Olive oil is one of the best oils for cooking and hair. But there are so many confusing variations of this delicious oil.
A quick look in the oil section of a supermarket brings up pure, light, extra light, virgin, and extra virgin olive oil.
However, is there really a difference between all these variations and is one better than the other when it comes to hair and cooking.
This article will break down on the differences between virgin and extra virgin olive oil, which version is best for hair and nutrition as well as the best olive oil brands.
What Are the Differences Between Virgin Olive Oil & Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
Olive oil is pressed from the fruits of the olive tree. Reading the different labeling on olive oil products makes on think the extra virgin denotes a higher quality of olive oil, thus commanding a higher price, but is there really any difference between the two?
Virgin Olive Oil
Virgin olive oil has a lighter flavor and color than extra virgin olive oil. However, this kind of oil is rarely available in regular supermarkets.
Pure Olive Oil
Pure olive oil is a blend of virgin olive oil and refined olive oil. This kind of oil is of lower quality and has a lighter color and a more neutral flavor.
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 completely chemical free process aimed at preserving the quality, taste and authenticity of the oil.
According to the International Olive Council, a network of 17 countries plus the EU that produce olives or products derived from olives, and headquartered in Madrid, Spain:-
“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.”
Organoleptic rating means being, affecting, or relating to qualities of a substance that stimulate the sense organs. The International Olive Council has an entire breakdown of the standards of olive oil HERE.
The Process Also Matters
At the end of the day, climate, soil, type of olive tree and time of harvest play an important role in the eventual flavor and color of olive oil.
Is Olive Oil or Extra Virgin Olive Oil Healthier?
Olive oil is fine for low to medium health cooking but when it comes to the healthiest version of olive oil, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is the best and healthiest.
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is the least processed of all the olive oil versions. Extra virgin olive oil also tastes better than all the other variations.
What Does This Mean for Hair?
So what do all the definitions above mean for your hair story? I have tried different varieties of 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. However, if you want to eat it or cook with it, then opt for the recommendations below.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil for Cooking
If you want to use olive oil to cook, then you should aim for the extra virgin olive oil for light heat cooking such as sautéing and pure olive oil for high heat cooking such as frying, etc.
Below are three excellent olive oil recommendations according to the International Olive Council ratings:-
For even more recommendations of the best extra virgin olive oil from International Olive Council read Guide to the Best Brands of Extra Virgin Olive Oil for Hair, Health & Beauty.
You May Like This
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.
This is the first book in the Healthy Hair Care series and a guide which goes in-depth into which specific oil (s) works for each hair issues for optimal length and health.