The sound of extra virgin as opposed to virgin olive oil denotes a higher quality of product, thus commanding a higher price, but is there really any difference between the two? Virgin olive oil is obtained through mechanical expeller pressure, washing, centrifugation and filtration.
This oil has a lighter flavour and colour than EVOO. Extra virgin olive oil on the other hand is obtained through cold pressure. The olives are picked by hand so as not to bruise them and then pressed within 24 hours. This is a chemical free process aimed at preserving the taste of the oil.
According to the International Olive Oil Council –
“Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is virgin olive oil that has a minimum organoleptic rating of 6.5 out of 10, and low acidity under 1%. It is the oil of the highest quality, and boasts a perfect, fruity taste, and with a color that can range from crystalline champagne to greenish-golden to bright green. Ordinary Virgin Olive Oil only has an organoleptic rating of 3.5 or more and acidity of max 3.3 percent. When properly processed, ordinary virgin olive oil maintains the purity of the fruit’s flavor, aroma, and vitamins…”
By the way, organoleptic means being, affecting, or relating to qualities of a substance that stimulate the sense organs. At the end of the day, climate, soil, type of olive tree and time of harvest play a role in the eventual flavor and colour of olive oil.
So what does this mean for your hair story? I have tried both virgin and extra virgin olive oil on my hair and I haven’t noticed any difference in the touch and feel. The aftermath remains the same – softer and shinier hair. If you were planning to use it to cook though, I would pay more attention to it.
You can find out if the extra virgin olive oil you bought is really that by placing a small quantity of the EVOO in a glass bowl and refrigerating it for a few days. If it becomes crystal like, it’s most likely genuine extra-virgin olive oil. If it forms a block however, it has been chemically refined and altered.
For the best brands of extra virgin olive oil, read Guide to the Best Brands of Extra Virgin Olive Oil for Hair, Health & Beauty.
If you would like to know more about how to use natural oils for specific purposes to get more effective use out of them, you may want to check out How to Grow Hair Healthy & Long with Natural Oils, a guide which goes in-depth into which specific oil (s) works for each hair issues for optimal length and health.