Although the use of olive oil as a natural hair treatment dates back to ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt, the practice is coming back in style. Olive oil can enhance hair’s shine, elasticity and strength. Plus, the fruity oil is a natural emollient, which means it penetrates and nourishes strands better than many other essential oils. Here, thanks to, check out everything you need to know about this precious and easy-to-find oil.

To treat hair to an olive oil treatment, start by warming up a half cup of olive oil in a microwavable bowl or cup, or warm it on the stovetop over a very low flame. Next, make sure the oil is warm, but not hot to the touch. Mix in a small amount of coconut, jojoba or sweet almond oil if you have fine hair.

Next, decide whether you want to do a wet or dry hair olive oil treatment. A wet olive oil treatment is when you apply the oil to soaking wet hair that has been washed and conditioned. The olive oil penetrates the cuticle layer of wet strands and helps lock in moisture and nutrients. But some curlies find it difficult to apply the olive oil treatment to already-wet hair because there’s too much moisture and the tresses get too slippery. If you’re in this camp, no worries, just do a dry hair olive oil treatment. When you apply olive oil to dry hair, the results can be more manageable. The only drawback is that applying the oil on dry hair doesn’t lock as much moisture into your tresses.

Finally, after you’ve evenly applied the treatment to your hair, tuck oil-covered locks under a shower cap or wind plastic wrap around tresses. Let your mane sit for between 5 and 45 minutes—this gives the treatment more time to provide enhanced effects. When you’re done, thoroughly rinse hair and enjoy your mane’s extra bounce and shine.

Here’s another olive oil treatment benefit. The oil’s anti-inflammatory agents also enhance scalp health and help eliminate dandruff.

To learn about other natural oils that can enhance your hair’s health, click here.