idea. For the face, I’d stick w/eating the guac and making a scrub with coconut oil and baking soda, and using vinegar after washing as a ‘toner.’

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