Non-believers, back away slowly. If the last post about giving up shampoo made you cringe, you might want to skip over this one. If you're crazy committed to going all-natural, saving money, and getting the most out of minimizing, read on. Besides baking soda and apple cider vinegar (I'll be covering those more later), the multi-tasking beauty product I'm most excited about is something else all great chefs have in their kitchen: oil. I'm not talking about just any oil; I'm talking about cold-pressed, pure extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) that's super great for your body, inside and out. As a Mediterranean girl myself, I'm familiar with the super health benefits you get from using EVOO while you're cooking and eating. What I wasn't familiar with was the way it could help my skin and hair from the outside in.
Just about every girl serious about great hair has heard about hot oil treatments. What you may not know is that you can save big money by giving yourself a homemade treatment using only EVOO. If you're going all-natural but miss the silky feeling of your hair after conditioning, EVOO will give you back all that and more. Even if you're still using store-bought shampoos and conditioners, you can get huge benefits out of one of these treatments. EVOO will seriously condition your hair, help with dandruff control by moisturizing your scalp, and leave your hair more lustrous than you've ever seen it before.
There are many different ways to make olive oil hair treatments, but as a minimalist I prefer not to add any extra ingredients. My EVOO hair mask method (modified and tweaked from many online sources) is as follows:
1) Jump in the shower so your hair gets nice and wet. Towel or air dry until damp.
2) Stick 1/2 cup (adjust based on the length of your hair) of EVOO in the microwave for about 20 seconds or until warm. (Warning: it can get HOT, so use caution and don't burn yourself)
3) When the EVOO is still warm but cool enough to apply to your scalp, massage your scalp with the oil. Apply some to the ends of your hair as well.
4) Comb through your hair with the EVOO and throw it in a warm, damp towel or shower cap. (It's important to keep the oil and your hair warm enough. Use a blow drier if it starts cooling too much)
5) After thirty minutes, rise the EVOO out of your hair and shampoo as normal if desired. If your hair is extremely dry, a lot of the EVOO will be absorbed. (Warning: the shower floor will be slippery if you don't use a mat, so if you don't have one, it's best to rinse hair out in the sink to avoid danger)
This is where you might get a little grossed out, but I promise it's worthwhile. For centuries, olive oil has been used as a moisturizer, as it is extremely effective for dry skin. Contrary to (very) popular belief, EVOO won't cause you to break out; in fact, you can actually use it to clear up your skin and replace all those expensive lotions! I've found that rubbing a few drops on my face at night leaves my skin feeling smoother than ever in the morning. More importantly, it has not once caused my acne to flare up, so I totally trust it! Some people use it as their moisturizer twice daily, but I prefer to only use it at night-- it feels a little too heavy under my makeup. To avoid getting oil all over your pillow case, be sure to continue to rub the oil in every few minutes until your skin stops looking greasy. If my super-sensitive skin can take it, I can almost guarantee that yours can!
If you're not ready to take such a leap of faith, EVOO can be used as a mask to draw nasty dirt and oils out of your pores. Just rub a little bit on your face, place a warm, damp towel over it, and relax for five minutes. Your skin will be instantly fresher and cleaner when you rinse it off with warm water!
Oh, and if you think that olive oil's uses stops there, think again. I've only scratched the surface of its uses-- it's actually a minimalist's dream! Check out this cool article I found that gives 25 practical uses for olive oil: http://www.curbly.com/users/chrisjob/posts/1799-25-alternative-uses-for-olive-oil
Get some of your own!
Get some of your own!