When it comes to positive health and natural beauty, doctors, nutritionists, and beauty experts often recommend a Mediterranean diet, rich in nuts, seeds, fish, fruits, vegetables, and, of course, olive oil. Although olive oil is one of the most common products made from olive trees, it is certainly not the only beneficial by-product; take olive leaf extract, for example.
Olive leaf extract has an extensive history based on its vast number of unique properties. In fact, the first known record of olive leaf came from Ancient Egypt and since then, many cultures have utilized its beneficial effects to target a range of internal and external issues.
Among its many known benefits, olive leaf extract can nourish your hair and skin, which is why it’s often added to quality beauty products, including shampoos and conditioners.
Looking to enhance the look and feel of your hair? If so, here’s why you need to invest in the power of olive leaf extract.
What Is Olive Leaf Extract?
As its name suggests, olive leaf extract comes from olive leaves, resulting in a product that’s known to be a natural source of wellness. Incredibly rich in oleuropein, one of the main compounds in both olive oil and oil leaf extract, olive leaf extract is also a rich source of polyphenols.
In fact, when comparing the leaves and actual fruit that makes olive oil, the leaves themselves are much higher in oleuropein and, in turn, potential therapeutic properties. In order to extract these biochemicals, including oleuropein, tyrosol, and other active molecules, olive leaves soak for extended periods of time.
Oleuropein and its metabolite, known as hydroxytyrosol, both offer antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which is why olive oil is so often recommended. Although this is the most potent active compound found in this extract, olive leaf also contains luteolin, rutin, and hesperidin — all of which are beneficial bioflavonoids.
Throughout the years, olive leaf extract has taken many different forms, including powders, teas, and liquid extracts. Here is a quick review of olive oil extract and its associated benefits:
- Used for thousands of years, olive oil extract may combat a wide range of health complications. Although it is most commonly used to target positive cardiovascular health, olive leaf extract is also known for its potent anti-inflammatory benefits and can also help protect membranes from oxidation.
- Olive leaf extract contains more than 100 phytochemicals and nutrients, many of which directly impact the health of your skin and hair. That is why it is often added to high-end products that aim to strengthen and nourish your hair.
- Although it’s best known for its antioxidant properties, olive leaf extract offers a wide range of benefits — which is why it’s recommended for various health conditions.
- Because it’s a versatile ingredient, it is often used when formulating quality, specialty personal care products, including creams and hair serums. By adding this beneficial ingredient, you will often experience a synergy effect, as olive leaf extract will further enhance other key ingredients.
- Studies have shown that olive leaves have a very high ORAC, or “oxygen radical absorbance,” score. Once again, this represents their antioxidant potential within the body. In some cases, studies have shown that this ingredient may even offer 400 times the antioxidant activity of vitamin C.
A Brief History of Olive Leaf Extract
Civilizations in the Mediterranean basin began extracting the olive tree’s oil thousands of years ago. In fact, it’s believed that Neolithic inhabitants were collecting and consuming olives in the sixth millennium B.C.
This was undoubtedly the precursor to olive leaf extract. However, olive leaves were being used for health benefits in the area throughout this time — before technology allowed for such extractions.
Olive trees are actually one of the oldest cultivated trees on the planet, dating back more than 7,000 years. Recognized for their many benefits early on, people in Ancient Greece used olives to benefit their internal and external health.
Ancient Egyptians — along with many other Mediterranean civilizations — used olive leaves to treat fever, pain, and infections. The Egyptians also utilized it in the mummification process! Thousands of years would go by without additional advancements, but around the turn of the 20th century, researchers were able to isolate oleuropein from the leaf. Scientists believe this is what provides the health benefits.
Over the years, olive oil and olive leaf extract were often used as a pharmacological and cosmetic agent, and today, around 98 percent of the world’s olive cultivation occurs in the Mediterranean.
In terms of olive leaf extract’s beneficial properties, here’s how your skin, scalp, and hair can benefit from products that utilize this ancient ingredient.
1. Supports Stronger Hair Follicles
One study, published in Food Chemistry, found that olive leaf phenols showcased key antioxidant activities. In turn, these antioxidant effects can help combat signs of aging, including the presence of thinning and/or grey hair. This is due to the way in which your cells produce free radicals, which accumulate across time, causing key signs of aging.
These issues begin within the hair follicle, which is why you want to maintain strong, well-supported hair follicles. Your hair follicles consist of varying dermal and epidermal sections that influence your hair’s growth cycle. When studied in mice, researchers were able to show that olive leaf extract had the ability to increase the size and number of hair follicles.
If you would like to maintain strong hair follicles, it is also recommended that you eat a balanced diet, rich in iron, zinc, protein, and other key vitamins, including A, B-complex vitamins, C, and E. You should also consume around half of your body weight in ounces of water daily, ensuring that your hair remains soft and hydrated.
2. Promotes Shinier, Thicker, and Smoother Hair
Olive leaf extract is able to hydrate and moisturize, especially in terms of your hair follicles. The result is hair that has a luster to it, supporting shinier, healthier-looking skin. In fact, a number of studies have also found that oleuropein has the ability to promote thicker, fuller hair, including this 2015 study.
Although this is largely based on the unique properties associated with olive leaf extract, which directly benefit your hair and scalp, the true effect may be much more complex. For example, a 2017 study found that immune cells may play a role in poor hair health. Since olive leaf extract promotes a stronger immune system, this can result in healthier-looking hair.
Please note: If you’re interested in a noninvasive hair regeneration process, be sure to check out the BSG robotic hair restoration system.
3. Soothes Irritated Skin
Outside of hair benefits, olive leaf extract can promote healthier skin while protecting against various environmental stressors, including the sun. When applied topically, olive leaf extract will also provide the skin with nourishment as it soothes and calms the skin itself. In this case, a product containing olive leaf extract may help protect against the weather, reducing overall irritation.
As stated in one key study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, when using oleuropein extract from olive leaves, the researchers were able to reduce skin irritation and signs of dehydration. Throughout the research, olive leaf extract improved skin elasticity, making it appear healthier and younger. In addition to this protective effect, this extract can also cleanse your pores.
The same skin-benefiting properties apply to your scalp, especially in terms of the associated skin cancer cell research. If your scalp is often irritated, the products you use should be the first area to consider. In this case, quality does matter.
4. Protects Against Harmful UV Rays
Whether you’re aiming to protect your skin or scalp, olive leaf extract can actively reduce the negative impact associated with the sun’s harmful UV rays. Once again, this is due to the development of free radicals, which damage your skin and hair.
By applying products that contain olive leaf extract, you will be able to actively neutralize free radicals — which not only come from UV rays, but also pollution. Documented in a number of studies, including this 2011 study, this beneficial effect can significantly reduce your risk of sun-related skin complications. The researchers stated that olive trees have their own built-in protective function against the sun, making olive leaf extract a natural sun blocker.
In another study, published in The Journal of Nutrition, the researchers found that olive leaf extract, and more specifically, oleuropein, offered preventative effects in relation to chronic UVB-induced skin damage.
5. Protects Against Fungi and Bacteria
Once again, oleuropein is largely responsible for olive leaf extract’s antibacterial and antifungal properties. Within this key study, olive leaf extract killed nearly all of the bacteria tested.
Although this included candida and E. coli, the researchers also found that olive leaf extract killed dermatophytes — which are three common types of fungi, known to negatively affect your hair, skin, and nails.
This is highly beneficial, as your scalp can become infected when bacteria and/or fungus enter your scalp through damaged skin or through your hair follicles.
In a separate study, researchers found that when suffering from a scalp infection, olive oil or olive leaf extract can help combat the associated bacteria. They also stated that unsaturated fatty acids, found in olive oil, can significantly suppress the growth of dermatophytes on your scalp. By preventing these fungi from penetrating your hair, further problems are often prevented.
6. Helps Combat Dandruff
Dandruff can develop for one of many reasons, including the growth of a fungus known as Malassezia fungi, the high production of sebum, and overall sensitivity. Since olive leaf extract provides potent antimicrobial and antifungal properties, even a small amount can soothe the scalp and combat dandruff.
If you suffer from a dry, itchy scalp, it’s important that you expose your scalp to ingredients that will soothe and protect — not irritate your skin even further. By utilizing products that contain olive leaf extract, you can ease inflamed, irritated skin, all while better regulating oil production.
More on Olive Leaf Extract in Relation to Hair Health and General Health
Although olive oil extract is not technically a cleanser, when it’s added to a shampoo product, it enhances key beneficial properties.
In 2015, a review, published in the International Journal of Trichology, stated that oils, including those extracted from olives, help protect hair from damage. This is due to the way in which certain oils and extracts penetrate the hair shaft. In turn, there is less water absorption, placing less strain on the shaft itself — particularly in terms of swelling.
As you can imagine, the swelling and unswelling of hair can be stressful on your hair, causing damage to occur. This is what’s referred to as hygral fatigue. By minimizing this effect, you can significantly improve the health of your hair, making it stronger and more resilient.
In fact, hygral fatigue can be the core cause of physically damaged hair, including the development of split ends. Furthermore, olive oil extract can help fill gaps between cells, preventing chemical substances from penetrating your hair follicles, improving long-term hair health.
Get the Benefits of Olive Leaf Extract Now!
Whether you’d like to achieve fuller, healthier hair, or would simply like to increase the moisture content of your hair, incorporating products that contain olive leaf extract can help you achieve just that.
The products you use significantly impact your hair and scalp health, especially when used on a daily basis. To maximize your hair health, be sure to check out all of the products and services offered at Barber Surgeons Guild.
Known to offer the highest quality products for maintenance, grooming, and essentials, we remain committed to excellence. While olive leaf extract is one such ingredient used, our products also feature our exclusive, hair-replenishing, BSG trichoanagenic factor in each and every product.
From antioxidants to caffeine, hair peptides to key vitamins, our products are specifically formulated with your hair in mind, offering the best possible bioactive ingredients. Want to learn more? Be sure to contact us and follow us on Instagram!