African-American women with relaxed hair can use extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) as a pre-shampoo treatment to manage new growth in between relaxer applications. A pre-shampoo treatment consists of applying oil to the hair and leaving it in for a period of time before shampooing the hair. The curls in coils in your natural hair makes it hard for natural oils produced by the scalp to travel down the hair shaft, which often results in dry, unruly new growth. The vitamin-E contents in EVOO softens new growth, makes it manageable and helps it blend in with your relaxed hair during relaxer stretches.
Things You'll Need
- Plastic hair cap
- Hooded Dryer
- Color applicator bottle
Warm a cup of EVOO in the microwave to a lukewarm temperature. Don’t heat the oil too long because it will scald your scalp when you apply the oil to your hair. Dip your finger into the cup to check the oil’s temperature after heating. You can use cool olive oil, but some people like to warm the oil before applying it to the hair to increase oil’s softening effect, says African-American hair expert Gennifer Miller.
Pour the EVOO into a color applicator bottle. You can simply pour the olive oil on your hair, but using an applicator bottle works well to direct the oil over your scalp and prevents creating a mess. You can find applicator bottles in beauty supply stores, cooking supply stores or drug stores.
Saturate your hair with water and wring out the excess.
Apply the olive oil to your hair as if you were applying color. Focus the applicator bottle on the roots of your hair to saturate your new growth. Make sure you cover all of your new growth with olive oil and apply some olive on to the relaxed portion of your hair.
Massage your scalp for 5 to 10 minutes to help the oil seep into your scalp. Cover your hair with a hot towel or sit under a hooded dryer with a plastic cap on your hair to let the oil penetrate for 20 minutes to one hour.
Shampoo your hair and follow-up with a conditioner to lock in the moisture from the olive oil treatment.
Repeat this process at least once a week until your next relaxer application to make your new growth easier to manage.