In the quest for lustrous, healthy locks, the beauty industry often presents a bewildering array of products and promises. From serums to shampoos, conditioners to treatments, it’s easy to get lost in the maze of hair care options. But amidst this plethora of choices, there’s one natural oil that has stood the test of time and gained a reputation as a miracle worker for hair – Argan oil. But what about Argan oil makes it so exceptional for hair? Does it live up to the hype, or is it just another beauty fad? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the science behind Argan oil for hair.
I. What Is Argan Oil?
Argan oil, often referred to as “liquid gold,” is obtained from the kernels or seeds found inside the fruit of the Argan tree (Argania spinosa), which is native to southwestern Morocco. These fruits are harvested and the nuts are extracted to access the kernels, from which the oil is then extracted. Argan oil has been shown to provide several health benefits when applied to the skin and many of those benefits extend to the hair. This oil has gained widespread popularity in the beauty and skincare industry due to its numerous potential benefits.
II. What Are The Benefits of Argan Oil For Hair?
Argan oil is rich in a variety of beneficial compounds like vitamins, fatty acids, minerals, and antioxidants. While individual experiences may vary, Argan oil is often associated with the following potential benefits:
- Hydrates and softens: Argan oil is an age-old beauty secret that has many uses, namely helping to hydrate and soften the hair. Compared to other hair oils, argan oil features a smaller molecule, which is why it absorbs more easily into the hair to hydrate and soften it.
- Increases hair elasticity: With its high content of antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and vitamin E, the benefits of argan oil naturally help to increase hair’s elasticity and consistently restore shine to dull, lifeless hair.
- Prevents breakage: Whether we realize it or not, we put our hair through a lot of damage with everyday pollution, chemical treatments, and hot tools. Vitamin E – which argan oil is high in – helps keep your follicles free from damage all while helping to prevent split ends and breakage. Besides, argan oil is made of unsaturated fats that can easily penetrate the hair strand, sealing the gaps in the cuticle of damaged hair and creating a healthier appearance.
- Soothes the scalp: Argan oil is also believed to have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal effects, which can also help soothe sensitive or itchy scalps.
- Repairs hair coloring damage: Argan oil can restore some shine to damaged hair – whether that’s due to general dryness, color treatments, or perms.
III. How To Use Argan Oil For Hair?
Argan oil can generally be used on most hair types, however, you may need to apply it differently or use a different type of argan oil depending on your needs. Full-strength argan oil is ideal on thick, curly, or heavily colored hair but if you have fine hair or oily hair, full-strength argan oil can weigh your hair down if you don’t apply it sparingly. You can also look for products with argan oil instead of the pure oil. A blended or lightweight version is ideal for most types of hair. So, depending on your needs, there are a number of ways to experience the goodness argan oil provides.
1. Use Argan Oil For Hair as A Leave-in Conditioner
Argan oil is rich in nutrients and vitamins such as vitamins A, C, and E; antioxidants; linoleic acid; and omega-6 fatty acids. Because of this, it’s a great ingredient for conditioning. The combination of all these super-nourishing ingredients leaves the hair strands softer, shinier, more manageable, and frizz-free. You can skip your usual conditioner and use argan oil as a leave-in conditioner to reduce breakage from combing and styling.
- Wash your hair thoroughly.
- Towel-dry your hair so that it’s not dripping.
- Rub 2 or 3 drops of the oil in your hands and apply to your hair.
- Dry and style your hair as usual.
- Do this once or twice a week.
2. Use As a Hydrating Hair Mask
- Using your hands, massage 8 to 10 drops of argan oil into your hair and scalp. Adjust the amount as needed based on the length of your hair.
- Continue to massage your hair and scalp for 15 minutes, ensuring your hair is covered from roots to ends.
- Wrap your hair in a towel or hair wrap and leave it on overnight.
- Wash your hair in the morning and style as usual.
3. Use as A Relieving Scalp Treatment
Because argan oil is rich in antioxidants, it’s an effective scalp treatment. It can help reduce the scalp inflammation that leads to dandruff, itchiness, and other scalp issues. To note though, it’s important not to leave any kind of oil on the scalp for a prolonged period of time, as the potency might lead to scalp sensitivity and inflammation over time. 20-30 minutes should be plenty of time to absorb the benefits.
IV. The Best Products With Argan Oil
Good quality, pure argan oil is key when using it on your scalp and hair. When shopping for the best argan oil, make sure that it’s:
- 100% pure organic argan oil without any other ingredients.
- Labeled for cosmetic use.
- Sold in a dark-colored glass bottle to maintain its properties.
- Pure argan oil for cosmetic use should have no smell to it whatsoever. Culinary argan oil smells nutty and poor-quality argan oil may have a strong, rancid odor.
Ready to incorporate argan oil into your haircare routine? Here are our favorite argan oil hair products to add to your wish list.
1. Best For Dry Scalps: MOROCCANOIL Dry Scalp Treatment
This scalp soother helps nix flakes, ease itchiness, balance moisture, boost shine, and fluff up flat strands in one five-minute treatment. We like the MOROCCANOIL Dry Scalp Treatment, which contains argan oil alongside salicylic acid to help gently exfoliate the scalp and prevent buildup and dandruff.
2. Best Pure Argan Oil: SHEA MOISTURE 100% Pure Argan Oil Head to Toe Smoothing
Looking for affordable, high-quality argan oil that you can use for anything? This head-to-toe oil can be used for all your beauty needs. Here, the ingredient list is as minimal as it gets, featuring only 100% pure argan oil. Use it throughout your hair care routine and try incorporating it into your skincare routine as well.
3. Best Argan Oil Hair Mask: BUMBLE & BUMBLE Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Mask
Don’t feel like doing a DIY hair mask? This luxe mask from BUMBLE & BUMBLE makes this weekly part of your hair care routine easy peasy. Formulated for all hair types, it blends argan oil with ingredients like hydrating shea butter, coconut oil, and grapeseed oil to soften, boost shine, detangle, and defrizz. You only need to let this sit in your hair for three to five minutes to reveal fully refreshed, healthy hair.
Argan oil, often referred to as “liquid gold,” has been a beauty secret cherished by Moroccan women for centuries. Derived from the nuts of the Argan tree native to Morocco, this oil is prized for its culinary uses and has also found a special place in the world of hair care. With its rich history and numerous reported benefits, it’s no wonder Argan oil has garnered a legion of devoted fans.